Turkey off the beaten path > tour of the Black Sea
tour of the Black Sea --- A unique experience; we explore the breathtaking nature and diverse culture of Turkey's Black Sea region. We get together with locals at the mountain villages, listen to the stories of people attached to the sea, and hike in nature to discover Pontic Mountains off the beaten path...
  • 12 days, tour starts and ends in Istanbul;
tour highlights
  • Macahel and Karagol, a remote Alpine lake to the eastern end of the region
  • Excursions to mountain villages, surrounded by ever green woods and tea plantations
  • Markevis quarter in Camlihemsin, with traditional homes built to last for centuries
  • Nature hikes and picnics on the Pontic mountains
  • Coastal towns Trabzon, Rize and Cayeli
  • The Monastery of Sumela in Trabzon
included are
  • Accommodations in centrally located hotels and village pensions
  • All breakfasts, and half the lunches and dinners
  • All entrance fees to sites and museums listed in the itinerary
  • Domestic flights; Istanbul-Trabzon and Erzurum-Istanbul

itinerary details

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

day 2 - Trabzon --- Today we explore the coastal town of Trabzon through stages of history. 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, to an old Caravanserai on the ancient Silk Road.

day 4 - 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.

day 5 - 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 whole 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.

day 6 - Hopa --- 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.

day 7 - Macahel --- We drive to Borcka, and on 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 8 & 9 - 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.

day 10 - Erzurum --- We drive to Erzurum through incredible geography. We explore the highlights of the town including the Twin Minaret Medrese, the Grand Mosque, and the market.

day 11 - Istanbul --- We are 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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