LONG AND GREEN LAKE IN THE BLACK SEA’S ALPES
There are very few structures in the area that could be called historical remains. The history of Uzungol is tied in with that of Trabzon’s. Trabzon’s ancient name was “Trapezos”. This means “table”. The old city had been built on a narrow hill that stretched down to the sea in the shape of a table.
Trabzon was built during 800 B.C. as a colony of Sinop. Later, from 1204 to 1461 it enjoyed a wealthy period as the capital city of the Ethnic Greek Pontus state. Trabzon was a metropolis until Yavuz Sultan Selim became governor of Trabzon around the beginning of the 16th century, and was occupied by Russia for about 2 years during WWI. During the latter period battles were fought with the Russians and local Ethnic Greek brigands in Uzungol and Haldizen. The graves of the Turkish martyrs are still in the Haldizen valley. The 1625 hectares of the park was designated as a Nature Park in 1989 because of the rich plant life, wildlife and sightseeing potential. The Nature Park is 99 kilometers to Trabzon and 19 kilometers to Caykara County. The lake was formed when a landslide dammed the Haldizen Stream, flooding the valley.
The settlement area formed around is called “Uzungol”, meaning “Long Island”. Uzungol is also the name of the village on the lake’s coast.
It is at a height of 1090 meters from sea level. However water plane of the lake differs according to seasonal water flow, in general, its length is 1000 m, its width is 500 m, its depth is almost 15m. Trout fish can be found in the lake.
The dominant tree species is Eastern spruce, and there are also badger, bearded, alder, hornbeam, hazelnut, oak, mountain elm, and silver birch trees. Species of animals include mountain goat, roe deer, bear, wolf, wild boar, marten, badger, lynx, jackal, fox, rabbit, squirrel, wild ducks, birds of prey, trout and various kinds of reptiles.
The most important river in the area is the Demirkapi, and the Uzungol Lake was formed as a result of the rocks closing the mouth of the river. 10 km south of the lake is the Norizca mountain, with an altitude of 300m. The best time to visit the park is between April and October.
Almost ten smaller lakes on the higher sides of the mountains around provide alternative activities for visitors. There are accommodation facilities, picnic areas, and trekking routes in the park. Also, pedalos are available for hire. In addition to the trekking, bird watching and botanical tours of the highest lake of Haldizen Valley and Trabzon, there are also opportunities to arrange spring tours that can be visited by the villages with wooden village villas of the traditional Black Sea architecture besides the natural beauty such as Sekersu, Demirkapi, Yaylaonu, and the nearby ponds or the hills between the higher mountains.
THINGS TO DO IN UZUNGOL
Mountaineering and Trekking Routes
• Caykara Uzungol Location – Karastel Plateau – Sekersu Plateau
The province has several locations suitable for paragliding:
- Uzungol – Karastel Hill
- Uzungol – Karacimah Hill (Yente) – Cayiroba
Jeep – Safari Routes
- Trabzon –Macka – Sumela Monastery – Camibogazi –Taskopru – Yagmurdere – Pazarcik Tourism Centre – Soganli Pass- Uzungol – Anzer – Coruh Valley
- Trabzon –Arakli – Dagbasi – Aydintepe – Underground City – Demirkapi Lakes – Uzungol – Caykara – Of – Trabzon
Camping and Caravanning
There are camping and caravanning facilities in most of the high pastures.
- Uzungol Inan Kardesler Camp Site – Golbasi Uzungol
- Uzungol Kofuoglu Facilities
An activity that has attracted much attention recently has been presented to the visitors of Uzungol. This activity is a unique opportunity for those who want to watch a birds-eye view. Yes, Uzungol helicopter tour is a popular activity model.
Another thing you can do during your trip to Uzungol is nature photography if you are curious. As you can do individually, you can also take part in safari-style photography.
When you visit this natural wonder holiday resort, you can buy souvenirs, especially traditional wears, loincloths, wooden spoons, rag dolls, bags, and hats as a memory of Uzungol.
Festivals are held every year in summer, since 2003. Uzungol Festival lasts for 3 days. There are concerts, folklore, and acrobatic performances at this festival.
PLACES TO SEE NEAR UZUNGOL
Sekersu Plateau is one of the most beautiful places in Trabzon. Formerly named as Sakarsu, the plateau is adjacent to Karacam and Yaylaonuo villages. You can go to the plateau, which is closed to settlement due to the climatic conditions in winter, in summer.,
Haldizen Plateau is also known as Demirkapi Plateau and it is one of the most dynamic places of the Black Sea. Haldizen plateau can be easily reached from Uzungol. The plateau is 16 kilometers from the village of Serah in Uzungol.
Haldizen Plateau surrounded by white high peaks, meadows and dense forest. It consists of three neighborhoods with centenary wooden houses adorned with scented mountain flowers.
Garester Plateau, one of the beautiful highlands of Uzungol, is also worth seeing. It is located in the south of Uzungol and when you go up to the plateau, you can’t get enough of watching the amazing view of Uzungol.
Especially the old wooden houses, which were built in the local style of “Serah” village in the region, are in complete harmony with nature’s beauty.
The village has its name due to the fact that its houses are in complete harmony with the environment and complete the natural beauty of the surroundings. You will have the opportunity to see and enjoy the experience with the local people while at the Trabzon to Uzungol tour. Once we will be done with visiting and seeing all these places, you will have a chance to stroll at your ease and leisure and enjoy having refreshments in the Turkish village.
The moment you see the minarets, it means “Welcome to Uzungol”. One of the symbols of Uzungol, Uzungol Mosque can be seen from 600 meters away with its minarets. The mosque was built in 2002. Especially professional photographers love to take photos of the mosque. The silhouette of the mosque that hits the lake is like a photo that will not be erased from your memories.
LOCAL FLAVORS OF UZUNGOL
Restaurants in the Black Sea region of Uzungol are waiting for you. You can start your day with an organic breakfast here, where you can have a busy schedule.
The flavor, which is served as a mixture of the type of cheese called cornmeal and minci, is roasted in the real butter produced in the plateaus and is transformed into delicious food that you can eat your fingers. Definitely the flavor you’ll want to see on your breakfast menu, as it’s organic, served as a hot menu for breakfast.
In Uzungol, which is one of the most delicious places for fish lovers, it is possible to taste many local delicacies such as cabbage wrap, cabbage soup, and anchovy bread.
In winter, the region is visited by people who want to stay alone in Uzungol with its magnificent view. And also, it is targeted that the tourism season will be expanded in Trabzon with Uzungol Winter Tourism Center project.
Expected Investments For Winter Tourism
Uzungol has a characteristic of the center of attraction in tourism and gets huge demand in the tourism season. With this project, infrastructure for winter tourism will be developed. There is no legal barrier for the investment of the project, the master plan and feasibility is ready.
- Sarikaya Plateau, five-star hotel with 3.500 person capacity and 10 royal villas.
- Garester Plateau, five-star hotel with 3.000 person capacity and 20 royal villas.
- 31 ski-tracks with 32 km length conforming to international competition standards.
- Cable car system with 5.000 people/hour and 15 stations 30 km length.
- 5.000 estimated employment.
- Free fun zone and winter-themed recreation area.
- Winter sports equipment renting centers.
- Mountain restaurant with 250 people capacity.
- Viewing platform made with glass and cafe.
- Ski training center.
- Heli-ski arena.
Make sure you bring warm winter clothes and anoraks when visiting the Black Sea. Also, bring any medication which you take regularly with you.
The most common problem encountered on Black Sea mountain tours is “mountain sickness”, as it is commonly called. When very high altitudes (2000 – 3000 meters) are climbed quickly, this sickness may occur with symptoms such as headache, nausea, dizziness, and insomnia. If you start having these kinds of symptoms, the best thing to do is stop the climb and go back. People suffering from high blood pressure and heart diseases should abstain from such trips.
FAMILY TRAVEL TIPS
The facilities in Uzungol have not really been planned with children in mind, so do not expect too much from the area. If you do want to bring your children with you, then you must ensure you have all their needs brought with you. It would also be unsuitable for children to accompany adults on the walks to the plateaus. The walks are usually very long and arduous. If you wish to come with your kids and enjoy a nice holiday in the arms of Mother Nature, then be prepared to stay mostly in Uzungol. You will need to make the best of the facilities and the area.