Giresun, clinging to the slopes of mountains spilling down into the Black Sea 200 km (124 miles) east of Samsun and 134 km (83 miles) west of Trabzon (map), is famous as the birthplace of the cherry.
Jason and his Argonauts sailed past on their way east to fabled Colchis (Georgia) in search of the Golden Fleece, but it was local traders who shipped the first cherries out in Roman times. Cherries are still an important local crop, along with hazelnuts (filberts) and tobacco.
What to do here? Eat cherries, and hazelnuts, andchocolate bars containing hazelnuts, and admire the few old Ottoman houses and the City Museum, housed in a former Orthodox church.
Virtually all of the rest of this city spread out for kilometers along the Black Sea shore here is a chaos of characterless modern concrete buildings.
Otherwise, Giresun is just a convenient place to stopfor the night on your trajectory to or from Trabzon. Busservice is good and frequent. The nearest airport is at Trabzon, the nearest train station at Samsun.
Giresun has its own collection of hotels.
The Romans called the town Cerasus, from which we get cherry (English), cerise (French), cereza (Spanish), kiraz and Giresun (Turkish) and I suppose even (somehow) kirsch (German).
Distances & Travel Times
Amasya: 339 km (211 miles) W, 6 hours
Ankara: 626 km (389 miles) SW, 10 hours
Ordu: 46 km (29 miles) W, 50 minutes
Samsun: 209 km (130 miles) E, 3.5 hours
Sinop: 377 km (234 miles) W, 7 hours
Trabzon: 150 km (93 miles) E, 3 hours
Ünye: 124 km (77 miles) W, 2 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan