Amasra, a beauty in the West Karadeniz
photo by Fabrice

The little town of Amasra is located on the Western Black Sea coast, right above Bartın, which is the capital of its Province. 7000 inhabitants live in this lovely port town but this number certainly double with the approach of the touristic periods. The city includes two islands, Büyük ada (Great Island) which is connected by a stoned bridge to the mainland and a smaller one Tavsan adası (Rabbit Island) which remains wild and uninhabited.

Amasra was part of the Greek empire before the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II conquered the whole region in 1460. The Greek villagers were transferred to Istanbul and replaced by Turkish ones. At the same time their church has been turned into a mosque, the Fatih camii, which is still in activity.

It seems that the city has been called Sesamus in the antic Greek times and has been mentioned by Homer in his well-know book the Iliad.

You will find in its center a nice 400 meters sand beach, a historical museum, a hamam, a theater, a Luna Park and a Disco club (the Altıbeden) and streets full of souvenirs shops. There was a castle before on Büyük ada and its stoned fences and gates are still remaining enveloping the whole city in a middle age romantic atmosphere. Some people says that if you succeed in throughing a little stone in the hole standing above the main gate of the castle (right after crossing the bridge), your wish will become true.
There are also street markets nearly every two days where the local garden owners sell their products (mostly organic).
The main dishes of the place, Pides (Karadeniz style, which is larger and hotter than the classical ones) and Gözlemes are around 6 TL.

Amasra is also proud that the young and famous Turkish pop singer, Bariş Akarsu, grew up on his shores. Since he died in 2007 on his 28 birthday in a road accident, a giant statue has been raised in his memory in the heart of the town, surrounded by the two motor bikes he owned and posters.

You will easily find a place to stay in Amasra since a great number of its inhabitants decided to took advantage of the touristic affluence by turning a part of their houses into guest houses offering inexpensive accommodations.
For my part when i visited Amasra three days this June, I setup my tent of the top of its the demolished castle enjoying a superb 360 degrees view ! Camping here did not seemed forbidden and I have not been disturb at all since for some unknown reasons very few people make a walk to this green open place. Is that because of the Cins* who settled down in the fortress ?

*Cins = Gnomes !

Meet the author


From Lyon where I was born to Istanbul where I am now living, I have been travelling in 3 years in more than 25 countries.

I also founded in 2009 the alternative University : Lyon Zero (http://lyonzero.blogspot.com)