Turkey's northern province of Trabzon along the Black Sea coast has been attracting the attention of thousands of tourists recently with its lush environment, lively atmosphere and cultural and historical heritage. According to Forbes, Trabzon is Turkey's most business-friendly and livable city, which becomes quickly evident when you look at the number of tourists who visit the city year-round; not only for touristic purposes but also to invest, buying the wooden houses in the province's highlands and taking a piece of Trabzon for themselves, in the largest city of the Black Sea region. Especially popular among Arab tourists, Trabzon is where you will see hundreds of tourists these days. Its cool waters, clean air and greenery mesmerize everyone who visits. Only two years ago, the city was selected as the cleanest in Turkey and began its journey to become a hotspot for both local and foreign tourists. Seeing the potential, the Turkish state increased its investments in Trabzon and today it's the first location that comes to mind after the country's southern coast of Antalya.
The city's deep history, highlands painted in tones of green, natural beauties and mouth-watering dishes are just some of the beauties that make Trabzon the perfect destination to visit.
The reason Trabzon is such a valuable destination, in terms of history, is that the city was once located on the Silk Road and was a melting pot of religions, languages and cultures. It holds traces of many ancient civilizations and is rich in the history of many empires, including the Ottoman and Trebizond Empires. The remnants of these empires remain in Trabzon for you to experience personally.
There are many monasteries and churches in the city, but the Sümela Monastery is on the top of the list of must-visit places for those who intend to visit the city. At an altitude of approximately 1,300 meters and located 40 kilometers from the city center, the monastery is constructed on the ledge of a steep cliff on the slopes of Karadağ (the Black Mountain) overlooking the Altındere Valley in the district of Maçka. In recent years, the monastery was reconstructed and opened to worshippers after nearly 90 years - so now it has a special place in the heart of its visitors. The monastery has such a unique and charming structure that it is impossible not to fall in love with history when you see its beauty. The beauty of the magnificent monastery is so prominent that it is typically the first destination tourists like to visit in the region, compared with others.
Another historical destination to visit is the Aya Sofya Mosque, a medieval church that was built between 1238 and 1263, being turned into a mosque in 1461 during the Ottoman period. The mosque attracts tourists with its interesting architecture and deserves a visit if you are in Trabzon.
Apart from history, natural beauties are also among the features visitors are immersed in during their visits. There are dozens of highlands in Trabzon with a range of different sizes, the most popular one being the Uzungöl, "long lake" highland in Trabzon's Çaykara district, which boasts gorgeous views and surrounding valleys. It is a lake in the mountains, about an hour away from Trabzon, sitting at an altitude of 1,090 meters. A small village and forest, which gives it a picturesque look, surrounds the lake, amplifying the beautiful imagery of a country dotted with cozy cottages and small bungalows. If you intend to spend a few nights in the Uzungöl Highlands to enjoy the atmosphere of the Black Sea, the Keleş Hotel and Özkan Hotel are good options for you.
The Hıdırnebi Plateau in Trabzon's Akçaabat district is another highland that attracts tourists. With its tourism facilities and wooden houses, it is the most highly preferred vacation spot in the city. While you are on the plateau, you can enjoy an incredible view of the Black Sea and - if you are lucky enough - you may discover the festivals in the plateaus during your stay.
Mouth-watering dishes are another reason why you should add Trabzon on your must-visit list when you come to Turkey. The Black Sea coast is one-of-a-kind, uniquely different from any other region in Turkey. The region's cuisine is renowned across the country and marked by dishes with "hamsi" (anchovies), rice with hamsi, bread with hamsi and you can even find baklava made with hamsi, in Trabzon. "Muhlama," which can be described as resembling a cheese fondue, is a delicious dish made from corn meal, homemade butter and traditional cheese, and it is an unforgettable taste for breakfast. People of this region love to add black cabbage to their dishes. It is easy to find, since it is a vegetable grown in abundance on the green plateaus. You can taste black cabbage soup and dolma, or enjoy the tasty, special recipe for rolled black cabbage filled with spiced rice. Traditional Turkish tea is made from leaves that grow in the Black Sea region, and it is a must try while in the city.
The unique personalities and characteristics of Trabzon residents will also amaze you, since they are known for their hot-tempered but smiling and friendly natures. Many interesting incidents that take place in Turkey happen in Trabzon, which is why the city is the subject of many jokes. It is very difficult to understand whether people from Trabzon love you or are annoyed by you when they first meet you. However, you will quickly realize after a short introduction that they are some of the friendliest people that you will ever meet.