Carved into the Melá Mountain, the 1600 year old monastery seems to be an ultimate spiritual retreat. Although looks inaccessible, visitors can easily reach it by taking a scenic path through the forest. The Sumela Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary at Melá Mountain within the Pontic Mountains range, in the Maçka district of Trabzon Province in modern Turkey.
The Rock Church, chapels, student rooms, library, sacred spring, kitchen and guest house are open for the tourists to visit and see. Most of the colorful frescoes from the 14th and 18th centuries a very well preserved. Besides the impressive architecture, religious and historic significance, the panoramic views that open to the Altındere valley are breathtaking.
Why to go there?: Wonderful scenery, architecture, historic and religious prominence.
When to go there?: All year round.
How to get there?: Tours to the monastery take off from Trabzon. If you travel on your own, take a minibus from Maçka.
Photo: Ayhan Duran