The Kaçkar Mountains on the Black Sea Coast is a mountain range with its highest peak at Kaçkar Dağı. It is nearly 4000 metres high. When people think of Turkey they think of sandy beaches and arid dusty land. However, the country is so diverse you can find a variety of landscapes. At Kackar Mountains the lush greenery and forest areas are breathtaking and ideal for trekking and mountain climbing.
This is a popular spot for local tourists and foreign visitors. There are a range of activities which include paragliding, rafting, hiking, camping and mountaineering. Even during the summer months the Black Sea coast can be cloudy and rainy. Perhaps the best month is September when you should experience brighter weather.
The Kaçkar Mountains get their name from the Armenian words “Cross Stone” The picturesque stone bridges, rivers, waterfalls and canyons give you an insight into another Turkey that most tourists do not get to see. During the winter months the mountains have snow and glaciers and only the experienced mountaineers would attempt to negotiate the more rugged terrain.
This area is also a National Park. It is unique with its alpine scenery and diverse range of flora. It is also home to a wide range of wildlife. Situated in the East of Rize Province the park is close to Rize, Trabzon and Artvin. There is much to see and do in this region.
Zilkale Castle is definitely worth seeing. It was foggy when we visited in June and it was a cool rain day. This medieval castle in the Fırtına Valley ( Storm Valley ) was built in the 15th century. The castle is perched on the edge of a cliff by the Firtina River at a height of 380 me above the river.