The Best Things to Do in Trabzon Turkey
As a local expert, we have you covered with our extensive knowledge of things to do in Trabzon- Turkey. Sitting in Turkey's Northeast, the name Trabzon refers to the beautiful city, but the larger province is also a marvellous playground for tourism and travel. Although earning a reputation for hazelnuts, Trabzon football team, and as the birthplace of Ottoman sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Trabzon presents a different face to tourism in Turkey thanks to its unique cultures, food history and places of natural beauty. There aren't many places in Turkey that can deliver a variety of tourist attractions in one visit, but Trabzon does with style and pride. Indeed, we promise there is nowhere else that matches Trabzon for originality and diversity.
13 Things to Do in Trabzon Turkey
1: Hagia Sophia of Trabzon
Not to be confused with Istanbul's version, the beautiful Hagia Sophia of Trabzon is more petite, and without any exquisite pieces of art, yet, it has a quaint essence. Formerly a tourist attraction, the council recently converted the landmark into a mosque, yet the building still opens outside prayer times. Dating from the 13th century, the Hagia Sophia mosque displays typical Byzantine architecture, and the outside stone walls feature old carved pictures of boats. Trabzon guides say they date back five hundred years, made by sailors who wanted blessings to survive long journeys by sea.
2: Ataturk’s Pavilion in Trabzon
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish Republic’s founding father owned this house but hardly spent any time there. However, visit the hilltop location to see beautiful gardens filled with various flowers, and the well-kept furniture from the 1920s. Visitors can see the original speech read by Ataturk when he arrived in Trabzon, photos of him from various city visits, and his bedroom, bathroom, and study room. On guided city tours, the house is on itineraries, or the home sits in Trabzon's Soguksu neighbourhood and is easily reached by public transport or car. The pavilion opens every day from 08.00 am to 5 pm in winter or seven pm in summer.
3: Trabzon Museum and Castle
Also called Kostaki Mansion, Trabzon Museum displays ethnographic and archaeological displays and always intrigues history lovers. The Museum was the home of a Greek banker over 100 years ago. After he went bankrupt, the Museum passed through various owners before becoming a high school for girls. In 1987, the building became a museum handled by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Altogether, the Museum is home to roughly 4000 items covering four floors. Meanwhile, sitting on the highest point of Trabzon, the castle starts from the seaside and extends inland. Built on top of Byzantine foundations, using stones from ancient structures, the court separates into three parts. Unfortunately, locals took stones roughly 100 years ago to build homes, but the castle is still worth seeing.
4: Uzungol in Trabzon
The name Uzungol translates into the long lake, the best reflection of its picturesque appearance within a mountain valley. It is 90 minutes from Trabzon city centre and belongs to the Caykara district. Its secluded destination makes Uzungol the northeast's most popular tourist attraction. Some hotels are constructed purely from wood, a traditional style dating from when locals built homes using wood from the nearby forests. Stretching for 1000 metres, stroll around the lake, enjoy food in lakeside restaurants, buy souvenirs in artisan and craft shops, or hire bikes and quad bikes to get around. (More about Uzungol lake near Trabzon.)
5: Other Nearby Lakes
Greenhouse, west of Trabzon, within Yildizli Town, is 1 kilometre inland from the coast. This dam was formed by sliding mountain slopes in 1950, and runs for several kilometres along the valley. Its width varies between 150 200 metres but since the earthen dam eroded, water is gradually decreasing. Fish Lake was formed from geographical landscapes and is reached via the Akcaabat- Duzkoy road. Not to be confused with the lake of the same name in southeast Turkey, Trabzon residents love visiting this area for summer picnics.
6: Sumela Monastery
Clinging to a cliff face in Macka National Park, just a short drive from Trabzon, Sumela monastery evokes awe-inspiring glances from everyone. Unfortunately, the long walk ascending the stone steps of the monastery makes it unsuitable for people with walking difficulties; otherwise, this is Trabzon's top attraction. Explore monk's living quarters, central courtyard, kitchens, and bedrooms. Also, check out impressive biblical church frescoes and head to water dripping from the rockface that urban legends say has healing qualities. (More about Sumela Monastery.)
7: Visit Neighbouring Rize – Turkey's Tea Capital
Rize is the neighbouring city to Trabzon and worth visiting on a day tour, since it is the tea producing capital of Turkey. Rize's tea plantation houses boast traditional architecture of stone walls and sloping timber roofs. Caykur, the biggest tea seller in Turkey, also opens the gardens to visitors who enjoy the stunning coastline and mountain views. Also, visit Rize castle, combining byzantine and 13th-century architecture, with a café and incredible views.
8: Overnight Trip to Ayder Plateau and Firtina Vadesi
Rize's most popular attraction is the Ayder plateau. Sitting 80 minutes’ drive from the main city centre, when you arrive in Ayder Plateau, expect wooden hotels and rolling green hills. Also, visit hot springs, and taste delicious honey. Whether you sign up for a guided tour or travel by car, keep an eye out for stunning waterfalls, of which Gelintulu in Ayder Plateau is the most famous. Ayder belongs to Rize's Camlihemsin district, which includes Firtina Valley and its fast-gushing river, which attracts rafters on tours eager to take advantage of fast-flowing water. Old Ottoman bridges over the river intrigue everyone, but we sit in riverside restaurants to enjoy traditional food with fantastic views.
9: Visit Scenic Yayla Plateaus
For an independent overnight trip from Trabzon, head further into the Kackar mountain ranges to come across yayla plateau communities. Sometimes, there is only one hotel to stay in, so planning is essential. But once you visit Trabzon's plateaus, you will never look at busy beach resorts again. Yayla refers to a century-old practice when city locals retreat to grasslands during summer for cooler temperatures. Younger generations in Trabzon rarely practise plateau culture, but the plateaus are now a tourism niche. Many plateau residents make bread, butter, and cheese and grow regional specialities like black cabbage. There is nothing better than living off the land. Yayla plateaus to visit for activity tourism include Akcaabat, Yesilyurt, Cakirgol, Catma Obasi, Duzkoy, Harmantepe, Hidirnebi, Kurucam, Kadirga, Kulindagi, and Lapazan.
10: Exploring Historical Caves
Calkoy, 51 kilometres from Trabzon city, sits 110 metres above sea level and includes lighting and walking platforms for visitors. Home to many stalactites and stalagmites, the tiny trickles of water provide unique quirkiness. Although humidity is dry at the cave's entrance, it increases the further you go, thanks to weather temperatures. After exploring, see the small castle and stop for refreshments in surrounding coffee shops. Another cave worth visiting is Akarsu, in the Macka district, where humans lived thousands of years ago. The large size includes 72 sections and stalactites.
11: Beach Tourism in Trabzon
Beach package tourism is not a big business in Trabzon like on Turkey's Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. But head to Salacik, Darica, Akcakale, Sogutlu, and Mersin beaches for sandy escapes. Akcakale is great for Trabzon residents, although black sand is off-putting for those who have seen Mediterranean Turkey. However, the city council still does an excellent job renting facilities like umbrellas and sunbeds, toilets and changing cubicles. Other less popular beaches include Besikduzu, Carsinbasi, Camburnu, Kasutu, Kalecik, Kerem, Pasa, and Remzi.
12: Village Exploration
Trabzon centre attracts many Arab property hunters because they love to rent a car and explore surrounding districts. While Trabzon centre presents many places to see, exploring outskirt districts fully reveals Laz and Hemsin cultures and scenic places of natural beauty. Trabzon province is perfect for independent activity travel, so small villages include Akcaabat, Arakli, and Macka.
13: Taste Delicious Black Sea Cuisine
Ideal weather and topography mean growing vegetables and fruit in Turkey's northeast is easy, hence the healthy and tasty regional diet. Indulge in traditional Turkish breakfasts with a bowl of Muhlama cheese fondue that melts in your mouth. The month you visit dictates available fresh ingredients, but head to Trabzon during fishing seasons to enjoy Hamsi, otherwise known as anchovies. Trabzon residents put them in everything, including bread, rice, and cakes. Black cabbage soup is another regional classic, and although you can taste pide all over Turkey, Trabzon's version includes an egg. Also, seek regional honey from Trabzon plateaus for a natural, sweet taste.
More About Trabzon and Turkey
Explore Turkey's Black Sea Region: Trabzon belongs to Turkey's Black Sea area, which is a delight to explore. Even though westerners generally head to other places, Arab love exploring the black sea region because of its similarities in culture, traditions, and sites of interest. Although this list of things to do in Trabzon is extensive, this article introduces Turkey's black sea for other places to explore along the northern coast.
About Us: We are Turkey Homes, selling holiday homes and investment properties in Trabzon. As you can see, Trabzon is a unique destination compared to mainstream tourism places. So, call us to learn more about buying a home in Trabzon or other areas of Turkey. Alternatively, we have offices throughout Turkey, so we took our team's collective knowledge and experience to form our blog, which will be helpful to anyone who wants to know more about delightful Trabzon and Turkey.