Artvin is located in the northeast of Turkey , on the Black Sea coast, on the Georgian border of the region. With its mountains embracing a thousand and one shades of green, crater lakes, and beautiful plateaus, Artvin is a geography where words are not enough with its rich fauna and flora, thousands of years of history and deep-rooted culture. Located in the Eastern Black Sea region, where every corner is a natural wonder, Artvin has dozens of incredible places waiting to be seen, from Hopa to Borçka, from Kamilet to Mençuna.
The rugged terrain of Artvin, which is separated from other regions of Anatolia by sharp lines with its geographical and cultural structure, has diversified its climate to such an extent. Artvin, with its long valleys with steep slopes formed by Çoruh, which divides the city into two, virgin forest areas covering more than half of the land, and the smoky peaks of almost 4,000-meter majestic mountains, is a paradise descended on earth.
Artvin, known as Livane and Çoruh in history, was called Artvani during the Scythian period and Artvini during the Ottoman period. Artvin is a region where deep-rooted and rich civilizations live. The Turkish history in Artvin, which saw the rule of Hurrian, Hittite, Scythian and Byzantine, begins with Alparslan’s conquest of the Coruh tribes in 1064 by going on a Georgian expedition.
After this date, although Georgian King Gorgi Saltuklu Principality, İlhanlı and Çıldır Atabeyli ruled for a while, Artvin and its surroundings lived under the rule of the Ottoman Empire for about 250 years. The population of Artvin, which became a province in 1924, consists of Georgian, Hemşin, Laz, Ahıska and Kipchak Turks, dominated by Black Sea and Caucasian cultures.
Artvin, with its Coruh River passing through the middle, steep sloped valleys, 4,000-meter-high mountains, virgin forests, crater lakes on the peaks of high mountains, lush green plateaus, fauna and flora richness, historical churches, castles and arch bridges, traditional architecture and festivals, offers various tourism values. a unique region.
Ardanuç, Arhavi, Borçka, Hopa, Murgul, Şavşat, Yusufeli are the districts of Artvin, each of which has a different characteristic.
1. Artvin Center
Artvin is the provincial center of the city that connects the Eastern Black Sea Region with the Eastern Anatolia Region. With a population of only 35 thousand in the central province, Artvin’s natural and peaceful atmosphere offers a great opportunity for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of big cities.
Artvin Castle is located across the Artvin Bridge over the Coruh River. Artvin Castle, also known as Livane Castle, is a building that was built by the Georgian Kingdom in the 10th century and was repaired and used by the Ottomans in the 16th century. Artvin Castle, which includes the remains of a cistern and chapel, has kept the entrance to the city under control throughout history. You can reach the castle, which is approximately 2 km from Artvin city center, by minibuses departing from the center.
Artvin Atatepe is one of Artvin’s most important tourist attractions, with Turkey’s largest Atatürk Monument, a 22 meters high statue weighing 50 tons, and a unique city view. The statue, which was built by the Sıtkı Kahvecioğlu Foundation in Atatepe, 5 km from the city center, and symbolizing Atatürk’s stance in Afyon Kocatepe, is a favorite of those who visit the city with the cafe, restaurant and social facility under this statue.
Artvin City Forest is one of the social reinforcement areas preferred by the people to have a picnic, get fresh air and spend time on weekends in Artvin, where you can see the most different shades of green. There are walking paths, picnic tables, pathways and rain shelters in the city forest, which is 8 km away from the city center.
Kafkasör Plateau is 8 km away from Artvin city center and declared as a tourism center by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. With its clean air and dazzling natural beauties, the plateau offers its visitors the opportunity to stay in bungalow houses, and a festival is held every year at the beginning of the summer season, accompanied by bullfights, folk dances and live music.
Atabarı Ski Center is 17 km from Artvin city center. Atabarı, a ski resort that fascinates with its silence and peaceful atmosphere, is an indication that Artvin is a magnificent geography all four seasons of the year. The main track of the center, where mostly accommodation facilities are located in the Kafkasör region, is 800 meters long and has one lift. At the same time, you can visit the center, where you can find snowmobiles and snowtracks, during your visit to Artvin.
2. Hatila Valley National Park
Hatila Valley is one of Turkey’s 33 National Parks. Located 10 km from the center of Artvin and hosting the Hatila Stream and its tributaries, the valley is a very rare area in our country with its interesting geological and geomorphological structure and unique plant assemblage.
The region, which was declared a national park in 1994, is established on an area of 16,944 hectares. Starting at an altitude of 170 meters above sea level, the height of the national park reaches up to 3 thousand 224 meters. Although it is located in the Black Sea Region, the national park, which also contains the plant species of the Mediterranean Region, has a rare nature with this feature.
Hatila Valley Glass Observation Terrace is the highest glass observation deck in our country with a height of 220 meters at the point of the national park known as Boredom Rock. The glass terrace, which is 16 km away from the city center, can be reached in 45 minutes by private car. The road is at a rising altitude and is quite winding.
Hatila Valley National Park visiting hours are 08.30-19.30. The entrance fee to Hatila Valley National Park is 4TL for pedestrians, 2TL for students, 6TL for motorcycles, 12TL for cars, 36TL for minibuses, 65TL for guesthouses (daily). Since the national park is under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Museum Card is not valid.
3. Borcka Karagol Nature Park
Borçka Karagöl is a landslide lake that is 57 km from Artvin city center and can be accessed by a 5 km stabilized road deviating from the 22nd km of Borcka-Camili highway. Borcka Karagöl, surrounded by spruce, beech and hornbeam trees, is an eye-catching and impressive lake with rich vegetation and wildlife.
Borcka Karagöl, which has a fascinating atmosphere, was formed when Klaskur Stream cuts off Klaskur Plateau. Presenting a thousand and one shades of nature in its most beautiful form every season, Karagöl is among the hidden paradises of our country. With its lakeside walks, camping areas, unique lake and forest views, the nature park is a beauty that can make you forget everything about daily life.
There are no restrictions on visiting hours of Borcka Karagol Nature Park. Borcka Karagol Nature Park entrance fee is 4TL for pedestrians, 2TL for students, 6TL for motorcycles, 12TL for cars, 36TL for minibuses. Since the nature park is under the control of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Museum Card is not valid.
4. Maçahel Valley – Camili Basin
The Machahel Valley is a region at the southwestern tip of Georgia and the northeastern tip of Turkey, spanning the borders of the two countries. Camili Village is the center of the region, which consists of six villages that have preserved their natural beauties and are connected to Borcka.
Camili Basin is the only region in Turkey designated as a biosphere reserve area by the United Nations. The Camili Basin, which is shown as a world heritage site, has been declared a nature protection area with its unique features such as its rich flora, monumental trees, red scaled trout in its streams, and Maçahel honey produced with Caucasian bees.
The forests of Camili, which is 50 km away from Borcka, have the most untouched forest ecosystem not only in Turkey but also almost in Europe, each of which is composed of monumental trees. A part of the region, which has suitable bird watching areas due to its location on the migration routes of raptors, has been taken under protection as the Gorgit and Efeler Nature Protection Area.
Known as Turkey’s only temperate rain forest and experiencing the most lively and crowded days with the Caucasus Bee and Honey Festival held in August every year, 70% of Maçahel consists of forests and fruit trees. The valley, where 500-year-old trees can be found, is considered a green paradise with its wildlife, Maçahel Stream fed by many large and small branches, and many different types of old trees.
Maral Waterfall is located in the Borcka district of Artvin, in the Karçal Mountains, on the Maral Stream. The waterfall that falls from a single slope break from 63 meters above ground level in Maral Creek, which is a branch of Macahal Creek, offers an incredible visual feast. The unique natural beauties of the waterfall, which is also called the sea of fog due to the dense fog seen in the region at all times of the year, are fascinating.
5. Murgul Deliklitas Waterfall
Murgul Deliklitaş Waterfall was named as Delikli Kaya because it was formed by water flowing through the rock in Başköy, Murgul district of Artvin. Although there was no means of transportation until recently, the waterfall, which nobody knew except the local people, has turned into a center of attraction that many people visit with excitement, with the completion of the road and the effect of social media.
The waterfall, which is formed by the erosion of the water by the lime and clay stone on the sedimentary rock, and the pouring of the water flowing from the hole with a radius of 4 meters from a height of 7 meters, is among the most magnificent natural beauties among the places to visit around Artvin.
6. Balıklı Güneşli Waterfalls Nature Park
Balıklı Güneşli Waterfalls Nature Park covers the area where the highest waterfalls of Turkey, known as Güneşli and Balıklı Waterfalls, are located, located 12 km from Artvin’s Hopa district center and 60 km from Artvin city center.
There are tracks suitable for trekking and mountaineering in Balıklı Güneşli Waterfalls Nature Park, formerly known as Çağçan Waterfall. The region, which offers many alternatives in terms of wildlife observation, has an unspoiled and completely natural structure. The nature park can be visited without any time limit and free of charge.
Cifteköprü , which was built in the 18th century during the Ottoman period in the Arhavi district of Artvin , consists of two separate bridges that complement each other and are full circles. Also known as ‘Double Bridges’, the bridge, located 10 km from Arhavi district center, is considered one of the most important examples of local stonework.
The bridge, which was restored in 2003 by the Regional Directorate of Highways, is illuminated when it gets dark.
8. Mençuna Waterfall, Arhavi
Mençuna Waterfall is located in Arhavi district of Artvin, 16 km from the district center. The heavy water of the waterfall, which reaches the ground from a height of 50 meters without hitting anywhere, creates a 200 square meter lake between the rocks on the ground. The waterfall, which can be reached with a grueling walk, creates a fascinating image with the white foams formed by the water hitting the ground.
Lifestyle Museum is located in Dikyamaç Village of Arhavi. The Dikyamaç Lifestyle Museum, which is the first and only lifestyle museum in the region, where works that shed light on the historical past of Dikyamaç Village and the surrounding villages are exhibited, exhibits handicrafts in old village houses, items used in daily life and traditional clothes. The museum can be visited free of charge between 09:00 and 17:00, 7 days a week.
9. Gorgit Plateau
Gorgit Plateau is located in the Macahel region, at an altitude of 1,700 meters above sea level, very close to the Turkey-Georgia border. The best time to visit the plateau, which is preferred by the locals to spend time in the summer months, with its wooden houses reflecting the architectural features unique to the region and its legendary natural beauties, is in July and August.
There are a few hostels around the plateau, which is difficult to access due to weather conditions during the rest of the year.
10. Hell Creek Canyon
Hell Creek Canyon is one of the rare canyons in the world. The canyon, which is full of steep paths, has the distinction of being the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon of the State of Arizona in the USA.
The slope of the narrow and deep valley formed by the Ardanuç Stream, one of the branches of the Coruh River, reaches 90 degrees at some points. The canyon, which resembles a steep wall and has a fascinating view with its elevation exceeding 200 meters, is located at the 25th kilometer of the Artvin-Ardanuç Highway.
Dolishane Church is located in Hamamlı Village of Artvin’s central district. A part of the church, which was built by the Bagratlı King Sumbath in the 10th century, was converted into a mosque at the end of the 16th century. The sundial reliefs and frescoes of the building, of which only the church part has survived, are fascinating.
Porta Monastery is located in Pirnallı Village of Artvin city center. The monastery, which was built in the 9th century during the reign of Prince Khaoi King Gurgen, grandson of Ashot I, one of the Bagratlı kings, is located between two valleys in the southwest of Pırnallı Village. The monastery structure consists of a church, chapel, fountain and bell tower. Abandoned at the end of the 16th century, the monastery reflects the historical past and traditional architectural structure of the region.
11. Savsat Karagol Sahara National Park
Karagöl Sahara National Park is located within the borders of Şavşat district of Artvin. Consisting of two separate regions, Karagöl and Sahara Plateau, the national park is located 45 km north of Şavşat district. Sahara Plateau is 17 km away from the town center.
The area, which was declared a national park in 1994, is 3 thousand 251 hectares in total. Karagöl section of the national park is flooded with visitors in summer with its rich forest texture, meadows and cool air.
Sahara Plateau is a uniquely beautiful region where the people of the region continue their traditional plateau activities, mostly for cattle breeding and to be settled temporarily in order to get away from the hot weather in the summer months. With its spruce fir forests and rich fauna, the plateau is lively in summer.
Şavşat is located 70 km east of Artvin city centre. Considered as the easternmost point of the Black Sea Region, Şavşat takes its name from the Georgian word Şavşeti. Included in the Cittaslow Network (Calm City Network) in 2015, Şavşat has become one of the safest cities in Turkey. The natural beauties and unspoiled structure of the district, which makes a living from animal husbandry, have been increasing the interest of nature lovers, especially nature tourism, in the region in recent years.
Satlel Castle is located in Söğütlü District of Şavşat. Most of the fortification walls of the building dating from the Bagratlı Kingdom are still standing. Although the exact construction date of the castle, which does not have an inscription, is not known, it is included in the historical sources that it was used in the defense of the region during the Ottoman period. The bastions and cisterns of the castle, which is located on an area of 2 thousand 360 square meters, are worth seeing.
Tibeti Church is located in Cevizli village of Şavşat, 14 km from the town center. The church, which was built by the Bagratlı Prince Asut Koh, who ruled the region between 899-914, has become one of the most important religious centers of the region since the 11th century. The dome of the church, which was used as a mosque for a while after the region accepted Islam, collapsed in 1953. The plastic decorations of the church facade and the frescoes in the interior are among the prominent features of the building.
Balık Lake is located in Pınarlı Village of Şavşat, 31 km from the town center. The lake, which has an impressive view with the reflection of the sky and trees, has camping areas for nature lovers. The surroundings of the lake, where activities such as photo safari, trekking and hunting are held, are among the untouched regions of Turkey with its rich wildlife and fauna.