Sumela Monastery is one of the most beautiful religious temples in Turkey. It's located in the Black Sea coast region, yet high in the mountains in the middle of an evergreen forest. The monastery was built by the Greeks in the 4th century, hanging off steep cliffs, looking like a floating church from some angles.
Visting the inside of the monastery won't be possible at least until 2023 due to complete renovation for safety reasons.
However, the vistas from the 'Seyir Noktası' viewpoint are spectacular, and you can see the entire outside of the monastery. The viewpoint is at the lower parking lot, only 32 miles from Trabzon, and it's definitely worth the visit. If you want to have a closer look at the monastery get ready for a short but demanding hike. The zigzag pathway will lead you to a beautiful waterfall, and after a mile and a half walk, you'll reach another viewpoint from where you can make some epic shots of this ancient monastery.
If this is not good enough for you, then check the 300 ft stroll from the upper parking lot to the Aya Varvara chapel. It is a tiny chapel that you can enter and watch a display of the beautiful paintings of the monastery.
From the chapel, you can continue walking another mile and get to a ticket booth where you can buy a ticket for the ancient aqueduct and the entire archeological site.
In the end, Sumela Monastery is an incredible venue that offers much more than you expect. Beautiful pathways, stunning views, waterfalls, and a lot of historic sites. If you decide to visit this place, do it in spring and make sure you bring a good camera with you. Sumela Monastery is a place that can give you award-winning photographs.
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