Trabzon, also known as Trebizond, is an ancient city founded in the 7th Century B.C. Trabzon has been a very important port city from the very beginning until the present times. In “Anabasis: The Return of the Ten Thousand” (403 BC), Xenophon described the mountain passes, routes, and local customs of this region in great detail. The city is an open air museum that carries the traces of thousands of years of history through its narrow cobble-stone pavements. Silk Road caravans loaded their goods onto ships in Trabzon. Even Marco Polo stayed here and reportedly lost his entire belongings! After the Fourth Crusade, when the Crusaders seized and sacked Constantinople, the imperial family of Comneni escaped to Trabzon and founded a new kingdom here, until 1461 when the Ottomans conquered the area
Your local guide will meet you at the pier or at your hotel in the morning and take you on a private full-day tour of the area, starting with a visit to the Sumela Monastery of the Virgin Mary, one of the most impressive sites in Trabzon, perched on a cliff face above a deep gorge. The awe inspiring and magnificent view of the monastery with its 72 cells make it a very popular stop in Trabzon. (The drive is about 30 miles and goes on a few winding roads; the walk requires uphill walking on uneven surfaces). Also visit the St. Sophia Museum from the 13th century, decorated with beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Lunch will be in Akcaabat – a town famous for its meatballs. After lunch, visit the Archaeological Museum, located in the former house of a Jewish banker who lived in Trabzon at the beginning of the 20th century. If time permits, you may also stop at Ataturk’s Mansion, old copper markets, Yeni Cuma Mosque, which was once known as the St. Eugenios Church, and finally the Gulbahar Hatun Mosque which was built by the Ottoman Sultan Selim for his mother in 1507. Your guide will bring you back to the pier or to your hotel in the late afternoon.