While in Turkey you must plan a visit over to the Northeast Black Sea region and all it has to offer!!
The Northeast Black Sea is filled with an abundance of natural beauty and is a very unique part of Turkey. The area offers plenty of nature, culture and history. There is much to be seen.
The two prominent cities on the Black Sea are Trabzon and Rize. Trabzon is a delightful coastal city located far far away from the popular tourist destinations, yet over the years the city has grown in popularity as people like to travel over to see what this little gem on the Black Sea is all about.
Trabzon is great for a city break as it offers spectacular scenic surroundings, great eateries serving unique and delicious cuisine and some terrific historical attractions such as the Sumela Monastery. The historical 4th century attraction is nestled on a cliff face, a very unusal location which always captures attention from the tourists. Take a trek uphill where you will reach a set of stone steps leading into a courtyard. You can see from here how the monks use to live. Spectacular views over the protected parkland can be enjoyed from here.
Another great trip would be to the 19th century Ataturk House which served Mustafa Kemal Ataturk when he would visit the city. The site exhibits original furniture and some of Mustafa's personal effects.
You could also visit the Hagia Sophia. Istanbul does have a building with the same name, though this one is much smaller but is still just as beautiful. This 13th century atttraction sets the perfect example of what architecture would have been like in the Byzantine period.
From Trabzon you can head over to one of the Northeast's largest attractions, Uzungol. This stunning place attracts hundreds of tourists each week. The place is filled with natural beauty including surrounding forests and a lake. The area is perfect to take a nice walk and enjoy exploring the nature, or you could even go on a bike ride. Tourists ususally stay in a wooden hotel which is built by the locals, it is a tradition.
Lets look at Rize, known as Turkey's tea capital. Rize is a very modern city centred around an attractive main square. Due to its very hilly landscape and humid climate it is the perfect environment for large growth of vegetaion and offers the best soil for growing tea.
Rize offers rich culture, stunning mountainous landscaped, rivers, lovely tea gardens and plateaus.
When visitng this wonderful city you must take a trip to the Ziraat Botanik Tea Garden, a delightful tea house situated at the summit of a steep hill set beneath a magnolia tree surrounded buy trees, shrubs and flowers. You can enjoy a nice cup of Turkish tea in a beautiful setting and enjoy the wonderful views across the valley to the castle.
For those who enjoy history why not take a visit to Rize Castle. This ancient building is set on a steep hill located at the back of the town. You can enjoy exploring the history within the walls and exlore the inner fortress dating back to the 6th century AD. There is a cafe here, after you have toured the castle you can enjoy a drink and the lovely views. Another great place to visit it the Rize Museum which is filled with treasures and artifacts from Byzantine times.
The lovely village of Ayder Plateau is also worth a visit. The village is known as the "honey forest" due to its delicous produce of honey. Ayder Plateau use to be one of Turkey's best kept secrets but has grown very popular with tourists over the years. The village is filled with lush greenery, traditional wooden houses and enjoys both hot and cold springs.
Rize is also home to Kackar Mountains, a favourite for those who enjoy going on a long trekk and is one of the most stunning trekking routes in the world. This fabulous mountain range offers an abundance of natural beauty, green pastures, wild flowers, rain forests, snow-capped peaks and beautiful surrounding landscape. The mountain range will be inhabited seasonally with pastoralists and their livestock. There are even roads that link the villages. In the summer months you will find alot more trekking groups, a much quieter time is May.
There is much to see on the Black Sea!!