Istanbul is a magical city, provides wide range of activity options for both locals and tourists like sports, sightseeing tours, big festivals, any kind of food restaurants, entertainments and many more.
Sometimes it can be hard to find a place to walk, hiking and resting in a natural place or you may think that you should go further than actually you should. Istanbul has many hidden gems like beaches and forests for a relaxing weekend.
You can find my article about the beaches through that link: http://www.steigenbergeristanbulmaslak.com/best-beaches-near-istanbul/
Now, it’s time to talk about the forests. It is a short but effective list and I hope will be a perfect guide to the visitors.
Belgrade Forest is the biggest forest in Istanbul. Home to many festivals in the summer season especially music festivals. But its also a family place with its barbeque for families, hiking roads
The Belgrade Forest, during the Ottoman period, was once a place only visited by foreigners. In 1956 the first picnic areas were established around the Neşet springand around the dams, and today there are seven picnic areas, the most popular being the one near the Büyük Bent. The café in the middle of the Bent provides biscuits, toasts, tea and soft drinks. When you are hungry you can either spread the food you brought to the wooden tables or make barbecue. Around Neset spring you can also find alternatives of “Kendin Pişir Kendin Ye” (Cook Yourself, Eat Yourself) for a meat banquet!
The path circles round Büyük Bent and back, making a total length of 6.5 kilometers. At intervals along the way are 17 pieces of exercise apparatus. But choosing the right friends to exercise with is as important as choosing the right form of exercise.
Especially during the summer months, Belgrade Forest is a place to go to escape the heat of the concrete jungles. However don’t forget there are going to be thousands of other people with the same idea. Once you enter the forest the atmosphere of a different Istanbul will encircle you, first a light and wet coolness than the deep shadows created by the high trees hindering the sunlight.
The Belgrade Forest offers a magnificent visual feast during spring and fall, and every shade of green and can be seen. In the winter the scene is quite different of course but the forest is still beautiful and you may see the odd enthusiast jogging in the snow or lovers out for a stroll.