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10 Reasons to Fall In Love with Turkey’s Black Sea Region

October 30, 2013 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

1.       WORLD HERITAGE

Safranbolu: The Black Sea has some of Turkey’s most scenic World Heritage sites. One of the region’s best-known attractions is the World Heritage-listed town of Safranbolu , with its restored Ottoman konaks (mansions) made of timber and stone.

Two landmarks in the Black Sea Region have been submitted for World Heritage Site listing, including Sümela Monastery and the Genovese Trades Routes’ Trading Posts and Fortifications 

2.       ARCHEOLOGY

Sumela Monastery: Inland from Trabzon, the monastery is built 4,000 feet up in the cliffs of Mt. Mela. Its church, begun in the 4th century by the GreekCordato Partners-www.tourismlegal.com.au monks, Barnabas and Sophronius, expanded to a monastery in the 14th century. It is one of the most important archeological highlights of the Black Sea. The Hagia Sophia dominates the Trabzon city center, built by Byzantine Emperor Manuel Komnenus in the 13th century as a gift to his hometown. It was named after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul.

3.       ECO-TOURISM

Road Tripping: Road tripping is the best way to experience the Black Sea’s Eco Tourism. The Black Sea is home to 16 protected nature reserves, in the provinces of Artvin  Balikesir, Bolu, Düzce, Samsun, Sinop and Zonguldak, to preserve endangered species of flora and fauna. With mountain meadows and colorful wildflowers, the Highlands of the Black Sea are covered with fir, spruce, cedar, oak and elm trees as well flowers like snowdrops, wild azalea and forest rose.

4.       CRUISING

Sinop: As the only naturally sheltered harbor on the Black Sea, Sinop has been a port for 1,000 years. Sinop Castle was constructed in the 7th Century BC with walls 10 feet thick and 100 feet high. Sinop takes its name from the Amazon queen Sinope and local mythology suggests that female warriors, called Amazons, lived in this region. Several cruise lines offer itineraries that include Turkish Black Sea ports including Sinop and Trabzon.

5.       MODERN HISTORY

Samsun: The town of Samsun is where Mustafa Kemal Atatürk drew up plans for what was to become the modern Turkish Republic. The hotel where he stayed honors him in its incarnation as the Gazi Museum. A villa that once belonged to Atatürk can be found on the outskirts of Trabzon.

6.       ANCIENT HISTORY

Amasra: The coastal town of Amasra, built atop the ancient port of Sesamus, has a Roman bridge, Byzantine city walls, 14th century Genoese forts and historic mosques. inland is the town of Kastamonu, with its 12th century castle, while excavations dating back to the Iron Age Hittite civilization can be found at Bafra.

7.       BLACK SEA CUISINE

Hamsi: A highlight of a visit to the Black Sea is its distinct culinary traditions. . “Hamsi,” a small fish similar to the anchovy, is abundant.  There are at least forty different dishes made with hamsi, including desserts.  Akcabat Kofte Hazelnut production centers around Ordu, which hosts the Golden Hazelnut Festival.  Black Sea cuisine also includes corn, pickled green beans and an abundance of local vegetables.

8.       TURKISH TEA

Rize: Coffee is a hallmark of Turkish culture, but tea is the essential part of daily life. Rize is the centre of Turkey’s tea production due to its rainfall and moist, moderate climate.  Vast, terraced plantations of black and green tea end up in bazaars and around the world. Turkish Tea is prepared by brewing in boiling water and serving in delicate, small, clear glasses to show the deep red color and to transmit the heat to the hand.

9.       ADVENTURE

Zigana: In Zigana’s Kalkanli Mountains is Uzungöl, an extraordinary 3,200-foot-long lake surrounded by forests and typical village houses that has become popular among campers, hikers and fishermen. Even more rugged is the Yusufeli conservation area, just inland from the Georgian border. This remote area of lakes and historic Georgian and Armenian churches also offers an unforgettable white water rafting experience as well as eco-tours on the famous Çoruh River.

10.   LOCAL CULTURE

Artvin: Turkey’s easternmost outpost on the Black Sea’s is Artvin, famous throughout Turkey for its many festivals celebrating regional cultures and featuring music, food, costumes, dancing and other traditional celebrations. Visitors will also find other picturesque rural villages throughout the area as well as the Karagol-Sahara National Park, which is noted for its forests and lakes.

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