The primary Mount Ida’s southern front is the highest mass of Biga peninsula with an altitude of 1.774 m and covers an area of 21.450 hectarsfrom Zeytinli Creek to the west of Altınoluk settlement and its hills rising until the summit. This very region has been declared as National Park by the decree of Council of Ministers. There are many important ecological reasons for Mount Ida National Park to be taken under protection. The fact that it has not been affected by the latest ice age that lasted for approximately ninety thousand years is one of the reasons for Mount Ida’s natural wealth. The Mount Ida mass extending from east to west, is cut by deep valleys and canyons on the north-south direction, and the different climate conditions caused by this structure create a quality ecosystem. Around 800 different plant species have been found in Mount Ida National Park, where the Aegean, Mediterranean, Black Sea and Tundra (Siberia) climate systems can be observed at the same time. Of these plants, 32 are endemic species, meaning the only place on earth they grow is Mount Ida.
Mount Ida’s name comes from thousands of years ago from the word Ida. The dictionary meaning of Ida has not been finalized. While there are those who claim that it comes from Luwi, an old Anatolian language and is one of the qualities of Cybele, there are others who say this word means tree or forest. Called “the mother of animals, Ida of abundant, thousand springs” by the antique history writer Homeros, Mount Ida plays an important role in mythology. According to the Iliad of Homeros, God Zeus has watched the war of Troy from the summit of Mount Ida; the beauty contest held between Hera, Athena and Aphrodite with shepherd Paris as jury, has also taken place in these mountains. Especially in the Aeneid epic – the story of how the Roman Empire was founded written by Vergilius, it is told that, defeated by Acheans, people of Troy have migrated to Italy with the ships they built from the Mount Ida abies trees, and with the city they established, they are said to have planted the seeds of the Roman Empire. It is also believed that the Roman Empire was able to escape from Hannibal’s invasion by the power of Mother Goddess of Mount Ida. For this very reason, a temple in the name of “Magna Mater Deum Idaeus” has been built in Rome.
Mount Ida possesses the most important Anatolian values in many different aspects, and is therefore a natural, cultural and historical heritage that is a priority for protection for the future generations.
This guide booklet has been prepared in order to support Mount Ida tourism in a way that is conscious, sustainable and that respects the eco-system. Both the walking and biking routes, as well as the endemic plant, butterfly, bird and mushroom species are not limited to the examples given. Those who would like a more detailed information about the subjects in this booklet, or who would prefer routes with different difficulty levels can look into the links provided at the end of this booklet.