The hills above the Black Sea hold many surprises for the
traveler who seeks an unusual path in Turkey.
Here you will find old Ottoman towns with stone houses, along with
historic mosques and impressive castles.
Enjoy fresh fish while overlooking the harbor in Amasra. Venture into the national parks which attract
Turks during the winter for skiing and in the summer for hiking and
horseback-riding. Ask the Turkey Program Director how you can add this adventure
before or after your main trip, coming from Istanbul or Cappadocia.
Day 1: Ankara –Safranbolu
breakfast your guide will drive
you to Safranbolu (140 mi / 3 hrs from Ankara).
Safranbolu is an UNESCO World Heritage site with beautifully preserved
wooden Ottoman houses. Start your exploration of this historic town. Stay in one of the old historic houses of Safranbolu [B
Day 2: Safranbolu
Spend the day
wandering the old cobblestone streets visiting the historic houses, the
governors’ house and the old bazaar. You
can enjoy tea in one of the gardens. Overnight in Safranbolu [BL]
Day 3: Amasra
breakfast for the lovely coastal town of Amasra (60 mi / 1.5 hrs). Amasra is a seafood paradise with an ancient
harbor called “The Eye of the World” by Mehmet the Conqueror. Explore the two Byzantine castles, the
museum, the Faith Mosque, and the historic Cekiciler bazaar. Walk across the old stone bridge to the small
Boztepe Island and then hike uphill where you will be rewarded with a lovely
view of the town. Enjoy a seafood dinner while watching the sun set over the
Black Sea. Overnight in Amasra [BLD]
Day 4: Amasra – Kastamonu
Drive into the forested hills to Kastamonu (125 mi / 3 hrs), a historic town dominated by its castle built in Byzantine times and updated by the Selcuks and Ottomans. Visit the castle and the ancient market buildings where you can find hand-woven textiles and other local handicrafts. Visit the wooden mosque in nearby Kasaba, built in 1366. Optional hike in the hills. Overnight in Kastamonu [BL]
Day 5: Kastamonu –
and then depart for Amasya (160 mi / 4 hrs).
Amasya is set in a rocky ravine with the Yeslirimak (Green River)
running through. It is one of the
loveliest small towns in Turkey with picturesque wooden Ottoman houses and
rock-hewn tombs from the Kings of Pontus.
Spend the afternoon in
Amasya – climb to the tombs, some of which are decorated. Visit the remains of the Harsene Castle. The city also has many historically and
architecturally precious buildings including the Ferhat water channel, the 13th
century Seljuk Burmali Mosque, the 15th century Yildirim Beyazit Mosque and
Complex and the octagonal Kapi Aga Medrese (theological school). There are
traditional Turkish mansions which have been well-preserved such as the 19th
century Hazeranlar Mansion which an art gallery on its first floor and an
ethnographical museum on the second. The Archaeological Museum of Amasya has an
interesting collection including the mummies of the Ilhanli rulers of Amasya.
Amasya has a very old, pleasant hamam (Turkish bath). You may relax at the local hamam in the
evening – you can ask your guide to about hours for men and for women. Overnight in Amasya [BL]
Day 6: Amasya
Spend the day in Amasya
and surroundings. You have options today to venture into the hills for hiking,
visiting villages or staying in town to continue your exploration. Overnight in Amasya [B]
Day 7: Amasya – Istanbul /
Depart for your
early-morning flight to Istanbul where you can continue your adventure or
transfer to your departure flight.