"Kure Mountains National Park" Pinarbasi by MattTB
Pinarbasi Travel Guide: 7 reviews and 12 photos
Normally I would not go out of my way to tell everyone else about my favourite places in Turkey as I would prefer to keep them to myself and avoid the mass tourism invasion that has spoilt the most popular parts and people of this country. However, here I am aiming to promote sustainable tourism to an area that is unspoilt by tourism. The people here need to see that they can make more money from protecting the local animals and environment than from destroying them! Here, I met hunters who although respecting the parks borders still did not have enough faith in the park to stop hunting and become nature guides and trackers for tourists. When you have villages in the area actually named 'Tree Cutters', you can see what the environment is up against! The people here are also so pure and never ask for 'money, money, money' as most Turks usually do. Basically the place needs to be developed in eco tourism practices and protection to the standard of African or Indian National Parks. The village of Pinarbasi is one of the best places to stay to explore Kure mountains national park, there is an eco tourism centre and hotel there (see hotel section).
So, here is a bit about the park, taken from the WWF website: "In addition to being the best remaining example of the highly endangered karstic mountain areas of the "Black Sea Humid Forests", the Küre Mountains host an exceptionally valuable wildlife: 40 of the 132 mammals in Turkey are found in this area, including endangered species of brown bear, lynx, wolf, roe deer, red deer, European otter and wild boar which is still widespread. 46 of the 129 bird species (including golden eagle, goshawk, several species of vultures, and peregrine falcon) found in the area are endangered. It is an Important Plant Area having 80 endemic plant taxa for Turkey and 47 threatened plant taxa. Küre Mountains is under protection as National Park since 2000. WWF-Turkey is trying to develop a project for management model of protected areas in Turkey based on the implementation in Küre Mountains"
You will need to hire a car to get here, it takes 6 hours from Istanbul and 3-4 from Ankara. Once off the motorway at Gebeze the roads are really enjoyable to drive on... open country roads!
- Pros:Green, clean air, wildlife, organic food!
- In a nutshell:Best place in Turkey!
Definately worth seeing, but not for those scared of heights! About 2 hours drive from the park entrance at a very slow... more travel advice
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