An ideal place for a weekend getaway or a day trip, Lake Sapanca is your gateway to the great outdoors whether you’re staying in Sakarya or Istanbul.
One of Turkey’s purest lakes
Dip your toes into this crystal clear freshwater lake, located on a fault zone where several earthquakes have occurred over the last 100 years. Its sheer beauty has made it a magnet for tourists, while being one of the rare lakes in Turkey where the water is still drinkable.
The story behind the name
Sapan means ballista—an ancient weapon—in Turkish. Legend has it that a man with such a weapon was passing through the town and stopped to ask for water, but no one gave him any. As a result, he cursed the people of the town with a spell, flooding the town and forming Sapanca Lake. Some residents believe the original town mosque remains buried at the bottom of the lake.
Make the most of your time by the lake by renting a boat or going on a fishing adventure. Trout are a common catch, and are served in many restaurants in the area. Try water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, water skiing, and paddleboarding, or dive in for a swim in the summer.
Tips for your visit
If you are traveling from Istanbul, there are several tour buses that will take you to Sapanca Lake for the day. The recommended seasons to visit the lake are spring and autumn, as it tends to be less crowded. During the last week of June, stop by for International Sapanca Poetry Evenings on the lake’s shores, where international poets recite their work with a backdrop of the glistening waters.