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Coruh Rafting Expedition

We are inviting you to cut loose in a magical playground of the Pontic Alps, homeland of the nations most colorful, preserved and distinctive ethnic groups, the Laz and Hemsin.

In the picturesque north eastern part of Turkey lies dramatic Coruh River, flowing in the heart of the Kackar mountain range. Coruh, a world-class whitewater river, epitomises the world action as we paddle and surf what is seeimingly an endless rollar coaster ride.  Fed by snow-melt from the Eastern Black Sea Mountains in north-east Turkey, the Coruh flows through spectecular canyons, and narrow fertile valleys of orchards and tiny paddy fields, past ancient ruined castles of all which set against a backdrop of magnificent rugged mountains.

This trip is to fulfill a unique vision of Turkey not just to marvel at but also to live with the remnants of its distinctive and colorful past. Gorgeous rolling hills littered with alpine flowers frame our view, as we pass villages where friendly and welcoming locals beckon us with invitations to visit. This fairly remote landscpae is giving us a rare opportunity to experience the beautiful natural lanscape and the tarditional life of inceredibly friendly and hospitable local villagers.

Program

(B)reakfat / (L)unch / (D)inner

Day 1: After taking a short domestic flight from Istanbul to Erzurum (1 hr) in the morning, we will explore the city. Once done, we will transfer to our first campsite by the river.  This is where you will find a final chance to finish any personal shopping for the expedition, such as sun screen, lip balm and etc. Then we have a three-hour ride to our river adventure. The views are absolutely outstanding over giant plateau as we travel in to the heart of Kackar Mountains. Bound for our destination Maden, the road winds over glorious mountain passes littered by alpine folige. By the late afternoon we will have set up our camp on the banks of the Coruh. Overnight camping (B/L/D)

Little history about Erzurum… Although its foundation was probably much earlier, Erzurum achieved real importance as Theodosiopolis, a 5th-century-AD Byzantine fortress that fell to the Arabs in 653. Thereafter it was disputed among the Byzantines, Arabs, and Armenians until taken by the Seljuk Turks in 1071; it prospered in the early 13th century under Seljuk sultans. The Arabs and the Turks called it Arzan ar-Rum, or Arz ar-Rum ("Land of the Romans"), from which its present name is derived. It came under Ottoman control in 1515. The city was occupied by Russian forces in 1829, 1878, and 1916-18. It was in Erzurum, in July 1919, that Mustafa Kemal (later honored as Ataturk) presided over the first Turkish nationalist congress, leading to the establishment of the Turkish Republic.

Day 2: With a fresh brewed coffee to awaken us as the sun begins to warm the day, we start preparing for our river journey a head. A hearty breakfast, a wonderful introduction to the diversity of fresh food that this regions offers, is followed by a safety meeting.

We start our journey down the river (class II) to our next campsite at Ispir, a remote but interesting little town with acastle perched on a rock pinnacle. In the evening we have the chance to explore the castle and the town, and to inspect the first section of the exciting rapids that await us tomorrow. Overnight camping at Ispir (B/L/D)

Day 3: Our river journey starts off with a three kilometre stretch of continuous whitewater until we hit the first grade 5 rapid, affectionately known as "The Bitch!" We have a short section of fast water to the next grade 5 called Alexis, then down into Dynasty and then finally the Stud! It is not over there… as we hit "Mile Long Rapid", a continuous rush being bounced and buffeted by a series of towering waves!

This pretty much sets the scene for the next two days, as from then on the rapids do not stop as we continue this thrill a minute roller coaster ride towards the first major village of Asku. Great surf waves and play spots everywhere! Our journey draws much attention from the local villagers, as we pass them with screams of excitement. Due to the sheer force and speed of the water, we often will stop and scout the larger of the rapids to check out lines to take and to see if there are any changes in water patterns from the last trip. It also allows us to take action photos of the other paddlers tackling the whitewater, as our cameras are always accessible as we travel. Overnight camping at Camlikaya (B/L/D)

Day 4: As we move further downstream the scenery gives rise to fantastic photo opportunities in the form of Byzantine castles which we take time out to visit - make sure you remember to bring a waterproof camera as well - the climb up to them always rewards us with spectacular views over the surrounding countryside and of the river below. We also try to stop off at some of the villages that dot the riverbanks. Turkish people are renowned for their hospitality and it is great fun trying to explain to them that yes, we are going down the river and no, we are not crazy! We spend the evenings camping by the river’s edge around an open fire, recounting countless stories of the fantastic days paddling while feasting on the culinary delights that this fertile land offers.

By the evening of day four and after tackling rapids such as “Frog’s piss” and the “French Hole” we have reached the campsite of Tekkale village, also known in Turkish as “Four Churches”. In June, this village of cherry orchards is laden with fruit. Overnight camping at Tekkale (B/L/D)

Day 5: An early start for a morning of thrilling rafting in the Class 5 Yusufeli Gorge, where we tackle the most exhilarating rapids of the week, including “King Kong, House Rock, Sculpture Rock, Number Three and Chocolote Thunder”. Huge boulders force of water into steep chutes and churning holes that seem bigger than the raft. After we plunge through huge waves and manoeuvre ourselves around obstacles and down to our take-out.

Once our river journey is over lets keep up pumping adrenaline to our veins by spectecular life style and panaromic views of Kackar range by trekking this mountainous range starting from the southern face and ending at the northern face of the Kackar Mountains.

We transfer to our next destination in Yusufeli, where will be starting point of four-day trekking expedition. Overnight in Yusufeli (B/L/D)

The Yusufeli region has numerous historic citadels, churches, Turkish baths and cellars that are interesting to visit. The medieval Georgian churches of Dörtkilise, Ishan, Barhal and Demirkent are especially noteworthy.

Day 6: We start our trek from Altiparmak (Barhal village) towards Cicek (Flower) valley. The area around the Altiparmak ranks as one of the most beautiful in Turkey. The hamlets located on the skirts of the Kackar Mountains and along the river, the gardens and orchards which follow the twists and turns of the waterway through the valley, and the mist shrouded summits combine to produce a picture of remarkable beauty. Bahceli Kalesi is the most impressive fortress in the valley, perched in all its grandeur on a rocky outcrop near Yusufeli. The ruins of a second fortress are visible further up the mountainside.

After we go through the gear and safety equipment, everything will be loaded either mules or horses, which would help us to carry our gear during the expedition. Crossing the river ahead, we trek through forest and follow the stabilized road leading us to Cicek Valley. We contour along a watercourse thorough the plateaus of Nazara and Yukari Catallar before me make it to our campsite for the day. Trekking 4-5 hrs. Overnight camping (B/L/D)

Day 7: Today’s destination is Satibe ridge. This campsite is one of the highlights of the trip. Trekking 4-6 hrs. Altitude: 2,250m. Overnight camping (B/L/D)

Day 8: After waking up to a hearty breakfast, we climb up to Libler Lake through giant snow flank.It will be followed by trakking to Kırmızı Gedik (Red Pass) at 3,100 m altitude (2 hours). Standing up on this exiting pass with surrounded several peaks more than 3,400m gives you the feeling of flying. Once we   make to our campsite, we will be camping by a fresh spring coming from the summits. This high pasture is under two prominent peaks of Kackar.Trekking 4-6 hrs. Altitude: 3,400m. Overnight camping (B/L/D)

Day 9: Our expedition starts in the morning from Avusor high pastures to Ayder. The trail leading from Avusor high pastures to Ayder is a gentle dirt road vowed by the surreal landscape surrounding. During our trek, you will get to meet some locals at their primitive stone houses. Enjoy the conversation while you are sipping the teas that the whole region is proud of. Trekking 4-5 hrs. Altitude: 2,400 m Overnight Ayder (B/L/D)

Day 10: After a hearty breakfast and soking our bodies in natural hot springs of Ayder, we transfer to Tabzon - Once called Trapezus, and later Trebizond, the modern town of Trabzon is the major city of the region. It was founded in the 7th century B.C. by Miletian colonists and was the center of the Comnene Empire established after the fall of Byzantine Istanbul.

A short domestic flight lands to Istanbul. Transfered to hotel, we will have the rest of the day either for resting, walking the mystic streets of Istanbul or simply shopping in the neighbourhood for our loved ones. Overnight Istanbul (B/L/D)

Day 11: Transfer to Airport and departure.

Pricing

Participants Tour Pricing
Per person 1300 EURO

Pricing Includes Pricing NOT Includes
  1. Welcoming  group at the airport
  2. 2 domestic flights ( Istanbul to Erzurum, Trabzon to Istanbul)
  3. Meals as stated in itinerary (Vegetarians will be taken into consideration for their preferences)
  4. 10 nights accommodation as stated in itinerary (the list of the hotels, campsites and boutique hotels is available upon request.)
  5. All techical river equipment, including self-bailing rafts, life jackets, helmets, wetsuits and all the necesaary equipment for your own safety and comfort.
  6. All camping equipment, such as tents, sleeping bags and mats, stools, full kitchen and etc.
  7. Qualified and experienced river guides and safety kayakers of all whom hold up to date advanced first aid qualifications and in the unlikely event of an injury they have the expertise and professionalism to deal with it.
  8. Permits
  9. All national park, museum, entrance fees to historical and religious sites
  10. Professional, knowledgeable and licensed local guides (fluent in English)
  11. Transportation in AC equipped vehicles during the entire trip
  12. Airport transfers
  13. All transfer to and from river.
  14. Bottled spring water
  15. Trip leader for your convenience traveling with the group through the entire trip
  16. All taxes
  1. International airfares
  2. Foreign airport taxes
  3. Single accommodation is optional
  4. Items of personal nature such as phone calls, laundry, liquor, etc.
  5. Beverages during meals
  6. Meals not indicated in the itinerary
  7. Travel insurance
  8. Gratuties for the driver, adventure and culture guides

Accommodation

10 nights of camping, pension accommodation

Destinations

Istanbul - Erzurum - Yusufeli - Coruh River - Trabzon

Difficulty Level

III-IV: On this trip expect 4-6 hours of activity daily, on varied terrains or at altitudes from sea level to 3,500m (12,000 feet), trekking 10km to 20km (6 to 12 miles).

Number of Participants

Minimum : 6
Maximum : 16