Rize, which is situated at the skirts of the Eastern Black Sea Mountains and surrounded by the tea saplings which are like deep green velvety cushions, is a maritime city.
One cannot get enough of the magnificent view of the city and its surroundings from the Ziraat Park. Rize is the center of Turkey’s tea industry and a Tea Festival is organized annually in Rize. The most beautifully blended Black Sea tea can be bought from here. The city is also the entrance door of the whole Kackar Mountain range with its National Park. Rize has also gained a worldwide fame with its healing Anzer Honey, which can only be produced in small amounts.
In addition, Uzungol (Long Lake), which is a natural wonder surrounded with mountains and very green plateaus, is easily accessible from Rize. The Kackar Mountain tour starting from the district of Camlihemsin is an irreplaceable experience. The bridges survived from the Byzantine period together with the Zir Castle and Firtina Valley constitute the most interesting spots of this tour. As you proceed, all of a sudden, you are going to encounter the Ayder Plateau, which is famous for its thermal springs. The visitors of the plateaus of Rize are almost enchanted by them because of the fascinating views and interesting environmental and living conditions of these plateaus.
Beside all these beauties, Rize is also a city that has a high potential for congress tourism with its hotels and food & drink facilities.
Road: Rize, located on the coastline of the Black Sea, is connected to the west of Turkey via Trabzon-Samsun, to CIS countries via Sarp Border Gate, to the southeast of Turkey and to Iran via Hopa-Artvin.
Maritime line: The ferryboat travels carried out from Istanbul in summer include Rize, as well.
Airline: Rize is at a distance of 65 km. from the Trabzon Airport.
Brief Historical Account
It is said that the name “Rize” is derived from the fact that the stream running in the vicinity of the city was named “Rhizios”, later “Rhizaion” because an abundance of rice was grown in the region during the colonization period which started in 7th century B.C.
The history in Rize and in its surroundings, where it is speculated that some communities engaged with agriculture and stockbreeding were living in the beginning of 2nd millennium B.C., starts with the campaigns of the seamen from Miletus in 7th century B.C. During this period, the people of Miletus established commercial settlements on the East Black Sea coasts. Later, the region, which was attacked by the Cimmerians, Medians and Persians, came into the possession of the King Pharnakes in 180, of the Parthians in 1st century B.C. and of the Roman Empire in 10 A.D. It was frequently changed hands between the Parthian Empire and the Byzantine Empire starting from 4th century A.D. Later, it came into the possession of the Turks following the Malazgirt War in 1071; however, it was once again captured by the Byzantine Empire when the Seljuks wended their way to the west. Rize was annexed to the Ottoman Empire, some areas in 1461, the others in 1509. Rize became a province in 1924 after the declaration of the Turkish Republic.
The annual mean temperature of Rize is 14ºC. The mean temperature of the coldest month, which is January, is 6,7ºC, The mean temperature of the hottest month, which is July, is 22,2ºC.
Places to Go and Visit
Ayder Plateau, Rize Castle, Kiz Castle, the remnants of the Ceneviz Castle, Agaran Waterfall, Camlıhemsin-Lower and Upper Kavran Plateaus, Ikızdere-Anzer (Ballikoy) Plateau Tourism Center, Ikizdere-Cagirankaya Plateau.
Ataturk’s House Museum, Mehmet Mataraci Mansion, Rize Museum (Yellow House), Ethnography Museum
June: Rize Tea and Tourism Festival
August: Cayeli Cultural and Arts Festival
August: Cagirankaya Plateau Festival
Trekking in nature, canoe, rafting (Firtina Brook), fishing, mountaineering (Kackar Mountains).
Pilaf with anchovy; bread with anchovy; “hamsi kusu”, prepared with anchovy, eggs and parsley; “hamsi tavalisi”, prepared with fried anchovies and chard; “herse”, prepared with tomato, eggplant and pepper; hosme; “kabak felisi”, a kind of sweetmeat with syrup; “kabak sutlusu”, a kind of sweetmeat; cabbage soup (vurma lahana); “minci”, a kind of cheese; “muhlama”, prepared with corn flour, butter and cheese; “orman kebab”, prepared with anchovy, chard, mint and parsley; paluze, a kind of sweetmeat prepared with starch; “papara”, prepared with corn flour; pasmanika, cabbage with grape molasses, a hot dish called “sarma” made of cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and rice, Anzer Honey.
Wood and hand-woven products, Rize cloth, wicker works like tea baskets, grape baskets, fruit baskets and picnic baskets, types of boxwood spoons, small three-stringed violins, model sailing boats.
Climb the plateaus.
Go to the thermal springs in Ayder.
Visit the Islam Pasa Mosque of 16th century and the remnants of the Ceneviz Castle.
Watch the goshawk hunting, which is an old tradition of the region especially popular in the district of Ardesen.
Taste the Anzer Honey.