Bolu is a city located in the Western Black Sea region of Turkey. It is famous for its cooking tradition that prevails since the Ottoman Empire when the master chefs of the Ottoman palace were entirely selected from the cooking artisans of Bolu (more specifically from the nearby town of Mengen). Although the city has a very long history, little has remained from ancient Bithynia, a local civilization.

Mist in Bolu Province

The city itself has little reason for travellers to linger, and the main attractions are in the surrounding countryside: lush mountains dotted by lakes, the nearby ski resort at Kartalkaya, and towns that maintain their traditional architecture such as Mudurnu and Göynük.

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The name of Bolu derives from its ancient name, Claudiapolis.

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  • Abant — a nearby lakeside mountain resort, fairly popular among Turkish families regardless the season (30 km to the southwest)
  • Yedigöller — a national park with postcard-perfect autumn views, named after the seven lakes in the area (42 km to the north)
  • Mudurnu and further away on the same road Göynük are two historic old towns tucked away in the mountainous area southwest of Bolu.
Routes through Bolu
IstanbulIzmit  W   E  → Junction   (towards Ankara) → Amasya



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