Top Ten Turkey Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Trek the Krackar Mountains
  |  Gorp.com

The Turks love their hot springs, which are especially satisfying after some tough mountain trekking. The Kackar Mountains in northeastern Turkey provide the inviting backdrop; hike from the village of Barhal across the mountains to Ayder. This town's trump card is the hot springs, where you can soak away your aches and pains in waters of up to 133 degrees. In high summer, staying in Ayder also gives you a chance to get a glimpse of the culture of the Hemsin people, one of Turkey's little-known minority ethnic groups. Maps of the mountains are woefully inadequate, but you can easily hire a guide in Ayder or Barhal. To get to Ayder, take the weekly Turkish Maritime Lines ferry from Istanbul to Rize and head up into the mountains by bus. For Barhal, you'll need a dolmus (shared taxi) from Yusufeli.


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