Rize is a scenic province in the eastern part of Turkey’s Black Sea region. A popular weekend getaway for locals, Rize is slowly gaining popularity among foreigners as well. If you have travelled to Turkey, chances are high that you’ve had tea produced in the tea farms of Rize. Rize also hosts the beautiful Kaçkar Mountains, a hot spot for trekking enthusiasts.

Pokut Plateau

Pokut Plateau, a famous tourist spot in Rize, is almost always surrounded by clouds.

If you’re the adventurous sort, hiking across the Kaçkar mountains should definitely be on top of your list.

Palovit Waterfalls is truly a sight to behold. A small wooden staircase leads you closer to it, but is only for the brave-hearted!

While coming back from Palovit Waterfalls, you’ll come across the gorgeous medieval castle, Zikale. You can view the entire Firtina Valley from here.

On your way along the Firtina River, you’ll find several Ottoman Bridges built in the 18th and19th centuries. They have characteristic high arches because of steep-sided valleys, and frequent floods.

A trip to Rize is incomplete without a visit to its famed tea, or cay, farms. Don’t forget to grab a couple of tea packets for yourself. Make them at home the way the Turks do – with hot water, sugar, and without any milk.

There are a lot of stay options available in Rize, but if you truly want to experience the local life, stay in one of the traditional wooden houses. They also provide some of the best views in the region.

Be prepared to meet some really friendly locals here. Don’t be surprised if random people invite you to their homes for a meal.

Make sure you try muhlama, a local delicacy. This cheese dish is cooked in butter and served with bread. Ah, bliss!

Apart from tea, you will find a lot of shops selling honey, or “bal”, in Rize. The honey is thick and pale-yellow, perfect to get back and eat with toast or add to your cay.

How To Reach Rize

Trabzon is the nearest airport from Rize. You can find several bus operators like Havaş right outside the airport that will take you to Rize in as little as Rs 300, or US$ 5.  Rize is a two-hour drive from the airport.

Where To Stay In Rize

You will get a mix of budget hotels, guesthouses and wooden cabins in this province. Rates usually vary between Rs 1,500 (US$ 22) and Rs 5,000 (US$ 73) per night.

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