"Uzungöl" Uzungol by maykal
Uzungol Travel Guide: 17 reviews and 59 photos
Uzungol was a bit of a luxury item on my trip. I'd just spent a month in Georgia, and was on my way back to Istanbul...theoretically I had run out of money and time, but I wasn't really ready to finish my holiday!! On my last day in Trabzon, I saw an advert for a day trip to Uzungol, the much-photographed local beauty spot which is quite hard to reach without your own transport, so despite my 'no tour' policy, I signed up.
The bus whisked six lucky passengers (1 Brit, 2 Japanese and 3 Turks) along the dreary Black sea coast towards Rize, before turning inland into lush green mountain landscapes. At times the scenery was amazingly spectacular, and I was glad I hadn't been put off by the idea of a tour.
Arrival in Uzungol was a bit of an anti-climax, to be honest. I'd seen the picture a thousand times in countless tour agency brochures, and somehow the real thing didn't really live up to that image. Nice enough it was, but really there isn't an awful lot to do there. I amused myself for one hour by walking around the lake, passing the picturesque lakeside mosque, nosing round the 'old' village, and throwing bread to the ducks...that filled the first hour, but the return bus wasn't leaving for another six!
I walked up the road past the lake, heading deeper into the mountains...a small dam, a honey seller, and a plethora of picnicking Turks, but not much else. The illage of Uzungol is now almost entirely devoted to tourism, the main street lined with shops selling 'authentic' wall hangings among the usual array of carpets, coffeepots and Aladdin slippers...and any building that hadn't been transformed into a souvenir shop was a fish restaurant.
By midday, Uzungol was thronging with tourists who had been disgorged from their tour buses and had realised there was nothing to do but eat fish and drink tea. Not being an avid fan of fish, even less so when the ones served on the plate can be seen swimming in a pool minutes earlier, I was stuck with the latter option of drinking tea until the return bus picked us up.
Uzungol is undoubtedly a pleasant spot, but I fear it has already been semi-ruined by tourism, and looks set to be completely ruined by a lengthy list of 'tourism projects' to be completed by 2006. Maybe it is different in the off-season, winter maybe...but avoid weekends at all costs, especially in summer! A weekday in June was bad enough. Still, the photos look nice, and I can amaze friends in Istanbul who show me pictures of the place and I say 'yes, I've been there!'
Pictures are currently stored on a digital camera...I have no idea how to get them off the camera and online yet, as I'm still a newbie with regards to digital cameras...be patient, and a page will appear before your very eyes shortly :@P
- Pros:Mountain air, picturesque lake
- Cons:wholly devoted to tourism, not much to do
- In a nutshell:Maybe a place to visit in the off-season if you have your own car
There doesn't seem to be any real public transport up to Uzungol, so the only option is to sign up for a dreaded tour!... more travel advice
All of Uzungol is a tourist trap, which is unfortunate as it is a pretty place. I went on a weekday in June, hardly peak... more travel advice
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