Nar Lake is the only crater lake in the entire Cappadocia region. According to some reports, its form results from a meteorite fall. Craters form when volcanoes erupt, lava erupts, and hardens at the edges, turning into stone.
Over time, rainwater and melting snow accumulate in the crater, forming a lake. The Nar Lake, which emerged this way, is located near the Ihlara Valley. Hidden from the eyes of a picturesque place, although it’s of volcanic origin and contains sulfur, its water is cold and fresh and has reeds and fish.
The area covered by Nar is about three thousand square meters, its height is 1371 meters, and the lake’s depth is 70-80 meters. Surrounded by high mountains, this natural wonder is protected from winds and frosts and, therefore, never freezes. Although the winters of Cappadocia are cold, Nar Lake spends the winters in a temperate climate.
One feature that makes the lake enjoyable is that it resembles a heart when viewed from above. This exciting shape discovers by photographers shooting from above, which you cannot see while standing on the shore. As the popularity of the lake started to increase, a road was made to one of the nearby hills, where you can see both the romantic shape of the lake and the hot air balloons in the sky. The lake and its surroundings form one of the most beautiful landscapes in Cappadocia, an excellent backdrop for photographers.
In the lake region, there’re hoods (long mushroom-shaped rock formations) and underground cities along the valley stretching east and west from the village of Nar. The underground town almost resembles a land city because the steep slope on which it sits collapsed over time, revealing a residential area.
The cross carved inside the church belongs to the late Byzantine period and dates back to the 10th-12th centuries. It dates back for centuries. In particular, one of the 5-story churches in the valley draws attention with its frescoes on the ground floor. Although these beautifully rendered frescoes have survived to the present day in ruins, depictions of saints and Jesus are visible.
In addition, with the start of the summer season, bicycle festivals are held here, accompanied by the beautiful view of Nar Lake.
Where is Nar Crater Lake? How to Go?
Nar Lake is located at the intersection of the Aksaray, Nevsehir, and Nigde regions, near the village of Nar, from which they took its name. The distance from the lake to Nigde city center is 75 kilometers. There is no public transport here, but you can easily reach the village by private car or an organized tour. You can also get to the lake itself by using the transfers from the thermal hotels located next to the lake.
For those who want to explore the historical details of the region, we recommend you to reach the lake through the village of Yeşilburc. This is the place where Greeks lived during the Ottoman period. While passing through these places, you come across stone mansions, churches, and the remains of baths.
Legend of Nar Lake
The legends of Cappadocia bear traces of the region’s cultural life and geographical features. All of them are magical and exciting fairy tales for adults. Here, there’re several legends passed down by word of mouth. Nar Lake is one of these places. While looking at the purest water of the lake, you’re fascinated, on the one hand, pondering on the legend you have heard and going back to ancient times.
The temperature of the water coming out of the Nar lake is said to be almost 60 degrees, but there is a lot of lime in the water. Although the lake isn’t located in a forest area, it is always green and bright, so you can enjoy both the healing waters and the magnificent view of the lake in the newly opened thermal hotels.
It’s said that bathing in water rich in sodium, calcium, and bicarbonate is good for rheumatism and skin diseases, especially psoriasis. Healing water accelerates blood flow, reduces swelling, and lowers heart rate in the following years, its plans to develop a thermal center in the region.
Things to Do Near Nar Lake
One of the must-see places in Cappadocia is the Ihlara Valley, through which the Melendiz River flows. The canyon, hidden at a depth of 100-120 meters, has created its microclimate, so the valley is covered with a lush natural cover and looks like a miracle of nature. In this place, many churches dating back to the 4th century have been preserved, and the architectural mastery and the colors of the preserved frescoes are striking.
Derinkuyu Underground City
One of the magnificent living spaces carved into stone by people is Derinkuyu underground city. The city is believed to have 10 or 12 floors, but only eight floors are currently navigable. While exploring the underground city, you will sometimes be surprised to say that this is impossible.
All details such as chimneys, narrow tunnels, wineries, food stores, water wells, and toilets have been considered so that people can live without leaving the city for a long time. Some believe that aliens built Derinkuyu underground city.