Everything began with an accidental discovery in the eastern part of the Kure Mountains, an area of outstanding biological diversity. In the course of building a road to serve the proposed Erfelek Dam, a waterfall cascading from a height of 15 meters into the Karasu River was found. Surrounded by deciduous trees, this waterfall alone was a beautiful spectacle, but following the watercourse upstream past several small cascades, a second waterfall was discovered. Exploration continued through increasingly difficult terrain along the narrow wooded valley, revealing more and more waterfalls in seemingly endless succession! There was no longer any question about it. This remarkable series of waterfalls had to be protected, and the dam road was immediately rerouted. The Tatlica Waterfalls are situated 15 kilometers southwest of Erfelek in the Black Sea province of Sinop. If you take the road parallel to the Karasu River which flows through Erfelek and is shaded for most of the way by tall oriental plane trees (Platanus orientalis), and then follows the Erfelek dam road, you come to the waterfalls.
In winter and early spring, the volume of water flowing downstream is at its highest, and it can be dangerous to explore the narrow valley, so it is advisable to visit the waterfalls from the beginning of May until mid-November. It is possible to camp at the mouth of the valley where the stream makes its final descent into the Karasu. The Tatlica Waterfalls are one of the best places to enjoy autumn scenery at its loveliest, when the foliage of the deciduous trees transforms the valley into a riot of color, particularly in late October and early November. The stream cascades over nearly thirty waterfalls in two kilometers during its course through the narrow valley. They take their name from the village of Tatlica (also known as Sami) near the top of the valley. A narrow path leading from the large pool at the foot of the first waterfall takes you all the way to the village, passing an old mill on the way.
Since this path mainly follows the heights above the valley, only a few of the waterfalls are visible from here. On the other hand, the route along the valley floor is challenging and not suitable for those who want only a pleasant country walk. Negotiating the steep slippery earth slopes, sometimes 10 meters in height, next to the waterfalls requires stamina, and is difficult for the inexperienced even when ropes are used. Erfelek Tourism Society provides guides, and it is advisable to make use of this service when exploring the length of the valley.
The magical beauty of the waterfalls hidden in this deep valley is certainly worth the effort involved. In autumn the yellow, red and brown leaves fall on to the fast flowing water and carpet the entire valley floor and its steep sides. Sometimes the falling water forms whirlpools in which the colorful leaves dance and spin. Some of the waterfalls pour over rocks clad in the moss of every shade of green. As well as the waterfalls another interesting site in this area are the wooden houses on the high pastures of Hacibey, Kackar, and Gubeguneyi. Built of logs and sawn timber, these houses are roofed with natural flat stones. The climate of the western Black Sea region is characterized by high rainfall and mild winters, in which the mixed deciduous forest flourishes on the mountains below an altitude of 1600 meters.
Tatlica is the perfect place to see this scenery at its most magnificent and autumn at its most flamboyant.