We are in Çamlıhemşin, one of the districts of Rize, which attracts the most visitors. Ayder Plateau, which we know from postcards, welcomes many tourists in summer and winter thanks to its asphalt road.
If we look at the history of Ayder, according to sources, it was first established in the 1300s by a community called Halalılar. Ayder was used to provide winter grass for the cattle they fed and to rest while passing to other plateaus, so it was never used as a plateau. We will call it Ayder Plateau, because that is its name. It used to be a beautiful green area, I’ve seen old photos of it, just like the other plateaus of Rize. But I can say that it resembles an amusement park rather than a plateau with the urban transformation it has undergone.
I will say that it is a nice place to get away from the overcrowding and city life and have a vacation, but this will sound funny to you too. Since 1987, when it started to be operated as a Tourism Center with the decision of the Council of Ministers, Ayder Plateau has entered the construction process with an ever-increasing momentum and has turned into what it is today. The altitude of Ayder is 1300 meters. The fact that it is located at such a high altitude means that the weather is cold, but thanks to the asphalted road, the roads are open all seasons of the year. Despite all the chaos, it is still one of the must-see places in Rize.
I recommend you to get up early in the morning and go on an exploration tour in Ayder Plateau. There are no crowds in the morning and the plateau has a mysterious atmosphere. When you go up the plateau, you are greeted on the right by the 23 meter high Gelintülü Waterfall, formerly known as Tikçe but recently renamed Gelintülü because it resembles a bride’s veil. This waterfall flows into Hala Creek and eventually merges with Fırtına Creek.
Ayder Hot Springs
I recommend you to benefit from the Ayder hot springs under the name of Ayder Hot Spring Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Center. In the center of Ayder Plateau, before going down to Ayder Taxi and the gendarmerie, you need to enter the structure with a large roof adjacent to the Ayder Mosque on the left side. If you come with your car, you can park your car in an empty area on the roadside.
You have two options to benefit from Ayder hot springs. One is to take advantage of the hot pools where everyone, especially Arabs, enter. We preferred the private rooms for spouses. The price of the private rooms is a little higher and you can hang out for 1 hour. The place we refer to as a room consists of two small rooms, one is a dressing and undressing area and the other is a bathing area with a large bathtub. Both are quite clean. There was a good pressure of water coming out of the faucet, and at about 55 degrees, it is a cure for many problems. There are fresh towels and a hair dryer in the room. You should crown the hot bath with a soda at the exit.
In the plateau, there are restaurants to eat muhlama and cafes to enjoy the greenery. If you want to buy souvenirs, there are souvenir shops along the road. Ayder Plateau, like all other plateaus, is a great place for photographers. When you go up the hill, you can see the entire view of the foggy Ayder Plateau. From flowers, to rare mushrooms and lizards sunbathing in groups, you’ll have plenty of shots waiting for you in sunny weather.
What to do in Ayder Plateau?
Let’s talk about what you can do in Ayder Plateau. First of all, you can enjoy the green areas of the plateau and take photos. You can climb upwards from the plateau and hike upwards from the road to the upper parts of the plateau. This way you can photograph the entire plateau from above.
Recently, a small thing like a zipline facility was established, and since no one was using it, the employees were trying to show it off by themselves. I think zipline should be done on Fırtına Creek. Do not return without rafting when you go to Fırtına. Check out our article on Things to Do in Rize.
Ayder Plateau is actually located in the center of many places around. Since there are many places to visit and see around Ayder, you can stay in Ayder and visit the surrounding area in this way. You can continue from Ayder to Kavrun Plateau and Avusor Plateau. You can reach the surrounding plateaus by using minibuses departing from the center or by contacting tour companies. Other alternatives include having a high-six car, walking and hitchhiking. If you want, you can also visit Palovit Waterfall and Zilkale, which are easy to reach and not far from its location.
If you come to Ayder towards the end of January, you will encounter a different plateau covered with snow. During this period, the Ayder Snow Festival is held here and events such as folklore performances, concerts by local artists and fireworks shows are organized.
Where to stay in Ayder Plateau?
Almost every house has started to serve as a hotel and pension. Most of the hotels in Ayder Plateau are luxury hotels rather than a plateau house. If you are going to stay in a hotel, it would be best for your budget to choose an off-season time.
The plateau can rise to a maximum of 26 degrees in summer. If you are one of the economic travelers who say I will go in season and stay in a tent, you can stay in many points of the plateau with a tent. There is also a tent area facility where you can camp in Ayder Plateau. Follow the road up the plateau and on the right side, you will see a large camping area with tents called Ayder Camping under the linden. We camped here and it was quite enjoyable. It is a campground with rules.
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How much is the entrance fee to Ayder Plateau?
There is no entrance fee to Ayder Plateau, but since the area where the plateau is located is located within the borders of Kaçkar Mountains National Park, you have to pay a fee if you go by car.
Where is Ayder Plateau and how to get there?
Ayder Plateau is the point where you will arrive from the direction on the left side over the Fırtına Stream in Çamlıhemşin. You will reach Ayder Plateau after 17 km (22 minutes) from this bridge. The roads of Ayder Plateau have the best asphalt roads in Rize, if there is no traffic, you can travel easily. Sometimes there are such moments when there is only one road and greenery everywhere. It is a nice feeling to be in the Black Sea. On your way up to the plateau, you come across a small waterfall on the left side, which is commonplace here, but you should not ignore it.
Transportation to Ayder Plateau from Trabzon Airport: Trabzon Airport is the closest airport to Rize. From here, you can come to Rize’s Pazar district and use Ayder minibuses to reach Ayder in about 2 hours.