With its dramatic mountain-and-riverside setting, its charming old houses, mosques and antiquities,Amasya is among Turkey’s undiscovered treasures.
If you’re planning to tour the Black Sea coast, be sure to stop in Amasya (ah-MAHSS-yah, pop. 65,000; map) for at least one night on your way.
Amasya, a provincial capital, stretches along the banks of the Yeşilırmak (Green River) in a narrow mountain defile, with sheer rock cliffs rising above the town center. Ancient tombs of the kings of Pontus (3rd century BCE), carved right into the sheer rock, are floodlit at night.
Many graceful old Ottoman houses have been preserved, and a few now serve as charming boutique hotels, inns & pensions.
Other sights include several fine 13th-century Seljuk Turkish buildings, a Mongol madhouse, and a good little museum which contains, among other curiosities, a collection of local mummies! More…
Bus and car are the best ways to get here. The nearest airport is the small Merzifon-Amasya Airport, 41 km northwest of Amasya. More…
You can include Amasya on my Recommended Itineraryfor Eastern Turkey.
More about Amasya? Read Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea, my humorous travel memoir.
—by Tom Brosnahan