İnegöl Municipality

The county of İnegöl contains an 85km segment of the Evliya Çelebi Way which is part of the Via Eurasia in Turkey. The route was waymarked and signposted in 2016-17 and includes 5-6 days of trekking on footpaths, old roads and forestry tracks. All of the route is suitable for horseriders and mountain-bikers, with some short detours at difficult places. Because there is easy main road access from Bursa or İstanbul to İnegöl town, and public transport to the villages on the route from İnegöl, the route is very suitable for day-hikers as well as long-distance trekkers.

The route starts (in the north of İnegöl) near the village of Boğazköy, south of Yenişehir, and loops southwest, then south and southeast along the lower slopes of the northern side of Uludağ massif, passing İnegöl city before turning south into the Domaniç mountains.

The Culture Routes Society with İnegöl Municipality has produced a guide-book and map of the route – Evliya Çelebi Yolu – İnegöl (Turkish), and it is also included in the main Evliya Çelebi Way guidebook (English).

İnegöl county is situated in Bursa province. The city’s population is around 290,000, and there are 95 villages in the county. People from across Turkey and Syrians displaced by the ongoing war are only the latest in a rich mix of migrants who have settled here over the years. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, end-of-empire wars brought many, many Muslims fleeing certain death as the frontiers of the Ottoman empire shrank.

İnegöl is one of the main centres of furniture production in Turkey, exporting as well as serving the domestic market. In the early days of the Republic this industry relied on the nearby forests, but today the timber is imported. The countryside of İnegöl county is predominantly agricultural.
The city centre is south of the main Bursa – Eskişehir road, where the bus station is found. Here are modern shops, hotels and restaurants – İnegöl’s meatballs (İnegöl köfte) are famous. In the historic heart of the city you will find many old houses and small shops in narrow streets, as well as charming tea gardens under centuries-old plane trees.

Stages
  1. Boğazköy To Babasultan – 19km; mainly easy trekking on farm tracksThe route heads north at first, but soon west and southwest, and passes through rolling hills where wheat and sunflowers are intensively cultivated. As you approach Şehitler village, the Uludağ massif looms before you; orchards predominate from here on. Uncultivated areas between Bogazköy and Babasultan support deciduous woodland and pasture. Once you have crossed the Bursa – İnegöl highway, the route climbs to a ridge, then descends to a reservoir. The final stretch ascends on the old paved road to Babasultan village.
  2. Babasultan To Cerrah: 15km; mainly old cobbled roads through forest and orchards; one detour for bikes/horses; sometimes steep or overgrown.The route takes you higher up Uludağ, and east along its northern slopes, with extensive views to the İnegöl plain below and the route you have already travelled beyond. You then return to the plain at Cerrah. Everywhere there are orchards of peaches, pears, apples and plums, as well as many vegetable gardens. Mixed with the natural woodland and forest cover, stands of cherries, walnuts and chestnuts produce useful crops. The vegetation becomes more lush as you climb and raspberries are grown on the higher slopes.
  3. Cerrah To Hamamli: 20km mainly easy trekking on farm tracks; suitable for bikes/horsesAfter ascending into the hills again above Cerrah, the route drops down and wends its way east between farming villages at the meeting of mountain and plain. Now that there is a straight asphalt road between the final villages of this section – Deydiner, Ortaköy and Hamamlı – we have taken the route uphill and down again to provide variety. Orchards again predominate.
  4. Hamamli To Kocayayla Geçít, 28km,mainly easy trekking on forest tracks; two detours required for horses and bikes.The final section of the route follows the Çandır river upstream towards the Domaniç mountains, an extension of the Uludağ massif. As you ascend, the vegetation and crops of the plain give way to woodland and forest interspersed by pastures. Smallholdings and vegetable gardens have been carved out where the land and climate allow. The higher slopes of the mountain are clad with magnificent forests of beech; in places there are empty areas where timber has been felled. You will pass two high pastures where flocks formerly grazed in summer.
Accommodations

There are hotels and pensions in towns along or close to the EÇW. These centres are marked in RED on the map accompanying the guidebook. We are aiming to organise homestays along the route, but this is slow. Some villages have rooms (oda) for visitors, and it is always worth asking about these when you arrive in a village. Otherwise, we recommend taking up offers of accommodation from local people (whom you should offer to pay, albeit that they may not accept).

See list of available accommodation on here.

Transportation

The best months to travel the EÇW are April-June, after the spring rains and before the summer heat hits, and September-early November, before the winter cold begins. Other months can be equally pleasant, especially if you only want to spend a few days on the trail, and can rely on the weather forecast.

Turkey has an excellent bus service between cities and towns, from where minibuses can be taken to villages.

The EÇW is close to some of Turkey’s cities, and is therefore well-served by public transport.

See details about transportation here.

Maps

Coming soon.

Interesting Places

City Museum (Kent Müzesi)

A must-see. Housed in a 19th C inn of three storeys with an inner courtyard, this fascinating museum is extremely well planned. Among the exhibits are booths illustrating traditional crafts and a wealth of old photographs from the town and surrounding area with excellent explanatory information (in Turkish). inegolkentmuzesi.gov.tr

A must-see. Housed in a 19th C inn of three storeys with an inner courtyard, this fascinating museum is extremely well planned. Among the exhibits are booths illustrating traditional crafts and a wealth of old photographs from the town and surrounding area with excellent explanatory information (in Turkish). inegolkentmuzesi.gov.tr

Furniture Museum

This is adjacent to the City Museum and has exhibits on the history of forestry, woodworking and furniture-making. Crafts are illustrated by models, collections of equipment and tools and both ancient and present-day furniture. http://www.inegolmobilyamuzesi.gov.tr

DOSTUM

Outdoor Sports and Tourism Centre (Doğa Sporları ve Turizm Merkezi): this newly-opened facility offers hiking, archery, motocross, cycling, paragliding, light aircraft flying, fishing, canoeing and camping activities at various centres around İnegöl; there is a city-centre office. http://www.dostum.org.tr/en/

Oylat Hot Springs (Oylat Kaplıcaları)

The Oylat springs are situated in forest on the foothills of the Uludağ massif 27km from İnegöl. The water temperature is 40.5ºC, and the waters are believed to alleviate a variety of conditions, from rheumatism and kidney problems to sciatica and blood pressure. A 2-hour hike from the springs brings you to a cascading waterfall; the trail runs through a valley that is home to a great diversity of plantlife. Near the hot springs is a cave with stalactites; at 750m long, it is one of the longest in Turkey. http://www.oylat.com