Şahinkaya Canyon awaits trekkers, rock climbers
Steep cliffs lining the Kızılırmak River in northeastern Turkey have become a major stop for rock climbers and nature enthusiasts.
The Black Sea province of Trabzon is home to the Şahinkaya Canyon, a natural wonder featuring mesmerizing castle-like landscape, dense pine forests and climbing and trekking routes to push the limits of adventure.
Sahinkaya has recently caught international attention as more local and foreign tourists flock to the stone bluffs, hundreds of meters high.
A group of leading Turkish rock climbers led by Swiss climber Michel Piola recently opened new routes along Şahinkaya in preparation of the Third International Rock Climbing Festival slated for late August.
The festival will involve a variety of activities with many foreign climbers taking part. Apart from rock climbing, Şahinkaya National Park is also available for camping options for those looking to embrace Mother Nature.
On top of sports options, the unique scenery in Şahinkaya Canyon is a must-visit location for eager photographers.
“With its rock texture and easy transportation, Sahinkaya has come to the forefront in the past few years and became the first stop for adrenaline seekers,” said Ali Ayvazoğlu, the provincial director for culture and tourism.
Ayvazoğlu said the canyon offered 45 officially registered routes, with different degrees of difficulty, in addition to many traditional routes.
He went on to say that Şahinkaya has become the center for climbing sports with its new routes and growing potential.
Zeynep Bayoğlu, the head of TEDAK, an adrenaline sports club in Trabzon, said she has completed many climbing events and organized activities in Şahinkaya Canyon.
Expressing that Şahinkaya first began emerging as a prime location in 2008 with its eight routes, Bayoğlu said interest towards this natural wonder grew with the opening of new routes.
“At its current level, Şahinkaya has begun to host international events,” she added.