Fly to Bingöl at the Best Prices
Bingöl, which has a history that dates back to 2000 BC and bears the traces of various civilizations...
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1. Visit the Floating Island
2. See the folk dances
3. Watch the sunrise on the Castle Hill
4. Take a dip in the thermal baths
5. Taste the honey and mulberry molasses of Bingöl
Bingöl, first known as “Cebel-cur” in history as we know, was home to the oldest civilizations, and was first founded by the “Hurrians” who were affiliated to the Mitanni dynasty, one of the oldest civilizations in Anatolia. The city was respectively conquered by the Hittites, Urartu and Persians, changing hands at every war. It was seized by Alexander the Great during the Persian rule, and after his death, the city was occupied by weaker tribes. The region bears the traces of various Anatolian civilizations due to its location. It was ruled by the Armenian Kingdom during the Roman era. With the introduction of Islam, the city was conquered by the Seljukian State, only to be seized by Akkoyunlu and Uzun Hasan later. The city was finally conquered by Sultan Mehmet II, and remained under Ottoman rule for many years.
The history of the name “Bingöl” is also as old as the history of the city, and comes from legendary roots. The city was initially called “Cebel-cur”, formed by combination of the words “cebel” meaning “mountain” due to the rough landscape, and “cur” meaning “clean, pure water”. The local people pronounced the name of the city as “Çabakçur” which meant “running clean water.” In his work, Evliya Çelebi says the name “Cebel-cur” was given to the city by Alexander the Great on the basis of the legend of “water of immortality.” The author claims that Alexander, in search for a relief of his pains, which the doctors were unable to cure, drank the healing waters of the city and his suffering ended. This is allegedly how the city was named “Cebel-cur.” During the Ottoman era, the city was called both “Çabakçar” and “Mingöl”, and in 1945 it was finally renamed “Bingöl.”
Places to Visit
Bingöl, in addition to its natural beauties, is also known as the “city of legends” and is home to many destinations that are popular among local and foreign tourists.
Floating Island: Floating Island is the first destination to be recommended to the visitors of the city. The island is in the Hazarşah village of Solhan, and known as a crater lake surrounded by mountains on three sides. The lake has three small floating islands, and is one of the must-see sites with its natural formation and unique structure.
Zağ Caves: Zağ Caves, which are located on the highway between Bingöl and Muş, is one of the popular destinations as a man-made multi-storey structures consisting of cave-like galleries. One of the oldest historical structures in the area, the caves are believed to have been built by oppressed Christians in the Roman era, and is an interesting location with interconnected structures.
Castle of King’s Daughter: Located at 2 kilometers to the district center of Genç, the castle is one of the historical monuments in the area. The castle was built during the Persian era, and only a few remains have been preserved until today, which is still an attraction to the history lovers. The area is used as a picnic area today, and is one the first stops of those who want to refresh in nature and visit historical sites.
Kiğı Castle: Located in the southeastern part of the city center, the castle is a well-preserved historical monument. The site is an attraction for tourists with its wall embellishments that resemble the Medieval architecture, and is waiting for you with its structure founded in the middle of steep rocks. It proximity to the river, which is known as “Fairy Water” and the longest river in the region, gives an opportunity to visit the river as well.
The tourists planning a trip to Bingöl are recommended to visit historical sites Zulümtepe Castle and Kiğı Mosque. The city, which stands out with its natural beauties, is also an interesting destination with its highlands, lakes, and thermal water resources.
The city is located in an area surrounded by mountains, and is famous for its highlands, thermal water resources, lakes, fountains, waterfalls and natural caves.
Çır Waterfall: The first natural beauty to come to mind in Bingöl is the Çır Waterfall. Located at 8 kilometers to the center of IIıca town, the waterfall passes through the rocks, known as the “Grand Çır Stone” among local people, and falls from approximately 50 meters, creating an amazing view. The natural caves surrounding the waterfall are a home to wild birds, and is a different attraction to the tourists.
Çiçektepe Village Cave: Bingöl is quite rich in terms of naturally formed caves. Çiçektepe Village Cave is one of the rare areas that bears the marks of ancient settlements. The cave consists of two rooms and a gallery, and its walls bear the traces of the past.
Kalkanlı Village Cave: Kalkanlı Village Cave is famous for its engraved adornments and the structure is formed by being carved into natural rocks. The cave has a natural and historical beauty with its adornments.
Kübik Cave: Located near the Kübik Village, the cave one of the favorite destinations of tourists with its natural and historical structure. The regions bears traces of ancient times, including Paleolithic, Neolithic and Bronze Age, and attracts many fans of history.
Kala Hill: Located at 3250 meters of height from Karlıova district, the Kala Hill is known as the best place to watch the sunrise after the Swiss Alps. The hill among the Bingöl Mountains allows watching sunlight in a thousand colors in a fascinating atmosphere, and the natural beauties around the hill are well worth seeing.
Culture & Art
Bingöl, which is one of the unique cities of Anatolia with its natural beauties and history, also hosts local cultural and artistic activities. The festivals, held in different districts of the city in relation to local and natural resources, are an attraction for the local people and contributes to development of tourism in the city. Events on the highlands, festivals of culture and honey, various panels, local folk contests among villages also liven up the region. Particularly the events on highlands, held every year, feature concerts by various artists. The favorite dance at the festivals is the “Eagle Dance” which is the authentic folk dance of Bingöl. The dance, which is a must-see for all tourists, bears characteristics that are unprecedented in other areas.
Among the natural festivals, “the Sunrise Festival” is popular among visitors. Highlighting the natural beauties of the region, “the Sunrise Festival” is held on different dates every year, and attracts hundreds of visitors. Another natural and cultural event in the area is the “Sülbüs Nature Festival.” The voice contests, concerts and picnics at the festival contribute to cultural life in the city. Recently honey festivals have emerged across the city. The city has inspired many tourists with its festivals, natural beauties and virgin texture. Feyzi Halıcı, a poet from Bingöl, said in his poem “Spring in Bingöl”:
“They are blue mirrors.
My day, my sun, my yearning,
My gloom swaddling in the water
Now it must be spring in Bingöl.” These lines express the yearning for the natural beauties of Bingöl.
What to Eat?
The cuisine of Bingöl, based on local products, bears the characteristics of the Anatolian food culture. The dishes of Bingöl vary according to seasons, with meat dishes in winter, and vegetable dishes in summer. The food culture is primarily based on bulgur, vegetable, meat and dairy products, the most popular dish is the authentic “gömme”. The dish is cooked in a special earthware, and it is particularly popular during winter.
Other local dishes include “ayran soup”, “tutmaç soup” and “mastuva.” The bread varieties to accompany these dishes is another distinction of Bingöl. Local authentic bread varieties are available both at the city center and in the districts. Hotel Beritan at the city center is a good choice to try out the local dishes.
Tandouri bread which is made in various parts of the city is known for its authentic taste. It is recommended to consume these bread varieties with local dishes. You can taste the bread varieties served at restaurants or sold at bakeries, and you can stop by at “Kiya Home Kitchen Restaurant” for a lunch or dinner with delicacies of local dishes. “İcemar”, located at the city center” is ideal for breakfast with its buffet breakfast at the weekends.
Bingöl does not have large shopping malls, but offers various stores. The city has many shops and closed bazaars where you can buy local products. The closed bazaar is an attraction for local and foreign tourists, with its well-preserved historical texture and shops offering local products. The main products sold in Bingöl include mulberry molasses and honey. You can purchase the highland honey, produced from rare flowers on the hills of the region which is the best quality honey in Turkey, from various stores.
Carpets and rugs are also the other authentic products that are preferred by tourists. Complete hand-woven Bingöl rugs are popular among local visitors as well as foreign tourists with their authentic patterns. Rugs bearing animal figures, geometric and symmetric patterns in vivid colors reflect the local culture and are favored by visitors as a local souvenir. Rugs and carpets woven on hand looms can be purchased from different stores in the area. Other authentic woven products in Bingöl include bags and gloves as well as woven hats and other products.
Special Days and Festivals
Bingöl holds various festivals featuring natural beauties every year, and these events are a popular attraction among local and foreign tourists. “Kiğı Seyir Kasım Nature, Culture and Honey Festival” is held every year from 5th to 8th of July, and features local products of the city. The festival is organized by various non-governmental organizations and is popular among the local people since it promotes local products.
The dates of other festivals vary according to seasonal conditions. Highland festivals, hosted by a different district every year, are held in July or August when the seasonal conditions are the most favorable. “Sülbüs Culture and Nature Festival” which is held by the Municipality of Yayladere on 21st to 23rd of July, is one of the events that liven up the regions and is celebrated by the local people.
As well as highland festivals hosting various cultural events, the authentic “Sunrise Festival” is held every year from July 15th or August 15th. The festival is held by the Municipality of Karlıova, and is quite popular among foreign tourists as it emphasizes the natural beauties of the region. “Hunting Season Opening Festival” which contributes significantly to local tourism, is the first destination of tourists who arrive from various cities for hunting.
Bingöl, which is an attraction for local and foreign tourists with its natural beauties, offers various accommodation facilities, such as hotels and hostels. The region is popular among winter tourists from December to March, and the ski house with 50 beds located near the ski centers is an ideal choice for accommodation. During the summer, various hostels and hotels in the districts are also available.
There are numerous motels and hostels surrounded by natural beauties for visitors of thermal baths, as well as hotels with various amenities, including swimming pools, restaurants, cafés and parking lots. Karlıova Castle is only accessible in July and August, and the tourists are recommended to stay at the city center since the only transportation to the area is from the city center. You can choose among numerous hotels at the city center addressing every budget. The tourists who plan to visit touristic areas, such as the Floating Island, can accommodate at various hotels or hostels in the districts.
Thursday - Saturday: 08:00 - 13:00
Sunday: 09:00 - 15:00