Two beautiful high-altitude valleys meet at charming little İlisu. Amazingly this diminutive village of photogenic old homes was once the capital of a short-lived 18th-century sultanate. Many houses retain box windows, arched doorways and red-tiled roofs, there's an antique mosque and several remnant fortifications. At the very southwestern end of the village, the square-plan, five-storey Summaqala Tower is rather over-restored but it commands a picture-perfect valley view towards distant snow-topped peaks.

At the northernmost end of İlisu there are more fine views from the Uludağ restaurant-resort. Turn right and hike 40 minutes uphill to find a locally famous waterfall (şələlə). Walking up the main valley towards Russia isn't allowed (closed border zone). Reaching the curious hamlet of Saribaş is possible by any 4WD that is capable of fording the river en route.