A small town in the area of the Kaçkar Mountains in Turkey reminded me of the beauty of the Swiss Alps – without the exorbitant prices. It is within the Kaçkar Dağları Milli Parkı so park fees are charged to each vehicle entering the area.
The Kaçkar Mountains are unlike anything I have seen so far in other parts of Turkey. It is in the north east part of Turkey close to the Black Sea. Due to the higher elevation, the temperature is much cooler. I actually had to put on a jacket!
Ayder is quaint, friendly, mountainous, affordable thermal bath, lush forests, hiking trails and plenty of waterfalls.
It rained for most of 2 days I spent in the mountains but it was a very enjoyable experience.
Yes I said a thermal bath – I went to heaven each time. Unlike all the traditional Turkish hamam (baths) in all the town/city I have visited, this one did not offer massages or scrubs. For 10 Turkish lira (approx. $5 CAD) I soaked in that 42C to 46C mineral rich water until I felt like Jello. The extra bit of unexpected fun was that a family from Rize was there (mother, 2 teenage daughters and their aunt). We threw cold and warm water to cool down in between soaking in the thermal water. We spoke to each other in broken Turkish and English. Lots of laughter was shared. All the while 2 groups of women from Saudi Arabia watched and chatted in their space.
Sorry I don’t have any photos of the inside of the bath but it is a bath after all and it’s not really appropriate.
Hiking trails in Kaçkar Mountains Turkey