Where is Trabzon?
Trabzon is on the northeast coastline of Turkey, near the Georgian border. It is close to Rize city that is the tea producing capital of the country. The local population is roughly 770,000, including the urban areas. Some people from Trabzon describe themselves as Laz, which is a prominent ethnic group in this area. Throughout history, its strategic position on the Black Sea coast made it a famous trading port, especially on the old Silk Road.
Trabzon is often called the city of sultans because it was the birthplace of the famous Ottoman sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent. Within Turkey, its football team is widely recognised, but it also has a claim to fame because of its hazelnuts. The climate and soil conditions ensure the quality is high, so every year; Turks export thousands of tonnes around the world.
Naturally, being close to the coastline, Trabzon has a thriving fishing industry, and this shines through to regional dishes of which many include hamsi (anchovies.) One cultural aspect that I adore about Trabzon is the Horon dance. Although unique to the Black Sea region and not just Trabzon, it is a marvellous display of quick and agile uniformed dancing.
Trabzon has a humid, subtropical climate that is entirely different from the winter and summer climates of the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts. Average summer temperatures are between 20 to 25 Celsus, while in winter, snow often falls.
The airport is the easiest and quickest way. The runway of Trabzon airport is next to the sea, and I distinctly remember as we were coming into land, thinking that we were making a sea landing. Other than that, its domestic terminal is busier than its international and many foreign nationalities catch a connecting flight from Istanbul.
Trabzon is the 30th largest city in Turkey, so naturally, shops sell everything and anything. Trabzon Forum though is the most popular shopping mall. Including a cinema, as well as a children’s entertainment centre, hundreds of brand name shops open their doors every day.
Over the last two years, real estate in Trabzon has gained traction with foreign property buyers and investors. These are mostly new build apartments attracting interested parties with low prices. One of the most popular neighbourhoods is Yomra that is on the outskirts of the city centre. This district is mainly middle of the range property with easy access to the city centre.
Put aside one day to explore the attractions of Trabzon city centre. You would love strolling by the seaside with its quaint cafes and photo opportunities. Hagia Sophia of Trabzon is much smaller than the building with the same name in Istanbul, the interior frescoes and ancient architecture will make you impressed immensely.
From Trabzon to Uzungol
Most Trabzon travel guide books recommend a trip to Uzungol, a large beautiful lake surrounded by thick, dense forests. It is 100 kilometres from Trabzon and a 90-minute drive.
Without a doubt, one of the must see places while in Trabzon is the 4th-century Greek Orthodox Sumela Monastery. Perched on the side of a cliff, in the Macka district, it is just a short drive from Trabzon city centre. The walk up was extremely tiring but worth it to see the frescos of the church, the fantastic view and the simple rooms used by monks.
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