The Mount Ida National Park is a mountain range rising to 1774 metres that dominates the hinterland of the Dardanelles and the Gulf of Edremit. The foothills are an area of tall green trees and cool springs. Mount Ida is approached from three directions. The most accessible route is via Bayramic to Ayazma.The Zeytinli route is only open during peak summer months; at other times permission is required from park authorities.
The beautiful Kaz Dagi National Park is attractive with magnificent landscapes, restful green areas and several hot springs. Take a moment to consider mythology, because here, in Pınarbasi the world's first beauty contest was held between Aphrodite, Hera and Athena.
According to the greek mythology, The gods and goddesses were feasting together in order to celebrate the marriage of Peleus and Thetis. Eris, the goddess of discort, get very angry to not to be invited to the marriage. Then, she secretly came to the feast place, and put a golden apple, which was written "To The Fairest", on the feast table. After some controversy, Zeus ordered to held a contest for the fairest among Aphrodite, Hera and Athena according to the judgement of a mortal. That mortal was chosen as the son of the Trojan King Priamos, Paris. May be the first bribes in the history were offered to Paris by the three goddesses in order to win the contest. Hera offered Paris power and richness, if he decided in her favor. Athena proposed the wisdom and glory in wars. Finally, Aphrodite offered the most attractive one to Paris. She promised to give him the love of the most beautiful woman, Helen, in the world. Paris gave the apple to Aphrodite. Afterwards Hera and Athena became enemies of the Trojans. According to the legendary Trojan War, these events triggered the Paris’s move to Sparta in order to take Helen, the wife of Sparta King ‘ Menealus ’ , to Troy. This was mentioned as the reason for the famous Trojan war between Spartans and Trojans (see TROIA section).
CLIMATE OF MOUNT IDA
The summit is windswept and bare with a relatively low tree line due to exposure, but the slopes of this mountain, at the edge of mild Mediterranean and colder central Anatolian climate zones, hold a wealth of endemic flora, marooned here after the Ice Age. The climate at lower altitudes has become increasingly hot and dry in the deforested landscape. The dry period lasts from May to October. Rainfall averages between 631 and 733 mm per year. The mean annual temperature is 15.7 degrees Celsius, with diurnal temperatures as high as 43.7 degrees Celsius in Edremit. The forests on the upper slopes consist mainly of Turkish Fir (Abies nordmanniana subsp. equi-trojani; considered by some botanists to be a distinct species Abies equi-trojani). Deer, wild boar and jackal are common at the area. Wolves, lynx, brown bears and big cats once roamed there, but now disappeared from the mountains due to overhunting.
At the northern entrance of the park, via Bayramic and Evciler, to the Kaz Dagi National Park are the main daily camping facilities. Haklim, Hamdibey and Akcakoyun are the towns popular with nature tourism. In Bayramic, 60 km from Canakkale, is the beautiful 18th century Hadimoglu Mansion (Ottoman House), with its ethnographical museum.
LEGEND OF SARIKIZ
The Kaz Mountains (Kazdağları, Geese Mountains or Mountain Ida) were one of the most important cultural places of North-west Anatolia – in our mythological period. These mountains are also commonly known as Turkey’s lungs. There is a celebration happening here year by year, known as the “Sarıkız”…
Sarıkız (meaning Blonde Girl or Fair Maiden) lived a the town called Edremit district, in the province of Balıkesir. Sarıkız was a beautiful and good hearted girl without a mother. She lived in the village of Güre in Edremit only with her father. A shepherd family, loved by the whole town because some people believed her father was a saint.
One day her father decided to go on pilgrimage and leave his girl alone. He entrusted her daughter to his neighbour. Of course this was a time when young boys wanted to take advantage and marry her. She didn’t accept any proposal. Because of this situation, some of them got mad, and started malicious rumours about the girl. When her father came back to his home, he heard people were talking about his daugher and her lost virginity, so he decided to take her and a geese to the peak of Kazdağları. He left them there…
After a while, Sarıkız dad heard new rumours about the blonde girl again, it was something like she was helping lost villagers. He decided to visit her where he left her and after a whike he found her.
He stayed with her and as he wanted to wash himself before praying, he asked his daughter to fetch some water. Sarıkız gave salty water to him because she had reached her hand across the mountain and filled her container with water from the sea. The father realized that his daughter, Sarıkız, had become a saint.
Sarıkız, realising that her secret was discovered, died on the spot. Her father was deeply saddened by this and also died on the next peak ahead.
At the northern entrance of the park, via Bayramic and Evciler, to the Kaz Dagi National Park are the main daily camping facilities. Haklım, Hamdibey and Akcakoyun are the towns popular with nature tourism. In Bayramic, 60 km from Canakkale, is the beautiful 18 th century Hadimoglu Mansion (Ottoman House), with its ethnographical museum.