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UZUNGÖL

The "Long Lake"

ugol2Good news. Since my last visit most of the buildings in the famed Black Sea beauty spot of Uzungöl have been given a wooden makeover and now the hotels clustered around the deep green water no longer detract from it as they used to. The huge mosque still jars a bit, but that's to nitpick. Most people will thoroughly enjoy an overnight stay here and there's plenty to keep children amused including pedaloes for hire with lifejackets provided. 

The road to Uzungöl follows the course of its namesake river. As you drive along it keep an eye out on the left for a fine old roofed suspension bridge before you pass through Dernekpazarı. A few lovely old wattle-and-daub houses still cling to the hillside but most have been abandoned in favour of concrete.

The last stop before Uzungöl is the unexceptional small town of Çaykara which roars into life for a market every Tuesday.

Once your arrive in Uzungöl you'll need to pick between two groups of places to stay.

The first is actually on the shores of the lake near the mosque and a pretty little humpbacked bridge. This is the "real" Uzungöl. Some of the better hotels, however, including the idiosyncratic İnan Kardeşler, are round the far side of the lake facing the river that flows down from the mountains to feed it. This may be a marginally quieter place to stay.ugol1

In the past Uzungöl used to attract quite a lot of Israelis. Now their place has been taken by Saudi Arabians whose women stroll the shores of the lake with only their eyes visible. "They love the rain and the greenery," as one local told me. 

Sleeping

Provided you visit midweek you should be able to find somewhere to stay without a reservation. Beware of doing that at weekends during school holidays though.

Ensar Otel. Tel: 0462-656 6530

İnan Kardeşler

Mabeyin Pansiyon. Tel: 0462-656 6099

Sezgin Otel. Tel: 0462-656 6175

Soylu Pansiyon. Tel: 0462-656 6127

Transport info

The few direct dolmuşes from Trabzon to Uzungöl leave from the grim eastern minibus terminal just off the coast road, a short walk from Atatürk Meydanı. The ticket office is tucked down a side turning nearby. Check the timetable in advance as there are lengthy gaps and you won't want to be hanging around here.

Alternatively you can take any transport along the main coast road and get out in Of whence you should be able to find another dolmuş heading inland to the lake. Don't leave it too late in the day though. At weekends all the minibuses are likely to arrive full from Trabzon.ugol3Immortalising the kemençe-playing Laz local

 

 

 

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