Special Interest & Adventure > hiking tours & trekking > Black Sea & the Pontic Mountains
Black Sea & the Pontic Mountains --- 12 days, tour starts and ends in Istanbul;

included are
  • Accommodations in centrally located hotels, village pensions and homes
  • All breakfasts, and half the lunches and dinners
  • All entrance fees to sites and museums listed in the itinerary
  • Domestic flights; Istanbul-Trabzon & Trabzon-Istanbul
itinerary details

day 1 - Istanbul --- We get together in the afternoon for tour introduction, followed by dinner.

day 2 - Istanbul to Trabzon --- Today we explore the coastal town of Trabzon. We will take a short walk to get to know the historical center and the market district. Hagia Sophia church, the house of Ataturk, and Fatih Mosque are places of interest that we will visit.

day 3 - Trabzon --- Sumela Monastery is located high on a cliff above the deep canyon. It is also known as the Monastery of Mother Mary, and was founded in the 4th century by two Greek monks. Later in the day, we drive to the highlands of Trabzon on modified trucks, to an old Caravanserai on the ancient Silk Road. We will spend time with the people of the highlands, and help them press hay.
Walking; easy to moderate around 4 - 4 1/2 hours

day 4 - Trabzon to Uzungol --- Over a thousand meters above sea level, Uzungol is a picturesque lake surrounded by thick woods. Today we will hike in the area to explore the flora, and enjoy the wild nature. We will drive further up the surrounding mountains to the crater lakes at 2100 m (6900 ft).
Walking; moderate, around 6 hours

day 5 - Uzungol to Rize --- The city of Rize is a fast growing commercial center on the Black Sea. Tea is the most important product of the town, and the region. It is a major source of income for the people besides fishing. Here we will visit a tea factory to learn about the industry. On a small coastal town en route, we will have a chance to meet with the fishermen and listen to their stories. We also drive to Ikizdere village to see a great example of wood carving, the 19th century Simsirli Mosque, built entirely out of chestnut.
Walking; easy, around 3 hours

day 6 - Rize --- Today we will learn more about the social life on the Pontic Mountains. We will hike to an off the beaten path mountain village, and spend the day with the locals. We will listen to the tulum, local instrument made of goat skin, and do the local folk dance with the villagers. Tonight we stay at this village.
Walking; moderate, around 6 hours

day 7 - Rize to Hopa --- You may hike around in the village and the lush green woods, or you may join the locals cook. By the way, that is your lunch!
In the afternoon, we drive to Camlihemsin on the Firtina river basin. This is a spectacular town in the wilderness, under a semi-permanent cover of rain clouds. Here we will visit the Markevis quarter, to see the stately traditional houses built on steep terrain. These 19th century houses form one of the most interesting settlements of the Black Sea region. We will also visit Zilkale (bell castle), a lone standing castle that is probably the most romantic in Turkey.
Walking; moderate, around 6 hours

day 8 - Hopa to Macahel --- Located close to the Georgian border, Macahel is one of the top ecological wonders of the world. There are six villages in the region; the central village is also known as Macahel. For the next 3 nights, we stay at the guesthouse of the village, or village homes.

day 9 & 10 - Macahel --- For the next two days, we will visit local villages, get familiar with the people, taste the honey they produce, make cheese with them, do the folk dance and listen to the seniors' choir as they voice centuries old tunes.
Macahel region is the only place left that the pure Caucasian bee lives. We will get to learn more about epi-culture that is part of an extensive rural development project in Turkey.
Average 6 hours moderate walk for both days

day 11 - Macahel to Trabzon to Istanbul --- Back to Istanbul. Rest of the day at leisure.

day 12 - Tour is over after breakfast.

Itinerary can be re-designed to your specifications, travel plans and expectations...
tour dates;
  • on demand, Apr. thru Oct.
Itinerary can be re-designed to your specifications, travel plans
and expectations...



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