Landlocked, but 50% saltwater, 70-sq-km Lake Bafa constitutes the last trace of the Aegean's former inland reach. It's a peaceful place, ringed by traditional villages such as Kapıkırı on the lake's far eastern shore. Bygone Byzantine hermitages and churches abound in the Bafa hills, and the region is a rich natural habitat boasting sights from orchids (up to 20 species) to owls, butterflies and chameleons. In particular, some 350 avian species are represented, including eagles, pink flamingos, pelicans and spoonbills.
The ruins of Herakleia are found throughout Kapıkırı, which is populated by roving chickens, donkeys and old women hawking trinkets and crafts. The ruins leave much to the imagination; it's the rustic 'other-worldly' scene and the lakeside setting that comprise most of the experience.
The upper village, where most of the ruins are, is called 'town side' and lower Kapıkırı is 'island side'.