Today, Sumela Monastery stands on the high cliffs of Zigana Mountains on an attitude of 1200 meters, in the Macka region of Trabzon province at the Black Sea region of Turkey, 46 km (26 miles) away from Trabzon.
The monastery is inside the Altindere National Park surrounded by a beautiful forest and at the bottom of the mountain flows one of the arms of Degirmendere Creek.
The vehicles can reach up to the parking lot at the 950 meters height near to the river, and from that point one needs to hike uphill through the path way approximately 1 km (0.7 mile) to reach the entrance of the monastery which is located at an attitude of 1200 meters from the sea level.
SUMELA MONASTERY TRANSPORTATION
We do not recommend you to visit the Sumela Monastery without your vehicle. Because there are almost no alternatives for transportation from the city center of Trabzon except “Sümela – Maçka” minibuses. Since the monastery is located in the National Park, there is no settlement in this region. For this reason, there are no mutual trips to the region. When you use public transportation, you are likely to have problems or lose a lot of time to return.
Another alternative is daily tours organized by tour companies in the city center. You can explore more places accompanied by a guide on these trips made within a planned program.
If you are planning a trip to Sumela Monastery with your own vehicle, you need to go about 45 km from Trabzon city center. You do not have to use a land vehicle throughout Altındere National Park, so the monastery can be reached by any type of vehicle. Although the entire road from the city center to the monastery is asphalt, if you want to continue to the highlands after your visit, we recommend that you prefer a high vehicle even if it is not jeep style.