Despite its comparatively small tourism industry, Eğirdir makes a great base from which to explore the region. The local pensions are now well organized, with tours, guides, maps and independent travel information all easily available.
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While the St Paul’s Trail is the region’s most famous long-distance walking trail, numerous trekking routes have been mapped out, and independent hiking is easy. These range from half- or full-day walks to multi-day trips such as the hike to Barla (25km), and the overnight trips to the summits of Mount Dedegöl and Mount Davraz. The Eğirdir Outdoor Centre (wegirdiroutdoorcenter.com) can tailor routes to your requirements and arrange transport (costing around TL1 per km), guides (around TL100 per day), camping equipment and packed lunches.
Potential bike routes vary from easier circuits around the region’s many lakes, or the mostly flat terrain leading to Kovada National Park (54km round trip), to more challenging routes like the hilly climbs to Barla village (46km round trip) or the mountainous course to Zindan Cave (50km round trip).
Kovada National Park
The lake, marshland and forests of Kovada Gölü form a carefully tended and hardly visited national park. Its animal population includes wolves, bears and wild boars, and the lake itself, teeming with fish, receives the outflow of Eğirdir Gölü. The limestone shore is harsh and the lake itself tinted green by its sediment, so it’s not a particularly enticing swimming spot, but the largely untouched wildlife makes for some great walking and birdwatching opportunities.
Many tours of Kovada National Park continue 30km south on the main road through a gorge towards Çandır (signed Yazılı Kanyonu), passing a series of icy but scenic pools and waterfalls, crisscrossed by bridges, and best sampled in high summer. Well-preserved stretches still survive of the ancient Kral Yolu, or “King’s Way”, a road that threaded through Pisidia.
Between December and the end of March, the northern slopes of the 2635m Mount Davraz (30min drive from Eğirdir) offer decent downhill skiing and snowboarding, and the views from the slopes down to Lake Eğirdir are superb. Conditions are fairly reliable, though the limited runs won’t satisfy everyone. The Eğirdir Outdoor Centre (wegirdiroutdoorcenter.com) and the Davraz Ski Centre (wdavraz.com) rent skis (from TL30) and snowboards (from TL35), and a weekday lift pass costs TL30.