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(4.2/5 based on 500+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: nature, historic sites
Çamlıhemşin is a small town and district of Rize Province in the Black Sea region of Turkey.With its mountains and valleys in all shades of green Çamlıhemşin has a reputation as one of the most attractive parts of the eastern Black Sea region, particularly with the autumn foliage.EtymologyThe town was originally known as Vija or Vije, with local variants Vijealtı, Vijedibi, although it was officially named as Vicealtı until 1953 when its name was changed to Çamlıca by Turkish authorities. The name Vija/ვიჯა (Vizha/ვიჟა||Vije/ვიჯე) is Laz word for brine, mineral (salty) water, which corresponds to Kartvelian *weʒ₁- form. Its current name was given in 1957. This is a combination of the terms "Çamlı" which in Turkish means "pine-forested" or "piney" and "Hemşin".GeographyÇamlıhemşin is high in the Fırtına Valley, which leads down to the Black Sea coast, and is an important access point to the Kaçkar mountains. This is a hilly area surrounded by very high mountains that poke up into the clouds, and watered by the Hala River and other streams running down the Black Sea. It rains here all year round, temperatures drop to minus 7 °C in winter and reach 25 °C in summer.This is a low-income district and successive generations of Çamlıhemşin have migrated to jobs in Turkey's larger cities (for example they have reputation as the best bakers and pastry-cooks in Ankara). In Çamlıhemşin some tea is grown and otherwise people live from forestry, beekeeping or herding animals on the mountainside. However the countryside here is a gorgeous mix of meadows and valleys and in recent years the district has begun to attract tourists, people on trekking holidays in the Kaçkar. There are now small hotels and guest houses throughout the district.
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