This is a region that relatively few travellers visit, the cool climate and high rainfall mean a short summer season making the coast less appealing to holiday makers. The regions real beauty lies inland in the hills and pastures. Turkey’s North East is rugged and mountainous. The landscape, at times reminiscent of the Alps, boasts huge forests, lush green valleys, remote mountain villages, hazelnut, tobacco and tea plantations. It is truly breathtaking.
We spend a lot of time on this tour visiting “Yayla(s)”, high altitude villages. Although common across much of Turkey, in the Kaçkar mountains – in particular around Camlihemsin – the ‘yayla(lar)’ are spectacular. Often characterised by small clusters of stone and wooden houses, like basic chalets and often with a metal roofs. The houses are normally used in the summer season, June to September, when their owners come from far and wide to enjoy spending time amidst the wonderful scenery, often in homes they were born in, or grew up in, or have some family attachment to. There are very few outsiders here! Some traditionally activities can still be seen, such as the making of yoghurt and local cheese.
The Hemsin people need a special note here, with their strong facial features and fair skin they are more Caucasian than Turkish in appearence. They have a great sense of humour, huge personalities and a particularly distinc talent for baking pastries. Ethnically the Hemsin people are of Armenian decent or a mixure of Armenian Christian and indiginous tribal cultures, they have lived in the area for centuries.
This tour caters for all levels of photographic skill, from novice to advanced. Packed with photo taking opportunities there will also be plenty of time for relaxation, great Turkish food and optional day tours, trekking, scuba diving or sea kayaking, perhaps visiting sites of historical interest or just chilling out on a beach.
Tour photo-leader, Rod Wheelans FRPS FIPF MFIAP MPAGB, one of the best known and most successful exhibition photographers in the UK, will be on hand to help you get great pictures. Evenings will give plenty of opportunity for workshops, discussions, reviews and briefings and Rod will be happy to offer expert feedback on your photos. We are also planning 2 projected Photoshop workshops for those interested.
Our photography tutor on this tour is Rod Wheelans. Rod started taking photographs when he was 7 but didn’t become a serious photographer until he was 12! He has become one of the best known and most successful exhibition photographers in the UK. Rod has been a member of the Visual Arts, Travel and Applied Panels of the Royal Photographic Society and is Chairman of the Photographic Alliance Awards for Photographic Merit so he can help if you are interested in achieving such awards. As well as helping you when you need it, he’ll be looking for his own photographs and you can learn a lot just watching him and his partner, Anne Greiner MPAGB, working with the people we meet.
One of the main pleasures of traveling in Turkey is the warm hospitality of its people. Consequently our photo tours and holidays abound in opportunities for photographing local people. We aim to interact with the local community at every opportunity, and do not encourage fly-by telephoto photography. Our tours are about meeting people and listening to their stories. In this way we are able to enrich photographs with authentic context and make the overall experience more pleasurable for both locals and ourselves. We sometimes organise outdoor “studio” sessions where, with lots of help if you need it, you will get great pictures of willing models or local characters!
We explore by day, during evenings there are opportunities for workshops, discussions and photo reviews. Rod Wheelans will be happy to offer expert feedback on your photos. There may also be time for Photoshop workshops for those who are interested and we like to finish with a final slide show of everyone’s photos from the tour.
You may check out photos from some of our previous tours by following the links in the footer below.
Meet in Istanbul. For those that arrive early enough we will use this day to explore locally. Evening trip briefing with our photo tutor Rod Wheelans and tour leader Serkan Cetin.
Flight to Trabzon. Transfer to Camlihemsin.
Visit Amlakit ‘yayla’, a high pasture or a remote village in the mountains above Camlihemsin.
Free day in Amlakit.
Visit Elevit. Elevit is another village high above Camlihemsin town where locals frequent during the hotter summer months.
Free day in Elevit.
Visit Pokut. An amazing pasture with a cluster of wooden houses and stunning views.
Explore Pokut and the village of Sal.
Drive to Ayder. Explore the local town. The rest of the day is free in Ayder.
Visit the village of Kevrun. Overnight in Kevrun.
Free day in Kevrun. Overnight in Camlihemsin.
Camlihemsin and local villages.
Camlihemsin and local villages.
Transfer to airport for flight to Istanbul. Final night of tour with last group dinner. Perfect for going through our photographic highlights.
Transfers to airport for departure flights.
|£2800 per person – Double / Twin||Flights to Turkey are NOT included|
|Single Supplement £300|
Internal flights from Istanbul to Trabzon return. All accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis and ground transportation in a private vehicle. Any public transportation if used is also included. Photographic tuition and reviews from our tutors, local guides and drivers are included in the tour fee. Meals during group activities and excursions will be included, on any “free” days meals are not included other than breakfast.
Flights. Customary tips; There is a tip kitty policy on this trip and we will collect 20 Turkish Lira (£3) per person, per day, to cover tips in restaurants, hotels and drivers. Guide(s) are tipped at your own discretion. Personal items such as laundry are not included. Optional activities, entrance fees to heritage sites or museums are not included. Beverages other than water during meals are not included.
Returning guests receive a 15% discount from the tour fee.
Contact us to check availability. We will then send you an online booking form to fill and information on how to pay your deposit. We require a deposit of £500 per person to secure a place on the tour, the balance is required 8 weeks prior to departure.
Saturday 12 September – Saturday 26 September 2018 (14 nights)
Maximum group size is 12 – not including staff.
3 – 4 star hotels or the like, small charismatic guest houses where possible rather than large hotels.
Breakfast is included as part of your accommodation. Other meals are included except on free days. Soft drinks and alcohol are not included.
Private midi-bus in the main. The tour is designed to cut down driving time and maximise location time and photography. We do our best not to over fill the bus, leaving space for your equipment. On any long drives, we will make ample stops.
Occasionally, standards in Turkey are not what we may be used to in the West. As such, in order to maintain a fun and healthy atmosphere on this tour we ask you to bring a positive and open minded attitude.