ALTIPARMAK RIVER RAFTING / YUSUFELI - ARTVIN - TURKEY :
The River Altiparmak (
located in the province of Artvin, emerges from the southern
side of the Kackar Mountains and runs about 40 km to join the
Coruh river 2 km south of Yusufeli.
The Altiparmak flows through a strikingly beautiful valley
enveloped by high mountains.Recommended for canoeing and
rafting, the river has a rich selection of flora and fauna, and
a high flow-rate year round because of the run-off of melting
The basin of the Altiparmak can be reached by Yusufeli via
Artvin or Erzurum. Ogdem Creek joins the Altiparmak 6 km from
Yusufeli, and the town of Sarigol is 19 km from Yusufeli and
accessible by a stabilised gravel road.
The area of Deftise, situated about 1.5 km beyond Sarigol, is
distinguished by wooden two-story houses built in traditional
Black Sea style. Edged by dense green forests, these picturesque
houses and the misty summit of the Kackar Mountains create a
very beautiful panorama. The village of Altiparmak (
Barhal ) is accessible from
Sarigol via a narrow, 12km long road, and the people here are
very hospitable and friendly, with accommodation available in
simple guest-houses. This village serves as one of the main
campsites on the climb up Kackar Mountain. A stabilised road
leads to Yaylalar, 24 km beyond Altiparmak, and west is the
Artvin Kackar Tourism Centre.
The pretty hamlet of Deftise, north of Sarigol, provides the
best starting point for canoe and raft expeditions down the
Altiparmak, which runs approximately 22 km from this point to
the junction with the Coruh, with class 3-4 waters. The riverbed
is rocky, and special care needs to be taken when the river flow
rate is low.
Three km from Sarigol, the ruins of citadel of Bahceli lie to
the right of the creek before reaching Yusufeli, after crossing
the concrete bridge near the junction of Ogdem creek and the
Altiparmak. The run may be completed either at Yusufeli or 2 km
ahead, before the Altiparmak flows into the River Coruh River.
The best months to plan a canoe or raft trip on the Altiparmak
is between May and August.
CORUH RIVER RAFTING COURSE;
A trip down the Coruh starts at Bayburt, passing through
and Yusufeli and on to Artvin, a distance of approximately 260
Bayburt - Ispir 0-106 km ;
An ideal starting point for the expedition is the Dikmetas
Bridge near Bayburt, which has good areas for camping on either
side of the river. Aslandede and Laleli also make pleasant
With a class 2-3 water, the trip from Bayburt to Ispir can be
completed within three days on average. Approximately 3 kms
before arriving at Ispir, the left bank affords a convenient
campground. The nearby gas station and the shops in Ispir are
useful for reprovisioning.
Ispir - Camlikaya 106-134 km
Following departure from Ispir ( stabilized road entry: 0 km),
one should watch the rapids at 3km, 6.6 km, 7.4 km, and 8 km.
The small hut on the left side of the road before arriving at
the road junction for Camlikaya at 28 kms makes a good rest
stop. Drinking water can be obtained either from the brook
flowing from the mountains, located 200 meters ahead on the left
side of the road, or from the spring to the right of the
transformer station past the concrete bridge at the Camlikaya
road junction. Food can be purchased from Camlikaya (4 kms from
the road junction). The Ispir-Camlikaya route is class 3-4-5
Camlikaya - Tekkale 134-178 km
After Camlikaya, rice plantations, vegetable gardens and fruit
orchards prevail on the river banks. The river passes by
Köprügören at 48 km, coming to the hamlet of Alanbasi at 54 km.
It is possible to camp there next to the brook that joins the
Coruh on the left bank immediately before the village.
Past the concrete bridge, the river becomes rockier, class 3-4-5
water. An old watch tower is visible before arriving at Cevreli.
The garden in front of the village primary school, to the right
immediately after the concrete bridge, makes a good campsite.
There are also places to overnight in
Tekkale, 7 km ahead. From
Tekkale, guides can take you up the mountains to see the
historic Dörtkilise, a medieval Georgian church. Fishermen will
enjoy angling for speckled trout (alabalik) in the brook flowing
nearby the church.
Tekkale - Artvin 178-261 km
From Tekkale, the expedition proceeds to Yusufeli, 6 kms away,
where accommodations and simple cafes can be found.
Altiparmak, one of the major branches of the Coruh, joins the
river close to Yusufeli.
As the flow-rate of the river picks up speed, the route becomes
increasingly challenging, class 3-4-5 water. "
Oltu Creek " joins the
river 9 km after Yusufeli, near the Artvin-Erzurum highway
junction, behind a concrete bridge. The rapids begin 22 km from
Yusufeli. This 100 meter stretch of white water, nicknamed
"King-Kong", cascades around sharp boulders with breathtaking
velocity, making it the high point of the expedition. The water
is dangerous here, class 5+ water, so less experienced
expeditions should not plan to cross this section when the river
is high. A large concrete sign inscribed with the letters EIE to
the left of the highway identifies this section of the Coruh.
Expeditions can make camp 33 km before Zeytincik, stopping to
pick up any necessary provisions in the village. At 43 km, the
river enters a narrow 3 km long canyon class 3-4. The gas
station and inn at Oruclu, at 57 km, provides a convenient
finish for the trip. Boats can be pulled on shore here and there
are a few rustic rooms and a cafe. Artvin is 20 km further on
from Oruclu, with mostly class 1-2 water. Some groups prefer to
extend the route right through to Artvin.
WHAT TO SEE ;
As one of the first places in Anatolia to be settled by the
Turks, Bayburt is renowned for its music, folklore and historic
buildings. The town's location on the Silk Road made it a
stopping place for travellers from the east and west. It has
retained its importance militarily and culturally throughout the
Today, the imposing Bayburt Fortress, Clock Tower, old Turkish
baths (hamam), mosques and churches are worth seeing.
Also of interest are javelin contests, a traditional type of
polo, water buffalo wrestling and local folk dances.
Ruins of several citadels can be seen in Ispir. The medieval
fortress of Ispir citadel was repaired and used in turn by the
Saltuks, Seljuks and Ottomans. The castle contains a small
mescid or chapel.
Yusufeli is particularly interesting for amateur historians and
archaeologists. The Barhal church, Ishan fortress and church,
Demirkent fortress and church, Cevreli-Meydan citadel, Kilickaya
fortress and hundreds of underground storerooms tell the
fascinating history of the area.
In the province of Artvin, the most important things to see are
the fortresses of Artvin, Okumuslar, Bakìrköy, Saribudak and
Regional festivals give a fascinating insight into local
customs. The best known among these is the Kafkasör Cultural and
Arts Festival held each year in the second half of June. The
festival is unique in the world, featuring a Turkish version of
bullfighting. Prize bulls, classified according to their neck
thickness and weight, are pitted against each other in fights
that stop short of mortal injury. The festival attracts a
growing number of tourists from around the around the world.
( BARHAL )
Route & Location
Daily Rafting Tours Programme
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