The Kaçkar Accommodation
– Koru Otel: If you’re heading for the Kafkasör Festival in late June, you may want to stay at this chalet-style hotel, pleasantly situated in the forest between Artvin and the festival ground. Comfortable en-suite rooms and delicious food; good, popular restaurant in and outside. Tel: (466) 212 6565. Booking essential.
Artvin – Polis Oteli: surprisingly, the local police run a smart, modern hotel at the top of the town, SW from the Koru. En-suite rooms, open to all-comers, reasonable price, no breakfast (but plenty of patisseries in town) – don’t be put off by the uniformed receptionist! Artvin Polisevi Tel: (466) 212 67 34.
– Greenpeace Pension and camping: A newly improved restaurant, pension and campsite 700m N of the centre of Yusufeli, on the W bank of the river. 16 ensuite rooms plus 3 ‘tree houses’, pleasant level camping, and an imdoor/outdoor restaurant next to the river. Owner Birol’s son Oktay is Turkey’s white water canoe champion, and they do one-day rafting or canoe trips on the Barhal river. Tel: (466) 811 3620 or (544) 735 3610.
– Otel Barcelona: A recently-built, large hotel with swimming pool and restaurant a km out of town, by the river. En-suite rooms are quite upmarket. Tel: (466) 811 3420; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
– Barhal Pension: On the right as you enter the village. 15 new wooden bungalows, all en-suite, and with a variety of bed options; and 2, 3 and 4 bedrooms in a simple old house, shared bathrooms. Also a delightful dining room, a sitting area (upstairs), internet and a garden with dining tables. Evening meals and/or self-catering facilities. Young patron Mustafa and his wife Yasemin speaks some English and can arrange mules or transfers to Karagöl/Amanesket/Kilyon etc.
Tel: (0466) 826 2031, (0536) 264 6765, email:email@example.com
Karahan Pension: A kilometre out of the village, this basic but pleasant place offers rooms in a lovely wooden house and a dormitory/terrace. Owner Mehmet’s sons speaks some English and can do transfers from Erzurum or lifts up the road to Karagöl. Decent evening meals. Tel: (466) 826 2071; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marsis Hotel, en-suite rooms in a huge building at the entrance to the village. Evening meal optional, activities arranged. Tel: (466) 826 2002 marsisotel.com
Kilyon pension: The village of Kilyon now has a pension in a beautiful old house with special features in Şabangil Mahalle – 5 rooms on two floors, with 2 bathrooms. Run by Kadir, a wildlife expert, and his daughter in law Fatma, a great cook, this house has balconies with great views over the forest and is especially recommended for wildlife watchers. Book through the Barhal pension.
– Çamyuva Pension: A new wooden building with 15 en-suite rooms and 4 family chalets offer half-board accommodation. Hostel/dormitory accommodation in an older building above the shop/bakery; kitchen which guests can use. The owners, Ismail and Naim, run most things in the village and can arrange pick-ups from Erzurum and mule hire. Ismail is a font of knowledge about the Kaçkar – though his English is not great! Tel: (466) 832 2001; www.kackarcamyuva.com
– Deniz Golü Pension: Basic stone and wood-built pension with pleasant rooms, a balcony and a kitchen where you can cook your own food. Tel: (466) 832 2105.
– Kaçkar Pension: This wood-clad pension has large en-suite rooms, a self-catering kitchen and a pleasant sitting area outside. By the stream. Tel: (466) 832 2047.
Sirakonaklar – The UNDP / DATUR project team have opened 7 village house pensions in this district of beautiful old houses set amongst walnut trees in a secluded valley part way between Yusufeli aand Ispir. The pensions are spread out along the valley, some distance apart and the altitude varies between about 1500 and 1800m. They are suitable for family holidays for countryside-lovers, or as a trekking base. They give excellent access to the Soganlı Valley, leading to the Hevek pass and Dilberdüzü, the base camp for climbing Kaçkar. They also are on the route up the Davali Valley to Davali Yaylası; from here you can cross the range via Kavron pass to Yukari Kavron, or via the Hodacur pass to Hacivanak and Elevit. The pensions have varying accommodation, and are listed below with a description and their phone numbers. For further information contact Egemen Çakır on (532) 606 4096. They are listed in order of distance from the main road. See map for rough positions.
– Esat’s pension
One upstairs room with shower and six beds in an old stone building. 442-467 2062.
– Imdat’s pension
200m walk from the road leads to an old stone building; it’s still being restored but next year will have 5 rooms. 442-467 054
– Muhammet’s Pension
Currently 1 room in a new building; next year 5 rooms and a balcony are planned. 442 467 2039
– Durmus’s pension
A new building on a 3km side road; 3 rooms for 6-9 people but plans to expand to up to 12 people next year. 442-467 2127
– Turan’s pension
This poor family has 1 room with a shower, but close by is no 6, so they could be combined. 442-467 2029
– Adem’s pension
Like Turan’s pension, one room with shower. 442-467 2050
– Telat’s pension
300 m from the road at the foot of the Davali Valley, this pension has 1-2 rooms with shower. 442 467 2065
– Otel Doğa: Nearly 5km out of town on the Şenyuva road, on the banks of the Fırtina river. Rambling and busy with groups on occasion, it has single, double, triple and family rooms – all ensuite. Very helpful and knowledgeable proprietors. Tel: (464) 651 7455.
– Cancik: 6 waterless rooms with lumpy beds in a combination pension, restaurant and shop in the village centre. The restaurant is very variable. Tel: (464) 654 4120.
– Toşi Pension: Newer of Çat’s 2 pensions, it’s on the river just outside the village. It’s sometimes in demand by tour groups – advance booking advised. Tel: (464) 654 4002.
– Kartal Pension: Rather gloomy old wooden house right by the tumbling river, the elderly owner is only just keeping it running. Basic waterless rooms, unreliable water despite the river – but the only place in town!
– Kale Pension: On the southeast side of the village in Demirelli Kesir district, this stone and breeze-block building is tricky to find (no sign!) but the female proprietor is very friendly and used to trekkers. Basic with 4 waterless rooms. Tel 0464/659 1110.
Kaler Düzü – this level and busy area 6km N of Ayder on the way to the higher yaylas has simple restaurants and camping with basic facilities. Noisy, but convenient as buses pass frequently.
– İhlamur Altı Camping: Friendly Hemşinli owners offer camping on a green field above a ravine, at the top of end town near the Kardelen (see below) Tel: (537) 287 8878.
– Kardelen Pension: Right at the top of the town, and it’s a long slog uphill from the bus stop, but worth the effort.. Simple wood-built with place with 4 rooms upstairs and now some new chalets with en-suite bathrooms. Owner Nadir is very friendly and, as a trekking guide, knows the Kaçkar well. Can arrange mules. Tel: (464) 657 2107; email: email@example.com.
– Nehirim Pension: Mid-range place right in the town centre. This well-run wood-built hotel, with terraces overlooking the town and mountains, gets lots of groups – so advance booking is essential.
Tel: (464) 657 2040.
– Istanbul Pension: An old building run by local women – small twin rooms, separate clean showers and good breakfasts – very central, but below the road and looking onto forest.
– Bukla Oberj: Set above the main road in green pastures at the top of the village, this top of the range place caters largely to Turkey’s upper middle-classes, but is very trekker friendly (they have drying facilities for boots and clothes) and the food is superb – they even bake their own bread. Tel: (464) 657 2055; email:firstname.lastname@example.org;
– Natura Lodge: Under the management of Tamzara, a well-known Turkish tour company. 21 rooms, 2-3-or 4- bed timber-lined en-suite rooms. Evening meals, convenient position. Tel: (464) 657 20 35
– Dadala pension. Just 1km beyond the village is another pension, a wooden yayla house at 2800m with about 10 beds and food. (536) 512 6724 / (542) 685 5235.
– Demirci Pension: A few waterless rooms in an old wooden yayla building, with camping outside. Tel:0464/651 7495.
– Ufuk Pension: Newish wood-built pension with large dining room. Accommodation in 3 chalets and a total of 24 beds, with views over the valley. Run by the friendly Kadir and his wife, it’s a nice place if a little over-priced. No phone.
– Sahin Pension: Rather scruffy and overpriced, it’s nonetheless the only place in the yayla. A row of wooden chalets each sleeping 2/3 people, en-suite with erratic hot water. Camping available. Phone not working at time of writing!
More info on the Kulindağ website.