This magnificent long drawn lake is 90km north of Bodrum and is part of the ‘Aydin’ nature park.
There are more than 255 different bird species native to the lake. Ornithologists from all over the world visit every year. It also forms one of Europe’s largest bird refuges.
2000 years ago Bafa Lake was a bay of the Aegean sea called the ‘Gulf of Lade.’ Due to deposits of the River Menderes, the bay was slowly separated from the sea and explains the slight salt content in which mullet, sea bream, eels and carp are caught.
The lake is surrounded by the Latmos Mountains (1400m) and is a great area for hiking/trekking tours. Since 700AD monks and hermits have left their marks on these remote mountain slopes. Byzantine monasteries and hermit caves are a favourite destination for study trips.
Four large islands lie south of the lake – Kapikiri, Ikizce, Menet, Kahvesar.
There are many places to visit – Yediler Monastery, churches and the ancient city of Herkleia which became a safety land for monks and priests in the early evangelisation of Asia Minor Christianity. The first monastery was established in the 7th century.
The archaeologist Anneliese Peschlow discovered more than 100 prehistoric paintings in the countless rock caves in the region. Among the sanctified sites in the Latmos mountains one grotto was found with paintings differing completely from all other motives previously found.
Ikizce (twin) island is connected to the mainland by a sand dune with a Byzantine monastery and an Athenian temple located on its top overlooking the lake and Kapikiri village. On the east side of the temple is the rectangular constructed agora as a two storied building. Only its first floor exists today. The theatre is situated in the north east of the ancient city Heraklia. Building dedicated to shepherd Endymion who was loved by the Goddess of Moon, Selene and was put to sleep for eternity by God of Gods, Zeus and is located on the road to the shore and island. Villagers believe the lovers still meet when the moon is full.
There are many restaurants and pensions available around the lake and village.
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