The Black Sea Region of Turkey is quite unlike any other area in the country. Stretching from the outskirts of Istanbul to the Georgian border, it covers most of the northern coastline.
While there are many recommend places to visit along this stretch of coastline, the northeast is the most popular because of the amazing historical sites and culture experiences to be had. Let’s take a look at what they are
A 4-day tour of the Black Sea Region in Turkey
The starting point is the large city of Trabzon. This coastal city has many attractions that will be first on the agenda. The ancient Sumela monastery stands on the side of a cliff face and exploring its ancient churches, rooms, and kitchens is a humbling experience, which is steeped in mystery about the statue of the Black Madonna.
The monastery is on the outskirts of Trabzon in an area called Macka but the next attractions are within the city itself. The house of Ataturk holds many historical artefacts from his time and the Aya Sofya is an old church that is not as big as it counterpart in Istanbul but just as intriguing.
The next destination is Uzungol that is a small community surrounding a large lake. The area itself is of outstanding beauty and many people make the mistake of visiting it just for the day. An overnight stay in a traditional wooden Uzungol hotel is needed to fully appreciate the culture and traditions of the Black sea region.
Wake up the next morning and depart for the tea capital of Turkey; Rize. This large city is the center of the Laz and Hemsin communities and it produces most of Turkey’s tealeaves. Visit the castle and the government owned Caykur tea factory gardens before departing for the Ayder plateau.
Many people who have been to the Ayder plateau compare it to the rolling hills of Switzerland. Wooden hotels and châteaus are dotted all over the green landscape or if you are visiting in winter, expect a blanket of white snow.
The Ayder plateau is on the foot of the Kackar Mountains and if you proceed further up, you will come to many more plateaus that are home to Yayla houses. Yaylas are used by the Turks who migrate there in the middle of summer to get away from the intense heat of the coastal resorts. The Ayder plateau is also the place to explore Findikli valley.
The above is a four-day tour however, there is still so much to the region. You can continue the journey to visit the bee keeping communities of Machael, Karagol Lake that is high in the mountains, the Savsat national park, and the ruins of Ani in the East of Turkey.