Conquering the D915 (Bayburt-Of): Turkey's Most Extreme Road

The D915 stands as one of the world's most challenging roads. Nestled between the Black Sea and the Northeast Anatolia regions of Turkey, the road's treacherous terrains are not to be underestimated. Only seasoned drivers, daredevils, or those with significant experience should venture here, as a single misjudgment can lead to tragic consequences.

Bayburt Of Yolu-D915

How long is D915 (Bayburt-Of Road) in Turkey?

Stretching 106 km (65 miles), the D915 extends from Bayburt (the provincial capital of the Northeast Anatolia region) to Of (a picturesque coastal town in the Black Sea's Trabzon Province). It's known for its 38 sharp hairpin turns, serving as a vital link for locals and attracting a variety of vehicles, from lorries to motorbikes. Due to its challenges, it's advisable only for experienced drivers and not novices.

Is D915 (Bayburt-Of Road) in Turkey open?

Navigating through numerous mountain passes, including the notable Soganli Geçidi at 2,330 m (7,644 ft) above sea level, the road often remains closed from late October to late June or early July, contingent on snow levels.

When was the D915 (Bayburt-Of Road) in Turkey built?

Embedded in the northeastern region of Turkey, this daunting gravel road traces its origins to 1916. Russian soldiers, following the success of the Trebizond Campaign — a series of operations resulting in Trabzon's capture — were responsible for its construction.

Is D915 (Bayburt-Of Road) in Turkey dangerous?

Predominantly unpaved, the D915 does offer patches of asphalt at the start and end. However, most of the road consists of loose gravel. With its narrow stretches, myriad turns, and dangerous drop-offs, drivers must exhibit exceptional skill and caution. Certain segments, particularly the ones that spiral down cliffs, can be especially treacherous, making them daunting for those susceptible to vertigo.

No road, even the D915, guarantees absolute safety. Numerous drivers and extreme cycling enthusiasts have encountered near-misses or worse here. Tourists, in search of an adrenaline rush, flock to this road despite its dangers. However, safety should always be a priority. Inclement weather can escalate risks, so it's crucial to monitor conditions and avoid the road during adverse weather. Some tourists prefer bicycles, deeming them safer. Heavy trucks and large vehicles, coupled with unpredictable weather such as fog or rain, can pose challenges. Parts of the road might erode, or stones might tumble onto the path, narrowing it further. Especially during rain, the route can become muddy and slippery. Areas like Derebaşı Tesisleri, considered the most perilous, are frequently blanketed by snow and fog.

Is the D915 (Bayburt-Of Road) in Turkey worth it?

The road's highlight is near the Çaykara town, famously known as Derebaşı Turns. Over a mere 5.1 km (3.2 mi) stretch, this segment challenges drivers with 13 steep hairpin turns, elevating from 1,712 m (5,617 ft) to 2,035 m (6,677 ft) above sea level. With gradients occasionally peaking at 17%, this drive, while perilous, offers breathtaking mountain vistas for those brave enough to take it on.