Tea lovers rejoice—this seven-day odyssey leads you in search of Turkey's finest brews. Start in Istanbul, where you'll get lost in the famous Grand Bazaar. Head to Trabzon to visit the Hagia Sophia Mosque and marvel at the Black Sea coast, then continue into the lush Firtina Valley to stroll the exquisite tea gardens of Camlihemsin. As you explore a world of fairy-tale villages, emerald valleys, and hidden waterfalls, you'll sample the region's best teas and visit a series of local farms and producers.


  • 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

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul, Eminonu Heritage Tour Istanbul
Day 2 Transfer to Trabzon, Visit Hagia Sophia Mosque & Sumela Monastery  Trabzon
Day 3 Tea Excursion to Surmene & Firtina Valley, Transfer to Camlihemsin Camlihemsin
Day 4 Hemsin & Organic Tea Farms Camlihemsin
Day 5 Explore the Old Mansions of Camlihemsin Camlihemsin
Day 6 Discover the Tea Gardens of the Caglayan Valley Camlihemsin
Day 7 Visit to Pokut & Sal Valleys, Depart Trabzon  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul, Eminonu Heritage Tour

Eminönü Heritage Tour: Explore the Historical Bazaars and Ottoman Architectural Sites of Istanbul
A beautiful view in the center of Istanbul

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

Soumela Monastery
Sumela Monastery is carved out of the cliffs overlooking the Black Sea

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

A stone bridge in the Firtina Valley

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.

Plan your trip to Turkey
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
When the tour ends, return to your hotel and prepare for your next transfer. Later in the day, you will head east, following the coast by private van from Trabzon to Camlihemsin, which takes around two hours.

Day 4: Hemsin & Organic Tea Farms

Hemsin and Organic Tea Farms
Tea gardens abound in Hemsin 

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

Explore the Old Mansions of Çamlıhemşin
Explore the old mansions of Camlihemsin
Today you'll tour more of the Firtina Valley's fairy-tale villages and sip tea in one of the centuries-old mansions of Camlihemsin. Discover the foreign influences that shaped the architecture of this region as you stroll local konaklar neighborhoods. Many of the region's inhabitants worked abroad in Poland, Germany, and Russia during the 19th century to seek their fortune and returned to build stone and timber mansions that lined the countryside's steep slopes. These dwellings with details such as stained glass windows, golden door handles, and other finely crafted elements still stand today.

Day 6: Discover the Tea Gardens of the Caglayan Valley

Discover Turkey's highest waterfall at Tortum

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.

Day 7: Visit Pokut & Sal Valleys, Depart Trabzon

Visit to Pokut and Sal Valleys
Farewell Turkey!
Enjoy your final day in Turkey with a trip to the Pokut and Sal plateaus, where you'll be met with incredible views of the Kackar Mountains from 6,561 feet (2,000 m) above sea level. Have a tea break and soak up the fresh air and natural beauty of your surroundings, then enjoy a traditional lunch. Afterward, a driver will be waiting to take you to the Trabzon Airport, where you'll fly to Istanbul and continue your onward journey. Güle güle (goodbye) and safe travels! 

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Map of Discover Turkish Tea in the Black Sea: Istanbul, Trabzon & Camlihemsin - 7 Days
Map of Discover Turkish Tea in the Black Sea: Istanbul, Trabzon & Camlihemsin - 7 Days