Uzungöl is the name of both a lake and nearby village situated to the south of the city of Trabzon in the Black Sea region of Turkey. Over the years it has increasingly become a major tourist attraction at a distance of 99 kilometers from Trabzon and 19 kilometers from the Çaykara district. It was formed by a landslide creating the stream bed which became a natural dam in the Haldizen River Valley. The area is well known for its natural beauty in a valley between high rising mountains in which the lake and village at first appear to be inaccessible. The surrounding density of mountain forests and occasional fog add to the mysterious scenery. Lately a substantial increase in tourism has attracted a number of hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops to open in the area. The transportation infrastructure has also been vastly improved enhancing access to visitors. Recently the government proposed building a cement wall around the lakeshore with cement which would, in effect, destroy the shores of the lake. The idea behind this was so that water from waves on the lake would not get the nearby roads around the lake wet. Fortunately, this was met with protests from locals as well as ecologists concerned with the environmental damage and the idea that this move would turn the lake into a giant artificial pool. Tourist accommodation in small hotels which offer small bungalows on the edge of Uzungöl Lake with a balcony overlooking the lake containing satellite television and internet connections. The valley in which Uzungöl is located is made highly recognizable by the two minarets of the mosque rising on the bank of the lake. The lake is about 1 kilometer long, a half a kilometer wide with an average depth of 15 meters. Uzungöl lies at an altitude of 1090 meters in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains. These mountains are mostly covered with mixed forests with many mountain remote lakes and streams. Due to heavy rainfall, the area of Uzungöl is one of the greenest areas in Turkey. Containing more than 60 different local plant species the area around Uzungöl has become a popular destination for nature affecionados as well as hikers and climbers.
Uzungöl situated at 1090 meters above sea level compares with the Alps with its cliffs and splendid forest. The old wooden houses in the nearby village of Şerah add to the scenery. Uzungöl attracts both natives and foreigners and is rich in tourism potential. When it comes to wild life in the surrounding mountains there are some animal species such as bears, wolf, wild goats, foxes, Kafkas mountain roosters. Uzungöl is the prize for travelers at the end of about a two hour drive on a bumpy stretch of road past Çaykara. Entered by crossing an arched stone bridge, the village of Uzungöl is a great collection of old wooden houses. A road follows the breathtaking course of the Solaklı River as it flows downwards from Uzungöl through the forest. In certain places the river can be crossed on wooden footbridges as it moves through a forest thick with underbush saturated from the spray of several waterfalls and a large amount of rainfall. In the village of Atakoy on the Çaykara to Bayburt road about one kilometer beyond the Uzungol turnoff are also wooden houses built with the traditional Black Sea region style of architecture.
Hikers can take a four hour walk from the village of Uzungöl to the glacier lakes of Mt. Haldizen located on the treeless grasslands nestled at 2,800 meters in altitude. The peak itself is a pretty easy climb beyond the lakes and offers excellent views of the Çoruh River Canyon in the distance towards the south. The snow covered Demirkapı summit lies at 3376 meters and a little lower down on the right the summit of Karakaya sits at 3193 meters. The Demirkapı mountain pass has been a route over the mountains for people over the centuries. Traveled by everything from caravans to single villagers bringing mountain grown fruit over the pass to the Black Sea markets, this 3000 meter pass is now pretty easy to go over in a car now due to the transportation infrastructure being greatly improved. A 99 kilometer asphalt road connects Trabzon with Uzungöl with a rocky road crossing the 12 kilometers between Uzungöl and the Demirkapı Plateau via a minibus (Turkish: dolmuş) making regular runs during the summer.
Leçons de Choses
- The designs of Magali Arbib can now be purchased online on her website -
- childrens furnishings and accessories as well as vintage items and art - all from France -
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