Kaçkar Mountains National Park

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Kaçkar national park
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Kaçkar Mountains National Park

Kaçkar Mountains National Park

Situated in the north-eastern region of Turkey, lies a pristine landscape characterized by rugged terrains, glacial lakes, and exquisite flora and fauna

This compelling geographical marvel is home to the highest peak in the Pontic Mountain range and offers a unique blend of cultural heritage and remarkable natural wonders, making it an ideal destination for adventure seekers and nature lovers. Covering an extensive area of 51,550 hectares, the Kaçkar Mountains National Park was established in 1994.

The park predominantly lies within the Rize and Artvin provinces and part of it in the Erzurum province. This widespread national park is deemed a haven for mountaineers and trekkers from all over the world. One of the park's primary attractions is the Kaçkar Mountain itself, scaling at a height of over 3937 meters, it is the third-highest peak in Turkey. The mountain is covered in snow for most of the year and offers a challenging yet scenic route for avid climbers. Several streams and small rivers originating from the mountain provide an idyllic environment for fishing, making it a popular activity within the park. For nature lovers, the Kaçkar Mountains National Park is a wonderland hosting diverse habitats and microclimates that support an array of life.

The undisturbed ecosystems harbor innumerable species, some of which are unique to this region. The park is lush with tree varieties, including pine, fir, beech, and the endemic Caucasus tea-plant. The region is also known for its diverse fauna, with species including bear, wild goat, lynx, red deer, and numerous species of rodents and birds.

Moreover, the national park is a treasure trove for ecologists and researchers who seek to study its incredible biodiversity in depth. The glaciers, forestry, and streams are natural laboratories offering rich and valuable insights. The park also receives many students and universities planning educational trips.

Apart from its natural abundance, the Kaçkar Mountains National Park is also steeped in rich cultural history. Throughout the park, visitors can witness the traditional lifestyle of the local people, marked by beekeeping, herding, and tea harvesting. The typical alpine villages nestled within the valleys exude an old-world charm, with wooden houses, stone paths, and friendly locales.

Traditional dishes featuring corn, honey, cheese, and locally grown vegetables offer a gastronomic delight to travelers.

Kaçkar Mountains National Park also has profound religious significance, being a dwelling place to dozens of ancient churches and monasteries belonging to the Georgian era, which are spread across the park. The vestiges of the past are thoughtfully preserved and tell tales of the region's rich historical timeline.

The park is easily accessible, with several transit options from Rize and Erzurum. Accommodation, ranging from budget to luxury, camping sites, and local homestays are readily available for those who wish to prolong their stay and fully immerse themselves in the enchanting natural beauty of the Kaçkars. The Kaçkar Mountains National Park is indeed a gem offering a mix of adventure, natural beauty, cultural richness, and biodiversity.

All these factors collectively contribute to making the park a must-visit destination in Turkey, showcasing a perfect illustration of the country's diverse landscapes and vibrant lifestyle. The park invites visitors of all ages to come and explore, learn, and be spellbound by the quintessential natural charm it embodies.

Kaçkar Mountains National Park
Çamlıhemşin, Rize

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