Samsun is a modern city, provincial
capital, important Black
Sea port and transportation center,
and though it has few sights to detain you, it does boast one of the best collections of hotels on the Black Sea coast (map).
Although it's very old, Genoese raiders burnt
it to the ground in the 1400s,
so there's not much left of old Samsun
(SAHM-soon, pop. 500,000).
It was in a Samsun of some 30,000 inhabitants that Mustafa Kemal Pasha (later Atatürk) came ashore on May
19, 1919 to rally the Turkish people
against Allied occupation and to
begin the War of Independence.
Little is left of that quaint early 20th-century Black Sea port town. A booming economy has covered
with modern high-rise buildings.
The Archeological and Ethnographic
Museum and, right next door,
the Atatürk Museum, are
worth a look. The parks and promenades along the Black Sea shores of this l-o-n-g spread-out city are also pleasant.
Samsun has numerous
decent hotels and restaurants.
Otherwise, you'll probably find yourself
heading west to Sinop or
east to Giresun and Trabzon on
the Black Sea
coast, or south to Amasya,
all of which are more interesting towns.
For details, see my Recommended
Itineraries, particularly the one
service is frequent and convenient
to Samsun, especially with the Ulusoy company.
The few trains from Sivas via Amasya take
twice as long and are not as comfortable.
Airlines has daily flights from Istanbul to
Distances & Travel Times (map)
Amasra: 495 km (308 miles) W, 8 hours
km (81 miles) S, 2.25 hours
km (261 miles) SW, 8 hours
km (163 miles) S, 5 hours
Cappadocia (Ürgüp): 465
km (289 miles) S, 8 hours
km (130 miles) E, 3.5 hours
km (456 miles) W, 11 hours
km (280 miles) S, 8 hours
km (104 miles) NW, 3 hours
km (210 miles) S, 6 hours
km (215 miles) E, 5.5 hours
—by Tom Brosnahan