Trabzon

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Trabzon is a city in northeastern Turkey, on the coast of the Black Sea. It is most famous for the Sumela Monestary, located 40km south of the city.

It is also a common place to get a visa for Iran. Many travellers (especially those who do not require a visa for the Schengen Zone) have reported that visas are issued on the same day with little hassle. The visa costs around 100 euros and normally doesn't require any reference number or letter of invitaion.

Hitchhiking out

East towards Rize, Georgian border (D010)

Take a bus going to the University — as there is only one university in town, it shouldn't be to hard to ask around for it; it's near the airport. The university campus lies along the highway going in the direction of Rize. Find your way down to the highway; ask around for the "Foreign Language School" (Yabancı Diller Yüksekokulu, but signed as Milli Piyango Yabancı Dil Eğitim Merkezi on the building — a pink one — itself) and just accross here on the highway, is a nice place just after 2 lanes merge, with a good shoulder for cars to stop on.


South towards Erzurum or the Sumela Monestary

Head towards the Otogar and ask for the Dolmus to Macka (2.5TL), a town which is 20Km south of the city. Once there you will encounter a junction with one road heading towards Erzurum and the other to Sumela. There are many good spots to stand in this small town and it isn't a busy road; waits to either destination shouldn't be long.

Additionally you can walk/bus/hitch to a spot between the city center and the university on Devlet Karayolu Cd, where the road towards Erzerum starts. a lot of people are coming from the highway and it is a breeze to catch a ride heading south.


West towards Samsun or Istanbul

From the city centre, walk towards the sea until you come across the big road. Cross it and look for a good spot anywhere on this road, where cars can stop for you.

Sleep

At Of, a village 30 km east from the city situation is very calm. You can take a urban bus in front of Forum mall, it costs only 3TL (last about at 7p.m) and lead you there. In the morning you can also find easily rides to Rize or straight to Georgia, cars and trucks do stop there for breakfast and shops.

  • I slept on a bench right next Of new mosque, very wide and comfortable. In the morning locals asked me why i didnt ask to go inside the mosque, they would have hosted me without any problem. They offered me breakfast and for a while confused for an international spy.. Fedecicco


When you're arriving late, or don't want to take the bus to Of, just walk up to sea. In between the highway that runs through Trabzon and the sea there is at most places a little or big strip of grass or park (especially west of the airport and harbor), where it's no problem to pitch a tent. People that pass by will not bother you (unless you count a waving hand and a 'hello-how-are-you' as bothering :) ), and the police is unlikely to bother you, either. Take some time to look for a good spot as there are some areas that just consist of grass overgrowing stones.

Sumela

To hichhike back from Sumela to main road, a very good spot is at the parking where mikros await (40°41.523'Nx39°39.050'E, WGS 84). Lots of cars stop for catching some snack. Obviously, traffic is scarce and time-of-the-day dependant.

To sleep at Sumela, Marion_and_John found a great place to pitch our tent, about 400 meters from the entrance of the monastery, between ticket office and parking lot, on the upper side of the trail. To get there on your way from the monastery back to the parking lot, find a minor trail that runs mostly parallel to the main trail but that goes up. There are several used spots around 40°41.217'Nx39°39.506'E (WGS84).


Experiences

Hitchhiker Anacist:

I found there were two groups of amateur university kids trying to hitch here, it was another 30 mins walk further down before there is another place for cars to stop. Then again, it is Turkey, so try your luck on the way — drivers often have a habit of stopping wherever they like!