Discover This Hidden Gem of a Forgotten Monastery on a Tour of Sumela

The reason many visitors go on a Sumela tour is to visit the Sumela Monastery constructed amid the rocks, combined with its natural setting lends Sumela Monastery a mystical appearance. It is one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries on earth. According to the legend, the site today of the Sumela Monastery was once a church, but two monks named Barnabas of Athens and Sophronios had the same dream and managed to persuade the Greek Emperor of Trabzon, Alexios III to build the monastery. It is thought that before the monastery was constructed, the church had been there for a century.  Read More...

Discover This Hidden Gem of a Forgotten Monastery on a Tour of Sumela

On a private tour to Sumela learn how in their dreams, the two monks saw that the famous Virgin Mary painting by Apostle Luke, which was lost for many years, was to be found. According to their dreams, they went to the place where the Sumela Monastery is now located. The Sumela Monastery is in the province of Trabzon in the district of Maçka, and its name came from its location where it was previously known as Mela Mountain. It is thought that the monastery was built somewhere between 365-395 AD and the reason for building the monastery was because of the icon the Virgin Mary, so the monastery is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is known locally as the “Monastery of the Virgin Mary”.

The Sumela Monastery was built on the top of rocks atop a hill on the banks of the river Panagia, 1,150 metres above sea level and on Sumela group tours see the architecture of the monastery that resembles the churches of Cappadocia. Throughout the centuries, the Sumela Monastery has been influenced by several different civilisations. At the time of the Eastern Roman Emperor, it was used as a place for education and ceremonies. The Ottoman Empire, also played a significant role and to show respect to the Monastery, the Ottoman sultans bestowed various gifts on the monastery over many years. Sultan Selim gave a gift of two large candlesticks and is known to be amongst those who undertook restoration work. In 2010 for the first time and with the approval of the Turkish Government, a ceremony was arranged for the day of the “Ascension of the Virgin Mary” officiated by the Fener Greek Orthodox Patriarch.

As you take a wander around inside the monastery on a Sumela Monastery tour, you will see traces of different cultures, especially from an artistic view. One of the essential aspects of the monastery is that the interior is bejewelled in frescoes, and these murals tell of three distinct periods. There are also many enchanting drawings on the walls, from the figure of the Virgin Mary to the Disciples and Adam and Eve. It is not possible to drive right up to the monastery, and once you reach a certain point, you will get out of your vehicle on your daily Sumela tour and follow a path that is amidst the forest. The narrow staircase you will take forms part of the road and is an exciting twist to the monastery and the walk will also become part of the attraction. On your way, you will come across restaurants where you can take a rest, enjoy the unique views and sample local dishes. You should take the opportunity to experience an excellent famous Black Sea breakfast.

Let the Sumela activities begin!

Can't find what you are looking for? Click here to contact us, we can customise your dream tours and attractions.

Discover the Hidden Secrets of Turkey on a 22 Days Tour
8 reviews

Enjoy a spectacular 22 days tour of Turkey, where you will discover some hidden secrets of Turkey. You will visit a vast amount of places which will leave you in awe.

12 customer recommendations
22 days Scheduling Private Istanbul
Discover Mystical Turkey on a Exciting 16 Days Tour
6 reviews

Go on a mystical adventure on this fantastic 16-day tour from Istanbul visiting some incredible places including Mt. Nemrut, and Mardin with unique old-Arab style houses.

16 days Scheduling Private Istanbul
Historical 9-Day Black Sea Tour of North Turkey
5 reviews

Travel across the Black Sea in Northern Turkey and see great beauty and historical sites that the Black Sea has to offer on this 9 days tour and visit some unknown places.

9 days Scheduling Private Istanbul