Rize Highlands

The highlands in foothills of the Kaçkar mountain range with their unspoiled natural surroundings and charming highland houses are a must-see.

The most significant highlands around Rize are, in İkizdere: Anzer, Çağrankaya, Ovit, Varda, Gölyayla and Cimil; in Hemşin Ambarlı; and in Çamlıhemşin:

Ayder, Aşağı and Yukarı Kavron, Elevit, Tirevit, Kale, Baş Yayla, Hacivarak, Palovit, Çaymakçur, Amlakit and Samislat. The highlands of Ayder, Anzer and Yukarı Kavron have been declared Tourist Centers.

Çamlıhemşin-Ayder Thermal Spring and Tourist Center-Ayder Highland

Transportation: Located 19 km southeast of Çamlıhemsin, there is a year-round minibus service.

Description: With an elevation of 1350 m. the Ayder Highland is the most well-known highland along the Black Sea. The infrastructure is totally in place and it almost has the appearance of a small town. Besides the abundant plant and wildlife, it is also very famous for its thermal spring. The hot waters (50 C) bring healing to rheumatism, various stomach and feminine ailments and. The area around this highland village, used as part of the ascent up the Kaçkar mountains, has abundant wildlife. Among the animals that can be seen are curly-horned mountain goats, lynx, bear and wolves. The 'Ayder' Festival is held here every year.

Accommodation - Food and Drink: There are several hotels as well as bed and breakfast type lodgings. Everything that one would need can be found here in the village.

Çamlıhemşin-Aşağı and Yukarı Kavran Highlands

Transportation: The Aşağı Kavran highland, located 19 km in southeast of Çamlıhemşin, can be reached via a 10 km dirt road that starts in Ayder. There are minibuses that provide transportation. It is 3 km from Aşağı Kavran to Yukarı Kavran.

Description: It is about 8 km from the highland village of Yukarı Kavran, (elevation 2300 m) to the peak of Kaçkar Mountain (3937 m.). The village is the base camp for climbers on their way to Kaçkar. This village, which has no infrastructure, does have a small market that can provide basic necessities. Mules can also be rented here as pack animals for those climbing Kaçkar Mountain.

Accommodation - Food and Drink: There are no accommodations here. There is a hotel and a bed and breakfast in nearby Ayder.

İkizdere-Anzer (Ballıköy) Highland Tourist Center

Transportation: It is located 39 km in south of İkizdere. The road between İkizdere and Dereköy is asphalt for 4 km. and dirt road for 25 km. During the summer there are minibuses.

Description: The infrastructure of this village situated at 3000 m. is finished. There is a post office, small market, butcher, bakery, green grocer, teahouse and restaurants. The famous healing spring of Anzer Balı which has brought many people back to health is found here.

Accommodation - Food and Drink: There are many bed and breakfast establishments here and all of your basic needs can be obtained from the village markets.

Ikizdere-Çağırankaya Highland

Transportation: Located 25 km east of İkizdere, it can be reached by minibuses which run during the summer and the dirt road leading to the village is a very scenic route.

Description: Situated at 3200 m., the Çağırankaya Highland, which is a flat mountain plateau, gets its name from the echoing effect provided by the steep slopes and cliffs which surround it. There is electricity and telephone service and a small market, butcher and a teahouse.

Accommodation - Food and Drink: There are no accommodations there. Someone who wants to set up camp, should bring camping equipment, but meat, milk and bread can be purchased in the village.