RİZE


Rize is a natural harbour in the north eastern Anatolia, where the blue sky, Black Sea and foggy peaks hug each other.

Brief History: The very name ‘Rize’ is known, throughout Turkey, for high quality tea production. Home to many former empires, the ancient Greeks, Byzantine and the Seljuk Turks, each contributing to Rize’s rich culture in food, textiles and language.

Rize is in the Northeast Anatolia circled by Trabzon (41 miles [66 km] west), in the west, Bayburt and Erzurum in the South, Artvin (55 miles [88 km] in the East ,on the Georgian border, and Black Sea in the North. The nearest airports are in Trabzon (41 miles [66 km] west) and in Batumi (60 miles [100 km] east).

The city is built around a small bay on the Black Sea coast, on a narrow strip of flat land between the sea and the mountains behind. The coastal strip is being expanded with landfill and the city stretches up the steep hillsides away from the coast. Rize enjoys a mild, extremely wet climate, vulnerable to storms coming off the Black Sea, and so the surrounding countryside is rich with vegetation and is attracting more and more visitors every year.

The most significant factor producing the fame of the province in alternative tourism is the daily life of people sheltered by all of its natural beauties. Dense forests, cloudy mountains, flushed streams, very green plateaus, tea fields and thermal sources transforms into a temperate, sub-tropical area, an authentic open air museum together with the local life which is dressed in different colors every season.

In Rize, nature means human life!

The steep geographical structure, the foliage that stays very green every season with the help of non-stopping rainfalls throughout the year and nature-friendly local industry has made the region the natural capital of many alternative sports such as trekking mountain climbing, canoing, rafting and paragliding and jeep safari. You can see the details in the section of “Enjoy Your Time”.

Geographic Features: The Rize Province is separated from inland Turkey by the Kaçkar Mountains, creating a micro climate that gives moderate winters and humid summers resulting in lush green plants, including tea.

The Alpine fauna and flora found here have not yet been affected by pollution; another advantage for the tourists, the trekkers, and mountaineers to take time to taste local honey, of which >‘Anzer’ honey is particularly famous for its medicinal qualities.

Turning inland after >Ardesen following the road going east from Rize, you come to the beautiful town of >Çamlıhemşin straddling a rushing stream. Nearby is the >Fırtına Vadisi (Valley of Storms) – ideal for canoeing, and the beautiful >Zil Castle, and an old Stone bridge.

After walking around >Ayder’s Rolling meadows, you can relax in one of the many hot springs. The whole of the Kaçkar range constitutes the beautiful >Kaçkar Dağları National Park. For those who like mountain climbing and trekking, this is the best starting point for scaling the Kaçkar Mountains which summit at 3937 metres, with the glacier lakes of Buz and Moren found at an altitude of 2400 – 3000 meters are very suitable for fishermen. This emerald range is one of the best and the most challenging for climbers in Turkey.

With its dense forests covering Kaçkar Mountains attracting high rainfalls, valleys split by a widespread net of rivers and alpine glaciers reaching at peaks, it is the well-liked holiday area for people who discover new things all the time.

People say there is no time here!

Ziraat Botanical Tea Garden: Only 2 km away from Rize, where you can walk and drink Rize's famous tea and sample local desserts. You can see many tones of green there, breath the clean air and have the best tea in the world. By the way, the view of city of Rize and the Black Sea will accompany to you.     

Rize Castle: The castle is the last of a chain of Bozuk Castle, Ciha Castle, Pazar Maiden’s Castle and Varoş Castle (Kale-I Bala=Upper Castle), Zil Castle.  Due to the geographical structure of Rize, it is not difficult to find a place to see the beautiful view of Rize. So the Castle is one of these places, which also serves delicious food with (of course) tea!    

Zil Castle: The castle which is considered to be constructed at the end of the middle age is in Camlihemsin district, at the western side of Fırtına Stream. It is constructed on a rock with an altitude of approximately 100 meters above the water course. Its walls are 1,5-2 meters in thickness. The tower of the castle, which is one of the most interesting historical buildings of the region, is four floored.

Economy: The economic structure of Rize is based mainly around its geographical structure, a very mountainous city, making industrial development difficult and impractical. Given the lack of air and rail transports, most goods have to travel by truck or ship, which makes exporting and importing more difficult. Rize's main exports are agriculturally based; tea and kiwi fruit are among its most popular commodities.

Rize is a center for processing and shipping the tea grown in the surrounding area. Tea was introduced into the region in the 1940s and 1950s, changing the region's destiny, which was desperately poor up until then. A tea research institute was founded in 1958, and the closeby tea gardens are the main sight in the town's panoramic view. Tea and kiwifruit plants are even planted in gardens around the town, with fishing as a secondary activity.

Rize, the capital of tea.

Food: Although there are many varieties of dishes found locally, cabbage and hamsi (Anchovy) are particular specialities of this region and the principle ingredients of many famous dishes e.g. ‘Misir Ekmegi’ or cornbread with anchovy, and ‘Muhlama’ a dish made with butter, corn and a special cheese. >Evvel Zaman,  is one of the best places to try these dishes.

Textile: Many handicrafts are still to be found and it is possible to see local women herding their cattle & knitting socks at the same time, particularly in the Hemsin District. The ‘Feretiko’ a famous local cloth, in vibrant reds and blacks, the wicker work products  such as tea baskets, wooden spoons & boxes, stools, sailing  boots and for the adventurous, try a ‘Kemence,’ a local small 3 stringed violins. All traditional souvenirs demonstrating Rize’s uniqueness.

Hand-woven Linen of Rize (Rize Bezi): Local women wear an inner dressing named “foga” or a skirt blouse combination. Also, Rize consists of several workshops processing the raw material brought from other provinces.

Shopping: In addition to familiar chain stores, Rize has plenty of individual and specialised shops and boutiques. There are also attractive shopping environments and malls just an hour’s ride from Rize.

Transportation: Much of Rize can be accessed on foot or by shuttle bus (Dolmuş), which routes from east side of the city to the west side with a very cheap price.

Local Architecture: The region of Rize has an architecture composed by its natural environment and life style. The plans of the traditional houses are determined by the socio-economic and cultural situation of the family living inside.
Here are some examples:
The house of Tuzcuoğulları, which dates back to 18th century and which is one of the oldest houses of Rize.
Mehmet Mataracı Mansion restored in 2005 (Rize Atatürk’s House) is now an Atatürk Museum that displays his belongings as well as ethnographical artifacts from the region.

Rize Museum: In the centre, the “yellow house” a sample of the 19th Century civil architecture. There is a café and a restaurant here. Besides archeological and ethnographic monuments, official seals, coins and handwritings are being exhibited.

Black Sea “Nayla”s
The Naylas which are unique to Black Sea house, are wooden granaries built upon to poles in order to protect, dry and stock the foods (especially corn, pulses, potatoes, oil, cheese, winter pear, laz apple, slim date and medlar)

Neighboring Cities: If you decide to study at our university, you will have the opportunity of visiting Batumi, only 2 hours away from Rize. As a seaside city on the Black Sea coast, Batumi is the capital city of the Autonomous Republic of Ajara in the country of Georgia. Its coastal location and sub-tropical climate make it a popular city for vacationers across the Caucasus. Apart from its extraordinary buildings, the party capital of the region with a night life to match which increasingly includes big name international DJs on the beach-front clubs. Expect to party on the beaches with Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Turks and, of course, Georgians. Daily buses also operate between Batumi and TrabzonTurkey, with stops in Rize and the border crossing at Sarpi. Make sure you meet all visa requirements before crossing the border into Georgia.

Do in Batumi

Walk along the 'Bulvar' and watch the beach. During the daytime families and youngsters play, but during nighttime it is the favourite place for party-goers. There are a number of restaurants and bars both on the beach and a little inland. The area is safe.

Trabzon

A major trade centre since times immemorial, and visited by Marco Polo among many others, Trabzon is today one of the major cities of Turkey's northeastern coast.

Aya Sofya Museum: A beautiful and picturesque church converted into a mosque and later into a museum that still has stunning frescoes within—just like its namesake in Istanbul. There is a peaceful open-air tea garden on the grounds. You can reach here by any Dolmuş marked 'Aya Sofya', which departs from the north side of Atatürk Alani square. The ride takes 5-10 minutes, and costs about 1,5 TL. This should be one of your essential sights while in Trabzon.

Uzungöl: A lake up in the mountains 99 km from Trabzon, it is surrounded by forests. Uzungöl has an interesting view with the village houses around it. And there are some other small lakes on the mountains which are 15-20 km. from Uzungol. The lake is also surrounded by convenient tracks for hiking. There are some facilities such as bungalows and some establishments which breed trout. Tourism agencies organize daily tours for the day in the summer.

Sümela Monastery

Today, the monastery's primary function is as a tourist attraction. It overlooks forests and streams, making it extremely popular for its aesthetic attraction as well as for its cultural and religious significance.