Eğirdir Lake & Town, Turkey
Whether you’re wanting a quiet stress-free lakefront stay, or are craving a mountainous adventure, Eğirdir is the place for you. This beautiful town has excursions which can accommodate a wide variety of vacation goals.
Altinkum Beach is a peaceful, small beach front. Located just outside of the city center, this is a perfect place for those looking to rest during their vacation. If you’d like to camp or stay in a bungalow, there is also a campsite beside this beach. The town of Eğirdir is also fun to explore--its streets are beautifully nestled into the Akpinar mountains.
If you are feeling a bit adventurous, Anatoly Bisiklet Evi is a great place to rent bicycles to ride around town. If you want to go off-road in the Akpinar mountains, this rental company also has four-wheelers.
To enjoy the lake from a boat for a day, Cittaslow Market Boat Tours offers excursions. During the summer, boats are sent out every two hours from starting at 10:00 AM and ending at 6:00 PM, if weather conditions permit. The excursion lasts 40 minutes and each boat holds up to 50 people.
There are also several archeological sites near Eğirdir. The ancient city of Sagalassos is only 1.5 hours away, making it a common day trip excursion. Closer to Eğirdir, Prostanna is an ancient city nestled in the Akpinar mountains. Accessing this site is difficult as it is a few kilometers up the road from Akpınar. In visiting this ancient city, be aware that it requires offroading in order to access it. My colleague and I were able to reach the city in a Dacia Duster rental car.
There are a few restaurants you cannot miss during your time in Eğirdir. If you are staying on the peninsula, we recommend Melodi Restaurant, which is easily walking distance from any hotel on the peninsula. Located directly on the water, this restaurant has a unique ambiance--it feels as if you are in a boat as lake water flows under the building.
The Akpinar mountains provide a wonderful birds eye view of Eğirdir. During your stay, do not miss out on a serene meal overlooking the city. Akpinar Seyir Terasi is a modern restaurant with a balcony lookout over the city. In addition to its wonderful food and modern feel, Akpinar Seyir Terasi also has a jumping castle for children! If you would like the same scenic view from a more rustic and homey restaurant, Akpinar Kartal Tepesi is a wonderful choice. Though it is most famous for its Turkish breakfast, you will surely not be disappointed in the food at Akpinar Kartal Tepesi, regardless of which time of day you go!
If you would like to relax at a cafe during your stay in Eğirdir, Turkey Travel Planner recommends Şura Cafe. Situated on the lakefront, this cafe has a sweet environment, good drinks, and a strong wifi connection for those who may need to get some work done during their stay.
If you’re interested in grabbing some classic Turkish pastries to bring to the lakefront beach, Harmoni Pastanesi has delicious pastries and a wonderful environment.
There are several transport options to consider when traveling to Eğirdir. The most simple option is renting a car. During your stay, you will likely want to explore the surrounding area, so having a car is convenient and economical especially if you plan to take taxis to tour the surrounding area.
It is also simple and straightforward to access Eğirdir by bus. Depending on the city you travel from, there are multiple buses to the Isparta region each day. Kamil Koç sends several buses daily. Depending on your starting point, you may be able to take a bus directly to the Eğirdir otogar. If the city you depart from does not have a direct bus to Eğirdir, it will have a bus to Isparta Otogar. Isparta is only 36 km (22 miles) from Eğirdir, and transport between these two cities is simple. Alternatively, you could take a taxi.
Once you have arrived, there are dolmuş (minibuses) which are an easy and cheap way to navigate the city. If you are hoping to see the Akpinar mountains during your stay, unfortunately you cannot access this road by dolmuş. At the top of this road, you will find two excellent restaurants with stunning views of the peninsula.
See the end of this article for transit times and distances to Eğirdir from major regions in Turkey.
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 town’s name used to be Eğridir (eh-REE-deer), a Turkish adaptation of its old Hellenic name Akrotiri. But 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!
Eğirdir has three primary districts, each one distinct from the other. The city center is mostly populated by residents, but holds several sites you won’t want to miss during your stay. If you’re craving a more authentic residential stay in Eğirdir, there are hotels in the city center. Lale Pension and Charlys Pension make for good stays in this part of town.
If you are craving a slightly more touristic experience, the peninsula is a great place to stay. Merci Butik Hotel makes for a great stay for travelers who want to save money, and Ali’s Pension is an excellent stay for those who are willing to spend a bit more.
A third option, which is perfect for the adventurous type, is camping. Altinkum camping is a wonderful campsite located right beside Altinkum beach. There are also several unofficial campsites where campers can pitch their tents. Read more here!
Distances & Travel Times
Antalya: 139 km (86 miles) S, 2 hours
Afyon: 135 km (84 miles) N, 2 hours
Beyşehir: 142 km (88 miles) E, 1 hour 40 minutes
Burdur: 65 km (40 miles) west, 1 hour
Cappadocia (Urgup): 470 km (290 miles) E, 5 hours 45 minutes
Isparta: 36 km (22 miles) W, 35 minutes
Istanbul: 570 km (354 miles) N, 7 hours 15 minutes
İzmir: 430 km (267 miles) W, 5 hours 15 minutes
Konya: 200 km (124 miles) E, 2 hours 30 minutes
Kuşadası: 375 km (233 miles) W, 5 hours
Pamukkale: 200 km (124 miles) W, 2 hours 30 minutes
Selçuk: 380 km (236 miles) W, 4 hours 45 minutes