Soumela Monastery, Trabzon

Lookout · Church
Visit the hidden gem of history and ecclesiastical art at Soumela Monastery, perched on a scenic cliff overlooking the Altindere Valley. Located inside Altindere Valley National Park at 1,200 m (3,900 ft), the Orthodox monastery dates back to the 4th century CE. The complex has been damaged and restored several times throughout its long history, but you can still admire its impressive frescoes, ornamentation, and exceptional architecture. The site is easily reachable from Trabzon via bus or taxi, or join one of the organized tours that take you there from the city. To get to the monastery itself you have to do a bit of hiking, so be sure to have appropriate footwear. PutSoumela Monastery into our Trabzon trip itinerary site and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
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Soumela Monastery reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
1,244 reviews
  • Finally its open, a very important monastery to see, it was closed for renovation, not recommended for people with disabilities because you need to climb many stairs to reach, the scenery is amazing.....  more »
  • The monastery is a must visit, the views are breathtaking and the frescos are impressive. One can spend the whole day enjoying the scenery.  more »
  • Breathtaking location, need to visit. Is one of the most important monasteries/museums of Christianity, recently renovated! Worthwhile to walk and visit!  more »
  • It is a fresh place with greenness and natural resources... You can go by bus and then you can walk back... If you have your own car, it will be great to go to there... We go inside but there is nothing. Because it is not open yet. We didn't see inside exactly. But the view was great.. Have a good trip 🙂
  • I highly recommend visiting this very special place. You can either hike up to the monastery or take a shuttle bus to the top for 5 TL. We took the shuttle up and did the nature tail back down to the bottom. The monastery was under construction when we went but it was still worth the visit. The 10 TL entry to the monastery is used towards the maintenance/construction, so in my opinion it is worth it and really isn’t much to pay anyway. There is a winding path leading to the monastery from where the shuttle drops you off. You can buy tea, rice pudding and some jewellery items. You can also find some locals singing folk songs which adds to the experience.
  • A nice place in the mountains. Everything is so green. You can't stop enjoying the nature around. The monastery was undergoing some sort of reconstruction, so we couldn't get close to it.. but still the views around took everyone's breath away. Strongly recommend!
  • Unordinary place. Very interesting way of building the monastery inside the mountain. Beautiful views on the way to the monastery and from the monastery overlooking the mountains and forests. The road is very steep upwards. Then there is a 300m walk including lots of stairs to reach the monastery and museum. After the park entrance, you reach a point where you have to take the monastery shuttle to reach it. There are cafes on the river bank and there are bungalows and pick-nique area. Highly recommended.
  • Amazing how high up it is clinging to the mountain. It's intense. Would easily get a 5 stars from me but the fact that it is closed for construction and they charge you to go up and only go in like 1 meter is ridiculous. Still definetley worth going for the surrounding area which is amazing.

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