The Black Sea Region offers a wealth of summer encampments in the lush mountains which ring the coast and is a superb destination for those interested in the extraordinary variety of wildlife in Turkey. It is almost commonplace to see eagles, falcons, hawks, woodcocks, weasels, rabbits, squirrels, pine martens, wild goats, mountain goats, foxes and even wolves, wild boars and bears. Naturalists will be impressed with the diversity of vegetation: fir, spruce, cedar, beech, oak, lime, hazelnut as well as other species forest the mountainsides
The Yaylas of Sinop
The Guzfindik-Bozarmut Yayla lies 35 km southwest of the village of Yenikent at an altitude of 1350 meters. A dirt road from the coast leads you up to the idyllic plateau. Arrangements can be made for one of the vehicles at Gerze which transport villagers to the remote summer camps.
Good asphalt roads make the journey to the Türkeli Kurugöl Yayla a pleasant one. In the Türkeli district at an altitude of 800 meters, some degree of modern comfort has reached the yayla with the arrival of electricity.
The Yaylas of Ordu
The Persembe Yayla, at 1350 meters, is 124 km away from the coastal town of Ordu and can be reached on asphalt roads. Conveniences include electricity, PTT services as well as shops for provisions. In July the summer residents host a local fair with folk dancing, exhibitions and a wrestling contest. This is a superb occasion to sample the flavor of local customs.
Fifty-eight kilometers south of Ordu province, at 1250 meters, the Çambasì Yayla provides the visitor with shops, guest-houses and, in case of emergency, mobile health care units. After following a paved road for 21 km, you turn off onto a dirt road for the final 37 kilometers.
Within the Igdir forest, 134 km from Ordu and 20 km from the town of Mesudiye, the Ordu-Keyfalan Yayla lies at an altitude of 2000 meters, and transportation is provided by dolmus (shared taxi) in summer.
A shopping center run by the forest management department ensures that visitors can obtain, in this remote location, all the necessary provisions. Electricity and a rest house with 12 beds are also available.
The Akkus Argin Yayla is also located in the Ordu province.
The Yaylas of Giresun
The Bektas Yayla, 58 km away from Giresun and at an altitude of 2000 meters, offers a two star hotel as well as a shopping center.
In order to reach the Kümbet Yayla follow the 30 kilometer asphalt road to Dereli from where a dirt road continues for 22 km. The yayla which stretches across high pasture land at an altitude of 1640 meters has a small lodge with 10 beds, shops and a health clinic. Every year on the second Sunday in July, the villagers hold their summer festivities.
Facilities for tourists are being prepared in other nearby summer pastures including the Yavuz-Kemal, the Sis Dagì, the Alucra town’s Anastos, the Yaglìdere town’s Cakrak, the Melikli valley and the Hanalanì yaylas.
The Yaylas of Trabzon
Lying at 1700 meters the Macka-Solma Yayla is 50 km from Trabzon and 22 km away from the town of Macka. Commercial vehicles provide transportation to this remarkable location. Electricity, telephone and shops are all available on the yayla.
Twenty-four kilometers south of Tonya, the Erikbeli Yayla is situated at an altitude of 1800 meters. Commercial vehicles can take you to the green pastures which are nestled in the mountains that ring the Black Sea. Electricity, telephone and shops ensure your comfort while visiting.
To reach the Karadag Yayla follow the road between Akçaabat on the Black Sea Coast and the inland village of Düzköy for 12 km and then turn west on a dirt road for 28 km. Transportation by commercial vehicles is also available as are the modern conveniences of electricity, telephone and shops.
At 1250 meters in elevation, Çaykara-Uzungöl, a small summer encampment 20 km from the town of Çaykara, is known for its beautiful meadows and magnificent landscapes. A pristine lake, in which fish are farmed, lies surrounded by verdant mountainside, and the are offers excellent opportunities for trekking. Tourist facilities include a modest lodge with 55 beds, wooden bungalows, restaurants, electricity, PTT services and a health clinic. Excursions to Uzungöl by taxi can be arranged from Trabzon.
The following yaylas – Hidirnebi, Kuruçam, Maçka-Mavura, Maçka-Çakirgöl, Kiraz, Lapazan, Sazalani, Sis Dagi, Kadirga, Çatma Obasi, Düzköy – are also found in this region and offer a fascinating glimpse of traditional Black Sea Region culture.
The Yaylas of Rize
The Ayder Yayla, 17 km from Çamlihemsin, rests at an altitude of 1350 meters. Electricity, PTT services, a health clinic, many pensions and shops ensure a comfortable visit. The naturally hot (50 C) waters of the local thermal spring provide added relaxation, and cure various diseases.
Twenty-two kilometers from Çamlihemsin at an altitude of 2300 meters is the Yukari Kavron Tourism Center.
The world famous Anzer honey, said to have medicinal properties, comes from apiaries in the meadows around the Anzer Tourism Center. Lying 76 km from the city of Rize at an altitude of 3000 meters, the area includes such modern facilities as electricity, PTT services and shops.
The Yaylas of Artvin
Artvin province offers those looking for adventure and sport a wide variety of activities. White-water rafting, hunting and rock climbing are among the recreational possibilities in this northeast corner of Turkey.
Every year during the third week of June tourists from all over the world as well as the local inhabitants congregate at the Kafkasör festival to watch bull fights, folklore displays and wrestling competitions. Crowds of brightly clad yayla residents thrill to watch pairs of bulls battle each other in a show of strength. At an altitude of 1560 meters, these summer pastures lie nine kilometers from Artvin and can be reached by bus from town. A well-established tourist attraction, the tourism center offers electricity, PTT services as well as 22 bungalows with 80 beds.
Fifty-three kilometers from Yusufeli at an elevation of 3200 meters is the Yusufeli-Kaçkar Tourism Center – Yaylalar Village. A narrow, winding road leads to the village which boasts electricity, PTT services and water as well as overnight accommodation and shops. A nine kilometer walk takes you to a wide expanse of meadows and forests high in the Kaçkar mountains. This is an ideal location for hunting as well as mountain climbing and high plateau tourism.
Those wishing to climb to the summit of Kaçkar Mountain can replenish their supplies at the Yaylalar village and hire mules to go up to the 3328 meter high Dilber Düzü. This camping site offers the closest lodging to the summit. If you wish to attempt an ascent, be sure you hire a guide to lead you. Many wild animals such as lynx, bear, ibex, wolf, fox and jackal can be seen in the region.
The Ardanuç-Bilbilan, Sahara and Mersivan yaylas in the Artvin province are planned to be opened up for tourism.
The Gümüshane Yaylasì
On the road between Trabzon and Bayburt, 4 km east of the Zigana Tunnel, the longest in Turkey, is the Zigana Yayla. At an altitude of 2032 meters, the yayla is equipped with lodgings, electricity, water and communication system. In the winter the area boasts the Zigana ski center.
Other yaylas in the province include Altintaslar and Çam Piknik.
The Yaylas of Bayburt
Forty kilometers southeast of Bayburt on the Askale road at an altitude of 2918 meters is the Kop Mountain Yayla. Buses from Bayburt pass by the yayla, but if you want to linger in the clear cool summer breezes you should come prepared with sleeping bags and provisions.