Rize travel guide
city, northeastern Turkey, on
the Black Sea. The city lies on wooded hills
stretching down to the sea, with its commercial
section on the narrow strip of flat land around
a small bay. Rize enjoys a mild climate and
luxuriant vegetation. It is linked by road with
Trabzon (41 miles [66 km] west), Hopa (55 miles
[88 km] east, near the Georgia frontier), and
Erzurum (south) and by ship with Istanbul. Rize
is a processing and sea shipping centre for the
tea grown in the surrounding area; it has a tea
research institute, founded in 1958. Pop. (1997)
Between Of and Rize, the village of İyidere offers an especially good sandy
beach that is a favorite for vacationers from Trabzon and Rize. The tone is set
by portly mothers who sit chatting away under colorful umbrellas while swarthy
men with slicked back hair strut up and down the beach.
Rize, the capital of the tea region, is a pleasant modern city which first
flourished during the early boom years of tea production in the 1950s. Its roots
go back to the ancient trading port of Rhizaion, but only a meagre (and recently
reconstructed) Byzantine fortress survives. Lack of history is compensated by
the beauty of the natural setting. The city is located on a broad bay flanked by
steep mountains. A mild and extremely humid climate has brought about a
botanical extravaganza. Banana and citrus trees and the tangle of overgrown
creepers give a tropical aspect to the landscape. Tea is everywhere-in gardens,
backyards, road¬side patches and on the hills, as well as in shops which display
hundreds of local tea brands not sold elsewhere.
Appropriately, the major attraction of Rize is the Tea Institute-at once a
research institution, a botanical garden, a beauty spot and a public teahouse.
In the institute's greenhouses located on a hill overlooking the town visitors
can observe the development of new and experimental strands of tea. The products
can be sampled in the lush confines of the tea garden. The grounds offer exotic
species of flora from around the world. The panorama is superb.
The next town along the coast offers more of the same. Çayeli is the final (and
purest) bastion of the keşan-and-peştemal look. It has a clannish reputation
somewhat like Of, underscored by the fact that a large number of important
political jobs in
Istanbul and Ankara seem to belong to people from Çayeli.
Free Travel Guide of Turkey Pontic
coast: East of Trabzon - Trebizond