BLACK SEA KACKAR - MOUNTAINS UNDER THE CRESCENT
"Kaçkar" (Katshkar) is the name given to the Turkish Alps, its similarity to the Central European massif reveals itself immediately: peaks rising almost 4,000 m, glacial lakes and high pastures. But in many ways, the Kaçkar is amazingly different. Whether tea plantations or the early Christian Sümela monastery: We travel through a varied cultural landscape, the Black Sea is not far away. The mountains rise up directly on the beach. Lonely villages and flowering pastures, minarets, quaint wooden houses and - at the 3,350 m high Naletleme Pass - the rugged realm of the rocks. We cross the mountains and experience it in all its facets: with its colorful rich flora, the traditional people and the wild nature. With an almost oriental touch.
1st day: Flight via Istanbul to Trabzon
Arrival and transfer to the hotel (1 night).
2nd day: On to the east
In the morning we reach after 1-hour drive the early Christian monastery Sümela. Hidden deep in the forest, it nestles at a height of 300 m on a steep rock face. After the visit, we will travel along the coast to Rize: on the left the Black Sea, on the right steep slopes with tea and hazelnut plantations. In the afternoon we reach the Senyuva village at 700 m altitude (2 nights). The restored 15th-century fortress Zilkale is our last destination of the day.
3rd day: The trek begins
Parallel to the wild rushing Firtina stream, we hike through high beech forests. Small settlements amidst tea plantations and tall beehives lined traditional beehives line the way.
4th day: Colorful variety
At the Sal-Alm we start, on the Yayla Hazindak (1,950 m) we make a comfortable rest. Most likely, we will meet women in traditional costumes there. In her headscarves, you can find all the colors of the wildflowers. After a 3-hour descent awaits us in the village Ayder a popular with the local's thermal spring (3 nights).
5th day: forests, pastures, mountain lakes
A day full of variety and fantastic views! First flowering alpine meadows and colorful forests. Then on pasture and the pass above the tree line at 2,800 m altitude and through the alpine landscape to a quiet mountain lake. Along a wild rushing creek, our descent leads to the Avusor Alm.
6th day: a lot of free time
Today we take a shorter tour to make relax in the Ayder Thermal Spa in the afternoon. On the ascent to Huser Alm through forest areas, we enjoy the view of the surrounding steep valleys.
7th day: The highest point
The time has come: At the Kavrun-Alm we start to cross. Above the tree line, the mule Trail leads us to mountain lakes and meadows. Then through a rugged rock landscape with rushing streams over the 3,250 m high Naletleme pass. It's done! In front of us, the southern slopes of the Kaçkar Mountain spread: wide, deep valleys, sunny and fertile. Here is our guesthouse in the village Yaylalar (2 nights).
8th day: In the Coruh valley
Directly from the guesthouse, we hike to the small village of Körahmetler, climb over magnificent alpine meadows a 2,800 m high pass. Surrounded by mighty peaks, we roam fir forests and meadows; embedded in it are quaint mountain villages with very hospitable residents.
9th day: farewell to the mountains
The four-hour drive to Erzurum is very rich in contrast. At first dense forests along the wild Coruh River, the further south we reach the rather bare highlands of the eastern province. The city of Erzurum itself is located at almost 2,000 m and is framed by numerous three-thousand-meter peaks. The flight to Istanbul takes only 1 1/2 hours. Depending on the flight time, we still have time in the afternoon for a first stroll in the city on two continents (2 nights).
10th day: Istanbul - a dream
Our guide will show us the most famous sights in the world's cultural city. We visit the Blue Mosque, the Topkapi Palace, and the historic cisterns. After a walk to the harbor on the Golden Horn, the boat trip starts, where we can enjoy the silhouette of the mosques, minarets, bridges, and countless houses from the sea. Civilization has us again, today still oriental!
11th day: Journey home
Transfer to the airport and return flight.
On request flights to Istanbul-Erzurum-Istanbul and back home
All necessary land transfers
10 nights in a double room with shower/WC
10 x breakfast from day 2, 8 x dinner from day 1 to day 8
A program like in the itinerary
Entrance fees due to the itinerary
English speaking cultural and hiking guide of our company
Luggage transportation from accommodation to accommodation
Additional meals and beverages
The required minimum number of people for this tour is 8 and it's limited with 15 people.