About Uzungol Lake in Trabzon
Uzungol Lake in Trabzon is a stunning place of natural beauty. Turkey has many such places, but Uzungol stands in a league of its own. Nestled in a mountain valley, few international tourist companies sell package holidays there, yet it makes a roaring trade with Turks and independent travellers. Such is the popularity, tour shops in Trabzon city sell day and overnight excursions to make it easy for people to reach this Turkish haven. Without a doubt, it should be on everyone’s bucket list and here are the reasons.
About Uzungol Lake in Trabzon
The name Uzungol translates into the long lake, an accurate reflection of its picturesque appearance in between two domineering mountain ranges. Sitting 90 minutes’ drive away from Trabzon city centre, it belongs to the Caykara district. Its secluded destination makes it the northeast’s most popular tourist attraction.
It also stands out because despite having no beaches, like the country’s other hotspots, it still hosts hundreds of visitors every day. Its high mountain destination also lends weight to a unique climate when early morning fog sitting on the horizon adds mystery to its ambience.
As well as belonging to the lake, the name refers to the village on the shores. For decades, locals have adhered to regional practices for building their houses. Given hundreds of acres of forests surround the lake, they used wood to build their homes and when tourism took off, built the hotels. It is not unusual to book into an older hotel and see everything handmade from wood, including the doors and headboard. This building style, named Karadeniz architecture, reflects its Black Sea location.
Stretching for 1000 metres and being 500 meters wide in some parts, the whole attraction of Uzungol is Mother Nature’s power and activities embrace this theme. Many people enjoy the laid-back atmosphere by strolling around the lake and enjoying refreshments and food in lakeside cafes. Also visit local souvenir shops to buy handmade dolls, and artisan products or hire cycles or quad bikes to get around.
Explore the Mountain Plateaux
If you are on an overnight trip and have access to transport, it is also possible to head further into the mountains to discover plateaux like Ipsil, Haldizen and Demirkapi. Plateau culture is an integral Black Sea tradition. For many centuries, locals have retreated up to plateaux when the weather got too hot on the coastline because they offered cooler temperatures.
With the advancement of modern-day living in Trabzon, the younger generation rarely practise plateau culture anymore, and instead, locals, travel and history experts are looking to keep it alive by promoting it as an alternative form of tourism.
In mountain plateaux like Demirkapi, expect a basic way of life. Tight-knit communities welcome people to look around, but chances of getting one of them to sell you their hand-built wooden houses is rare. Often without internet or telephone, many plateau locals also make their bread, butter, and cheese, and grow regional specialities like black cabbage.