Karagöl (meaning “Black Lake”) is located around 40km outside of Karsiyaka, Izmir.

I have been wanting to go there for ages, but had never got around to it. So, after we’d stuffed ourselves on a delicious Kahvalti in Ciceklikoy and were feeling a tad adventurous we decided to brave the winding roads and head on up the mountain.

It was a long drive, much longer than i’d expected, and although the roads were well maintained they are literally never ending. After only a few minutes we’d lost all connection with the outside world as Turkcell left me and it was just us, the open road and nature. Ok, that’s not strictly true. It was a Sunday after all and Sunday in Turkey means picnics and mangals….

There were people sitting on every available piece of land at the side of the road enjoying the insanely beautiful views of the valley and distant city. After about 40(ish) minutes we arrived at the Lake. It was impressive looking, and it felt like a magical, secret place nestled in the middle of the tall mountains. Well, it would have if it hadn’t been for the car loads of people picnicing there with music blaring, dancing around waving their hands in the air.

You have to pay 15 lira if you want to enter with your car. We paid 10 but there are available places along the road outside for free.

As we headed back down the mountain, stopping only to quench our thirst by filling up empty bottles with the cold, natural mountain water from fountains along the way, we descended just in time to watch the gorgeous pinky orange sunset over the busy, bustling city before that became our reality again….

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