Amasra is a pretty little town off by itself, set on afortified promontory jutting northward into the Black Sea (map).
Because the coastal roads to east and west are not all that good, Amasra gets only a moderate number of summer visitors, keeping it pleasant and relatively undeveloped, although there are some hotels for vacationers.
If you visit the charming historic town of Safranbolu, come to Amasra (ah-MAHSS-rah, pop. 7000) for a night or two of seaside relaxation, explore the fortress, and take a dip in the chilly Black Sea.
Bus and car are the only ways to get here. Intercity buses serve Bartın, the provincial capital 16 km (10 miles) to the south, from which you take a minibus to Amasra. The nearest airport is at Ankara, the nearest train station at Zonguldak.
By the way, don’t confuse the Black Sea town of Amasrawith the Central Anatolian mountain town of Amasya, 130 km (81 miles) south of Samsun.
If you plan to head east from Amasra to Sinop (312 km, 194 miles) by car, allow most of the day for the trip along the narrow, winding road.
Allow more than a day if you use the point-to-point local minibuses (there are no direct buses). It’s probably faster–and certainly more comfortable—to take inland buses via Bartın and Kastamonu to Sinop.
Distances & Travel Times
Ankara: 310 km (193 miles) S, 4 hours
Bartın: 16 km (10 miles) S, 25 minutes
Istanbul: 467 km (290 miles) W, 5-3/4 hours
Kastamonu: 203 km (122 miles) E, 3 hours
Safranbolu: 97 km (56 miles) S, 1-3/4 hours
Samsun: 500 km (311 miles) E, 7-1/4 hours by car
Sinop: 387 km (240 miles) E, 5-1/2 hours by car (no direct bus service)
Zonguldak: 111 km (69 miles) W, 2 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan