14 Days Kackar Mountains
Overview / Services
THE PONTIC MOUNTAINS STRETCH PARALLEL TO THE BLACK SEA COAST OF ZURICH. THE EASTERN PART OF THE MOUNTAINS, THE WILD KACKAR MASSIF, IS PARTICULARLY BEAUTIFUL IN TERMS OF LANDSCAPE, WITH GLACIERS AND NUMEROUS CIRQUE LAKES. UP TO AN ALTITUDE OF 1,800 M, THE MOUNTAINS ARE COVERED BY DENSE DECIDUOUS AND CONIFEROUS FORESTS; THE NORDMANN FIR, POPULAR AS A CHRISTMAS TREE, COMES FROM HERE.
WHITE BLOOMING RHODODENDRONS SHINE ON OTHER AREAS. THE HIGH ALPINE PASTURES ARE FULL OF FLOWERS, YELLOW CROCUSES AND THE BEAUTIFUL, ALSO YELLOW BLOOMING PONTIC TURK'S CAP LILY GROW ON THE ALPINE MEADOWS. HERE, A MODEST ALPINE PASTURE IS RUN WITH SHEEP AND CATTLE AS WELL AS BEEKEEPING. IN THE FOREST AREAS, HARMLESS BEARS AND WOLVES LIVE ON THE HIGH PASTURES OF THE CAUCASUS CHAMOIS, CASPIAN KING GROUSE, BLACK GROUSE AND BEARDED VULTURE. FOR SEVERAL YEARS, THIS GRANDIOSE MOUNTAIN FOREST HAS BEEN GAINING MORE AND MORE IMPORTANCE IN INTERNATIONAL MOUNTAIN TOURISM IN SUMMER. THE GOAL OF OUR TREKKING TOUR IS THE ALMOST 4000 M HIGH PEAK OF KACKAR, ONE OF THE HIGHEST MOUNTAINS IN TURKEY AND THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE BLACK SEA REGION.
These are trekking trips with hikes in easy terrain with occasionally more demanding sections of the path. On the daily stages, a maximum of 1,200 vertical meters are covered in up to 6 hours. Conditional preparation should take place with at least twice a week training.
Group size: 6-14 people
Travel time: 14 days
Overnight stay in tents: 2 nights
Hotel accommodation: 11 nights
All transfers, overland and sightseeing trips according to the program
All entrance fees/tickets according to the program
Accommodation according to the program in a ½ double room Erzurum in a 3* hotel incl. breakfast, 4x nights in Hotel Trabzon (middle class), 5 nights in Pension Yaylalar or Olgunlar, 2x nights in a tent provided)
Meals: full board, packed lunch on the hiking days
Equipment on the mountain: provided tents including dining tent and toilet tent, foam mat (approx. 4 cm thick)
Accompanying team and luggage transport for mountain tours
Load transport of equipment to Camp Dilberdüzü by mules (max. 15 kg per person)
Licensed local English-German speaking Turkish mountain guide German-speaking tour guide from TAF TRAVEL (from at least 10 participants)
NOT INCLUDED IN THE SERVICES:
All Flights (we would be happy to help you book your flight).
missing meals and drinks
individual visits and excursions
Single room surcharge 25 euros/day (incl. single tent on the mountain)
Extension in Istanbul or bathing extension in Turkish Riviera or Aegean Sea
Extension in Istanbul: Price per night and per person: approx. 90 euros in a single room or approx. 55 euros in a double room (including breakfast) Transfer costs from/to the airport: 135 euros (per vehicle) German-speaking city guide incl Transfers (plus entrance fees) from 2 people from 165 euros
DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN ERZURUM AND WELCOME DINNER (OPTIONAL TO ISTANBUL)
Arrival in Erzurum with arrival approx. 5 pm. Mostly flight in the morning from Germany with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul (a few hours stay at the airport and possibility to exchange money).
At the airport you will be met and taken to your accommodation. In the evening you will get to know the other participants at the welcome dinner. Overnight at the hotel.
Option Istanbul (extra charge): However, if you prefer to spend a lively afternoon in the capital Istanbul, you can make a stopover in the metropolis. You will be met at the airport and taken to your accommodation in the old town district of Sultanahmet. Depending on your arrival time, you will then have the opportunity to explore the city individually (without a guide). The Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia are just a few steps from the hotel. Or simply immerse yourself in the nocturnal hustle and bustle of this city between Occident and Orient, the melting pot of cultures, and enjoy the great atmosphere. The next morning (approx. 4:00 a.m.) the transfer from the hotel to the airport with subsequent onward flight to Van in Eastern Anatolia takes place. Note: Dinner is not included in this variant!
DAY 2: DRIVE TO THE KACKAR MOUNTAINS
Drive north from Erzurum by minibus to the narrow gorge of Tortum. Through a wild landscape you reach the lake of the same name Tortum after about 2 hours drive. (Lunch at Tortum Waterfall) Through the narrow Choroch Gorge you drive on narrow mountain roads to the mountain village of Yaylalar, which is located on the southern slope of the Kackarmassiv. This is the starting point for some of our tours. Overnight stay in tents or a guesthouse
DAY 3: HIKE YAYLALAR
You will take a hike to acclimatize over wonderfully colorful flower meadows, hills and the Bodot Pass (about 2,700m) around the village of Yaylalar. Hiking time 7 - 8 hours. Overnight stay in a guesthouse
DAY 4: FURTHER HIKE YAYLALAR – MODUT, NABADERE AND MIKELIS
Our location in the village of Yaylalar is perfect as it is located at the intersection of 4 different deeply intersected valleys. Today's hike is not so steep and leads first through a wooded route and beautiful colorful mountain meadows to the east, to the alpine village of Modut. Here we turn south and climb a little higher into the valley up to the tree line to the alpine village of Nabadere. Here we take our lunch break in the middle of a flower meadow with a magnificent view. Way back only downhill to the mountain village of Mikelis and down to the road where we are picked up by the bus. Walking time approx. 6-7 h, about 700 meters of altitude difference have to be overcome. Overnight stay in Yaylalar Pension
DAY 5: FROM YAYLALAR TO OLGUNLAR VIA THE DIBE VALLEY
Today's hike leads north through a beautiful valley towards Bulut Dagi (Cloudy Mountain) and over a ridge down to the Dibe Valley and finally to Olgunlar. The trail first leads up to the village of Karamolla, where many families spend their summer holidays. Often there is a conversation with locals – maybe even over tea. Then it goes through colorful flower meadows almost flat to the alpine village Körahmet and then to the Satelef Yaylasi. ("Yayla" means "Alm"). Now in almost pathless terrain up to a ridge (about 400 m ascent) and then over wide, treeless slopes down into the Dibetal and on a good way to Olgunlar.
Overnight stay in Olgunlar Pension or Yaylalar (depending on availability) / walking time approx. 8-9 h, there are approx. 700 metres of altitude difference to overcome
DAY 6: ASCENT TO DILBERDÜZÜ BASE CAMP
In Olgunlar we cross the stream. Through colorful alpine meadows it goes past small summer alps first relatively flat, then slowly rising to the west. There are some streams to cross, which carry more water at this time of year. The last hour the terrain gets steeper, but the path is good. After about 4-5 hours we reach the 2700m high Camp Dilberdüzü. The main baggage is carried by beasts of burden. Here we set up the tents on a large meadow near a stream. Here we are far from any civilization and could see a Ma-jestätic starry sky in the evening. All around are steep rocks. The summit of Kaçkar is not yet visible, but the anticipation is rising. Overnight tent
DAY 7: ASCENT OF MT. KAÇKAR – 3,937 M
Early the ascent to Mt. Kaçkar peak starts at 3,937m. The path leads past the glacier lake Deniz Golü and over numerous snow and scree fields to the summit. In good weather, there is a fascinating view over the surrounding mountains from the summit. With good visibility, you can see Ararat, Turkey's highest mountain, and snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus. In the north you have a view to the Black Sea, but often there is only a huge field of clouds. Descent back to Camp Dilberdüzü, where the chef prepares a delicious dinner and is over-spent again. Overnight stay tent / walking time approx. 8 h, approx. 1,200 metres of altitude difference have to be overcome
DAY 8: RETURN TO YAYLALAR OR OYGUNLAR TO THE GUESTHOUSE
After a leisurely breakfast and dismantling of the tents, the descent over colorful alpine meadows back to Yaylalar, about 4 hours, to a pension. In the afternoon free time for easy relaxation or small walks around the village or to the tea house. The main baggage is carried by pack animals during the descent. Overnight stay in the pension
DAY 9: CROSSING THE MAIN CHAIN OF THE KAÇKAR MOUNTAINS
The main luggage is loaded into the bus today and the driver has to drive alone a very long bo-gen to the next guesthouse on the north side of the mountain range. But he has enough time while the group marches off with day luggage in Oygunlar and first climbs up into the Dibetal and then to the Naletleme Pass at an altitude of 3,185m. From there it finally goes over into the valley of Yukari Kavron and thus to the north side of the Kaçkar Mountains through green deciduous and coniferous forests, down to Ayder at 1,370m altitude. The landscape is characterized by different colored rhododendron bushes, flowers and lakes. Overnight stay in pension in Ayder / walking time approx. 9-11 h / approx. 1,300 metres in altitude up and 1,800m down
DAY 10: RECREATION AND ONWARD TRAVEL TO THE BLACK SEA COAST
In the morning, relax in the hot springs of Ayder. In the afternoon, continue to the coast of the Black Sea. Overnight at the hotel in Trabzon
DAY 11: CULTURAL HIGHLIGHTS: SÜMELA MONASTERY AND TRABZON
Less than an hour's bus ride from Trabzon to visit the 4th century AD Sümela Monastery, a former Greek Orthodox monastery from Byzantine times. This monastery is glued like a swallow's nest on a steep mountain slope, which of course has to be climbed on foot (1/2 h). After returning to Trabzon, we will visit the former monastery church hagia Sophia, which now serves as a mosque for Friday prayers. Overnight at the hotel in Trabzon
DAY 12: TRABZON ON THE BLACK SEA
Trabzon and its surroundings are a very fertile area and famous for excellent tea, honey and hazelnuts. We visit – when open – a tea factory. Overnight stay at the hotel
DAY 13: RESERVE DAY
The tour may have been postponed by one day if a reserve day was needed to climb the summit. If this is not the case, this day remains for shopping and leisure through the bazaar of Trabzon. A visit to the beach on the Black Sea is also recommended. Since the mountains are relatively close to the sea and Trabzon was built on mountain slopes, the beach strip is relatively narrow. Overnight stay at the hotel
DAY 14: RETURN FLIGHT HOME OR START TO THE FOLLOW-UP PROGRAM
After the experiences in a now somewhat familiar region in Asia, it goes back home. Transfer to the airport in Trabzon and flight home via Istanbul, Ankara. If you want, you can also attach an extension program (we are happy to hire you Desired program together).