Hiking in the Kackar mountains
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jul 29, 2013 11:07 AM Last Post By: Amsterdamgirl
Jul 2, 2013 8:44 PM
Hiking in the Kackar mountainsHi everyone! I'm looking for advice on hiking in the kackar mountains. I am leaving for Turkey in a few weeks and trying to make my itinerary.
A couple of questions....
-How many days do I need in the area? I was hoping for a 3 day hike (I have about 5 weeks in Turkey).
-Can anyone recommend a place to stay and a guide or tour going to the mountains. I have been trying to find a tour but most that I have come across have been fairly expensive.
-Everything I have read has said to book ahead of time but if there is a hostel/hotel that has guides that you can join a hike with last minute?
I am really excited to check the area out and I hear it is absolutely beautiful!! Any other advice would also be great!!!
Jul 5, 2013 5:11 AM
1I stayed in a little village called Ayder, within the Kackar mountains last year and I have to say the place is simply stunning.
Nadir speaks English and runs hikes for groups from time to time. He also runs an accommodation option of swiss styled cabins of which I highly recommend. While I don't know his hiking calendar as such you could always try and call him (his wife doesn't speak English but he speaks well and has a wicked sense of humour).
The phone numbers are: +90 537 243 1648 or +90 464 657 2107.
The accommodation and photos are listed on www.tripadvisor.com so if you type in Kardelen Bungalow it will come up as in Camlihemsin but don't worry about that - that's the name of the whole region. He is near the top of the mountains based in Ayder. I'll try and post the tripadvisor link here but I don't know if it will work?
Have a great time. The journey is well worth it - it's what I call heaven on earth!
Jul 5, 2013 12:14 PM
Jul 5, 2013 4:07 PM
Jul 7, 2013 10:32 AM
I've just been in the Kaçkar this week. The answer to your question really depends on whether you'll have the gear to camp. If yes, then it is really worth to spend at least 4 days. Here is an exemple of a 4-day trek (I mention only places I know).
From Yukarı Kavrun, go to Olgunlar (also called Meredet) through Dibe in 2 days with a night camped at Dupedüzü.
At Olgunlar you can spend a night in a pansyion (the one called Olgunlar is good and cheap, I paid 20 liras). Day 3 you can go up the valley to camp at Dilber Düzü (3h30), a very nice spot under the Kaçkar summit with several small rivers, or even continue up to Deniz Gölü (2h more) where the scenery is very different but no less fantastic. Day 4 you can try the Kaçkar summit (from Deniz Gölü, 5h go and back) then go back to Olgunlar (in this case you might need another night at one of the 2 spots I mentionned).
On all these portions the path is very easy to follow with regulars cairns whenever it disappears. Coming from Yukarı Kavrun you can have some difficulty with the fog a few hundred meters before the first pass, but if you follow the river you'll be fine. From Deniz Gölü there was too much snow for me to reach the summit but from what I gathered from the locals it is very likely to melt away before august.
You can go to Yukarı Kavrun from Ayder by minibus( but you don't really know when it leaves as the driver usually waits for it to be full) or by foot (4-5h).
You can leave Olgunlar for Barhal and Yusufeli by the daily minibus that leaves at around 6am.
If you tell us more about how you want to hike (camping or not), from where you'll arrive and where you're going after, people will be able to give you information more useful and specific to your situation.
Jul 7, 2013 8:27 PM
Thanks for the information!!
I am not bringing camping gear (trying to keep my pack weight down). I was trying to get a guide/tour because I am a casual hiker and I wouldn't be comfortable doing a hike like this on my own.
I am looking to stay at accommodations (seems like you had some good recommendations) along the way or go with a guide who has the gear to camp.
I am arriving from trabzon and continuing on to cappadocia or nemrut dagi (not sure yet).
Looking to explore and see the mountains and what they have to offer!!
Thanks for your input!
Jul 11, 2013 4:22 AM
6Tbulman13 I would recommend you popping into Eyce Tours and asking for Volkan when you get to Trabzon. Their office is very close to the main city square and if you look behind he square you'll see a small bridge type thing with minibuses underneath it. If you can find them then look to the left at the shops over the road from those buses and up. You'll see the sign for Eyce Tours. If not try to ask a local (not many speak English) but it is pronounced more like Air-jer Toors.
Volkan speaks good English (you have to go up a flight of stairs to get to Eyce) and he is good friends with Nadir in Ayder who I had mentioned earlier. Volkan may know if Nadir is running hiking tours or be able to find out easily enough for you. If Nadir isn't he might also have ideas of who else may be able to help you. I was fortunate enough to meet Volkan who took me to Ayder and really our walk on the snow and in the mountains that day ended up being one of the best unexpected highlights of my 3 months in Turkey. I've got photos that I treasure now up on the wall here at home.
Accommodation wise in Trabzon I liked middle of the range Demir Grand Hotel. I also stayed at Usta Park Hotel which was more upmarket (not really so for the basic rooms) and expensive but really as a traveller Demir Grand did the job. I enjoyed my basic room with TV, own shower/toilet and extremely comfortable bedding and sheets. The rooms were cleaned daily and it was nice having windows that you could open for the freshest of air.
Jul 15, 2013 6:56 AM
7Thank you for all of the advice! I have been recommended to contact Nadir by several people. (from another blog!) So i will contact him when i arrive:) thanks for the detailed directions too!
I have a Turkish friend who booked accommodation for me in the area in a place where a bunch of tours take off so I may have luck there as well. I am really looking forward to this section of my trip:!!!
I will update you after I arrive next week!!
Edited by: Tbulman13
Jul 16, 2013 6:33 AM
8Thanks Tbulman13 and do provide us with an after update. Seriously I did love that place.
If you get to meet Nadir or speak with him please tell him "The Australian Turkish girl from Melbourne that he met with Volkan last year still thinks fondly of her time in Ayder but she's still trying to work out how she can get to Afghanistan". As soon as you mention Afghanistan he will connect who am and will probably try not to do his infectious laugh at the same time.
Have a great time. Stunning scenery. If you stay at Nadir's the cabins were cosily warm with no TV. Who needs a TV up there anyway?
Jul 29, 2013 11:07 AM
9If you decide to go to or start at the Eastern side (a lot less touristy) you can go to Olgunlar via Yusufeli and Barhal. The owner of Kackar Pension in Olgunlar (a teacher in Yusufeli outside of summer) can easily arrange camping equipment, a horse (and a horseman who doubles as a guide thrown in for free) and so on. Pretty much for the next day really. I also stayed in Barhal from where you can do a lot of day hikes if you don't have any equipment on you and don't want anything organized. I find the area absolutely stunning.
Check out all our reviewed and recommended accommodation and book online.