11 Must-Visit Attractions Along the Turkish Black Sea Coast

Karagöl, Artvin | © Senoz Hemşin Çayeli Rize Başköy/Flickr
Karagöl, Artvin | © Senoz Hemşin Çayeli Rize Başköy/Flickr
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
21 February 2018

Turkey’s Black Sea Coast is a real paradise for nature lovers with its mountains, alpine pastures and serene lakes surrounded by dense forests, not to mention its hidden historic sights. Here are some of the things you definitely need to see when visiting Karadeniz.

Kaçkar Mountains

Rising above the Black Sea Coast, the Kaçkar Mountains are a dramatic and inspiring sight as well as one of the best destinations for some serious hiking and camping. Make sure to check out our Kaçkar hiking guide before making travel plans.

Kaçkar Mountains | © Nicolas Rénac/Flickr

Sumela Monastery

Certainly one of the Black Sea Coast’s most famous historic sights, the Sumela Monastery is quite dramatic, completely built into the Pontic Mountains. Founded in 386 AD, the monastery has an impressive rock church and several chapels, all of which can be explored.

Sumela Monastery | © David Bacon/Flickr


A village that was established at the banks of a lake in the middle of the mountainous landscape, Uzungöl is a pretty popular spot for revelling in nature’s beauty. Of course, getting active is also on the agenda, with plenty of great hiking routes through the mountains.

Uzungöl | © İhsan Deniz Kılıçoğlu/WikiCommons

Ayder Yaylası

One of Karadeniz’s most popular alpine pastures, Ayder Yaylası is famous for its wooden alpine huts that look out over the deep green valley. It’s definitely a great place to stay if you’re looking to explore the area by foot.

Ayder Yaylası | © Senoz Hemşin Çayeli Rize Başköy/Flickr

Fırtına Deresi

Quite the active river that rushes through the valley, the Fırtına Deresi is also famous for the 20 Ottoman era bridges that can be found all along its aqueous path. The river is also very popular for canoeing and rafting all year round.

Fırtına Deresi | © Dr. Zeynel Cebeci/WikiCommons


Located in Artvin, this beautiful lake is surrounded by thick pine forests, which makes it perfect for long hikes in the midst of untouched nature. Not yet inhabited by hotels or other tourist facilities, Karagöl is still a great place to visit and be alone with the elements.

Karagöl, Artvin | © Senoz Hemşin Çayeli Rize Başköy/Flickr

Rize Kalesi

This partly-ruined medieval castle looks out over the city of Rize from its hill and consists of a citadel that is believed to have been constructed during the rule of Byzantine emperor, Justinian I. Hiking up to the historic structure is rewarded with an amazing view.


A very dramatic medieval castle in the middle of the valley surrounded by the peaks of mountains all around, Zilkale is something out of a fable. Built in the 14th or 15th century, the castle is one of Çamlıhemşim’s most important historic sights.

Zilkale | © Ozgur13/Flickr

Karaca Mağarası

The Karaca Cave is actually a network of caves and it is quite stunning due to its underground formations. Inside, visitors can gaze at the stunning stalactites, stalagmites and travertines as well as the large dripstone pools.

Anzer Yaylası

Another beautiful alpine pasture (aka plateau), Anzer Yaylası is not as popular as Ayder, which means visitors can really experience village life at high altitudes. Anzer is also quite famous for its honey.

Anzer Yaylası | © Metin Çorapçı/WikiCommons


The ruins of this castle are cut off from the mainland and sit on their own little rock island overlooking the Black Sea. Believed to be from the 13th century, visitors like to sit at one of the many waterfront cafes to watch the sunset.

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