You should visit the HOPA port if you are interestedwith Ocean transport. On the way of Hopa-Artvin, there are several fish restaurants. Dear friends, I advise you to stop at one of them, take a seat near the river and eat fish grilled with fresh butter. Do not forget to choose cold Raki as beverage.more
Ayder Kaplicalar...the famous Ayder Hot Springs! What a great location for some hot springs...right at the beginning or end of any treks in this part of the Kackars! It costs very little for one hours' soak...and the pools are naturally heated to an almost scalding temperature...its isn't recommended for those with sunburn....even if you thought...more
Ortahopa Cad (Str) 5, Hopa, 8600, tr
Ayder is marketed as a traditional Hemsin village, but it seems as if it is just a road of cheap pensions and restaurants...every pansiyon has a restaurant, and there are a couple of others too...all serve the standard Turkish fare of kebabs, salads, etc, with a few Laz and Hemsin specialities such as Muhlama, which looked and smelled very similar to cheese fondue.
A good place for Pide and Lahmacun is the restaurant in the Ayder Hilton Hotel...this probably conjures up images of a vast marble-floored dining room, dinner jacketed waiters and a string quartet in the corner, but the Hilton is one of the cheaper places to stay in Ayder, and the restaurant reflects that...plastic tables, and a very bewildered waiter who got the order wrong three times...still the food was good!
While we were sitting in a restaurant drinking Raki (a local man sitting opposite us ordered raki and watermelon for us before we had even spoken to him...very embarrassing, considering he insisted on paying!), we heard music coming from the teahouse next door...it was Laz traditional music, and there seemed to be quite a crowd gathering... we got there just as the dancing began. I don't know if this was for a wedding or some other important occasion, or maybe it just happened every night, but it seemed to have attracted all the locals, who were dancing in a huge circle while singing. It was quite a sight...I just wish I knew what was going on, and a shame I forgot my camera too!
I caught a bus from Trabzon to Hopa, for the 3 hour journey (165km), as I thought it might be an interesting place to visit.There appear to be buses travelling outwards every 1/2 hour according to my LP guidebook. The journey was comfortable and interesting, with views of the Black Sea, and the tea plantations of Rize.Some of the people of this...more
the best way to reach HOPA to land on Trabzon airport from Istanbul or Ankara then take a 3-hour bus-tripupto HOPA. Choose ULUSOY which has the best and safe bus service in the region.However I advise you to rent a car and stop at some beautiful villages on the way, smell the fresh tea, visit the tea factories.more
To get to Ayder, there are minibuses leaving Pazar on the coast east of Trabzon about twice a day. Getting back down to the coast, go to the main square (sounds grand but isn't really!), and there is a small ticket booth...they will be able to tell you if there are enough passengers to warrant a minibus or not. I don't know what to suggest if there...more
The weather!! I was expecting sunny weather in the summer, as I was in Turkey, but the Kackars have their own set of rules. If it is clear and sunny on one side of the range, the other side will be wet and foggy...we picked the wrong side. Rain is accompanied by mist and fog, so trekking is effectively cancelled - not much point if you can't see...more
Bring all food and cooking equipment with you, as supplies in Ayder are extremely limited. One problem we had was that gas for stoves is not allowed on planes, so we assumed we would be able to buy gas canisters in Turkey. There are a couple of camping/outdoor shops in Istanbul, but we couldn't find one to fit our stove (a standard stove in Britain...more
Luggage and bags:
Make sure your bags aren't too heavy....if they are, you can leave some things in Ayder, or even at a cafe in yukari Kavron, although with many trekkers also using this cafe as a base, security might be an issue. Theft isn't common in Turkey when compared to Europe, but not many of the trekkers are Turks!
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Even in summer, bring warm clothing and a complete set of waterproofs (I opted to leave mine at home, so wearing t-shirt and shorts for the short walk back to the tent was a cold but useful option, keeping my heavier and warmer clothes dry. If you have a long walk, this isn't adviseable - hypothermia!). Shoes - you need good strong boots, although a couple of times I used 'sport sandals', which were in fact better at times. We did see some trekkers with trainers, and one crazy trekker whose only pair of footwear were some flimsy flip-flops!
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: You'll need a tent (of course!), unless you plan on doing only day hikes - you can sleep overnight in the cafe in Yukari Kavron, and there is also rumoured to be a pansiyon in the village too, although we saw nothing of the sort!). Sleeping bag, compass, maps if you can find them (unlikely, unless you are willing to pay a fortune and lug three huge sheets around with you!). If your tent isn't waterproof, the cafe might have some plastic sheeting to put over the top of it. A stove, and some gas....preferably a stove and a gas cannister which match!
Miscellaneous: Don't forget a torch! AS for food, you'll need to bring most things with you, although there are a few shops selling basic supplies in Ayder, as well as an excellent bakery in Yukari Kavron. The cafe also does meals and hot drinks, in case your food manages to fall off the stove into some cow dung (ours did one night...lucky that night we were in Yukari Kavron and not in the middle of nowhere!).
go to the small restaurants just located alongside the small river on the way from Hopa to Artvin and try the most delicious fresh Salmon Trout fried with butter that has been made by local villagers. I advise you to try this kind of fish with Raki which is the national drink of Turks.more
I had just arrived at Hopa and it was a necessity to meet some regional persons in order to collect some information about the area. It was so strange that I am Turkish and they are Turkish too but I was not able to understand their language because of their hardly understandable accent that is LAZCA or LAZISH spoken mostly in the area. If you...more
The Kackar mountains are stunningly beautiful, and would be excellent for trekking if you have all the right equipment and can get hold of maps or can afford the services of a guide. without either a map or a guide, it is a bit of a haphazard affair, as there are no trails marked. You can still make several good day hikes from Yukari Kavron, such...more