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Sumela Monastery, in Turkey

The Greek Orthodox Monastery of the Virgin Mary, better known as Sumela Monastery it’s about 50km south of Trabzon, is one of the historical highlights on the Black Sea coast of Turkey. Sumela Monastery was founded in the 386AD.

Sumela Monastery,turkey,trabzon,black sea

Sumela Monastery was abandoned in 1923, following forced population exchanges between Greece and Turkey.

The departing monks were not allowed to take anything with them, so they buried Sumela’s famous icon under the floor of the monastery’s St. Barbara chapel.

This famous icon got moved to Greece later when a monk secretly returned to Sumela and retrieved the icon, and bought it back to the new monastery they have built, on the slopes of Mount Vermion, near the town of Naousa in northern Greece.

The Monastery has over the years been restored, but, unfortunately, have some IDIOT tourist scrambled their name on the wall and on some of the old paintings around the monastery.
paintings in Sumela Monastery in Turkey

Today is Sumela Monastery no more than a tourist attraction, with hordes of tourists arriving every day.
So you should visit early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the hordes of Turkish Tourists, the Monastery is pretty small inside so it can get very crowded when the groups are around.
Sumela Monastery in east turkey travel guide

The main temple inside the Monastery.

Additional Information about Sumela Monastery.

How to visit Sumela Monastery.

There’s no public transportation to Sumela Monastery, so the only way to reach the Monastery is with your own transportation or doing a tour from the nearby city of Trabzon.

The price of doing a tour from Trabzon is around 50TL (around 17USD), but you should check a few travel agencies in Trabzon, some include the 15TL entrance fee in the 50TL tour, others don´t.

The main trail to the monastery begins right with the parking lot, cross the footbridge past the restaurant, the path is easy to follow, but it’s pretty steep and it takes about 30min to climb to the entrance of Sumela Monastery.
The Monastery is located 300m above the parking area, and it gets a lot colder up there.

Entrance Ticket.

The Entrance Ticket is 15TL

Where to Sleep.

There’s no accommodation around Sumela Monastery so you the only option is to stay in the city of Trabzon.

Adelante Hostel, dorms 15USD, free wi-fi.
It’s the only hostel in Trabzon, located close to the main square in a quiet location, with a great rooftop.

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Tuesday 8th of May 2018

I've been there !!! It is amazing ! Also Trabzon is worth a visit !


Tuesday 7th of June 2016

You can sleep in nearby Macka city. Quiet city among the mountains. Beautifull !!!


Wednesday 20th of January 2016

Please clear up for me: the Sumela Monastery is closed for restoration and geo study of the cliffs above and below the Monastery - approx. a year closed.

Christian L.

Monday 12th of October 2015

Hi, This area of Turkey is completely safe, its far from the conflict in Syira. The closest big city is Trabzon, Trabzon got a population of about 1,2 million. Theres very few international flights there, but theres loads of domestic.

Trabzon is also just 3hours from Georgia