Istanbul was a furnace for about a week, with probably over 40*C during the day. We also waited for our friends (Ange and Lukas) to come to Istanbul. Once everyone arrived we were ready to leave. The Initial plan was to go to Akcakoca (Akçakoca), then along the coast till Sinop and Samsun. Then go to Cappadocia, where we would part with out friends after a couple of days. But after a bit of research we realized that the distances are bigger than we thought and we we would need way more time to follow the initial plan. By joint consensus we decided to go straight to Amasra.
Amasra is a seaside resort on the Black Sea. Amasra has been home to Byzantine, Roman, Genoese civilizations and was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 15 century. It’s population is about 6,000, though during summer it accommodates a lot of visitors, mostly from Istanbul or Ankara.
We expected that the village will be packed. But we had an advantage of early arrival. Morning view of the bay was magnificent. Few Turkish people who came with us disappeared almost immediately, and we were the only ones to admire the view on the bay and the hills around.
This was probably more than I expected. The landscape and the sea were gorgeous. The sea called us to swim but first things first. We had to find a place to stay.
Most of the hotels and pensions were closed. We woke up some people and tried to ask for prices and conditions in our minimal Turkish. Some of them looked they partied till 5am and just mumbled something incomprehensible. Though by the way they looked it was clear “No”. After shopping for a while around we found a room for 4 persons with a balcony and a nice view over the main beach and promenade.
After short morning nap we went to explore the village and have some breakfast. We found a restaurant which had a platform right above water overlooking one of the bays.
The weather was cooler and it was cloudy. We enjoyed that after the heat of Istanbul.
Amasra is located on a small peninsula with two bays on both sides and several islands around. One of the islands is connected to the peninsula by a bridge. All these islands, bays, caves, small port jetty make create special atmosphere of Amasra.
I expected the village to be packed with Turkish tourists, but it was pretty empty, especially in cloudy or rainy weather. Despite not very good weather we enjoyed deserted hidden corners of the islands and dramatic views.
There are quite many things to do in the village, including the castle, the museum, several churches and mosques, remnants of Roman and Genoese cultures.
For us it was mostly about swimming in the sea, savoring fish in local restaurants, drinking tea in small cafes and watching sunsets every evening.
We also were lucky to be in Amasra on Friday as only on Fridays and Tuesday there is Women’s Bazaar. On these days, local women bring their vegetables, fruits and berries from their gardens, as well as milk and yogurt. Local people call it Garilla Pazari.
Women bring the products in baskets and lay them on the ground instead of using stands. Everything is very fresh and tasty. I have not eaten such tasty tomatoes or blackberries for a long time.
Amasra is an ideal place to spend several days before you head further East along the Black sea coast. It is small enough not to be packed with tourists, it is far away from the Southern coast to attract too many International visitors. Nonetheless it has everything you might need for a relaxing stay at the seaside: history, great food, quiet bays with clear blue water, dramatic views over the sea, cliffs and caves, amazing sunsets as well as some lively vibes on the main promenade in the evenings. Pay a visit to this hidden village and you will not regret.