10 Fascinating Places (Near Istanbul) To Visit On A Weekend! ~ Turkish And More

10 Fascinating Places (Near Istanbul) To Visit On A Weekend!

Fascinating Places (Near Istanbul) To Visit On A Weekend!

If you are in Istanbul and would like to spend couple of days in a quite area with your family but at the same time not having to drive long distances, then check out these 10 fascinating places (Near Istanbul) to visit on a weekend.

How would you like to visit the homes of the famous characters of the Lord of the Rings series, the hobbits? 

The village which can be reached in approximately 40 minutes by car from the Anatolian side, is a fun-filled place in greenery where you can spend time with your children on a weekend. 
There are 15 hobby houses with different concepts in the Hobbit village located in the Martyr Er Gökhan Hüseyinoğlu Beach Park in Darıca. 

Darcia-Hobbit-Village places-to-visit-in-istanbul

There is no entrance fee for Darica Hobbit Houses. Inside, there is a walking track, basketball, football and tennis courts, a bicycle path, camellias where you can have a picnic, and even a public beach. There are also different playgrounds for children but note that barbecue is not allowed.

You can also visit Darıca Millet Bahçesi which is a big park by the sea, with a view of Osmangazi Bridge, and with plenty of greenery, where you can spend time outdoors.

This is a very enjoyable area not only for families with children but also for adults.

2- Kirkpinar, Sapanca Gölü

Enjoy your weekend with your friends and family at Kırkpınar. Kırkpınar is a touristic village located on the shores of Sapanca Lake. You can enjoy walking along the lake, then have breakfast or lunch while enjoying the charming gardens of Maja Kırkpınar or Beta Home Gölevi. Staying there would be worth it especially when staying in the amazing bungalows or villas found there.

Kirkpinar-Sapanca-Gölü places-to-visit-in-istanbul

3- Ormanya Doğal Yaşam Parkı, Kocaeli

Ormanya Natural Life Park which is located in the Kartepe district of Kocaeli spreads over 2,000 acres and is considered the 3rd largest natural habitat in the world and the largest in Europe. Thousands of visitors visit it monthly where it consists of 6 main areas: Zoo, Wildlife Area, Hiking and Bicycle Trails, Caravan and Tent Camping Area, Nature School, and Wildlife Rescue Center.

Ormanya-Doğal-Yaşam-Parkı places-to-visit-in-istanbul

4- Yuvacık Barajı

Built between 1987-1999 to produce drinking water, Yuvacık Dam lies on the Kirazdere Stream where two large streams meet. Visiting the Yuvacık Dam, you will be introduced to a number of interesting activities such as ATV Safari, Offroad Safari, Trekking, Paintball, Zipline. 

Yuvacik Dam hiking trails

There are four different hiking trails from Yuvacık Dam, namely Camidüzü, Değirmendüzü, Sıcakdere, and Soğukdere. 

1- Camidüzü track is a track created by human hands. The length of the track is 9 kilometers and it is one of the easy tracks in terms of difficulty. Apart from the resting areas on the track, there are also tools for you to do sports.

2- The track, which starts from Değirmendüzü, ends at the historical aqueduct close to Yuvacık Dam. The length of the track is 8 kilometers.

Yuvacık Barajı places-to-visit-in-istanbul

3- Sıcakdere hiking trail is one of the difficult tracks because it is a canyon hike. The length of the track is 10 kilometers. It starts in Bahçecik Town and ends at the historical arch on Yuvacık Dam. Sıcakdere Canyon is located in Beşkayalar National Park. Due to the height of the water and the occasional impassable rocks, group hiking is recommended.

4- In the same way, Soğukdere is one of the difficult tracks due to the canyon trekking. For this reason, it is a track that should only be visited in the summer months. Its length is 11 kilometers, it starts from Aytepe and the canyon walk ends at the aqueduct.

5- Erikli Yaylası

Being 1 to 1.5 hours away from Istanbul, Erikli Waterfall is one of the natural wonders of Turkey ideal for those who want to have fun. It is also an ideal place to spend time in a calm and peaceful environment and you can organize company organizations, set up picnics, tent camps, hike with friends in order to get away from work stress. 

Erikli Yaylası places-to-visit-in-istanbul

Maşukiye, which is 1.5 hours away from Istanbul, is a town in  Kocaeli's  Kartepe District. There are really many options for places to visit in Maşukiye and activities to be held in Maşukiye.

Maşukiye, where Sapanca Lake is located in the north and Kartepe in the south,  is a natural wonder. There are many trout facilities in the region, which are specially covered with organic breakfast and waterfalls.

Maşukiye places-to-visit-in-istanbul

What Can You Do In Maşukiye?

1- Trout Restaurants & Breakfast: 
Aygır Stream adds vitality to the region and thanks to the ice-cold water it carries from the summit of Kartepe to Maşukiye, it helps the trout farms to survive. Visitors will have the chance to start the day with a rich breakfast table in the restaurants located next to the farms.

2- Maşukiye Highlands
After a delicious breakfast at the trout restaurants, you can immediately turn your route to Kartepe. Among the plateaus that many travelers add to their list of places to visit in Maşukiye, Kirazlı gets the most attention thanks to its ease of transportation. This is also a picnic area preferred by many visitors. It is also a frequent destination for travelers who like to take pictures, as it offers a magnificent view of the Gulf of Izmit and Lake Sapanca. The plateau is flooded with visitors in the summer months. 

3- Sapanca and Sapanca Lake
While you are on holiday in Maşukiye, do not neglect to stop by Sapanca and visit Sapanca lake. Sapanca Lake, which is very close to the Kocaeli, was formed as a result of tectonic movements. Fed by nearly twenty springs, including Aygır Stream, the freshwater lake has a shore not only to the district from which it is named but also to Maşukiye.

4- Kartepe
When Kartepe is mentioned, most people immediately think of the ski resort, which has increased in popularity recently. The facility is both very close to Istanbul and has the quality to meet the expectations of winter sports enthusiasts of all levels. 

If you are thinking of going to Maşukiye in the summer, you can add a lake tour by canoe to your to-do list. There are many places to rent around the lake. In the spring or autumn months, you can consider cycling around the region and if you are planning to have a pleasant weekend experience with your friends, you can go to Maşukiye and share your trump cards on the paintball track.

There are many activities to be done in Polonezköy, which is one of the most preferred places for a peaceful and peaceful weekend in Istanbul. In Polonezköy, you can take advantage of many opportunities such as weekend holidays, day trips, picnics, barbecues, dinners in luxury and quality restaurants, and weddings.

PolonezKöy places-to-visit-in-istanbul

What Can You Do In PolonesKöy?

1- Breakfast: 
Polonezköy is one of the first places that comes to mind when it comes to breakfast or brunch in Istanbul, especially at the weekend, in a beautiful place intertwined with nature. Start your trip with a rich breakfast that includes organic foods (such as sausage, cheese) and especially homemade jams made with the fruits they grow should be the first activity of your Polonezköy trip. 

2- Hiking and Trekking
After a rich and satisfying breakfast, Polonezköy, which is one of the rare places that remain green in Istanbul, provides a very ideal environment for nature lovers with its clean air and nature that contains every shade of green. Another fun sports activity that can be done in Polonezköy is bicycle tours.

Other activities that you can enjoy in PolonezKöy:

Animal Garden
You can see extraordinary animals such as Coati, Lama, Cayman Timash, in the zoo within Polonezköy Country Club. This is a great place to be visited by families with children.

Horse Riding
Polonezköy and even Beykoz, in general, are home to more than a thousand horse riding centers. Çatalay Equestrian and Equestrian Sports Club, Pegasus Equestrian Club, Atevi Club, Horse Village Equestrian Sports Club are just a few of them. If you want, you can take horse riding lessons at these riding clubs, or you can just watch the horse riders.

Beekeeping Museum and Glass Art Center
You can buy Polonezköy honey, which has been in service for many years and is the product of its own bees, in the place called the Arıcılık Müzesi, located in the village square. You can also find bee products such as pollen, royal jelly, propolis, and beeswax here.

Zofia Rizi Memorial House
If you are a person who is curious about the history of the places he visited, you should visit the Zofia Rizi Memorial House, the oldest and most magnificent house of Polonez köy. The house at the entrance of the village displays images and documents that shed light on both the history of Polonez köy and the history of the family that owns the house. 

Ağva is known for its closeness to Istanbul and is one of the perfect places that can be preferred for a daily or weekend holiday. Ağva, located between two rivers, stands out as a town of Şile district on the Black Sea coast of Istanbul. It is a very beautiful town with its sandy beach, natural beach, coves, and lush green nature.

Ağva places-to-visit-in-istanbul

What Can You Do In Ağva?

1- Thermal and Spa Centers
Ağva is a very famous region in terms of thermal and spa centers. If you go to Ağva, you should definitely visit the spa and thermal centers for both health and relaxation.

2- Picnic and Camping
When you go to Ağva, you can explore the Yeşilçay and Göksu rivers. If you go to Ağva in the summer season, you can enjoy the sea on its fine sandy, wide and long beaches, and enjoy nature walks. At the same time, picnics and camping can be made in the picnic areas in the bays.

3- Breakfast
Make sure to have a delicious breakfast beside the Göksu river while enjoying the lake view and without forgetting to take a ride on the Göksu river. You can discover Ağva by renting a bicycle and if you are thinking of camping then make sure to set it up on the beach and don't forget to prepare your picnic basket and have a great family picnic beside the bays.

If you visit Ağva in Autumn then you must participate in the “Mushroom Days” where participants gather mushrooms called Porçini. You should definitely visit the caves in Ağva. It is absolutely necessary to participate in the Full Moon parties, which are held in the summer and are illuminated by candle lights. 

There are many places where you can escape from Istanbul at any time, spend your weekend or a day. However, the best option, both near and far: Büyükada. You can reach Büyükada daily by ferry or motorboat departing from Kadıköy, Bostancı, Eminönü or Beşiktaş, and after you arrive, you can start your trip by buying ice cream from Prinkipo, get on the phaeton through the bazaar or, as we prefer, you can rent a bike and take the Little Tour route. Rental bicycles with child seats are also available for families with young children. The magnificent beauty of the historical mansions of the island It is possible to feel like you are teleported to the past while passing by. 

Büyükada places-to-visit-in-istanbul

So in short what can you do in Büyükada on a weekend?

1- Have a nice island breakfast

2- Rent a bike

3- Definitely visit the Islands' Museum

4- Climb Aya Yorgi Hill

5- Visit Büyükada's mansions

6- Have a picnic or a swim

7- Be sure to stop by Prinkipo Ice Cream Shop

8- While on the island, do not leave without eating fish

10- Şile Saklıgöl

Saklıgöl which means hidden lake is a must-visit place if you are a nature lover and would like to spend some quiet time away from the busy life of Istanbul. Saklıgöl, located in Kamandere, is about 8 km from the center of Şile. In addition to the peace of mind,  you can enjoy breakfast, self-catering barbecue, grill, and take amazing photos by the lake while being surrounded by greenery scenes. You can also shop for natural products, from the stalls set up by the locals on the way to and from Saklıgöl.

Saklıgöl is an ideal place for those looking for a nice weekend rest in Istanbul!!

Şile-Saklıgöl places-to-visit-in-istanbul

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