With its lakeside mosque and forested mountains that recall Switzerland, the 'hidden valley' of Uzungöl (Long Lake) remains idyllic, but be prepared for more than a few tacky hotels. There are currently over 2000 rooms here, catering to a growing number of visitors from the Gulf States. A flurry of recent development, including a retaining wall against the lake, makes it feel a little artificial compared with much of the Kaçkars further east, but it makes a good base for hikes in the Soğanlı Mountains and to the tiny lakes around Demirkapı in the Haldizen Mountains. Summer weekends get very busy, so try to visit during the week.


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