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The Black Sea Coast

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My wife and i are travelling to Turkey and intend driving from Istanbul to Trabzon along the Black Sea coast. We will start at Istanbul and head for Amasra but wish to stop overnight on that leg. Firstly, does anyone have any suggestions of small towns that would break that part of the journey? Secondly, how is the driving in that region?

Look forward to some feedback.

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    Hi Hando,

    Please check my trip report from some years back. The first part of the report is on one blog and the rest is on the other blog below:

    http://ahmetcafercelebiler.blogspot.com.tr/2010/03/mengen-devrek-bartin-amasra-inkum.html

    http://otherchelebistravels.blogspot.com.tr/2010/03/western-black-sea-part-ii-ulus.html

    http://otherchelebistravels.blogspot.com.tr/2010/03/western-black-sea-part-iii-pinarbasi-to.html

    http://otherchelebistravels.blogspot.com.tr/2010/03/western-black-sea-part-iv-to-sinop-and.html


    Although you could continue on the coast from Amasra to Sinop or Samsun, I hope you will consider doing that portion inland after you have checked our trip report and have also read the rest of my comments below.

    The coastal road from Amasra to Sinop is supposed to be very beautiful but that landscape is characteristic of the whole Black Sea coast of Turkey and you will see enough of it between Samsun and Trabzon and especially after Trabzon on the way to Rize if you extend your driving and try some of the valleys and the mountains and lakes.

    If you continue inland after Pinarbasi to Ilgaz-Kastamonu-Corum-Amasya, you will be rewarded with the Ottoman feel of kastamonu which was an important Ottoman town, the varied and different landscape, the Celtic/Roman ruins at Amasya also with its castle for the Ottoman Princes in its interesting narrow valley dominated by the river Yesilirmak and the mountains.

    If you have even more time and have picked the Corum route, you are only an hour or two away from the antique Hittite sites of Hattusas, Yazili Kaya and Alacahoyuk

    http://www.corumkulturturizm.gov.tr/TR,58717/turizm-aktiviteleri.html

    You will also be required to taste the varieties of famous nutty chick peas of Corum and its fabulous Iskilip Dolma, a lamb-rice dish which is only prepared in the area.

    Depending on the season, the region has good cherries, okra, and apples as well as blueberries and cranberries.

    Ease of driving : Very easy after getting away from Istanbul. Leave Istanbul either very early in the morning or about 11-12 AM.

    Suggest you drop off car at Trabzon airport and fly back, unless you are continuing to Cappadocia or Batumi or Kars and Dogu Beyazit.

    Problems on route : Possible flooding and landslides in Fall and Winter on coastal Black Sea route (November-March)

    Speed limits: enforced but with allowance upto 10% above. Not always clearly posted.

    Signposts : Not always enough. GPS or google maps on mobile useful.
    Historic and natural sites always well-signposted in
    brown.

    Weekly markets : always fun. Park outside and walk through.

    Special Products : Walking sticks (canes) at Devrek and tatting at Sinop among others.

    Road surfaces : Good

    Road width : Good, wider than most British roads.

    Best rental cars : VW, Opel, Ford, Seat, Renault. I would stay away
    from Fiats.
    Always check spare tyre, jack, etc and
    windshield wash liquid when receiving car.

    Fuel : Try to use Shell and BP and if not, OPET for quality and
    also quality of facilities.
    There will be many stations even on remote routes.

    Road Side Rests and Eating: Many scenic spots have cafes and restaurants. Petrol stations usually have cafes serving brewed tea
    to provide the needed cafeine. Many stations will also have small markets for soft drinks, candy bars, etc.

    There will also be fruit and vegetables sold on side of road and frequent fountains for spring water for you to wash them.

    Needs in Car : pen knife, roll of paper towels, some plastic bags for trash, mosquito/fly/tick repellent, (also get the plug in mosquito repellent sold at most supermarkets to use in your hotel room), wet-wipes.


    Bon Voyage.

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