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(CUL) DESTINATIONS TO DISCOVER IN TURKEY: THE BLACK SEA REGION.

ANKARA, Jul 5, 2009 (TUR) -- Turkey's Black Sea region is welcoming vacationers with a nature of thousand tones of green, clean sea and ancient riches.

-BOLU-

As one of the region's major attraction centers, Bolu has recently become a favorite destination for tourists who are advised to spent at least a week to get to discover the beauties of the city and other nearby locations.

The city's most famous attraction point is Lake Abant -- some 42 km north of Bolu -- which hosts two five-star hotels and convenient spots for camping fans. The lake is also an ideal place for taking long walks, horseback riding, fishing and enjoying barbecue.

The Yedigller (Seven Lakes) National Park is located in the north of Bolu and it is a group of seven small lakes scattered over a 550-hectare area. The wish fountain and the smiling rock are a must-see in the area which also offers accommodation at lodges and camping spots. Early wakers can actually spot wild animals near the lakes.

Lake Glck, which is located some 15km from Bolu at an altitude of 950 meters from sea level, offers stunning landscapes with in a beautiful natural habitat.

Bolu is also the home for other smaller lakes such as Lake Slkl and Lake Snnet and the province is also famous for its top-class chefs.

-KARTALKAYA SKI RESORT-

One of Turkey's most popular ski resorts, Kartalkaya sits over Mount Krolu in the southeast of Bolu. The resort is ideal for the Alpine discipline and ski-tours at an altitude ranging between 1,850 meters and 2,200 meters. The skiing season lasts from early December to the end March. There are four five-star hotels at Kartalkaya.

-DZCE-

The Dzce province offers breathtaking landscapes with its forests, lakes, plateaus and historical riches. The Akakoca town of the province, which is located on the Black Sea shore, is particularly famous. Akakoca has a 35km coastline with beautiful beaches such as the Kale Beach, and the towns historic mosques and the Genoese Castle. Duzce is also an ideal spot for rafting the Melen River.

-SAMSUN-

Samsun is one of most important provinces of the Central Black Sea Region and it is located on the basins of River Kzlrmak and River Yesilrmak. The city was founded in the 7th century B.C. as a colony and it has a number of museums displaying historical artifacts from various civilizations.

The province sits on the Black Sea coastline and it has long beaches with spectacular sand against a background of richly forested hills.

Among Samsun's historical riches is the ancient city of Amazons who were said to have built a stronghold known as Themiskyra near River Thermedon.

-SNOP-

Sinop is located at the farthermost northern end of Turkey's Black Sea region over a small peninsula with its tall trees, beaches, clean waters and its famous and unique fiord, Hamsilos, in Turkey.

Sinop is the birth place of Hellenistic philosopher, Diogenes the Cynic. The city has been the home of many civilizations since 4,500 B.C. The Sinop Castle, built by the local tribe of Gaska in 2,000 B.C., is a must-see in this beautiful city.

The city is also the home for numerous historical artifacts from Byzantines and Ottomans such as churches and mosques.

-AMASYA-

Amasya province has seen many civilizations over its 7,500-year history such as Hittites and it is located over the ancient Silk Road. The city has also been the home for many Ottoman shahzades (sons of the Ottoman sultan) during their training in state matters.

The city is famous for its Rock Tombs of Pontic Kings, Amasya Castle over Mount Harena and various Ottoman Mosques such as Gk Medrese, which was built in 1276.

-TRABZON-

The city is located in the eastern part of the Black Sea region and it is an important Black Sea port with a history that dates back thousands of years.

Sumela Monastry is one of the most popular attractions of Trabzon. The monastery stands at the foot of a steep cliff in the Altndere valley in the region of Maka. It lies at an altitude of about 1200 metres overlooking much of the alpine scenery below.

Uzungl (Longlake) is one of the most popular destinations in Trabzon. It is a natural dam formed by landslide at an altitude of 1090 meters.

-ORDU-

The city, which is most famous with its hazelnuts, is located some 163 km east of Samsun, and it is considered as a gateway to eastern Black Sea region. The history of the city dates back some 3,700 years and it is the home for Jason Church. Boztepe, with an altitude of 564 meters from the sea level, offers a great panoramic view of the city.

-RZE-

Rize is 80km away from the Trabzon Airport. The city is famous for its black tea and it also houses a tea museum. The Ayder Plateau is a must-see which is located in amlhemin town at one-hour drive. There are also thermal springs in the Ayder Plateau. Visitors should not miss 600 year-old the Zil Castle and the at Valley some 25km from Rize.

-GRESUN-

Giresun is awaiting tourists with its castle and spectacular plateaus, and its island, which is the only island in eastern Black Sea region suitable for settlement.

-ARTVN-

Located near the border gate with Georgia, Artvin sits at the farthermost end of the eastern Black Sea region. Karagl-Sahar National Park is a must-see with Lake avat and Lake Borka. Efeler-Gorgit Natural Preserve is a biosphere reserve, an international conservation designation given by UNESCO. Bull fighting in the Kafkasr Plateau is also a major attraction for both foreign and domestic visitors.

-ZONGULDAK-

Zonguldak is located in the western part of Turkey's Black Sea region. It is one of the richest provinces in the country in terms of underground cave formations. Cehennemaz (Hell's Mouth) Caves, which is considered as one of the gateways to the mythological Kingdom of the Underworld of Hades is a must-see along with a Gkgl Cave located on the Ankara highway. Gmeli Forest which is registered as the 105th natural monument of Turkey and the Bacakl Plateau Summit with an altitute of 1,637 meters offer stunning landscapes. A 6th century B.C. ancient city at the Filyos hamlet of the aycuma town is another attraction spot in Zonguldak.

-BARTIN-

With its secluded lagoons and blanket-like forests, Bartn offers riches a typical Black Sea province. Bartn's most famous town Amasra is a tiny coastal town with a 4,000-year history. Ottoman Emperor Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror once said of Amasra: "Is this what they call 'the apple of world's eye?'" Ulukaya Falls, which is some 53km from Bartn, is a also must-see. The 7km long Ulu Plateau in the Akakese village offers an ideal route for hiking.

-SAFRANBOLU-

Safranbolu, which is one and half hour drive from Bartn, is like a huge time-capsule with its historic houses that dates back to 18th and 19th centuries. Safranbolu also houses a unique eco-system with rare plant species with rich wild life. eker Canyon offers a rough hiking course with its high and sharp cliffs. Three kilometers from the town lies the Hadrianopolis ancient city, which is considered as the Zeugma of the Black Sea region.

-KASTAMONU-

There are two national parks in the Kastamonu province, the Mount Ilgaz National Park and Monut Kre National Park. The province gas a 135km coastline and its atalzeytin and Cide towns are famous with their Ginolu and Giderus lagoons respectively.

(THROUGH ASIA PULSE)
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Publication:Anadolu (Eskisehir, Turkey)
Date:Jul 5, 2009
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