Life Above the Clouds: Haçivanak, Trovit and Karmik

The Eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey boasts a plethora of breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders. While some of the region’s popular destinations like Uzungöl or Ayder are well-known, there are still hidden gems waiting to be explored. Haçivanak, Trovit, and Karmik are three highlands in the area that remain relatively unknown, but offer visitors an unforgettable experience. Their untouched beauty fascinates both day-trippers and campers, and the best part is that they are budget-friendly. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and discover some of Turkey’s lesser-known, equally beautiful destinations, Haçivanak, Trovit, and Karmik should definitely be on your list.

Haçivanak

haçivanak (apivanak/hapivanak)
Photo: Mustafa Orhon (Wikimedia) ©CC BY-SA 4.0

Haçivanak is 42 km from the district center of Çamlıhemşin and 102 km from the city center of Rize. It is a yayla* located on a slope at the foot of the Kaçkar Mountains. Its former name is Xaçevank.1

Yayla: The name given to summer highland settlements in Turkey.

The word “Vank” means monastery in Armenian. Therefore, it is thought that there was an Armenian Monastery around Haçivanak. However, no remains of such a monastery have been discovered to date.

Historical records show that the area surrounding Haçivanak has been inhabited for centuries, with evidence of settlements dating back to at least the 17th century. Despite its remote location, the area has served as an important crossroads for trade and commerce throughout its history.

At an altitude of 2600 meters, Haçivanak is one of the most pristine and untouched summer settlements in the region. The settlement is characterized by its traditional architecture, with only simple stone structures dotting the landscape.

Despite the lack of modern amenities, the area surrounding Haçivanak offers a unique and unforgettable experience for those who venture to visit. The natural beauty of the mountains, combined with the rich history and culture of the region, make it a must-see destination for anyone interested in exploring the hidden gems of Eastern Black Sea region.

Haçivanak (Apivanak/Hapivanak)
Photo: Mustafa Orhon (Wikimedia) ©CC BY-SA 4.0

The glacial lakes Micavit and Kardavit are approximately 1700 meters away from the settlement. You can reach Çoruh River by following Sırakonaklar Stream over Hodeçur Pass in the southeast direction.

Those who want to go to Haçivanak should use the right side of the road that splits into two after Elevit. This road leads directly to Haçivanak. Between Elevit and Haçivanak, it takes 30-40 minutes by car and 120-160 minutes on foot.

Trovit

Trovit
Photo: Engin Tavlı (Wikimedia) ©CC BY-SA 4.0

It is 39 km from the district center of Çamlıhemşin and 107 km from the city center of Rize. There are about 100 structures on the yayla, which is located next to the Karmik Stream. Although most of the houses were built with stone materials, wooden materials were also used in some of them.

The height of the yayla from the sea surface is about 2450 meters. The vegetation consists of short grasses and mountain flowers.

Those who want to go to Trovit should use the left side of the road that splits into two after Elevit. If you follow the Karmik Stream, you will reach Trovit in 25-30 minutes by car. In order not to be confused, it should be noted that before Trovit, you will pass by the settlements called Nafkar and Karunç, which consisted of a few houses. After these two settlements, you will reach the forest upper limit.

After arriving in Trovit, you can drive to Palovit via the Horon Pass. When you look back from the Horon Pass, you will see a scene reminiscent of the pages of a fairy tale book.

Karmik

Trovit - Karmik
Photo: Engin Tavlı (Wikimedia) ©CC BY-SA 4.0

The settlement, at an altitude of approximately 2670 meters, is 3 km away from Trovit. There is no vehicle road to the y where there are only a few houses.

Those who want to see Karmik have to drive up to Trovit and go up an 80-120 minute hike from there. It can be said that it will be a fairy tale experience for those who love hiking and trekking. If you have enough energy, you should also see the glacial lakes 1-2 km away from the yayla.

Transport

The closest airport to the highlands is Rize–Artvin Airport. Those who want to visit Haçivanak, Trovit and Karmik should first go to Elevit via Çamlıhemşin.

After Elevit, the road that splits into two leads to Haçivanak on the right and Trovit and Karmik on the left. You should take into account that after Elevit, the road deteriorates.

Since Haçivanak, Trovit and Karmik settlements are high, the summer season starts later and ends earlier than other summer settlements. Therefore, the ideal visit range is between the beginning of June and the end of September.



  1. “Nişanyan Sözlük: Çağdaş Türkçenin Etimolojisi”, Sevan NİŞANYAN, Liberus, ISBN: 9786050699937, Website[]

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