Cildir 43 km (26 mile) away from Ardahan center. Tucked up in the far north-eastern corner of Turkey on the borders with Armenia and Georgia, this huge and glorious lake (123 sq km) backed with mountains to the south is curiously unknown to tourists, not least because there’s nowhere decent to stay on the shores and precious little useful public transport either.

The landscape around here will remind British visitors of some of the remoter Scottish lochs. It’s an intensely arable area, with drivers frequently required to pause while huge herds of cows and flocks of sheep cross the road. As in Kars, many people rear geese to be eaten in winter, and you’ll see mainly elderly people herding the birds from place to place.

Lake Cildir sits at an elevation of almost 2000m and in winter the lake freezes over and people take to the ice in horse-drawn sleighs called at kizaklar; you’ll find them in front of Atalay’in Yeri at weekends.

We Recommend  : Kairos Travel  |  Unlu Hotel | Captivating Cappadocia
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