7 days tour with Başak Gardner
Midsummer in the verdant Kackar Mountains is a time of peaceful walks and rich colours, when some of the regions loveliest flowers appear in high pastures with the deep pink of Stachys macrantha colouring whole slopes mingled with the big purple bells of Campanula latifolia, giant golden-rayed Telekia speciosa vying with even larger masses of Campanula lactiflora above carpets of Lady's Mantle. The first deep blue gentians will be opening on the alpine turf, painted with mats of Coronilla orientalis, campanulas and cornflowers. Local people will have moved their livestock up to these idyllic grazing grounds as the warm hues of the season gather and we can expect a charming and vibrant scene.
NB: You will only carry your day bags during the walks.
Weather can be very changeable and rain can be expected at times equally it can be very warm and sunny. Mountain weather can change very quickly so make sure you bring appropriate clothing.
Transfer to our hotel. Overnight Trabzon.
In the morning we will visit the spectacular Sumela Monastery, perched precariously on sheer cliffs near Trabzon. Afterwards we continue to Ayder enjoying a short walk along the Tar stream on the way. Overnight Ayder.
Avusor Yayla is a beautiful summer pasture with around fifty traditional stone and wooden houses. Driving to Avusor we will first stop to look at lovely flowers of Aster caucasicus, Tanacetum macrophyllum, golden-rayed Telekia speciosa and many others. From here we hike up (c1 hour) to enjoy Avusor lake (good for swimming on sunny days) and on the way down we have lunch with traditional dishes like 'muhlama (a type of cheese fondue) and very freshly made cream. Driving on to Huser Tepesi we have great views of the Kaçkar Mountains and there's a walk down (c2 hours) the lovely forest path to Ayder. Overnight Ayder.
This lovely summer pasture is close to Ayder and has only three houses still in use. We will do several stops on the way where the rich meadows are studded with mauve , stunning black-eyed magenta Geranium psilostemon, as well as, Geranium ibericum, creamy Cephalaria gigantea and golden Inula speciosa. From the houses we will take a slightly steep but lovely walk leading up to a tranquil lake surrounded by rugged high peaks (6 hours return walk) Overnight Ayder.
Today we will transfer via the Palovit Valley to Çat. We will visit the impressive fourteenth century castle at Zilkale and an amazing tall Buxus sempervirens forest on the way. In the afternoon there is a hike up to the Vanksi Yaylasi through meadows and mixed forests (3 hours return). Overnight Çat.
Following alongside the Hemşin River, we drive to Çiçekli Yayla at 2400 m, where the pinks of Stachys macrantha and Primula auriculata mingle with billowing masses of Campanula lactiflora in damper spots, whilst Dianthus orientalis and Papaver lateritium colour the rocky banks. From here we take a short walk to another picturesque lake in the area and on the way back to Çat we will visit another ruin called Kale-I Bala, part of a defensive castle. (2 hours return) Overnight Çat.
Transfer to Trabzon airport.
22 - 28 July 2019
Per person (twin share): 1495 Euros
Deposit 225 Euros
Single supplement: 275 Euros
*Minimum number of participants 4, maximum 12.
For more information on our tours
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