Turkey

A richly historical land with some of the best cuisine you will ever taste, the scenery from beaches to mountains, and the great city of İstanbul.

ÖŞVANK MONASTERY

Once we left Çoruh Valley, we made a short detour to visit the majestic ruins of the tenth-century Georgian monastery of Oshki. It is considered one of the four Great Cathedrals of the Georgian Orthodox world. It was built during the reign of David III Kuropalates, the ruler of Tao...

ÇORUH VALLEY

We drove from Trabzon to the Georgian border, roads in Turkey are perfect, but these two days were challenging for us and our truck. On the first day, we left Uzungöl lake in the afternoon and drove in the rain on good roads through Kaçkar Mountains with steep rocky peaks (the highest...

UZUNGÖL

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...

SÜMELA MONASTERY

We drove to the parking of the Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Theotokos located near Trabzon in the Karadağ Mountains, part of the Pontic Mountains. From there is mandatory to take the minibus to the monastery (🚌 18 TRY/return, 🎫125 TRY). Sümela Monastery, founded by Greeks in...

TRABZON

Trabzon lies on a wide bay of the Black Sea, backed by high ranges of the Pontic Mountains. Trapezus, one of the most easterly of ancient Greek settlements, was probably founded in 756 BC by traders from Miletus. It has been handballed down the years between Cimmerians, Medes, Hellenes...

ORDU

Our second stop at the Black Sea coast was Ordu, a center for hazelnut processing and exporting (1 kg / 140 TRY). It lies at the mouth of the Melet River on the eastern slopes of Boztepe (550 m), a high hill that protects it against storms from the northwest. Ordu was the site of ancient...

ÜNYE

We drove slowly through the Pontic Mountains to reach the Black Sea coast. We arrived late in the busy town of Ünye, and we couldn’t find any suitable parking place near the center. It was getting dark, so we decided to overnight at Shell. The history of Ünye goes back to the Hittite...

TOKAT

Tokat is located in north-central Turkey along a tributary of the Yeşil River. Surrounded by orchards and gardens, Tokat lies on a plain beneath steep hills crowned by a ruined citadel, often identified as the ancient fortress Dazimon. Tokat stands near the site of ancient Comana of...

AMASYA

Amasya is located in northern Turkey in the narrow and rocky valley of Yeşil River. Towering above the minarets and the medreses are pockmarks of Pontic tombs (🎫 10 TRY), etched into the highrise bluff and guarded by a lofty citadel. Amasya’s setting may evoke high drama, but life...

HATTUŞA

We arrived late, so we parked in front of Hotel Aşıkoğlu in Boğazkale, where we took dinner (Tomato soup – 30 TRY, French fries – 60 TRY, Chicken skewer – 110 TRY, Tea – 10 TRY). The following day we visited remainings of the Hittite capital of Hattuşa (🎫 20 TRY). In the Bronze Age, the...