Located in Bitlis' Tatvan district, Nemrut Crater Lake has been hosting campers with the arrival of summer. Celebrated by the European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) with an "Award of Excellency," the site of the lake welcomes thousands of tourists every year from around the world.
The lake in eastern Turkey is situated at an altitude of 2,500 meters on Mt. Nemrut. The natural wonder stands out with its small lakes with hot and cold waters, ice caves and steam chimneys. The site also lures campers who are interested in bird watching and stargazing as the heavens look crystal clear since there is no artificial light around the site.
Nature lovers and camping enthusiasts coming from various places to Bitlis start the day with a quick walk around the lake and then light up a fire to cook their breakfast. Campers sip their tea while planning the day and enjoy exploring the site and its fauna. At night, they set out for stargazing as unfortunately it is almost impossible to see the stars in cities.
One of the campers, Yüksel Dıblan, who works as a teacher, came to the Nemrut Crater Lake with his friends from the neighboring city of Van. Speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), Dıblan said he has been camping for the last eight years and discovered the Nemrut Crater Lake after he was assigned to duty in Bitlis.
"We have camped around Van, especially around Lake Van. However, the unique nature of the Nemrut Crater Lake area intrigued us and we decided to come here. The schools are off and before heading out for our hometowns we decided to come here and discover the site. I am happy to be here. Nature is more than beautiful. We have met many campers here. As there is no artificial light, the stars look amazing. I advise all camping lovers to come and visit this site," he said.
Eser Eribol, another teacher friend of Dıblan said he first visited Nemrut just to see the sights and this is the first time he is here to camp. "The nights here are amazing," Eribol said, adding that camping is a good way to let off steam.
"After the picnic makers leave and the sun goes down, the site becomes less crowded and the real experience begins. I cannot tell you how amazing it is just to light up a fire and chat with your friends. Nemrut has unmatched natural beauty. We should protect this," he said.
Coming to Nemrut from the southeastern province of Mardin, camper Abdullah Eren said Nemrut Crater Lake is one of the most popular camping destinations among campers in the last few years. "I am extremely happy to be here," said Eren. "I will try to come here more often. This is one of the few places that you can be alone in nature. The lake is surrounded by a thick forest which makes it a perfect place to get away from the chaos of the cities. I will cherish this experience for the rest of my life."