BLACK SEA Region
THE BLACK SEA COAST
Turkey's lush, humid and deeply green Black Sea Coast surprises those who imagine the country to be nothing but barren steppes. From Turkey's European border with Bulgaria to the Georgian border, dense pine forests cover the mountain tops; lush vegetation and bountiful crops grow in the lower elevations and valleys. Along the long coastline, mile after mile of beautiful uncrowded beaches offer sun, swimming and relaxation. In the springtime, delicate wild-flower blossoms carpet especially the rolling meadows in the hills of the eastern Black Sea Coast . Throughout the region, fishing villages and mountain hamlets alike preserve their indigenous and traditional wooden architectural styles. The humid climate and fertile soil encourage the cultivation of a variety of produce, including tea, tobacco, corn and hazelnuts.
Archaeological excavations have uncovered evidence of the region's earliest inhabitants in the early Bronze Age settlements at Ikiztepe, in Samsun Province. The Hittites, Miletians, Phrygians and, according to Homer, the Amazons all colonized parts of the coast. Alexander the Great, too, in his world conquest, brought the region under his sovereignty. Eventually it was incorporated into the Roman and Byzantine Empires. The 15th century saw the greater part of the area come under the Ottoman rule of Sultan Mehmet II.
The Black Sea is easily accessible to tourists and provides a wide range of hotels and restaurants at a variety of price ranges.