What to learn
Founded more than 2.5 thousand years ago, this ancient city has seen lots of civilizations and been home to millions of people. Long time ago, presumably in the 6th century B.C., it was founded by Greek colonists who named it Cerasus. Historians say, this name is derived from ‘kerasos’, a Greek word for cherry, as this place had lots of cherry trees growing everywhere.
Today not cherries, but hazelnuts are vastly grown here. In fact, the hazelnut industry is the main one in the whole Giresun region today. This humble nut is so famous here that in the center of the city there is a bronze statue of hazelnut pickers. Definitely, you have to try the local desserts made of this famous nut: hazelnut cream and even hazelnut halva.
What to see
The first thing you see when arrive to Giresun is the long sunny waterfront with numerous benches and beautiful view over the sea. It is very popular with the local people, who are always strolling up and down this promenade. Actually, no wonder that you will meet lots of people here: nowadays this city is a home for more than 100,000 citizens. By the way, they are not very used to tourists, so if your appearance differs from Turkish people’s, get ready that locals will look at you with interest even from the other side of the street, try to talk to you and even ask you to pose for photographs.
Situated a bit out of the city, the local castle is very old. It is presumed to be built around the 2nd century B.C. The construction is made up of two parts, the inner and the outer one. The castle offers a beautiful view, so it’s definitely worth visiting. To get here, you may need to walk from the center of the city for around 40 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a taxi which will cost you around 10 TL (almost $4). Unfortunately, there is no public transport connection to this place, so these are the only two options.
Even if you don’t get carried away by museums, this one is worth visiting. How many museums placed inside the old churches have you been to? This one is just the case. It is situated inside the former Greek Orthodox church, called Gogora church. By the way, this museum boasts quite large archaeological and ethnographic collections. The admission fee is just 3 TL (around $1.1). You will also need a dolmush to get here which will take another 1,25 TL (less than half a dollar).
This small island, only 4 hectares in area, is situated 1.2 kilometers away from land, and is the only Turkish island in the Black sea. To get here from the city and back, you can easily rent a boat. Here you will see lots of unique plants, and even different birds from faraway countries that rest here on their way. Anyway, what is more important is that here you can get very close to a legend. This island has an ancient roofless temple in the center, and a complex of very old fortifications. These constructions are believed to be used by Amazons. The legendary female warriors from the numerous Greek legends lived on this island. Who knows, maybe you can find them in this magnificent place even today?