If your level of commitment isn’t up to multi-day treks that require you to camp out in the high mountains, consider the track that heads southeast from Şenyuva, a typically dispersed community of occasionally impressive farmstead dwellings 6–8km above Çamlıhemşin. The best accommodation here is at Fırtına Pansiyon.

Beyond Şenyuva, the route is blocked by snow for much of the year, so it’s only advisable during high summer. Pokut, a 3hr walk from Şenyuva via Sal, is fairly representative of the more substantial Black Sea yaylas, with handsome woodwork capped by mixed tin-and-timber roofs rising from stone foundations. For the first night’s lodging, try Poket Yaylasi.

The following day you hike east to Hazindag (Hazıntak), a handsomely clustered settlement just above the tree line, then briefly follow a majestic river canyon on a corniche route south before veering up and southeast to the primitive rock-and-sod cottages of Samistal. Weather permitting, the ridge above Samistal offers spectacular views of the main Kaçkar summit ridge. You then double back west to Amlakit, with its Pansiyon, or drop in stiff zigzags from Samistal to Aşağı Kavron, which is linked by minibuses to Ayder.

If you stay in Amlakit, a final day of walking would see you use a direct trail north to Hazindag and thence back to Pokut and Sal (there’s a steep path northeast through cloud forest direct to Ayder, but it’s presently in bad condition). Alternatively, keener trekkers can carry on south from Amlakit for 45min on a rough road to Palovit (2300m), and thence to Apevanak Yayla (2500m) en route to the true alpine zone.

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