Sakarya has always been a retreat zone for many locals due to its magnificent nature, proximity to the big industrial cities of Istanbul and Kocaeli and strategic location on the Istanbul-Ankara Highway. In the recent years, it has been one of the favorite spots for foreign visitors, who prefer to spend a peaceful weekend near the gorgeous Sapanca Lake as well as investors who plan to buy property in Turkey. The city is recognized both nationally and internationally as one of the best places to live in Turkey and has the best housing index according to the 2016 statistics. Therefore, many entrepreneurs who invest in Istanbul directed their attention to this area for luxury investment and new Turkish properties. It is also culturally very rich, thanks to the many significant historical buildings from the Byzantine and the Ottoman periods. There are many beautiful districts to visit, with terrific history and nature, which is why it is definitely worth visiting the area, even if only to spend a couple of peaceful days in nature.
Adapazarı is the capital town of Sakarya and its most densely populated district, due to several automotive production facilities. Serdivan and Agora are the two biggest malls in the area. The new luxury houses close to the center signal the increasing market value of the region. There are several places to visit in Adapazarı. Uzun Çarşı is the most well known place in the center, with Orhan Mosque at its entrance. There, you can taste the famous Turkish coffee and delicious sweets. Gülseven Helva is one of the suggested sweet shops to try various kinds of sweets. Çark Street, ending with Çark River, is also one of the symbols of the city. Poyrazlar Lake, Taşkısığı Lake, historical Harmantepe Castle from the Byzantine Period and the famous Sapanca Lake are must-see places.
Sapanca is a heaven for those who prefer to retreat in nature. The magnificent Sapanca Lake and the stunning nature attract more and more tourists every year. There are many boutique hotels around, as well as luxurious thermal hotels offering health and peace with the healing power of the underground mineral waters. The demand for luxury homes has significantly increased in the recent years, as this region draws to itself those, who prefer to live in the middle of nature, yet remain close to Istanbul. Hasan Fehmi Paşa, Rahime Sultan and Rüstempaşa Mosques are the main examples of Ottoman architecture in the area.
Geyve is the agricultural district of Sakarya, located next to the Sakarya River, with many beautiful fruit and vegetable gardens. Karaçay River also passes through Geyve feeding the agricultural fields of the district. The Bayezid Bridge, commissioned by Bayezid II, son of Fatih Sultan Mehmet and Sinan Bey Zaviyesi are the historic places to visit. The route to Kırca Highland and Kaymakamsuyu Caves is perfect for trekking and spending a day away from the city.
Taraklı, the famous district with its historical houses is an elected citta slow (slow city), thanks to its moderate population, well-protected historical buildings, nature, organic local food and products. The wooden houses, which are surrounded by magnificent nature, present classical Ottoman architecture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Yunus Paşa Mosque, Hacı Atıf Inn, Haşim Ağa Mansion and Hıdır Dede Shrine are the most famous historical buildings that are definitely worth visiting. Karagöl, Yanık and Beykübet Highlands and the Doğancıl-Obrangıç Hill are the most preferred walking routes for spotting various kinds of trees and animals.
Hendek is home to several shrines from the Ottoman period. Şeyh İzzettin İsmail, Selman Dede, Erenler Dede, Keremalı, Sarı Dede and Vahap Dede shrines are visited by many tourists every year, as the region transforms into a center for religious tourism. Hendek municipality has also initiated a project in Bayraktepe, to present the flags and state information of the 16 Turkish states that were founded in Anatolia.
Karasu is famous for its botanic park, Acarlar Lake, Karasu beach and Yenimahalle, where there are several fish restaurants serving fresh fish. Karasu beach is very busy during the summers, as people from neighboring cities flock here for the holidays. There are several luxury apartments around the beach and also near the lake and several new ones are being constructed due to increasing demand. The other beach is in Kocaali, which is also perfect for rafting, as the famous Melen River is located here. Rafting season runs between February and May. Kocaali is also a trending place for those, who are looking for luxury apartments in areas where green and blue harmoniously blend.