- Excite your palette by venturing into Istanbul's Grand Bazaar and Spice Bazaar
- Discover the stunning clifftop Sumela Monastery
- Visit organic tea farms in Hemsin and learn how the tea is processed
- Go tea tasting in the local mansions and tea gardens of Camlihemsin
|Arrive in Istanbul, Eminonu Heritage Tour
|Transfer to Trabzon, Visit Hagia Sophia Mosque & Sumela Monastery
|Tea Excursion to Surmene & Firtina Valley, Transfer to Camlihemsin
|Hemsin & Organic Tea Farms
|Explore the Old Mansions of Camlihemsin
|Discover the Tea Gardens of the Caglayan Valley
|Visit to Pokut & Sal Valleys, Depart Trabzon
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul, Eminonu Heritage Tour
Welcome to Turkey! Upon arrival at the airport, a driver will be waiting to take you to your hotel in Istanbul. After you've checked in, it's time to tour the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's largest and oldest covered markets. You'll have your pick of 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops, which offer everything from jewelry to carpets. Next up, visit Eminonu, where you'll stroll around the Spice Bazaar. A vital part of the Old City, you'll find thousands of diverse delicacies, fragrances, and spices that will expand and excite your senses.Have lunch at the famous Pandeli Restaurant, where original blue tile decoration and local flavors set the backdrop for a meal of traditional Turkish cuisine. End your explorations at the Rustem Pasa Mosque, where you'll find an excellent example of the high artistry and tile decoration of the Ottoman Empire.
Day 2: Transfer to Trabzon, Visit Hagia Sophia Mosque & Sumela Monastery
First thing this morning, a driver will take you to the airport, where you'll catch a flight northwest to Trabzon, a city on the Black Sea's shores. Once you've arrived, a driver will take you to your hotel, and the tour will start. The first stop is Hagia Sophia Mosque, located near the coast with stunning views across the surrounding landscapes. Described as one of the finest examples of Byzantine architecture, this former Greek-Orthodox church was converted to a mosque in 1584.
Later visit the Sumela Monastery, located on a rock cliff at an altitude of 3,900 feet (1,200 m) in the Pontic mountain range. Built around 386 CE and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it is a site of great historical and cultural significance and Trabzon's most important touristic attraction. In the afternoon, continue to the authentic Black sea village of Hamsikoy for lunch before returning to Trabzon.
Day 3: Tea Excursion to Surmene & Firtina Valley, Transfer to Camlihemsin
Get ready for tea time as you head to the village of Boztepe, which offers beautiful views of Trabzon from its position atop the ancient Boztepe Hill. As you marvel at the sumptuous landscapes, sip fragrant blends at the tea urn and learn about everyday life in the region and the importance of tea in the locals' lives. Move on to Surmene, where you'll visit some small tea shops, then have lunch at one of the typical Turkish pita restaurants in town. Afterward, you'll continue into the verdant Firtina Valley for a wander through the lush tea gardens.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 4: Hemsin & Organic Tea Farms
This morning you'll head into the Hemsin district, the region's first valley with organic farming practices. Start with a visit to the organic tea factory to learn how tea is processed, then sample some brews for yourself in a specialty tea house nearby. Continue to Zuga to spend some time exploring this charming example of a typical Laz (a southwestern Caucasian population) village surrounded by tea farms and hundred-year-old Ottoman-style wooden houses. Your tour ends with a stroll through the rolling emerald fields of the nearby tea gardens.
Day 5: Explore the Old Mansions of Camlihemsin
Day 6: Discover the Tea Gardens of the Caglayan Valley
Today's day trip takes you to Caglayan, a small village in the Findikly Valley surrounded by tea gardens and waterfalls. Enjoy the lush green scenery as you wind through the valley to reach Tortum Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Turkey. Later, you'll visit a tea plantation to chat with local producers and learn their everyday routines, such as maintaining the grounds, climatic threats, and harvesting the precious leaves by hand. Have lunch followed by a sampling of some unusual tea blends in a beautiful old mansion typical of the region.