On the Northeast, coast of Turkey sits the city of Trabzon. Well known for its football team, I was lured to the region because of the many attractions that entice thousands of visitors every year. As a stopping point on the historical silk route, various cultures and traditions have also made their way into the history of the bustling metropolis.
Due to its close proximately to the Georgia border, it was also for many years in the 80s enjoying the boom of suitcase tourism, when people flooded over the border to buy goods in Trabzon because they were cheaper. A connection with the Ottoman ruler of Sulimen the magnificent has also earned it the nickname as the city of Sultans.
Food and Drink in Trabzon
As well as traditional Turkish dishes, the region makes ingenious use of the simple hamsi that is a small fish. Being a coastal city, the fish is in abundance and very cheap so it is served as starters, main course, and even puddings.
Head out into the surrounding regions near the city of Rize and black cabbage is a regional delicacy often cooked into soup or stuffed between vine leaves. The city does financially well in terms of exports aboard of hazelnuts and tea. Ideal soil and climate conditions making growing these products easy, and along with neighbouring Rize, Trabzon is known as the tea capital of Turkey
Main Attractions and Sites to See
Trabzon serves as an ideal base to explore the surrounding areas that hold many attractions and sites to see. One of the most famous is Sumela monastery that sits on the edge of a cliff face. Now abandoned, it is under protection by the local government. The story surroundings its beginnings are mainly connected with the black Madonna when two priests found her statue in a cave. They believed it to be a sign from the angels to build their place of worship on that spot on the cliff.
Many travel agencies in Trabzon sell daytime tours to the nearby and picturesque lake of Uzungol. The small village situated in the Kackar Mountains full of pine trees makes resourceful use of natural products and most of the hotels and houses are built from wood. Hire a bike for the day or simply walk around the lake and enjoy the scenery. Personally, I think an overnight visit is better and that gives you time to head further up the valleys to explore Yayla houses in the Demirkapi plateau.
Within the city centre itself are a number of attractions that can be easily accessed using local transport. They include…
- The Hagia Sophia: Not to be confused with the large counterpart in Istanbul, this was a former church and mosque
- The House of Ataturk was a present to the founder of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk
- Boztepe Park is a small tea garden that gives an amazing panoramic view over the whole city
- Ataturk square is also a central gathering point and a great place to people watch.
Suggested Tour to See Trabzon
The four-day tour of the Black sea region takes you to Trabzon, Uzungol and the nearby Ayder plateau. Suitable for solo travellers, couples, groups, and families. Find out more.