The Eastern Black Sea Region

The Eastern Black Sea Region has fewer tourists from the Western countries but has many Turkish tourists and tourists from former Soviet countries.

Many seaside towns of the region are founded as trade port towns by Greek colonist especially Ionian city-state Miletus; the names of the towns still resembles this past.

The biggest town in the region is Trabzon, which was the last stand of the Byzantine Empire. When the Fourth Crusaders invaded Constantinople the capital of the Byzantine Empire in 1204 one royal line (Comnenus) established Trabzon as their part of Byzantine Empire. It survived until 1461. The Ottomans conquered it eight and a half years after Constantinople.

Aya Sofya Museum in the town expresses this imperial past. It is 13th century structure with beautiful relief and frescoes. Outside of Trabzon town on the hills of Maçka, Sumela Monastery has an eagle nest position and superb view.

The main attraction of the region is yayla tourism. Yayla is a hamlet of high plateau on the mountainous track. In summer time, they are full of people coming from the lowland villages and towns and even from metropolitan cities. People go to their yayla to meet with their big family members and friends, a kind of annual pilgrimage. There are yayla festivals that old and young everyone join to folk dancing.

Yayla hamlets in Rize and Artvin counties are better preserved. There are daily or weekly trekking tours. Tourist can stay either in yayla hotels or in tents. During trekking some old Georgian churches or a castle are on the sight too.


In the region, you can hear Laz (a dialect of Georgian), Hemsin (a dialect of Armenian), Georgian and Greek tongues along with Turkish. The region is very rainy so very green. Everywhere is tea plantations from Georgian border to Trabzon and full of hazelnut trees from Trabzon to Samsun. People of the region like their cornbread and have many black cabbage dishes. Anchovy of the Black Sea and trout from the streams are specialties of the region.  

  Page Up