A one-hour drive from Trabzon to the south, in Kaçkars Mountains, you will find a lakeside mosque and forested mountains that recall Switzerland. The “hidden valley” of Uzungöl is not idyllic anymore. The tourist boom of recent years and the growing number of visitors from the Gulf States has attracted investors, who opened several hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops around the lake. A flurry of development made it feel a little artificial, so we left the place after two hours.

Parking location – Uzungöl: 40.618718N 40.299481E (🚻,🅿️ – 50 TRY)