A winding drive mid way up a mountainside takes you to Artvin, the capital of its province. At the foot of the escarpment, a ruined 16th century castle crowns a rocky outcrop. Artvin is a charming city with beautiful old Turkish houses, typical of the region. The area’s mild climate makes summer visits delightfully refreshing and every June, crowds of tourists, as well as brightlyclad locals, throng to the Kafkasor festival, where the spectacle of bulls fighting each other highlights the celebration.
The adventurous might like to attempt white water rafting on the wild, romantic Coruh River. In the Artvin area, the nature reserves around the Karagol Lakes, 27 km northeast of Borcka and 17 km north of Savsat respectively, have different kinds of pine trees, flora and fauna, including black and brown bears. The best preserved of these are at Barhal and Ishan, in the awesome Kackar Mountains.