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The western Black Sea

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Thanks to its poor infrastructure, and lack of specific attractions, the coast from Samsun west to Amasra is perhaps the least visited part of the entire Turkish shoreline. Samsun makes a dreary and discouraging gateway to the region, but matters improve as you head northwest to Sinop, a more interesting place than any other Black Sea town except Trabzon. Beyond Sinop the coast road west is tortuous and slow, but spectacular scenery, unspoiled beaches and small ports offer some compensation. The only place that sees many tourists is Amasra, an old medieval stronghold at the western end of this beautiful stretch.

As a rule, the beaches are cleaner and the weather drier here than further east. Figs and olives attest to the mild climate, and if you simply want to laze on the sand without any other stimulation, you’ll find plenty of opportunity. Sparse bus and dolmuş schedules are the only drawbacks; check frequencies to avoid getting stranded.

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