Population: 11,000 

borcka1The Çoruh river flows north from Artvin and through Borçka, a small town that virtually lives for the nearby dam. Like Artvin, it’s a soul-destroyingly ugly place, despite what should be its glorious setting. There’s nothing to see or do here, and most (all?) of the hotels are in the Natasha business; avoid in particular the conspicuous Grand Baraj Hotel.

On the other hand, it’s the obvious kicking-off point for excursions north to two of three Karagöls (Black Lakes) in the area, one at Murgul, the other near Muratlı, and to the ruined church at İbrikli. You can also get to the village of Camili on the Georgian border from here although non-Turkish citizens need permission in advance from the authorities in Artvin to make this trip.


If at all possible avoid having to spend the night in Borçka. The choice of hotel is marginally better in Artvin.

Demirkol Turistik Otel 

Despite its desperately grim, grey concrete exterior, this is not too bad a hotel, especially if you get one of the rooms with balconies overlooking the Çoruh and the suspension bridge from which it takes its name. Rooms are sizeable and bathrooms have tubs. Doors don’t always lock as well as they should though, and the mattresses are squishy. A basement nightclub competes with the sound of the river to keep you awake. While superficially respectable the hotel is quietly in on the other trade as well.

Tel: 0466-415 3660

Transport info

There are regular dolmuşes to Borçka from Artvin and Hopa

Day trip destinations



Karagöl (Murgul)

Karagöl (Muratlı)


Read about my visit to the ruined church at İbrikli: http://turkeyfromtheinside.com/blogbloggingaboutturkey/entry/56-the-church-that-almost-wasnt.html


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