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An update from Evaneos

Sumela (Turkey)

Practical information about Sumela

  • Mountain
  • River
  • Place or Religious Monument
  • Archaeological Site
  • Place or Historical Monument
  • Essential
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
55 minutes from Trabzon by car
When to go
All year round
Minimum stay
Half a day

Reviews of Sumela

Antoine d'Audigier Travel writer
48 travel articles

A superb historical building clinging to a steep mountainside and offering magnificent views

My suggestion:
Though it gets packed in summer, in winter you have the freedom to wander the monastery's interior at your leisure.
Almost as soon as I set off on the route to the Sumela Monastery I found myself overwhelmed by the beauty of the place. The path leading up to this architectural jewel, which is built onto the rock face, was lined with snow. Because it was winter, we were able to wander at leisure through the bare rooms and to the viewpoints out over the valley that Sumela Monastery overlooks.
The Monastery of Sumela viewed from below
Travel writer
16 travel articles

A monastery built into the rock at an altitude of 1200 metres.

My suggestion:
You must go there when the weather's good to enjoy a beautiful view out over the horizon.

To reach the impressive monastery in Sumela, you have to climb part of the mountain, at first by car then a little by foot. It's situated in the middle of a very rich natural environment and a very green forest. You can also walk in the surrounding wooded paths, the route is very pleasant in this national park.

Sumela Monastery, built into the side of a mountain,is now almost 2000 years old and is still in very good condition. Actually the majority of the paintings in covered rooms have kept their beautiful colours. The walls are sometimes painted in their totality with Bible scenes, and several saints are illustrated there, This is particularly surprising since you're in a country where the culture is now deeply Muslim. Although you can find Christian places of this type in the caves in Cappadocia, it still remains not very common in Turkey. This place is therefore atypical and a must see in the North of the country in my opinion.

Paintings on the wall of Sumela Monastery
Sumela Monastery