WESTERN BLACK SEA COAST


The holiday town of Igneada near the Bulgarian border is in the Thiecian province, 98 km from the provincial capital of Kirklareli. The Istranca Mountains rise up behind sandy beaches, along which delightful fish restaurants, a large number of hotels and guest houses cater to the town's visitors.

Also on the European Black Sea coast, Kilyos, only 35 km from Istanbul, offers sandy beaches, good hotels, motels and camping facilities.

Across the Bosphorus, on the Asian shore, Sile's long sandy beaches, overlooked by the remains of a Genoese Castle, attract many visitors. The excellent restaurants and night life make it a popular weekend retreat for Istanbul residents. Cotton blouses and shirts (Sile Bezi) an sewn and embroidered here.

Originally founded by a Polish prince as a home for Polish exiles,. Polonezkoy has been transformed into a relaxing resort with guest houses and restaurants which serve a delicious selection of fresh local produce. Inland from the coast, the rolling hills and peaceful woods make an excellent area for horseback riding.

Agva, on the banks of a river as well as on the shores of the Black Sea, is surrounded by lovely scenery; it is ideal for a camping holiday. Kerpe, Kefken and Karasu, three quaint fishing villages, lie east of Agva. Delightful restaurants and limpid waters ensure a constant stream of visitors.

Inland, on the Ankara - Istanbul road, Bolu is an important provincial center with an impressive 14th century Ulu Mosque and nearby, modem thermal facilities. Southwest of Bolu, the popular and comfortable Lake Abant resort is set in lovely alpine surroundings at an altitude of 1500 meters. Istanbul dwellers often escape to the lake for a weekend of fresh air and exercise.

Kartalkaya, in the area's Koroglu Mountains, is one of Turkey's major ski resorts. In the summer you can stop for a picnic at Golcuk Lake. The breathtakingly beautiful Yedi Goller (Seven Lakes) National Park lies north of Bolu. Nearby, the town of Mengen has a reputation for its good cooks and holds the annual Festival of Chefs in August, featuring traditional Turkish specialities.

The sites around Konuralp, the ancient Prusa ad Hypium, continue to yield artifacts from both the Roman and Byzantine periods, which are displayed in the local museum. Among the ruins, the Roman theatre is not to be missed.

The lovely beach, comfortable guest-houses and hotels at Akcakoca ensure that it remains a popular holiday resort. Near the town you can explore the remains of a Genoese castle set amid hazelnut groves.

Alapli is an ideal place for water- sports, especially sailing and surfing. From the town, long sandy beaches stretch both east and west.

Eregli whose ancient name was Heraklea ad Pontus, stands on a hill adjacent to a former Byzantine castle. In the spring, the aroma of strawberries - some of the sweetest grown in Turkey - fills the air and makes a visit a mouth-watering experience. Eregli derives its name from the mythological semi-god, Hercules, who, in his 11th labor, caught the three-headed dog, Cerberus - the guardian of the gates of hell. According to Xenophon, Cerberus resided in the cave Cehennemagzi (Entrance to Hell), outside of Eregli near Kavakderesi.

Zonguldak, a major center of coal production, is an important Black Sea port. The scenic road on the east side of town leads to the areas of Kopuz and Uzunkum, where tea-gardens and restaurants invite tourists to spend a leisurely afternoon.

Connoisseurs travel to Devrek, a pretty town 50 km southeast of Zonguldak, to purchase the renowned wooden walking-sticks.

Also inland and further to the east, Safranbolu is an open-air museum of traditional Turkish architecture. The castle on the hill offers a good vista of the town; be sure to see the Cinci Inn and hamam (Turkish bath), the Izzet Pasa Mosque and Library, and the Koprulu Mosque which all date from the 17th century. In the arasta (old bazaar), you can watch craftsmen at work and bargain with them for their goods. Safranbolu's Iokum, or Turkish Delight, has an especially refined quality.

Bartin, a pretty city of timbered houses, holds a strawberry festival every year in the spring. The remains of a Roman road dating to the reign of the Emperor Claudius can still be seen. A boat trip on the Bartin river makes a delightful excursion.

Nearby Inkum has been developed into a holiday village offering a sandy beach, restaurant and guesthouses.

Amasra, one of the most beautiful towns on the Black Sea coast, was called Sesamos in ancient times, when it was founded by the Miletians in the sixth century B.C. It stands on a peninsula split by two inlets. The eastern side enjoys a reputation for good swimming. On a rocky promontory rise the ramparts of the Byzantine citadel, inside of which is: an old church, now the Fatih Mosque. The necropolis dates from the Roman period. Remnants from Amasra's entire history are displayed in the Archaeological Museum. You can purchase a hand-carved wooden souvenir on Cekiciler Street. Continuing eastwards along the coast, you arrive at Cakraz, a typical fishing village with excellent beaches, friendly accommodation and restaurants. The winding road between Cakraz and Inebolu climbs steep mountainsides and offers a spectacular panoramic view.

Kurucasile, after Cakraz, is a town known for, its manufacture of fishing boats. Twenty-eight more kilometers bring you to Cide, where good hotels and a pleasant beach provide comfort and relaxation. Gideros Bay will make you think a dream has come true.

A typical Black Sea town set in lush greenery, Inebolu has many fine examples of traditional Turkish architecture. East of Inebolu, Abana is an agreeable holiday center.

Situated inland amid beautiful forests, the provincial center of Kastamonu has preserved its important monuments: the 12th century Byzantine castle, the 13th century Atabey Mosque and the Ibni Neccar Mosque of 1356. The Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum. displays artifacts found in the region. Near the town is Evkaya, a rock tomb dating from the sixth century B.C. In the village of Kasaba, the 14th century Mahmut Bey Mosque retains some of the finest wood carvings found anywhere in Turkey. 41 km west of Kastamonu via Daday, Comlekciler village has traditional timber houses, and, farms offering country: horseback riding-tours. 63 km south of Kastamonu, the road brings you to Ilgaz National Park, a delightful protected area which includes the Ilgaz Mountains; a ski center possesses good accommodation. In Tosya, east of the park by the Devrez and Kizilirmak rivers, extensive rice fields cover the landscape.

Ilgarini Cave, in the region of Pinarbasi (in the northwest comer of Kastamonu Province), is one of the largest caves in Turkey. It is a wonderful place for treks and explorations off the beaten track.



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