Second only to Sumela Manastiri, if you've walked around Trabzon, you'll already know what Uzungol looks like. The green hills, the white mosque perfectly reflected in the turquoise mountain lake? That's Uzungol, a very popular place for a day trip. The journey there is stunning in places, but arrival at the lake is a bit of an anti-climax...building work around the village has really messed the place up, and every house seems to be either selling trinkets or cooking trout for visitors. You can walk around the lake in under an hour, and once you've done that, there isn't anything else to do, nowhere to escape the hundreds of daytrippers bussed up from Rize and Trabzon who are all left with the same problem...how to spend their six hours in Uzungol before getting the return bus.
Unique Suggestions: The only real way to reach Uzungol is by taking a tour....Ulusoy, the bus company, sends a minibus up each morning, returning mid-afternoon, but a couple of hours is plenty to see all Uzungol has to offer, yet not enough time to do a hike deeper into the mountains. Maybe the answer is to stay overnight at one of the many ev pansiyons around the village?
Fun Alternatives: If you have a car, by all means go to Uzungol, take a few photos, have a glass of tea and maybe a fish dinner, then head off in your car to explore remoter villages in the surrounding area....there look to be plenty to choose from.
Sellers in those areas were not friendly. And sometimes they were aggressive while negotiating. Actualy products in those shops were not in a good quality.
Unique Suggestions: Simply do not prefer those areas for shopping.
Fun Alternatives: Maras and Uzun(Long) streets have many good shops in addition to good restaurants.
The main tourist attraction in this area is of course Sumela Monastery...you can't come to Turkey and not see pictures of this monastery built into the impossibly steep cliffside, and in real life, the view is just as stunning as the pictures. But, to get there without your own car, you have to take a tour form Trabzon. There are lots of tours available every day, and it is also a popular destination for coach trips...the monastery inside is quite small, as restoration work limits the areas you can enter, so as a result it is very crowded. Maybe this is unfair...I had just come from Georgia, where I enjoyed being the only tourist wherever I went, and Sumela was just too crowded for me to enjoy. maybe if I had just arrived from Istanbul, it would have seemed empty. Anyway, empty or crowded, it is worth making the trip up here to enjoy the views, and you might as well go inside once you are there...just it is much better from a distance!
Unique Suggestions: Don't go on a guided tour...instead take a bus like Ulusoy early in the morning...at least then you don't have a guide and arrive early enough to escape the rush.
If you are going the travel inside the region go to the bus or minibus station don't believe in people who will tell you that they can take you to the same places cheaper. Take the bus that local people are taking; it willl be the cheapest way and also gives you the opportunity to make a contact whith local people.