The Black Sea coast has a much deserved reputation as one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world for its stunning greenery. The rolling hills, the trees, the rivers, even the Black Sea all look like varying shades of green, with relatively little opposing colors thrown in. The landscape is gorgeous, the air quality and natural beauty is relaxing, and the whole coastline is simply amazing.
But what happens if you’re on the Black Sea and you get tired of admiring those 50 shades of green? Well, we’ve got the solution for you!
Pink, it was love at first sight: Pembe Kayalar (Pink Rocks), Kocaeli
These magnificent rocks have been the site of civilizations for as far back as we know. It was used as a quarry during the days of ancient Greece, but there've also been prehistoric finds on the spot. The soft rocks in the water harden after they are removed from the water, making them ideal to cut into shapes during the Ottoman period and move to Istanbul. Many of these rocks were used in the Blue Mosque even. The wonderful colors they've formed are from years and years of sedimentation and the mineral composition of the rocks themselves.
Gray meets blue: Amasra, Bartın
Amasra is a district of the province of Bartın in the Western Black Sea. This settlement has over 3,000 years of history, and now this striking peninsula features a castle that was originally built by the Romans and then restored in turn each by the Byzantines, the Genoese and the Ottomans. In 2013, it was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List. The location of the castle and the deep blue of the Black Sea make it a sight more striking than just about any in the world.
The Black Sea goes navy blue: Gerze, Sinop
This is a tiny little jut off into the Black Sea with beautiful beaches where the sea, rather than the turquoise color of the Mediterranean in the south of Turkey, is famous for its dark and brooding color. The town itself is lovely and its local markets are famous for the veggies and fruits they sell. The village is quaint with much of the architecture still original, and the village looks much like nothing has changed for thousands of years. Maybe it really hasn't!
White as the driven snow: Kartalkaya, Bolu
Kartalkaya is a ski resort in the Köroğlu Mountains on the eastern side of Bolu. It's one of the best ski resorts in Turkey, and as it's located comparatively close to Istanbul, it's a great place to make a quick weekend getaway. The summit is 2,200 meters and the snow reaches a thickness of 3 meters. Putting this as a different color on the Black Sea may be cheating a bit, because you guessed it - in the summer the slopes are covered in grassy meadows that match the Black Sea's reputation for greenery!
Kartalkaya is state-of-the-art and one of the largest sets of slopes in Turkey. European competitions are held here as well and tourists come from all over the world the try out these slopes.
A city built into the brown rock: Aydıntepe, Bayburt
The Aydıntepe underground city was found by pure chance during a construction excavation in the district in 1998, and consists of caves carved into the volcanic tufa rock without using any major building materials, 2-2.5 meters deep.
The city features halls and hallways leading to large chambers, and it's unclear as of yet just how many people used this city or when it was founded. There are tombs above the city that suggest the city is very old indeed, dating at least back to the late Roman era. It's clear that Christian and Muslim civilizations have both used the city at various times, and there are cellars, storage rooms, a water source and a pool.
At the moment, excavations are still being carried out but a part of the site is open to the public.