Safranbolu is a charming little town retaining much of its Ottoman character from previous centuries. Due to its historical architecture, Safranbolu has been named to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The sleepy coastal town of Amasra is a historical goldmine minus the crowds you’re likely to find in the Black Sea region’s larger cities. With quiet beaches, two islands for exploration, and a history stretching back to ancient times, Amasra will keep nature-lovers and architecture buffs alike enthralled.
Founded by the Greeks in the eighth century BC, Trabzon has a long and rich history spanning numerous civilizations and accumulating, over the centuries, wide and varied influences.
Roughly 48 km southeast of the city, Sümela Monastery, built in Byzantine times after the Greek monk Barnabas discovered a holy icon here, it hugs the cliffside in a remarkable feat of engineering. You must see Maçka's breathtaking natural scenery as well.
The mid-sized city of Rize is the last semi-major city on Turkey’s west-to-east Black Sea coastal route toward Georgia. You can see the tea bushes growing all over the area at low altitudes as you enter the city. The Maçahel Valley is truly one of Turkey’s untouched gems- so much so that international visitors require a special permit to access the 23 villages scattered along the Machakhlistskali River.
Kaçkar Mountains & Ayder
Part of northern Turkey’s Pontic range, the area has been a national park since 1994 and features some of the most unspoiled and rugged terrain anywhere in the country. Nature-lovers will be in paradise; endless trekking opportunities are available, taking you past waterfalls and lush mountains pastures known as yaylalar. The little mountain town of Ayder is a hidden gem. Nature lovers will be in ecstasy at this summer paradise, surrounded by waterfalls, lakes and mountain pastures; culture enthusiasts should keep an eye out for the bagpipes which are commonly played in the region.