The land of the ancient Argonauts and the original Amazons, Turkey’s Eastern Black Sea coast is a beautiful and surprising destination especially suited for travelers making their second or third visit to Turkey (and with so much to see, most visitors do want to return). One can begin this tour in Ankara, capital of the Turkish Republic, with a visit to one of the most exciting museums in the world, the Museum of Ancient Anatolian Civilizations.
Starting on this tour, you will drive to Amasya, one of the most charming cities of Turkey. You will also have a chance to visit Hattusas, capital of the ancient Hittite Empire that had ruled much of Anatolia and Northern Mesopotamia for hundreds of years, and their open-air sanctuary at Yazilikaya. Then, continue on to Trabzon, one of the oldest settlements on the Black Sea, where the spectacular Sumela Monastery clings to a sheer cliff. The great explorer Marco Polo stayed here (and reportedly lost his luggage!). You can afterwards drive inland to a delightful village on a lake called Uzungol, which means “long lake,” a lovely alpine lake surrounded by mountains and meadows. This itinerary could be as short as two days, or longer, depending on your interests.