Artvin is an authentic tourism place that contains various tourism values with festivals, it’s traditional architecture, historical churches, fauna and flora riches, castles and arched bridges, green plateaus, black roses, crater lakes placed at highs of mountains, natural virgin forests, mountains heights to 3900 meter arrange order by following each other, perpendicular sloped long valleys and Çoruh river divide province in two parts.
Area: 7.436 km²
Population: 212.833 (1990)
Traffic Code: 08
Districts : Ardanuç, Arhavi, Borçka, Hopa, Murgul, Şavşat, Yusufeli.
How to Get
Artvin is reachable by roadway from every where of Türkiye. Coach Station Tel : +90 (466) 5114949
Port Tel : (+90-466) 351 40 67
Where to Visit
Şavşat (Satel) Castle Castle that placed at Söğütlü Quarter, Şavşat County, is built by Bagratlı Kingdom in 9th century, it is used by Ottomans too. Today castle is abandoned but still most parts of high tower and rampart walls remain
Artvin Castle (Livane) it is tied to main rock 70 meter above the river base opposite of Artvin Bridge that on the Çoruh River. Castle built by Bagratlı Kingdom in the middle of 10th century. It takes attention with high tower.
Ardanuç (Guhernik) Castle it is placed at Ardanuç county, in Adakale area. Castle that one of the most important castles of region, premium sample with it’s interior castle and city formation surrounded by city walls. It takes attention with inscription of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman (Great Suleyman) beside the ruins dated to ancient periods.
MOSGUES, TOMBS AND PUBLIC BATHS
Sahilbey Cami ve Türbeleri , İskender Paşa Cami-Türbeleri,Ortacalar Merkez Cami, Muratlı Cami, Sugören Cami, Esenköy Cami, Kocabey Cami, Demirkent Cami, Zeytinlik Türbeleri, Artvin Şehir Hamamı en önemlileridir.
MONASTERIES AND CHURCHES
Hamamlı Curch (with public bath) at center county, Barhal Church (Altıparmak Church), İşhan Church ve Dörtkilise Monastery at Yusufeli county, Cevizli Church and Köprülü Church, Pınarlı (Porta) Monastery, Hamamlı (Dolishana) Monastery Church, İşhan Monastery Church and Chapel at Şavşat county are important ones.
Hamamlı Church (Center): It is in the Hamamlı village of Artvin province. The church 32 km. from city center was constructed by Sembat I from Baghdad between 923 and 958. It has an impressive architecture with its embroidered “sundial” which had maintained its characteristic on its door till today.
Barhal Church (Altıparmak Church, Yusufeli): It is within the Altıparmak village, which is 12 km. north west of Yusufeli district. It is used as a mosque today and still protects its historical characteristic.
İşhan Church (Yusufeli): It is 11 km. east from Yusufeli district, and in Dağyolu (İşhan) village. The mosque which was previously constructed as a church in 1008 was converted into a mosque by Ottomans in 1549. Relief illustrating the challenge of a dragon and a lion among the adornments on window borders is interesting. Church with a conical structure still preservs its original condition.
Cevizli Church (Şavşat): It is 6 km. north east of Şavşat province, in Cevizli village. It was constructed between 899 and 914 by one of the governors of Bagratlı, Aşut Kukh. Grave of Aşut Kukh is adjacent to this church. A Georgian structure, Cevizli Church’s external face was adorned with columns and relieves. There is a relief of Jesus Christ on the north windows. Ram head relieves in the church and ram head statues on its ceiling is showing that Bagrats are fond of Huns for whom ram is deemed as holy.
Köprülü Bridge (Şavşat): It is 7 km north west of Şavşat province and in Köprülü village. It is thought that this is considered as the center of the churches within the region. Only the remnants of the church constructed by Zortana,one of the rulers of Kıpçaklı has erected today.
FOUNTAINS AND BRIDGES
Çelebi Efendi Fountain it is at Orta quarter depended to Artvin Center. Building built by Çelebi Efendi whom was steward of Asma Sultan at the year of G. 1783 (H. 1197). Only some part of the building survived to present day. Fountain included to classical Ottoman buildings.
Berta Bridge is on the way to Şavşat county which county depended to Artvin Center. Building survives healthy to present time.
Ortacalar Çifte (double) Bridge bridge is at the cross section of Anlı and Küçükköy villages ways, and 25 kilometer towards the Artvin, Ortacalar County. Formed from two bridges to cross each other perpendicular. Both survived to present.
NATIONAL PARKS AND PROTECTION PLACES
Artvin – Karagöl National Park
Location: The park is situated within the borders of Savsat and Artvin provinces, and is spread over the plateaus of Karagol and Sahara.
Transportation: By road, the old Georgian town of Savsat is 45km south of Karagol, and 17km from Sahara.
Highlights: Around Karagol, the area is Paleocene or neocene. The area around Karagol is separated by valleys, with cracks causing landslides, and dense forests with spruce trees and pines. The area at the northeast of the lake, around Bagat, is good for grass-skiing.
The Sahara Plateau has a geological structure formed by the basalt cover of the region. The ground in this area breaks easily, which causes the slope to increase. The forests here have spruce and fir trees, and Scotch pines in the lower regions.
The area around the Kocabey Plateau has plant species from the Alpine zone. Around the River Resat, at an altitude of 1800m, there is a Pancar (beetroot) festival every year during which many visitors come to participate, which in turn gives a significant economic boost to the area.
In order to protect the natural beauty of the area, National Park status was granted to 3766 hectares in 1994.
Facilities: In the Karagol area, there is a lodge providing accommodation for 12 people.
Artvin – Hatila Valley National Park
Location: Hatila Valley is a branch of the River Coruh, in the province of Artvin.
Transportation: Transport to the park is via a 10km road from the centre of Artvin.
Highlights: The valley is v-shaped, narrow based, with inclination cracks which cause the waterfalls. There are parts of the valley where the slopes are almost vertical. The vegetation is rich and dense in the middle and upper regions, with over 500 species of plants, reflecting the Mediterranean characteristics.
The wide variety of fauna in the Halita valley includes bears, pigs, foxes, badgers, wild goats, sparrow hawks, eagles, jackals, vipers and trout. It has geographical characteristics quite unique to Turkey, caused by its unusual geological and geomorphologic structure that has helped to create the beautiful landscape.
Facilities: It is possible to stay in the park, either in tents, caravans, or bungalows, or use Artvin as a base for accommodation.
Artvin – Efeler Nature Reserve
Location: The park is near Camili, near the Georgian border, and 50km northeast of Borcka, in the district of Artvin in the Eastern Black Sea province.
Transportation: The park is accessible via Borcka, and Artvin which is connected by a good bus service. The nearest airport is at Kars.
Highlights: The Camili-Efeler Forest is the most untouched forest ecosystem in Turkey and Europe. There are has many species of trees including beech, fir, spruce, horn-beam, chestnut and alder, plus certain types of oak. The river basin in the area is on the migration route of birds of prey.
Artvin – Gorgit Nature Reserve
Location: The park is near Camili, near the Georgian border, and 50km from Borcka, in the district of Artvin in the Eastern Black Sea province.
Transportation: The park is accessible via Borcka, and Artvin, which is connected by a good bus service. The nearest airport is at Kars.
Highlights: The Camili-Gorgit forest has many very old and huge trees, including species of fir, spruce, beech, horn-beam and alder. The river basin in the area is on the migration route of many species of birds of prey.
Forests Maçahel, Papart, Otingo and Yalnızçam Forests, are valuable enough to visit with their rich flora formation and monumental trees..
Güngörmez Rivulet mystery about rivulet that springs from Yusufeli county Güngörmez Mountains is it starts flowing by beginning of night and stop flowing with rising of sun.
Çoruh Valley Çoruh Valley that conserves olive tree, peanut pine and other plants survive at Mediterranean climate, is a place to be seen by it’s interesting geologic and geomorphologic structure.
Cehennem Rivulet Canyon Cehennem Rivulet Canyon that is one of the special canyons of Türkiye, takes attention by it’s interesting nature.
Meydancık (İmerhev) county is valuable for seeing by its original wooden construction buildings.
Artvin is one of the regions that conserves plateau culture means of its geography.
Yusufeli-Kaçkar Tourist Center- Highland Village
Transportation: This highland village is located 53 km west of Yusufeli. There is transportation provided by commercial vehicles on the 20 km. gravel road between Yusufeli and Sarıgöl. To make the trip down the 33 km dirt road from Sarıgöl to the village, you will need to rent a car. The campsite at Dilberdüzü can only be reached by a 10 km hike down a narrow path.
Description: Situated at 3200 m. the village has basic services such as a fountain, electricity and a health clinic as well as a small market, teahouse, restaurant, bakery and a butcher.
Yaylalar Village is a central stopping point for climbers going to Kaçkar Mountain. Provisions for the climb and pack animals to carry them may be rented here. The nearest campsite to Mt. Kaçkar is Dilberdüzü (3328 m.). There are no facilities at Dilberdüzü but the water is plentiful and ice-cold. It is dangerous to go beyond Dilberdüzü without a guide. Wildlife that can be seen in the area include lynx, bear, mountain goat, wolf, jackal and fox.
On the way to Yaylalar, in the village of Altıparmak is the Church of Altıparmak (Borhal), which is open to the public. There are also silk rugs woven in the village which can be bought.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: One can stay in Sarıgöl, where there are a number of bed and breakfast places as well as other services such as a post office, toilets and electricity. The village also has a small market, teahouse, bakery, restaurant and a butcher.
Kafkasör Tourist Center (Kafkasör Highland)
Transportation: Access to the village found 10 km southwest of Artvin is via a 10 km dirt road.
Description: The 1250 m. high village is gorgeous place well-worth visiting. Its infrastructure is completed and the municipal government has 10 bungalows with a 80 bed capacity. Every year in the last week of June there is a very festive 3-day bull-fighting competition, which is very popular with the locals. Three healing springs, Cıskaro, Yalnızhasan and Acısu are found in the area.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: If arrangements are made beforehand, it is possible to stay in the bungalows. Basic necessities should be brought in, however, though during the bull-fighting competition there are lots of stands selling food and drink.
Transportation: Turn east onto a dirt road at the 27 km mark on the Borçka-Camili road, the first 7 km of which are asphalt. The village can be reached by following this road for 20 km.
Description: In the forest around the lake is an abundance of wildlife including lynx, bear, curly horned mountain goats, hazel grouse and birds of prey. There is also trout fishing in the lake. The infrastructure is not complete but there are toilets, picnic tables, a fountain and a Forest Service guest house here.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Bring your camping gear and other basic supplies.
Transportation: The 8-10 hectare Lake Karagöl is northeast of Şavşat and can be reached via a 30 km dirt road. You will need to have your own car to get there.
Description: There is electricity, a fountain, toilets and a building used by Forest Service personnel. There is an abundance of wildlife in the area.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Bring your camping gear and other basic supplies.
Transportation: You can reach this highland by taking a dirt road east from Ardanuç for 51 km.
Description: With no basic services other than a road and water, this mountain village has a bazaar every Saturday. In the bazaar they sell food and other basic supplies as well as animals in an auction. The whole event resembles a country fair.
Accommodation – Food and Drink: Bring your camping gear and other basic supplies. You can buy food stuffs here on Saturday and Sunday.
Eastern Black Sea Mountains
City: Trabzon, Gümüşhane, Bayburt, Rize, Erzurum, Artvin
Provinces: There are 32 provinces within important bird areas
Surface Area : 1.230.000
Altitude : 0 – 3932 m
Bird Species: It gains important bird areas status with sakallı akbaba (20 pairs), kızıl akbaba (20 pairs), kara akbaba (10 pairs), kaya kartalı (10 pairs), huş tavuğu (all Turkey population is within these important bird areas) and ürkeklik populations. These important bird areas including seven regions had been investigated during a research performed on 1993, and a total of 134 mature male huş tavuğu had been determined within six of them. When narrowness of the researched area and wideness of appropriate life environments are considered, it can be deemed that total number of huş tavuğu population within important bird areas exceeds 1000 pairs. But, discover of various important new immigration valley recently is showing that these numbers can be much more than deemed. Due to representation of Eurasia High Mountainous (Alpine) biomes within turkey by Eastern Black Sea Mountains, it is the only area which gained important bird areas status.
Main Characteristics: Forest, mountain, immigration pass
Rafting existence of best course for stream sports on Çoruh River that divide region two parts by flowing south to north, after Zambezi and Biobio Rivers, makes province attractive for streaming water sports. Moreover there are ideal courses for water sports on Barhal Rivulet that spring from Kaçkar Mountains and important subdivision of Çoruh River. Rafting, katamaran and canoe sports can make between june – October months at Çoruh River and Barhal Rivulet. Moreover 4th world streaming sports champion ship made on Çoruh River at 1993.
The River Coruh cuts through the mountainous region of Artvin and reaches the Black Sea. Beginning at the Mescit Mountains (3225m), it flows for 466 km before reaching the Black Sea in Georgia, and is one of the fastest flowing rivers in the world. Every year, local and foreign watersports enthusiasts travel to the area for canoeing, rafting and trekking in the Kackar Mountains. The small towns and villages located along the river are historically interesting, and the whole area represents the combination of Eastern Anatolian and Black Sea cultures.
The best way to reach the summit at Kackar Mountains is via the village of Yaylalar, from where local guides and mules can be hired to carry personal belongings. The natural habitat of Coruh River remains undisturbed, and colonies of red vultures, which are threatened with extinction, live among the rocks by the riverside. The area surrounding the river is rich in wildlife, including grey bear, mountain goat with hooked horns, wild boar, wolf, jackal, fox, badger, water sable, rabbit, partridge, wild rooster, woodcock, wild duck, stock dove and golden oriole.
A trip down the River Coruh starts at Bayburt, passing through Ispir and Yusufeli and onwards to Artvin, a distance of approximately 260km in four different sections.
Bayburt – Ispir (0-106 km): The Dikmetas Bridge near Bayburt is an ideal starting point for this expedition, and has good areas for camping on either side of the river. Aslandede and Laleli are the pleasant campsites for the second camp.
With a class 2-3 water, the trip from Bayburt to Ispir can be completed within three days on average. Approximately 3 km before arriving at Ispir, the left bank has a good place for camping. The nearby gas station and the shops in Ispir are useful for stocking up on supplies.
Ispir – Camlikaya (106-134 km): After leaving Ispir by road, there are rapids at 3km, 6.6km, 7.4km, and 8km. The small hut on the left side of the road before the Camlikaya junction 28km, makes a good rest stop. Drinking water can be obtained either from the brook flowing from the mountains, 200m ahead on the left side of the road, or from the spring to the right of the transformer station past the concrete bridge at the Camlikaya road junction. Food can be bought can be bought from Camlikaya (4km from the junction). The Ispir-Camlikaya route is class 3-4-5 water.
Camlikaya – Tekkale (134-178 km): After Camlikaya, the river banks are full of rice plantations, vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. The river passes Koprugoren at 48km, approaching the hamlet of Alanbasi at 54km. Camping is possible next to the brook that joins the Coruh on the left bank immediately before the village.
Past the concrete bridge, the river becomes rockier, with class 3-4-5 water. An old watchtower is visible before arriving at Cevreli. The garden in front of the village primary school, to the right immediately after the concrete bridge, makes a good campsite. There are also places to overnight in Tekkale, 7 km ahead. From Tekkale, local guides can take you up the mountains to see the historic Dortkilise, a medieval Georgian church. Fishermen will enjoy angling for speckled trout (alabalik) in the brook flowing nearby the church.
Tekkale – Artvin (178-261 km): From Tekkale, the expedition proceeds to Yusufeli, 6km away, which has accommodation and simple cafes. The Altiparmak (Barhal), one of the major branches of the Coruh, joins the river close to Yusufeli. As the flow-rate of the river picks up speed, the route becomes increasingly challenging, with class 3-4-5 water.
Oltu Cayi joins the river 9km after Yusufeli, near the Artvin-Erzurum highway junction, behind a concrete bridge. The rapids begin 22 km from Yusufeli.
This 100m stretch of white water, nicknamed King Kong, cascades around sharp boulders with breathtaking velocity, making it the high point of the expedition. The water is dangerous here, class 5+ water, so those with less experience should not plan to cross this section when the river is high. A large concrete sign inscribed with the letters EIE to the left of the highway identifies this section of the Coruh.
There is a good place to camp 33 km before Zeytincik, stopping to pick up any necessary provisions in the village. At 43 km, the river enters a narrow 3 km long canyon, class 3-4. The gas station and inn at Oruclu, at 57 km, provides a convenient finishing point for the trip. Boats can be pulled on shore here, and there are a few basic rooms and a cafe. Artvin is 20 km further on from Oruclu, with mostly class 1-2 water. Some groups prefer to extend the route right through to Artvin.
ARTVİN ALTIPARMAK(BARHAL) RIVER
The River Altiparmak (Barhal), located in the province of Artvin, emerges from the southern side of the Kackar Mountains and runs about 40 km to join the Coruh river 2 km south of Yusufeli.
The Altiparmak flows through a strikingly beautiful valley enveloped by high mountains.Recommended for canoeing and rafting, the river has a rich selection of flora and fauna, and a high flow-rate year round because of the run-off of melting snow.
The basin of the Altiparmak can be reached by Yusufeli via Artvin or Erzurum. Ogdem Creek joins the Altiparmak 6 km from Yusufeli, and the town of Sarigol is 19 km from Yusufeli and accessible by a stabilised gravel road.
The area of Deftise, situated about 1.5 km beyond Sarigol, is distinguished by wooden two-story houses built in traditional Black Sea style. Edged by dense green forests, these picturesque houses and the misty summit of the Kackar Mountains create a very beautiful panorama. The village of Altiparmak (Barhal) is accessible from Sarigol via a narrow, 12km long road, and the people here are very hospitable and friendly, with accommodation available in simple guest-houses. This village serves as one of the main campsites on the climb up Kackar Mountain. A stabilised road leads to Yaylalar, 24 km beyond Altiparmak, and west is the Artvin Kackar Tourism Centre.
The pretty hamlet of Deftise, north of Sarigol, provides the best starting point for canoe and raft expeditions down the Altiparmak, which runs approximately 22 km from this point to the junction with the Coruh, with class 3-4 waters. The riverbed is rocky, and special care needs to be taken when the river flow rate is low.
Three km from Sarigol, the ruins of citadel of Bahceli lie to the right of the creek before reaching Yusufeli, after crossing the concrete bridge near the junction of Ogdem creek and the Altiparmak. The run may be completed either at Yusufeli or 2 km ahead, before the Altiparmak flows into the River Coruh River.
The best months to plan a canoe or raft trip on the Altiparmak is between May and August.
Tracking and Nature Walking there are the most suitable courses for nature tracking of Türkiye at Kaçkarlar that highest mountain series of east black sea. Mountaineering groups and mountaineers whom come to region, complete Trans – Kaçkar tracking by walking trough Yusufeli Yaylalar Village to Rize – Çamlıhemşin Ayder Plateau. Moreover thare are suitable tracing courses at other mountains of regions Altıparmak Mountains.
Hunting places Province that most of the areas cover mountainous and broken places, has suitable places for hunting. Especially mountain Goth, bear, wolf, fox and naruel touth are important game animals of region.
Artvin that placed in the east Black Sea Region, has rainy Black Sea Climate.
Historical background of Artvin is traced to years of. 3000 BC, it means that related to Bronze Age. Hurri’s, Urartu, Persians, Romans, Byzantine, Georgians and Armenians lived at Artvin. Than Artvin live Seljuklian, Saltuk, İlhanlı, Timur, Akkoyunlu, Safevi and Ottoman periods. It changed to a county of Rize at the year of 1923, than changed to province again and named Çoruh at the year of 1936. Its name changed Artvin to at the year of1956.
Where to Eat
Artvin Kitchen that rich by the means of local meals has vegetable meals consist of mountain beet which cultivated naturally at mounts and gardens, kuşekmeği, kazayağı, gımı, kavurma, purslane, mallow. Nepürşen that made with drying fresh vine leafs and Puçuko that made mixutre of meat, sour and dryad fresh bean are local meals original to region. Some of the examples for pastry are katmer (flaky pastry), erişte (kind of macaroni), hıngal, çergabaz, bişi, lokum (delight) and kinds of pastries. Main cookies of province are hasuta, kaysefe, zurbiyet honey, delight.
What to Buy
Don’t return back before buying; hand art made with woodwork, items knitted with branch covers and tendril, clay pots and pans, copper – plated products and rugs.
Don’t Leave Without
– Traveling Borçka Karagöller lakes and Camili Region
– Rafting at Çoruh, tracking at Kaçkar mountains,
– Watching bullfight at Kafkas plateau,
– Eating Puçuko,
Registered Immobile Cultural and Natural Heritages in Artvin
Archeological Sites: 197
Urban Sites: 6
Natural Sites: 42
Historical Sites: –
Cultural (at Single Construction Scale) and Natural
Provincial Cultural Directorate
Tel: (466) 212 25 07
Fax: (466) 212 16 43
Governorship : (+90-466) 212 11 17
Municipality : (+90-466) 312 29 53
Hospital : (+90-466) 212 34 23 – 212 35 75
Police : (+90-466) 312 49 52
Gendarme : (+90-466) 611 25 01
Provincial Directorate : (+90-466) 212 34 23 – 212 35 75
Tourism Information Office : (+90-466) 212 30 71
Provincial Culture Directorate : (+90-466) 212 25 07
Artvin Governorship http://www.artvin.gov.tr/