Located on the eastern coastline of the Black Sea, Rize is built on a mountainside covered with tea shrubs that look like puffy emerald pillows. It is like an otherworldly natural beauty where you can climb up to the forests from the fields of flavourful tea shrubs and then lie in the lush grass of mesmerizing plateaus near the mountaintops. It is a city whose glacier lakes, waterfalls and hot springs will refresh the body and the mind.
A splendid panorama of the whole city can be seen from Ziraat Park. As enjoying this beautiful scene with a well-brewed tea, you would most probably want to visit the magnificent Genoese Castle and the 16th century İslampaşa Kurşunlu Mosque. Displaying the Turkish leader’s personal belongings as well as ethnographical artefacts from the region, Mataracı Mehmet Efendi Mansion, now the Atatürk Museum, will absolutely draw your attention. There are also local architectural masterpieces depicting a matchless art of wood and cut stonework.
Turning inland after Ardeşen and off the road going east from Rize, visitors come to the beautiful little county of Çamlıhemşin. Nearby is the Fırtına Vadisi (Storm Valley) that is ideal for canoeing, the beautiful Zil Castle (Kale-i Zir) and an old stone bridge. After walking around Ayder‘s rolling meadows, you can soothe your mood in the calm hot springs there. For those who like mountain climbing, this is the best starting point for scaling the Kaçkar Mountains, this emerald range being one of the best and the most challenging for climbers in Turkey. The whole Kaçkar Range constitutes the beautiful Kaçkar Mountains National Park. In the mountains south of Rize lies Anzer, a favourite place for everyone to hike and step through the botanic feast of flowers, offering the world-famous and nutritious Anzer honey. İkizdere Canyon, between the Anzer and İkizdere Plateaus, is a great spot for hang-gliding, providing a bird’s-eye view of the area at the same time.
Last but not least, don’t leave the city without discovering the coastline by boat, and enjoying the subtropical climate, lush green settings, and the traditional chalets of the counties of Çayeli, Pazar, Ardeşen, Of and Fındıklı.