Great for: Nature, Alpine Culture, Yayla, Sheep, Shepherds, Green Open Spaces
High in the mountains above the beaches and picturesque seaside towns of Turkey’s Black Sea Coast are the yayla, one of the iconic sights of Turkey’s Black Sea region. But what is a yayla? According to most Turkish-English dictionaries a yayla is a plateau, but this is a pretty poor translation. A yayla is better understood as a highland used as a summer pasture. Rarely does a yayla have the “flat” space that a plateau would imply.
While there are yayla all over the country, the Black Sea yayla are special. They are open spaces of brilliant green grass covering slopes, peaks, and valleys alike and a key part of the Black Sea culture. Yayla festivals are held in the summers where scattered locals from around the country and even world return to their yayla to celebrate yayla life and the part it plays in Black Sea Culture with dancing, food, and music.
The Perşembe Yaylası is the summer pastureland of Perşembe district down nearer the coast and is one of the Black Sea’s iconic yayla, with serpentine streams carving their paths between the undulating hills. Flocks cover every hilltop cropping the grass short like an endless lawn while shepherds keep watch.
In some of the deeper valleys nearby there are waterfalls like Çişeli, and, near the village of Çakırlı, a man-made lake open for rowboats. In spring the creeks swell with the melting snow and as does the little village of Çakırlı as locals and visitors alike flock to see the beautiful landscapes and take part in the cultural celebrations.
The village is the perfect place to try the local produce: foods usually made with large amounts of local cheese and butter served with a glass of hot Black-Sea tea to keep you warm in the cold mountains.
The Perşembe Yaylası is best visited in mid to late spring, though as this is an alpine area so weather can change suddenly. Perşembe Yaylası is at 1500 meters above sea level so even in summer it can be quite cool so make sure to dress accordingly.
How To Get There
There are tour busses running up from the city of Ordu to the Perşembe Yaylası. While normal public transit can get you close it will take many many hours longer than if you take a tour bus or a private car. Depending on where you are coming from, the most common route to the Perşembe Yaylası is through the town of Aybastı. From the city of Ordu take the coast road (D010) west to the town of Fatsa then turn south into the mountains towards Aybastı and on to Perşembe Yaylası. The road is narrow and slow and takes over 2 hours to travel 105 kilometers. There is also access from the Tokat side via Niksar. This road is a quiet trip down dirt roads. Road conditions may not be great in late winter so be careful if weather is poor.
For more about car rental and driving in Turkey make sure to read our full drivers guide.
Where To Stay
Çakırlı, the main village in Perşembe Yaylası is home to a couple small hotels, campsites, and bungalows for rent.
Keep an eye on the weather and dress appropriately for the mountains if you plan on doing any hiking. If you just plan on driving up to the main viewpoints and staying close to the village then shoes aren’t as important but you’ll still want to dress warm.
Planning on visiting The Perşembe Yaylası? Make sure to check out what other sights are in the Black Sea region!
Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.