Balyolu: Turkey’s First Honey Tasting Tour

bees, food and health, sustainable tourism, eco-tourism, green tours, beekeeping, travel, natureAnyone who loves nature will enjoy Balyolu’s week long tour on Northeastern Turkey’s honey road.

Update May 20, 2020: this tour is no longer operating. 

It’s impossible to understate the importance of bees. Like fruit bats – thousands of which were gunned down by unknown assailants in Lebanon last weekend – they are pollinators that ensure human survival. And since they are fond of flowering plants, bees are often found in the world’s most beautiful places.

This is especially true in Turkey, where a group of young nature enthusiasts are organizing the country’s first honey-tasting tour from Kars. A seven day walking trip, the unique Balyolu tour will introduce visitors to the special tastes and diversity of Turkish honey as well as ancient nomadic travel routes and artisan culture.

Experience life as a nature nomad

“Honey is so much more than a food. It is experiencing life as a nature nomad, moving with the tastes, and smells of flower blooms and nectar,” according to the Balyolu’s online literature.

Visitors interested in such a sweet journey can join the one-of-a-kind bee and honey celebration in Kars, just a short flight from Istanbul or Ankara or a historic, scenic train ride on the Eastern Anatolian Express. From there they will begin their seven day walk of 6-10 miles per day carrying basic gear including layers and water.

Four trips have been planned, the first starting on May 19th 2012, and the last ending on August 2nd, 2012.

Feasts and yurts

Women training to become world-class beekeepers and rural entrepreneurs will guide this hyper local and sustainable tour, which will include stops at villages along the way that each produce their own brand of honey, as well as feasts of locally sourced vegetables, cheese, yoghurt, pastries, wild greens and even goose for non-vegetarians.

At night, travelers can rest their contented weary bones in yurts, cabins, and private residences, which is included in the cost of the tour.

Although participants are asked to find their own way to Kars, Balyolu will provide guides, transportation, accommodation, honey, and food throughout the seven day tour.


Green Prophet first learned of the Balyolu project on Kickstarter, a funding platform that allows the crowd (that’s you, me, and anyone else on the planet that has internet access) to support worthy creative projects. Their goal is to raise $35,000 by February 26th, though the trips will still proceed if a minimum of 10 people sign up for each date.

Visit Kickstarter to support this sustainable tourism initiative or Balyolu to sign up for your very own tour on the honey road.

image via the Balyolu Facebook page

More on eco-tourism in the Middle East:

Green Tours Across Palestine (PHOTOS)

Iraq and Libya for Eco-Seeking Bravehearts

Is Troubled Egypt Ripe Enough for Eco-Tourism?

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