Known for the large and beautiful lake in its center, the village of Uzungöl (which befittingly translates to ‘Long Lake’) is surrounded by high rising mountains covered in deciduous trees. Around 90km from the city of Trabzon, the picturesque village, its lake, and valley have started to become an attraction for visitors who are looking to get away from city life and really immerse themselves in nature and the village life of Turkey’s Black Sea region. The Uzungöl Lake was formed when a landslide altered the stream-bed into a natural dam and reflects all the colors of the surrounding valleys. Uzungöl almost appears as if its inaccessible because of its location among the mountains and it is exactly this attribute that has made the village so attractive for visitors fleeing their urban routine. The fog, which frequently envelops the area, is also another visual spectacle that makes this place appear more like Switzerland than Turkey.
Where to Stay and What to Eat
There are plenty of hotels located all around the lake that offer accommodation with beautiful views – as well as breakfast and lunch. However, one of the best is Inan Kardeşler Hotel, a lovely alpine lodge overlooking the whole valley and lake. From the natural wood paneled rooms with balconies that really make the best of the amazing views, to bungalows with a sauna and Jacuzzi, Inan Kardeşler is the best place to stay for a lovely weekend in Uzungöl. The hotel’s restaurant has also become a favorite in the area serving up the local Alabalık (trout) as well as regional dishes such as etli karalahana sarması (boiled cabbage rolls stuffed with meat) or muhlama (dish made from melted cheese, flour, and butter and served with homemade cornbread).
The main activity in Uzungöl is definitely hiking, and the paths to the left and right of the lake are the perfect starting points for serious hiking trips that extend into the forests and into the mountains for amazing views. Apart from exploring the area on foot make sure to also visit the region’s famous Ipsil and Haldizen yaylaları (alpine pastures), which are situated in the Ipsin and Haldizen valleys at around 2000 and 3000 meters above sea level. You’ll also discover a lot of beautiful glacier lakes at these heights, as well as the blossoming flora and fauna of the valley if you’re there in the summer. In the winter, Uzungöl is quite the romantic getaway with a thick layer of snow covering the entire valley.