Eğirdir (Eğridir), Turkey

Eğirdir is a fine place to rest if you’re traveling between the Aegean coast (or Pamukkale) and Konya or Antalya(map).

(Here’s how to drive between Ephesus and Cappadociavia Pamukkale and Konya.)

From the small lakeside town of Eğirdir (eh-YEER-deer), a causeway extends into the placid blue lake waters to connect two small islands to the mainland.

Comfy, inexpensive little pensions dot the islands, hosting travelers for a night or two as they laze away the stress of travel and sample the local fresh-water fish.

Besides swimmingboating and a hike up the slopes of neighboring Davras Dağı (2635 meters, 8645 feet), there’s little to do in Eğirdir (pop. 18,000)—which is just the point.

A crumbling fortress with foundations from 400 BC provides visual charm. Although the town’s Mosque of Hızır Bey(1237, 1308) and Dündar Bey Medresesi (seminary; 1218, 1285) date from the great age of Seljuk Turkish architecture, they were works more of the local Hamidoğullari emirs rather than the great Seljuk sultans.

The only other feature of note is the Turkish army’s commando base on the western outskirts. You may forget it’s there unless you wander through town on the commandos’ day off when you’re sure to notice their blue berets everywhere.

Without your own vehicle, bus is the best way to get here. You may have to change buses at nearby Isparta, from which minibuses run to Eğirdir about every 15 minutes. The rail line to Isparta no longer has passenger service, so the minibus is the way to go. Airports with frequent flights are at Antalya and Konya.

Eğirdir oddity: the town’s name used to be Eğridir (eh-REE-deer), a Turkish adaptation of its old Hellenic name AkrotiriBut Eğridir means “crooked” or “wrong” in Turkish, so in the 1980s the town transposed two letters in its name and made it Eğirdir, which has meanings associated with spinning, with flowers, and with bee propolis—all good things!

Distances & Travel Times

Afyon: 138 km (86 miles) N, 2.5 hours

Antalya: 186 km (116 miles) S, 3 hours

Beyşehir: 141 km (88 miles) E, 2.5 hours

Burdur: 68 km (42 miles) west, 1.5 hours

Cappadocia (Urgup): 450 km (280 miles) E, 7 hours

Isparta: 36 km (22 miles) W, 40 minutes

Istanbul: 638 km (396 miles) N, 11 hours

İzmir: 418 km (260 miles) W, 7 hours

Konya: 236 km (147 miles) E, 4 hours

Kuşadası: 390 km (242 miles) W, 7 hours

Pamukkale: 225 km (140 miles) W, 3.5 hours

Selçuk: 387 km (241 miles) W, 6.75 hours

—by Tom Brosnahan

Driving Ephesus to Cappadocia

Ephesus & Pamukkale

Aegean Region

Konya & Cappadocia


Central Anatolian Region

Mediterranean Region

Where to Go

Istanbul Love Bus...the new novel by Tom Brosnahan

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