Humid from frequent rains, green with tea and hazelnuts, the eastern Black Sea coast of Turkey (also known as Eastern Karadeniz) is a completely different place to visit. It is completely not like all other Turkish sea coasts, concerning its lush nature and preserved traditions. Soaked in legends and myths, rich with history and welcoming to any tourist, this region will be interesting for every traveler.
It’s better to start your journey from the first more or less big city laying on the coastal highway, Hopa.
Next, drive west and enjoy the views of mountains all covered with tea plantations. Actually, this is the only place in Turkey where tea is grown and manufactured, and then sold all over the country and even exported. It’s doesn’t take you long to arrive to the tea capital of the country, Rize.
After drinking enough tea and learning its name in Turkish – chai, it is time to head further. Drive along the coast and see how hazelnut changes tea on the mountain hills. You are driving into another unique place, where hazelnut is vastly grown. In fact, the hazelnuts in your last Nutella jar are most probably from here, as this region produces 70% of the world’s hazelnuts.
While heading to the next city, think about the fact that you are going almost the same way as the mythical Jason from the Argonauts team. The only difference is that he was going by sea, just a few kilometers from your road.
Perhaps you have already got used to the fact that people look at you with surprise and interest in their eyes, and the feeling that you are an alien here. Anyway, try to find people who speak English at least in one of the cities, and ask him or her to explain you the main things about Turkish cuisine and culture, like how and where to bargain, how to eat pide and çiğ köfte, and what is the difference between döner and dürüm.
After you ride on the Ordu’s cable railway and enjoy this city to the fullest, head towards Samsun, the largest city on the Black Sea coast of Turkey.
Naturally, this itinerary includes only main places where you can walk around, eat and sleep. However, you will definitely want to stop and get out of your car / bus / bike on your way along this road, as the beauty of these places is unique and stunning.
- 3-4 days500 kmAverageThe cheapest double room will cost you around 50 TL. Eating out is quite cheap. Transportation by bus or dolmush is about 10 TL for 100 km. Keep in mind that you can bargain everywhere.You can use minibuses (called dolmush), buses or hitchhike.
Updated: April 26, 2015