İstanbul

İstanbul

Istanbul is a legendary city what’s worth hundreds of guides and books. And it still won’t be enough. Sultanahmet, Topkapi, Gülhane, the Golden Horn, Taksim. There are dozens of significant places.

I came to Istanbul and Turkey for the third time so now I decided to focus on the northern and eastern part of the country. There was only one place in the city I visited this time.


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Adalar, İstanbul

Adalar, İstanbul

Adalar or the Prince Islands are located in the smallest Sea of Marmara in one-hour-way by ferry from Kabataš port.

It’s a special place what’s definitely worth a visit if you are in Istanbul. The islands are famous for stylish mansions, wild nature, beaches (though this sea is pretty dirty) and authentic atmosphere. Personal cars are not allowed on the islands, so the most popular transports there are wagons and bicycles.


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Ankara

Ankara is the capital of modern Turkey. When the Empire was destroyed, Atatürk brought capital from Istanbul what was associated with ottoman sultans to Ankara.

It’s a big modern city which has some interesting spots to visit: the Old Castle, the Mausoleum of Atatürk and district Çankaya with nice cafes and restaurants. By the way, in Ankara, I ate one of the best food in the whole of Turkey!


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Safranbolu

Safranbolu

If the north of Turkey is a still hidden treasure for tourists then Safranbolu is one of the biggest diamond of it.

This little town located northern from Ankara is concentrated spirit and culture of the Ottoman period. No wonder it was included in the list of UNESCO as a great example of the Empire towns. 


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Amasra

Amasra

Turkey is famous among tourists, but exploring the coast of the Black Sea I found how little we know about the north of it. 

Amasra is the little town located both on the islands and the coast. There are no all-inclusive hotels, fancy restaurants and people there almost don’t speak English but it’s an insanely beautiful place.


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Samsun

Samsun

Samsun is the biggest port of the Turkish coast of the Black Sea. I took a night bus to get there so I missed some nice places like Sinop and Kastamonu but I still advise you to visit them.

Samsun itself is modern and huge compared to other towns of the coast. It’s good for a one-day walk but doesn’t expect too much of it.


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Giresun

Giresun

Have you heard about Giresun before? It’s the old ancient town what used to be a Greek colony thousands of years ago. But have you heard about cherry?

Giresun is a motherland of this juicy berry and even the name “cherry” was formed from “Kiresun” - Greek name of the ancient town.


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Trabzon

Trabzon

Trabzon is a big city on the Black Sea coast. It also used to be a Greek colony thousands of years ago but compared to Giresun you still can see a lot of Greeks things in the buildings and in the churches or some mosques reconstructed from churches.

I came to Trabzon and booked apartments in the east part of the city because I had a few must-see places around.


Got there by:

Rize

Rize

Turkey is famous for its black Turkish tea. It seems Turks can drink it everywhere and at any time: winter or summer, morning or night. Doesn’t matter. It’s an exceptionally popular drink here. 

Most of the Turkish tea is produced in Rize small town close to the border with Georgia. It’s situated between the green mountains side and the coast. The climate there is warm and wet and this mix is the best for tea plants.


Got there by:

Uzungöl, Çaykara/Trabzon

My second point in this area was Uzungöl. It’s a small settlement and a lake hidden among high mountains. 

My way there took about a few hours of the narrow and steep road but it was worth it. Uzungöl is one of the best places in the north what locals call Turkish Switzerland.


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Altındere, Soumela Monastery, Maçka/Trabzon

Altındere, Soumela Monastery, Maçka/Trabzon

There are lots of monuments and places near Trabzon what still remind about Greek period of these places. One of the biggest is the orthodox monastery Panagia Sumela. 

It was quite complicated to get there because there were no buses straight to the monastery. So I took a minibus to Mačka town and after I tried to do hitchhiking. And lucky! I caught a car what was going right to the national park where the monastery is situated. Thirty minutes more and I saw monumental Panagea Sumela built in the rocks. Outstanding!


Got there by:

Erzurum

Erzurum

From Trabzon, I took a night bus to Erzurum. It was quite a long way on the east through towns and mountains though I saw some really interesting views.

In the very morning, I was in Erzurum. It’s a typical Turkish city unpopular among tourists. Moreover, it’s one of the coldest in the country. Government try to develop skiing there but I’m not a big fan and it was May, so I didn’t check:)


Got there by:

Kars

Kars

Kars is a big city with a complicated history on the very east of Turkey. In different time periods, it was owned by different nations and empires. 

I came to Kars from Erzurum by train what was going through mountains and valleys. I literally saw how the landscape of the country changes. The north-east of Turkey is completely different from the east. It’s in some sense raw, wild and not so touristic. Love it!


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