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Fırtına Valley, a favorite of mountain and plateau tourism

The Fırtına Valley, which leans its back on the Kaçkar Mountains, has come to the fore with mountain and plateau tourism in recent years. With its foggy plateaus, small glacial lakes scattered over the mountains like jewels, historical mansions, stone arch bridges and lush nature, a different summer holiday awaits those who dream …

Fırtına Valley reflects the thousand and one colors of nature. In the Kaçkar Mountains, which was declared a national park in 1994, most of the national park area remains within the borders of Çamlıhemşin. It is also one of the 100 priority regions in the world for protection. Many rare plant and butterfly species in this special geography are endemic to the Kaçkars alone. These valleys and mountains host a total of 537 woody plants, 136 birds, 30 mammals, 21 reptiles and 116 endemic plant species. The region between the Fırtına Creek in the west of the Kaçkar Mountains and the Hemşin Creek to the east also has an extremely rich flora. The fauna of the region is equally rich. The valley is the home of many animals such as brown bear, wild boar, hook-horned mountain goat, wild goat, wolf, fox, jackal, wild cat, lynx, roe deer and badger.


You reach Fırtına Valley, which is within the borders of Çamlıhemşin, by a two-hour road trip from Trabzon. Upwards from the district center, the magnificent plateaus of the region begin to line up one by one. Hiking and camping lovers await beautiful routes here. In particular, Palovit, which is considered the heart of the Fırtına Valley, fascinates people with its natural old forests and plateaus that continue to keep the traditional architecture alive with its century-old wooden mansions. Those who want to explore the Firtina Valley on foot, not by vehicle, must take the road with a guide and be well-informed against adverse weather conditions. While visiting the valley and mountains, you should definitely take a camera or a camera with you. You will want to photograph the fascinating beauty of this geography and record the countless surprising surprises that the flora and fauna bring to you. Ayder was the first plateau to make the valley known in tourism. Ayder, which has become a tourism center with its healing hot springs, has unfortunately lost its originality to some extent with its increasing number of accommodation facilities in recent years. Kavrun Plateau, which comes after Ayder, also takes its share from this rapid construction. When you turn left before reaching the valley where Kavrun is located, the road opens to another valley where there are plateaus such as Çeymakçur, Paakçur, Huser and Avusor. This is a route preferred by those who want to see the general view of the Kaçkars. One of the routes that managed to preserve the natural beauty of the Firtina Valley the most is the beautiful Palovit Valley, which covers the Sal-Pokut-Hazindağ-Samistal plateaus. These plateaus stand out the most with the magnificence of their historical mansions. From the beginning of the 19th century, the Hamshens, who went abroad to Russia and Europe and gained experience in bakery products, built these large mansion-type houses in their hometowns with the money they earned. While Sal and Pokut were once the densest inhabited highlands in the region, they have become desolate in recent years. Today, especially local tourists show great interest in these two plateaus. Not only in the plateaus of Palovit, but in the plateaus in many regions of Firtina, the houses are now used mostly as summer houses. In the summer months, Hamshens from all over the country open their houses and spend their holidays here for a few months. Friends, relatives, neighbors and travelers meet; While the horons are kicked out in overalls, the children make new friendships; old people meet the energy of youth and become happy.


Glacial lakes are another beauty that enlivens nature at the height of the forest cover that adorns the Fırtına Valley. There are many glacial lakes in the region. The shores of the lakes with turquoise blue waters are the most preferred accommodation places for hikers. It takes 3-4 hours to reach the lakes on foot. First of all, Kavrun plateau, which is the exit point from Kaçkar from the north, and from here to the glacial lake called “Gelgelan” above Kavrun, can also be reached by Olgunlar. Çeymakçur and Avusor plateaus can be seen after a 45-minute walk following a 1-hour drive from Ayder. You can go to the lakes on the Verçenik side with 1-2 hour walks from this plateau.


It is impossible not to talk about the beauties of Fırtına and to mention the stone bridges. Hala, Mikrun and Çuklanut bridges on Hala Creek on the Ayder side; Most of the small stone bridges in Tilmisivat, Orenkit, Ham Bridge, Makrevis, Ortan, Kale, Çinçiva, Çilanç (Çat) bridges and Apevanak and Kale plateaus along the Fırtına Stream were built using chipped stone technique without using any mortar. Some bridges that have been restored by the highways have lost these features of course; but there are still those that keep their originality.


There are many accommodation places in Fırtına Valley and Ayder in Çamlıhemşin. Boarding house management is also developing in the plateaus. You can stop by Ekodanitap Naturel Life before you reach Çamlıhemşin district center. In the place where you stay in the bungalows, you have the opportunity to have a meal accompanied by a large garden and stream view. In the district center, you can stay in the mini hotel named Moyy. Moyy is an extremely modest hotel that takes its name from the mountain strawberry and is in Çamlıhemşin standards and also serves with its café at the bottom. Hotels such as Doğa Hotel at the foot of Ortan village in Fırtına Valley, Fırtına Pension in Çinçiva village, Mola in Pokut Plateau, Koçira in Kito plateau, Cancık in Çat village, Ufuk Pension in Amlakit plateau, Kalegon, Bukla Oberj, Kardelen, Liligum in Ayder and You can stay in hostels …

It is possible to taste all the flavors of the local cuisine in the place called Çaynig, 1 kilometer above Çamlıhemşin district center. Çaynig’s chef and partner, Deniz Hanım, is a school pastry chef and successfully continues his traditional profession of bakery and pastry in the Hamshens, as a new generation master in his hometown. In Çaynig, you can find tastes such as sweet, savory cookies, muffins, pizza and cheesecake as well as local flavors such as muhlama, wrapped cabbage, pilina, which is a kind of pancakes, and kete. You can reach Çamlıhemşin or Kaçkarlar through tour companies. It is possible to reach the most beautiful plateaus with companies such as Tamzara Tur, Bukla, Folklarik, Tempo Tur …

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