Just as Istanbul reflects vivid images of the development of life and civilization and preserves its history and heritage, there is another beauty added to it through many forests that are considered an outlet for visitors and tourists coming to Turkey.
The Asian and European parts of the city include forests and natural reserves that are considered an outlet for the city’s residents and visitors who come to it to spend the most enjoyable times in the shade of the trees and in the heart of the picturesque nature.
The activities that can be practiced in the forests are not without diversity, but the most prominent of them is the desire of families and groups to spend a day in nature, in addition to enjoying the sports activities, self-entertainment and grilling meat in a family atmosphere.
In addition to the many types of different trees and plants, some wild animals and pets are spread in the forests that are nature reserves, such as deer, squirrels, and others, which visitors to the forests will experience the uniqueness of seeing them up close while they are in the place.
** Belgrade Forest
On an area of more than 345 hectares, the Belgrade Forest extends north of Istanbul, with more than 2,000 species of different rare plants and trees coming from all over the world.
The region has recently turned into a foothold for Arab and foreign tourists fleeing the extreme heat in their countries, especially after it has been rehabilitated several times in recent years.
The forest, which was established in 1949, is one of the most beautiful parks in Turkey. It is characterized by its diverse trees that are difficult to see anywhere else in the country. It contains 3 charming small lakes, and maintains its beauty. Measures imposed by the administration prohibit tourists and even researchers from tampering with its trees and plants.
The garden is not only a destination for tourists, but students from various Turkish and international universities visit it with the aim of doing research and projects on the plants available in it.
The forest is also one of the most important areas of Istanbul for Turkish and foreign tourists to hold barbecue parties, as the city’s municipality recently identified large areas equipped with barbecue facilities, which is one of the most enjoyable activities that a tourist can do there.
** Alamdag forest
It is located in the Asian side of the city and belongs to the “Chemmeköy” area. It is a wide forest that extends east and west and parallelly overlooks the northern coast of the Marmara Sea. It is also close to the “Omerli” dam and lake.
The Alamdag Forest is characterized by its wideness and height and is considered one of the highest areas of Istanbul and is known as the “Castle”, as some accounts indicate that the Seljuks reached its borders and built a fortress in it in order to conquer Istanbul.
And across the castle is a place designated for walking in the forest, running and cycling, as well as the possibility of practicing different types of sports activities.
Along the forest there are various facilities for hiking, restaurants and various facilities.
The green area of the forest is 2000 dunums and contains many types of trees, including very old trees. In addition, the forest is an important water source and its height is 442 meters.
** Idos Forest
Aydos Forest is located on the Asian side of Istanbul and follows the Kartal district in the northern part of the region.
The forest extends on a thick line of trees and overlooks the regions of “Kartal, Pendik and Sultanbeyli” and is considered a piece of heaven.
The forest is easily accessible and its highest peak in Istanbul is 537 meters.
It is considered one of the areas that must be explored in the city, as it includes an ancient castle dating back to the Byzantine era.
The forest can be entered through various means of transportation, from walking to bicycles and cars.
The forest includes a beautiful lake and the beautiful scenery is an opportunity for spiritual relaxation and a beautiful time with nature and various types of activities suitable for picnics, as well as a suitable place for camping.
The forest contains all the ingredients and accompanying facilities such as restaurants, cafes, barbecue places, tea drinking, parks, horse-riding trails, and sports facilities.
** Forests and other reserves
Ayhan Şahenik Sevgi Forest, located on the Asian side of Istanbul on the Black Sea coast, extends from Sile to Beykoz.
It extends over 15 hectares and is considered an agricultural forest that was planted in 2008 and includes many facilities.
As for the city forest, “Istanbul Kent Ormani”, it is located on the Asian side in the “Beykoz” region, all the way to “Uskudar”, and it also reaches the borders of the “Ilmale” dam.
Through the middle of the forest, the Sultan Mehmet Al-Fateh Bridge, the second suspension bridge linking the Asian and European parts of the city, passes.
The city forest in the Kemerburgaz region on the European side extends over an area of 5.5 square kilometers and contains traces of water transfer from the region to Istanbul in the form of a belt since the time of the Byzantines.
The forest includes places for sports, restaurants, cafes, places for walking and a lake, in addition to places designated for children.
The Shamlar forest in the Basaksehir region on the European side is a flat coniferous forest that extends over an area of 50,000 acres.
It has many facilities and contains places to walk. It is considered a natural corner in Istanbul, with its richness of green nature and where different types of animals live.
There is also a forest in the “Catalca” area, west of the city from the European side, where various facilities are spread and it is a special place for picnics near Lake Buyukcekmece.