Artvin, Eastern Turkey

Last Updated on May 22, 2019

Set high in the Kaçkar Mountains at the eastern end of the Black Sea coast, Artvin is about as far from Istanbulas anyplace in Turkey can be.

Artvin (ahrt-VEEN, alt. 520 meters/1706 feet, pop. 25,000) is far from Istanbul in distance (1317 km, 818 miles) and also in ambience. This is a rough-and-ready town of mountain farmers working in poor soil, of orchard arborists and livestock herders.

The town center of this provincial capital is perched high above the highway which follows the serpentine course of the Çoruh River. From the bus station on the highway you follow a winding road up, up, up for a few kilometers to the town proper.

You may enjoy an hour’s stroll through the town, but lodging facilities are limited.

You’re better off planning your itinerary so that you stay in AyderErzurumKarsTrabzon, or even the small Kaçkar Mountains town of Yusufeli.

The main attraction of the Caucasus Culture and Arts Festival (Kafkasör Kültür ve Sanat Festivali), held in late June at an alpine pasture 7 km (4 miles) from the town, is bull wrestling matches.

Distances & Travel Times

Ardahan: 235 km (146 miles) E, 4 hours

Erzurum215 km (134 miles) S, 4 hours

Kars: 207 km (129 miles) SE, 4.5 hours

Trabzon235 km (146 miles) W, 4 hours

Yusufeli: 85 km (53 miles) S, 2 hours

Kaçkar Mountains

Eastern Turkey

Black Sea Coast

Where to Go

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