City With Natural Air Conditioning: Erzurum

ONE OF THE HIGHEST MAJOR CITIES IN THE WORLD, ERZURUM IS RICH IN OXYGEN AND ORGANIC VEGETATION THANKS TO ITS MICRO-CLIMATES. HERE ARE SEVEN NATURAL WONDERS IN THIS PROVINCE THAT IS PREPARING TO HOST THE OLYMPICS.

1 NARMAN FAIRY CHIMNEYS

With their myriad tones of red, these fairy chimneys seven kilometers south of the Erzurum township of Narman are strikingly beautiful. The geological formation of the Narman Basin came about following millions of years of erosion of the multiple sandstone layers. The region is ideal for long walks through the canyon in the company of rare bird species and fairy chimneys like giant sculptures.

2 TORTUM FALLS

This waterfall on the shores of Lake Tortum at the northern tip of Erzurum province is formed by water pouring over a landslide barrier. One of Turkey’s most spectacular waterfalls at close to 50 meters in height, it boasts a picnic area in the environs. Coming into its true glory in spring, the waterfall and its rainbow are of a beauty to boggle the human imagination.

2 PALANDÖKEN

One of the attractive areas of Erzurum, host of the World Universities’ Winter Games, Palandöken is home to one of the world’s leading winter sports centers thanks to its climate and facilities and the quality of the snow. The immediate environs exhibit a different beauty in every season as a hiking, picnic and viewing area tantamount to a nature park.

4 ÇORUH BASIN
Forming the westernmost tip of the biologically diverse Caucasus ecosystem, this basin is one of the world’s 34 hot spots designated by the International Environmental Protection  Agency. The region, which exhibits a rich diversity with everything from damp forests to alpine meadows, is host to upwards of a hundred endemic plant species. In addition to observing the birds, butterflies and wildlife in the basin, you can also go on a photo safari.

5 SEVEN LAKES

One of Anatolia’s virgin landscapes, the southern slopes of the Ovit Mountains are an area worth seeing for its crater lakes. A brilliant turquoise blue, they are tucked away among rugged peaks rising in places to 4,000 meters. Made up of mountain lakes large and small, the Seven Lakes (Yedigöller) area is accessible from İspir by four-wheel drive.

6 ELMALI CAVE

Attached to the Maden Köprübaşı Municipality, Elmalı Çamlı Cave is 17 kilometers from the town of İspir. The height of the cave, whose entrance faces west, is as high as 20 meters in places. Easily able to accommodate 5,000 people, it is cool on even the hottest summer days. The cave, whose main hall and corridors bristle with stalactites and stalagmites, is said to be good for respiratory ailments.

7 SIRAKONAKLAR

The village of Sırakonaklar 55 kilometers from İspir nestles in the foothills of Mt. Soğanlı, one of the Çoruh basin’s highest peaks in the Caucasus range. The konaks (stately mansions) for which this village, famed for its natural beauty, is named are two and three story houses built of stone. Some of these houses with arched windows whose construction dates back to two hundred years ago have been converted into bed&breakfasts.