Remote Villages, Gumushane, Turkey.

Gumushane is a town about 100 kms south of Trabzon. Today, Gumushane is overwhelmingly modern and therefore of little interest other than as a base from which to visit remarkable places in the surrounding mountains. However, the remarkable places are so special that you may need to use Gumushane as a base for up to a week. Very little public transport exists other than along the main road to Trabzon and Bayburt, but, if without a car of your own (a 4WD is best because many of the most interesting places in the region lie along unsealed roads), local people will offer lifts. The region’s appeal lies in delightful upland scenery, excellent vernacular architecture, outrageously pretty villages in spectacular settings, ruined Greek Orthodox and Armenian churches, and very friendly people. About 15 kms from Gumushane is a spectacular cave (Karaca Magarasi), but, because it is so famous, it does not qualify, in the strictest sense, as an unusual destination. However, anyone heading for the remoter places in the photos should visit this natural wonder. It is excellent.

The first photo is of Gumushane itself: no one can fault its situation. The other photos are of places within 40 or 50 kms of Gumushane and include Eski (Old) Gumushane, Olucak, Krom, Saricicek and Gumustug. I have visited the area twice but barely scratched the surface. There is much more to see. Moreover, in Gumushane, helpful staff at the bus station’s tourist information office will provide excellent maps and advice about getting to the remote destinations.

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