Erzurum's slow city of Uzundere, also known as "the city where living is good," encompasses history and natural beauty.
Chosen as Turkey's 11th Cittaslow by the Cittaslow International Network last year, Uzundere's churches, bridges, evergreen highlands and forests and Tortum Waterfall, Tortum Lake and Yedigöller all draw visitors.
Being home to so many civilizations throughout its 3,000 years of history, Uzundere attracts a great deal of attention from local and foreign tourists now that it has been included in the Cittaslow International Network, which aims to preserve traditional ways of life.
Uzundere Mayor Halis Özsoy told Anadolu Agency (AA) that it is important that Uzundere is in such a network: "The extraordinary hospitality of local people and the intact nature made the way for Uzundere to enter the Cittaslow International Network. In physics, there is a term, multiplier effect. Just with such a multiplier effect, as in physics, Uzundere experienced a boost in the number of both local and foreign tourists."
Explaining that many different people from many countries visit slow cities around the world, Özsoy said: "This group regularly visits Uzundere. The intact nature and original people here attract them more."
Özsoy said that in addition to its natural beauty, the organic way of life also attracts people to Uzundere.
The district also has a great amount of endemic plants. Özsoy said: "Tourists visiting Uzundere have the opportunity to eat organic fruit, eggs and butter. Here, we have natural archaeological sites. Visitors have the chance to go rafting and canoeing on Tortum Lake. They go for nature tours on bikes and can camp in camping areas in the mountains."
Calling the district is perfect for nature lovers, Özsoy added: "Nature lovers are generally crazy for adrenalin. Here we offer rock-climbing activities. Foreign tourists do not go out of Uzundere for long day trips, as they can find everything they need here."