Black Sea

Black See While many visitors flock south to the Mediterranean or west to the Aegean, the Black Sea (Karadeniz) is equally deserving, particularly because it is so different from the other coasts. After Amasra's seaside-holiday vibe and Trabzon's big-city buzz, you can relax in pint-size fishing villages or head inland and up to alpine yaylalar (mountain pastures). And the spectacular coastline makes for a scenic route across Turkeyto other parts of Anatolia.

This is an historic region, scattered with the legacies of civilisations and empires that have ebbed and flowed like Black Sea waves. Castles, churches, monasteries and architecturally important mosques recall the days of the kings of Pontus, the Genoese and the Ottomans. Queen Hippolyte and her tribe of female Amazon warriors supposedly lived here, and the seafront chapel at Yason Burnu (Cape Jason) marks the spot where Jason and his Argonauts passed by.