It’s late summer at Turkey’s second largest lake, but the crowds that come in busloads don’t have towels, beach balls, or bikinis. There’s really nothing to do at Tuz Gölü other than marvel at the otherworldly landscape created by one of the largest salt lakes in the world. It’s pretty touristy but it’s also really fucking cool.
The lake’s pink flesh crackled beneath our shoes as we ventured away from the waning throngs of tourists towards the centre of the lake. We were lucky enough to visit after a short rain, and the water puddled on top of the salt crust creating a glossy sheen as far as we could see. The centre of the lake is the deepest, and usually has a thin layer of water on it, but we gave up trying to walk the 20 or so kilometres to the middle and just amused ourselves in the desolate rosy marshes that were too far for other tourists.
Tuz Gölü supplies over 60% of Turkey’s salt via three salt mines, two of which we inadvertently checked out while trying to find out how to access the lake. It’s located pretty much in the centre of Anatolia, but despite its gigantic size the only place we could find to get close to it (aside from the salt mines, which were off-limits 🙁 ) is at a kitschy tourist stop just north of the unpronounceable town of Şereflikoçhisar. So it’s touristy. But also cool, and the place to pick up your lifetime supply of salt.
Know of any other massive salt lakes? Let us know so we can VISIT THEM ALL.