Balyolu (pronounced "Ball-yole-ew"), is the first honey tasting walking journey of its kind.
This journey is a seven-day trip in Northeastern Turkey that is led and inspired by local women who are training to become world-class beekeepers & rural entrepreneurs.
The purpose of the trip is to explore the unique tastes and diversity of Turkish honey, the ancient nomadic travel routes of Northeastern Turkey, and the artisan culture of rural communities in the region. Tickets and limited edition products from the program are currently on-sale on Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/260601899/walk-the-honey-road-with-balyolu
Cat Jaffee, a Colorado native, Fulbright Scholar, and program Founder thought of the initial idea while researching rural migration in Turkey, 2008-2010. In 2011, Cat moved back to Turkey to live with nomadic beekeepers in Turkey’s Northeast and band birds with local non-profit KuzeyDoga. After joining the first EU supported women’s organic beekeeping course in the Kars region, Cat wanted to start a honey tasting tour program to support local women trying to produce high-end organic honey. Proceeds from the program will go towards marketing trainings, organic beekeeping workshops, and rural business incubation in local communities. Cat is joined by a global team of entrepreneurs who together are starting Balyolu – Burcu Uzer, Deniz Duygu, Sertac Turhal, and Alex Barberis.
Due to the historical importance of Ani, the old Armenia capital that is prominent in the region as a formerly substantial trade hub (one that rivalled Istanbul, Cairo, and Baghdad 900 years ago), and the ancient seasonal migration patterns of the local people, old roads and walking routes are common across the region. In an effort to build something truly environmental and unique, the Balyolu trips walk these ancient roads from village to village, while tasting honey, sampling local food, learning about local birds and animals from non-profit KuzeyDoga, and exploring one of Turkey’s wild frontiers.“We believe tourism should be harnessed for social good,” explains founder Cat Jaffee. For Balyolu, it's adventure at its sweetest!