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Kackar Mountains

Kackar Mountains

Location

This is one of Turkey’s most popular trekking areas and is at the high end of the Pontic Coastal range and an impressive barrier between the Black Sea and the north-eastern plateau of Anatolia. The mountains stretch from the Rize - Ispir road to the Hopa - Artvin highway and sit in an area of 70km x 20km and at 3,972m the summits rank as the fourth highest in Turkey, and because of their scenic and human interest they have been nicknamed “the Little Caucasus” and “the Pontic Alps”.  

The Kackar Mountains are a young granite-diorite range, rather than the usual karst, and were transformed during the Ice Age. There are still remains of glaciers on the highest peak of the northern slope and 100s of lakes are on the alpine zone above 2,600m.  

Animals and Vegetation

The highest points have few large animals although wolves and ibex are hunted here, and bears and wild boar are found at the mid-altitude area.  Birds of prey and snow cocks are easily seen and heard and in summer there is a profusion of wildflowers, butterflies and unfortunately biting deer flies.  

Villages of Kackar Mountains

The most popular trailhead villages are Çat, Ayder, Barhal, Hevek, Meretet and Tekkale.  

Trekking at Kacka Mountains

Crampon and ice axes are needed up to the end of July and by mid-summer the lakes are just warm enough to take a quick dip; most visitors spend a week to 10 days trekking around the area.  There are guides available from the towns and organised treks can be arranged although they may not speak English.  Full trekking kits are a must here, there are few specific dangers other than ensuring tricky passes are crossed early in the day before the mists or storm clouds arrive.

Routes for Trekking

The Black Sea approach offers gentler and clearer trails where the villages and paths can become overcrowded and has a daily mist that rise’s to 2,900m, the Çoruh side has more difficult gradients but the weather is reliable and the best time to trek is from June to September when mists are less of a hazard.  

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Turkish Food Recipes

Tripe Soup - Soup

Istanbul Pilav Rice - Rice & Pasta Dishes

Main Course

Pepper Dolma with Olive Oil - Rice & Pasta Dishes

Main Course

White Bean Salad - Salads

Cold Meze

Pogaca with Aubergine Filling - Pastries

Tea Time Pastry

Asure - Wheat Pudding - Other Desserts

Dessert

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