Great for: Waterfalls, Natural Beauty, Oversized Showers
Turkey’s eastern Black Sea coast is a land of high mountains, capped with snow and glaciers, with forested valleys wreathed in cloud and lashed by rain. Gorges carve their way through the mountains, with creeks, swollen year-round by melt and rain, raging through them. With so much water racing to the sea, its no surprise that Rize is home to many beautiful waterfalls.
The Palovit stream flows down from the high peaks of the Kaçkar Mountains in the south down to the sea. At 3900 meters, the Kaçkar Mountains, which take their name from the Armenian word Khachkar, a monumental stone carved with a cross, are the highest mountains in the Pontic Alps.
Flowing year round, the Palovit Stream has carved out a canyon-like valley through which it flows, the walls of which are covered in the greenery of plants that cling to the rocky walls. The stream rushes round a bend, before dropping fifteen metres into a pool below. You can view the falls from above or descend into the lower gorge by a set of stairs disguised as a log (This stair was closed for maintenance when we visited). If you go down near the foot of the falls, be prepared to get wet as the air is full of mist and spray even when the falls are at their quietest at the end of summer.
How To Get There
Even though Palovit Falls and the nearby sights of Zil Castle and the Storm Valley can be full of visitors, there are only two easy ways to visit the sights of this area: Chartered tour, or rental car. While some people will rent a taxi for a day or two, it’s usually cheaper to just rent a car.
A tour can be arranged through the tour offices that are scattered throughout Trabzon and Rize city centers. You can choose to join a group or arrange a private tour depending on the size of your group.
By car Palovit Waterfall is quite easy to find. From the city of Rize head east on the D010 highway to Ardeşen where you’ll see a massive brown sign marked for the various sights up the valley. Take the Ardeşen – Çamlıhemşin Road into the mountains following the Storm Creek with its beautiful historic bridges. Follow this road past the town of Çamlıhemşin (the road will go straight but become Halil Şişman Street) for another 15 kms, passing Zil Castle. A couple kilometres after Zil Castle turn left following the signs for Palovit Şelalesi. The road will pass up a narrow gorge until you see the falls on your left.
For more about car rental and driving in Turkey make sure to read our full drivers guide.
Where To Stay
The mountains of Rize are dotted with picturesque mountain houses set up to host guests right in the midst of the natural beauty of the mountains. While there are none right in the vicinity of Palovit Waterfall, the nearby Pokut Yaylası (immediately above Palovit waterfall but an hour away) is a stunning place to stay with great pensions. There are also lots of boutique hotels and pensions nestled in the valley along the Storm Creek. The larger towns tend to have the cheapest/lowest quality hotel options if you’re looking to save money and stay as cheap as possible.
Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.