Located on the Eastern Black Sea region, Trabzon and Rize are main touristic cities regarding their historic and natural beauties which can be seen during four seasons. If you plan to make a tour in Eastern Black Sea region, you should see Trabzon and Rize absolutely. You should not turn back without visiting Sumela Monastery in Trabzon and tasting Anzar Honey in Rize.
Trabzon impresses with its natural beauties as well as its historical wealth. It has a great advantage especially for domestic tourism and because of its nature that can be defined as a paradise. Trabzon is located between the coast of Black Sea and the Zigana Mountains. It ranks on 29th among the Turkish cities in terms of the population size. It has a special structure with monasteries, Hagaios War (Maşatlık) Rock Churches, mosques, mansions and many other places date back to Ottoman period. Trabzon is surrounded with Rize on east, with Giresun on west, with Gümüşhane and Bayburt on south and with the Black Sea on north.
77% of the land in Trabzon is covered with mountains and 33% with plateaus. The mountains stretching on the south of the province being splitted by valleys, reach to the cost of Black Sea and exceed 2000 meters in some places. There are many mine deposits in the province which have been operated by domestic and foreign companies since 17th century. According to the famous French scientist Charles Texier, the establisment of the city dates back to 2000 BC. The name of the city is seen for the first time in the book “Anabasis” by Greek philosopher Xenophon as “Trapezos”.
Trabzon is known as the least affected province from the climate change. It is famous due to natural heritage, kemençe, the flavour of Kuymak, the smell of Kayana, unique taste of Hamsi anchovy and Kalkanoglu rice. Trabzon became a home for many civilizations for thousands of years. There are castles, monasteries, mansions, mosques, shrines, museums, ruins, inns, baths, bridges and fountains in the province which allow you to bear witness to history.
If you pass by the city, you should also visit Atatürk Mansion as a sample of 19th century architecture which is a gift of the people to Atatürk in Soğuksu location. If you come to Trabzon in winter, you should not turn back without visiting Uzungöl and Sumela Monastery under the snow and without tasting the special Black Sea dishes “stuffed black cabbage”, “kayana”, “trout in butter”, “Hamsiköy rice pudding” and other delicious meals in restaurants on your trip route.
Trabzon's Hagia Sophia Church was built in 1427 by King Manuel during Trabzon Commenos Empire. It is on the west side of Bell Tower Church. 3 apsis on the north side of the church belong to an earlier historical period. This building was converted into a mosque when Trabzon was conquered by Fatih Sultan Mehmet. It was restored between 1958-1962 and became a museum after 1964. The building is one of the important civil architecture samples in Turkey and all floors except the basement are comletely decorated with pen works. The basement of the mansion was arranged as Archeological Works Section, the ground floor was arranged for Exhibition, the first floor was arranged as Ethnographic Works Section and the mezzanine floor was arranged as Administrative Division.
Although the first formation of the Sumela Monastery can be dated back to 4th century, the remains standing today belong to 13-14th centuries. It was established on a steep hill around the cave within the boundaries of Altındere Village. The outer part with balcony seen from the valley was built in in the mid-19th century during Ottoman Empire on the basis of Turkish architecture especially in interior. The monastic assemblage includes main rock church (cave), 2 chapels, sacred spring, service units, monk-student rooms and guest rooms. The inner and outer walls of rock churche and the connected chapel are covered with frescoes cited from the Bible.
The world-famous monastery due to its natural location and cultural wealth, was evacuated in 1923. Then it was exposed to a fire and some plunders and became a ruin in a short time. After those, it was opened to visitors in 1972 and the extensive restoration initiated by the Ministry of Culture is still ongoing.
Uzun Göl (Long Lake)
Far away 99 kilometers from Trabzon and 19 kilometers to Çaykara, Uzun Göl is 1090 meters above the sea level. With its steep slopes and magnificient forests, it surpasses the beauty of the Alps. Due to the falling rocks from the cliffs into the middle of the valley, Haldizen Creek formed Uzun Göl which is also the name of surrounding area. Especially the wooden houses built in Serah Köyü in the style appropriate to the region, are fulfilling the beauty of the nature.
Uzungöl attracts the attention of domestic and foreign tourists and its tourism potential is very rich. This is a trekking, bird watching and botanic tours area as well as being a popular place for the organized trips to Şekersu, Demirkapı, Yaylaönü plateaus and to the lakes on top of the mountains.
Ataturk Mansion located in a small pine grove, was built at the beginning of the 20th century. During his visits in Trabzon in 1934 and 1937, Atatürk had been staying at this pavilion. After his death, the mansion was decorated with the used furniture at that time and opened voor vistiors under the name of Atatürk Museum. It was built in the style of European architecture. It has wooden decorations on exterior and gypsery on interior ceilings. It is known that Atatürk wrote a part of his testament in 1937 in this mansion
Showing the most characteristic features of the climate of Eastern Black Sea, Rize differs from another Anatolian cities due to its geographical location and cultural structure as well. Hosting all shades of green, the city is a special touristic resort because of its steep valleys, high mountains, glacial lakes, emerald green plateaus, ancient bridges and castles and also flowing streams. If you ever go to Rize, you should see Rize Castle, observe the birds in İkizdere-Çamlık, go into the spa in Ayder, swim in the sea in Çayeli and enjoy the world-famous Anzer Honey. And do not leave the city without tasting Laz pastry, rice with anchovies, anchovy bread, Rize meatballs, Rize simidi, Rize pidesi and Rize kavurması. You should also take some tea with.
Located 16 kilometers away on the southeast of Çamlıhemşin and on 1250 meters height, Ayder Plateau provides a natural coolness for the people who want to become free from the hot summer through its accomodation of touristic infrastructure. It is one of the most preferred holiday destinations for tourism because of its spa and rich flora and fauna as well.
With its oxygen-rich air, Ayder is covered with spruce and beech forests and has a magnificent nature. It was declared as tourism center in 1987 and was recognized as national park in 1994.
This was effective in protecting its nature until the present day. It is also famous for its hot springs. Ayder thermal springs bring healing to nerve diseases, digestion, circulation system, rheuma and skin diseases. Several thermal plants was installed in the area where the springs located. With doctor referral you can get a treatment in Ayder spas.
Anzer (Ballıköy) Plateau
Another name of the Anzer Plateau which is famous for its honey, is Ballıköy. Located on the foothills of Kırklardağı, Anzer is 85 kilometers away from Rize province and surrounded by Meles, Petran, Kabahor and Garzavan plateaus. It steps confidently towards becoming one of the most important tourism centers. Accessible via İkizdere, Anzer is connected to Çoruh River and Bayburt on one side and to Trabzon Uzungöl Tourism Center on the other side. The flavor of Anzer Honey comes from thousand kinds of plateau flowers. Due to its natural beauty as well as being the center of famous Anzer Honey, it attracts local and foreign tourists to the region because of hosting a large number of endemic flower species which only can grow in this area.
Rize Museum, which is known as the Yellow House by people, began to serve as Atatürk's House in 1984. It was opened as a museum in 1998 after being arranged and completed for exhibition through restorations by the Ministry of Culture. As a sample of civil architecture, the house was built in the late 19th century. The ground floor is being used as an exhibition hall, the first floor as administration rooms and the second floor as a showroom. Rize museum has 76 archeological works, 594 coins, 1129 etnographic works. In total, there are 1799 pieces in this museum.
For people who want to enjoy a bird-eye-watch and beautiful unique images of nature accompanied by country-smelling tea in the same frame, we suggest: Rize Castle… Located on the south west of the city center, the castle exists of inside and down castle parts. Due to intensive settlement, the down castle was disappeared completely while some walls on the western side existed until today. There is no definitive data about the establishment date of Rize Castle, but some parts of the down castle walls show similarities with the western walls of Trabzon Castle made in 1297-1330 during Alexios II.