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20 February 2020 / Travel

About Uzungol Lake in Trabzon

Uzungol Lake in Trabzon is a stunning place of natural beauty. Turkey has many such places, but Uzungol stands in a league of its own.  Such is the popularity, tour shops in Trabzon City sell day and overnight popular trips for people to reach this Turkish haven. For years, Uzungol was a well-kept secret, but with the advance of the internet, there was a tourist boom.

The lake has also earned fans among Arab tourists, many of whom shun beach tourism in Turkey in favour of green mountains. Serene atmospheres and summer months have also led Arab tourists to buy homes in Trabzon so places like Uzungol are on their doorstep. Indeed, Uzungol, Turkey’s most famous tourist mountain lake, is Mother Nature's delight.

                                  Natural Beauty of Uzungol Lake in Trabzon

Uzungol Lake in Turkey

Where is Uzungol in Turkey?

The name Uzungol translates into “ long lake,” an accurate reflection of the picturesque spot between two domineering mountain ranges. Sitting 90 minutes’ drive from Trabzon city centre, Uzungol belongs to the Caykara district of the Trabzon province. The secluded destination makes it the northeast’s most popular tourist attraction.

The lake is a tourism hotspot of the North East Black Sea area. The black sea region covers the northern coast of Turkey, right up to the Marmara province, with different cultures and traditions to beachy resorts of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. The easiest way to get there is via Trabzon airport, and book an overnight stay so you can enjoy other delights. The drive from the city centre is roughly 2 hours.

Rustic Village Charm of Northeast Turkey

Uzungol Lake stands out because despite having no beaches, like the country’s other hotspots, the charming village hosts hundreds of visitors every day. Its high mountain destination lends weight to a unique climate when early morning fog sitting on the horizon adds mystery to its ambience. The lake at night is spectacular since the surrounding lights promote Uzungol village's position in the dark valleys.

The name refers to the shoreline village as well as belonging to the amazing lake. For decades, locals have adhered to regional practices for building their houses. Given hundreds of acres of forests surrounding the lake, they used wood to build their homes and, when tourism took off, built the hotels. Book into an older hotel and see everything handmade from wood, including the doors and headboard. This building style, named Karadeniz architecture, reflects its Black Sea location.

Given the scenic location and traditional architecture, people often ask us if they can buy houses in Uzungol. Unfortunately, this is a tight-knit community, and properties are often handed down through generations. Additionally, the lack of building space means high demand but low supply. Instead, people buy property in Trabzon and enjoy the entire Northeast's wholeness on their doorstep.

Outdoor Activities and Beautiful Nature

Stretching for 1000 metres and being 500 meters wide in some parts, the whole attraction of Uzungol is charming nature, and activities embrace this theme. Many enjoy laid-back atmospheres by strolling around the fish lake and enjoying refreshments and food in lakeside cafes. Also, visit local souvenir shops to buy handmade dolls and artisan products or hire lake bicycles or quad bikes to get around. Otherwise, buy tickets for leisure boat trips to explore from the water's surface.

Beautiful Scenery in the Mountain Plateaus

If you are on an overnight trip and have access to transport, head further into the mountains to discover Alpine scenery in plateaus like Ipsil, Haldizen, Murad heights, Surmene village and Demirkapi village. Plateau culture is an integral Black Sea tradition revolving around beautiful landscapes. For centuries, locals have retreated up to plateaus during hot weather because they offered cooler temperatures.

With advanced modern-day living in the Trabzon province, younger generations rarely practise plateau culture anymore. Instead, locals, travel and history experts are looking to keep the tradition alive by promoting alternative forms of tourism. But at the same time, preventing environmental damage.

In mountain plateaus like Demirkapi, expect a basic way of life. Tight-knit communities welcome people to look around, but chances of getting one of them to sell you their hand-built wooden houses are rare. Often without internet or telephone, plateau locals make their bread, butter, and cheese and grow regional specialities like black cabbage. Another favourite place to visit is Sultan Murad Heights and Atakoy Waterfalls.

Best Time to Visit the Famous Landmark of Uzungol

Tourism at Uzungol mountain lake happens all year round, but the most important thing to remember is the weather differs from places like the Aegean and Mediterranean. We visited in June, and the daytime temperatures were just perfect for exploring but dipped at night-time, so take along warm clothing.

If you visit during the winter months, November to March, expect stunning views from the blanket of snow covering the awesome lake and surrounding mountains. Temperatures dip below minus 3 degrees Celsius during winter days. Otherwise, Uzungol is at its busiest in July and August. Be aware of the Autumn rainy season, which makes navigating mountain roads and getting there harder.

The Local Cuisine

The local cuisine in the Trabzon province is to die for. Given the fertile climate, green nature and ideal temperatures, fresh and healthy food is everywhere, and the best place to start is with an organic breakfast comprising tomatoes, cucumber, cheese, bread, jams, and copious amounts of tea. Our favourite part of breakfast, though, is Muhlama, a cheese-type fondue.

Other local dishes you will come across are black cabbage soup and ham, anchovies, a fish in abundance. Otherwise, this natural lake is abundant in salmon that love cold water, and surrounding restaurants serve the dish. It is also a trout lake, which locals are experts at cooking.

Other Places of Interest in Northeast Turkey

Turkey’s northeast region, to which Uzungol belongs, is the greenest place and ideal for those who want to explore the great outdoors rather than enjoy beaches. The beautiful region, features camping sites, and overnight accommodation, and mountain landscapes boast an abundance of beautiful waterfalls.

If you want to complete a road trip, make a detour to visit Camlihemsin. Sitting aside Firtina river, white water rafting is popular, as are walking tours taking in old Ottoman stone bridges. It is the perfect follow-up destination for tourists after visiting Uzungol Lake in Trabzon.

The other major attraction of the Trabzon province is the 4th-century Sumela Monastery in Macka National Park. This one-of-a-kind, historical gem reflects Christian heritage in Turkey and is close to Trabzon's city centre. Transport infrastructure to get there is haphazard. In addition, there is a lengthy and strenuous walk up to Sumela Monastery, so ensure you are good on your legs.

Lake Uzungol belongs to the broader Trabzon province, and in this travel guide for first-time visitors, we talk about needs to know, advice, hints and tips, getting there, where to stay, when to visit, and what to do. In recent years, Trabzon airport has modernised and increased flight schedules, so even though Trabzon is away from normal tourist regions, it is a must-visit destination that has gained international fame.

More Beautiful Lakes in Turkey

Turkey is home to numerous lakes with unique characteristics, natural beauty, and cultural significance. Head away from coastal roads, right into eastern Turkey, to discover Lake Van, the largest in Turkey and one of the largest endorheic (closed basin) lakes in the world. Situated in central Anatolia, Lake Tuz, the second-largest in Turkey, is one of the largest hypersaline lakes in the world.

Beyşehir Lake, surrounded by natural beauty, has several islands and historical sites around the shores. Situated in western Turkey, Eğirdir town Lake, the fourth-largest in the country, offers clear waters and scenic surroundings. Sitting near Bolu in northwestern Turkey, Gölcük is a popular destination for camping, picnicking, and trekking. Also situated near Bolu, Abant is a picturesque freshwater lake surrounded by pine forests.

Located in the Sakarya province, Sapanca is famous for its natural beauty and is popular on weekends. Situated near Iznik town in northwestern Turkey, Askania has historical significance, as the ancient town of Nicaea (present-day Iznik) is located on its shores. Often called the "Turkish Maldives," Salda boasts of turquoise waters and white sandy beaches. This natural attraction in southwestern Turkey offers several activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, and birdwatching.

Also About Trabzon

Best Things to Do in Trabzon: 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.

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