Official language: Turkish
Time zone: UTC +3
Currency: Turkish lira (TRY)
About 40 kilometers south of Trabzon, in a beautiful national park Altındere Vadisi Milli Parkı, there’s the breathtaking rock-cut Sumela monastery, which looks like attached to the vertical rock face. You can reach the spot by foot, bus, or car.
If you’re into wonders of nature, you should definitely visit Çalköy Mahallesi – one of the longest caves in the world. It’s over 4 km deep, but only a one-kilometer passage is available. It’s quite cold inside, so don’t forget to take a sweater!
The Black Sea coast is famous for the world’s biggest almond and hazelnut fields. Not far from the city, nearby Rize, you’ll find tea plantations.
The origins of Trabzon go back to the 1st century BC when the settlers from Miletus founded the city of Trapezous. It was located along the historical Silk Road that brought goods, such as the precious fiber, paper, and iron from China through the Middle East to Europe (and gold, perfumes, and grapes in the opposite direction). Even though Trabzon is still one of the most important transportation centers in this part of Turkey and an important Black Sea port, it has lost its former glory.
If you like relaxing in the middle of nature, visit one of the urban beaches or climb Boztepe hill, dominating over the city (get there by foot or by bus – dolmuş). Not only can you admire a spectacular panorama of Trapezous and the seashore, but you’ll also find a range of eateries with local snacks (such as corn), delicious Rize tea, e.g., from the samovar, and water pipes, as well as a little bazaar with inexpensive souvenirs. Particularly impressive is the view of the sunset and the city coming to life at dusk. In the evening, head to the boardwalk running along the shore. At night it fills up with people. There are also teashops and restaurants serving fish dishes, typical for the region.
Trabzon is situated on the coast of the Black Sea which is rich in fish. Therefore, the local cuisine differs from the rest of the country. The high rainfall enables the farmers to grow, i.e., corn – a traditional culinary staple, while the Black Sea provides a variety of delicious fish, which is the basis of the local diet. Among the most popular species are sturgeons (mersin balığı), turbots (kalkan), and European anchovies (hamsi) that is widespread and easy to be found on every street corner. They’re served fried or braised but also can be used to make other traditional dishes, such as pilaf, pide, omelets, and güveç.