This is a programme of daywalks in the foothills and along ridges of the Kaçkar and Güngörmez ranges. It is designed for early to mid June, at a time when the snow still covers the main ridges, so the views towards Kaçkar are fabulous. Tiny alpine flowers have emerged from the snowmelt; snowcock and black grouse will be visible amongst the rhododendrons; we may even see bears.
The trek is suitable for reasonably fit trekkers; some experience preferred. Ascent is less than 1000m per day. On the last day we have an optional rafting excursion on the Barhal river (10-person river raft). Life-jackets, helmets, wetsuits, etc. and professional guide provided. People who can not swim or don’t want, diabetics, people with other health problems should not raft.
NB. The trek will be supported by a minibus with a local driver; anyone who doesn’t want to trek can travel by bus. The local roads are unsurfaced and the driving is sometimes bumpy and uncomfortable.
Departure Dates For 2017
18 June – 25 June
- Day1: Transfer from Erzurum Airport to Yaylalar village (5 hrs)
- Day 2-7: Day walks
- Day 8: Transfer from Yaylalar village to Erzurum Airport (5 hrs)
Accommodation and Meals
- Accommodation: 6 nights half-board pension, 1 night camp, No single supplement
- Meals: Lunches will be picnics. Trekkers are expected to carry some part of the food for lunch.
- 810 € per person.
- Minimum 6, maximum 12 trekkers. For groups under 6 people, a surcharge of 75 € pp is added to the price.
- Included: all transfers and luggage transfers, all meals and picnics, accommodation, camping, guide and cook wages and mules.
- Excluded: soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, tips and the optional rafting on the last day
Detailed Tour Programme
- Day 1: Transfer from Erzurum airport to Yusufeli. Welcome dinner and overnight in in hotel.
- Day 2: After breakfast at the hotel we drive alongside the Çoruh white water river to Tekkale, then continue on a dirt road to Bölükbaşı (40 mins). We start our walk by climbing on rough road then footpath through fir forest to a ruined chapel (Bayır Kilise) in a spectacular setting. From here we descend footpaths past a waterfall to visit Dört Kilise (10th C Georgian church and monastery in ruins) and meet with our vehicle. We drive back to Yusufeli for our dinner and overnight
- Day 3: We drive to Hacioğlu Mah via Sarıgöl (1.5 hrs). We start our walk to Uban and up a good path through forest to Sura Yaylasi (summer village in ruins). We climb steeply from the deserted yayla to Zitlop ridge and walk along the ridge to Satibe Tepe; views from the ridge top to both sides are superb. We descend through forest to meet our bus on a forest road. Drive to Barhal (20 mins). Dinner and overnight in pension.
- Day 4: We drive to Naznara bridge and start to climb through the summer villages of Naznara and Amanesket to Karagöl (black lake), surrounded by snow and creamy white rhododendrons. We have chances to see black grouses in the rhododendron bushes. We descend to Satibe camp site which is located on a ridge to put up our tents. Tonight we are camping with a scenic view of the mountains.
- Day 5: We climb to the Sabahda pass (about 3000m), well above the treeline, with spectacular views along the Bulut (Cloud) Valley towards Kaçkar. From the pass we descend through rhododendrons to a tiny village of wooden houses. We continue through forest and across streams then on good paved path past traditional stone houses until we descend to Demirdöven, and transfer to Yaylalar village for our overnight at a Pension.
- Day 6: Daywalk from Yaylalar to Modut summer village. We start directly out of our pension, walk in the forest, over a stream and we climb up the valley until we come to a pass. From here we descend steeply to Mikelis village and transfer back to Yaylalar for overnight at the same pension.
- Day 7: We drive 1 hr to Sarigöl. Raft the Barhal river to Yusufeli, stopping for lunch en route. Free afternoon and overnight in Yusufeli.
- Day 8: Transfer to airport.