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  • cittaslow cities Black Sea

    Türkiye

    GERZE/GÖYNÜK/MUDURNU/PERŞEMBE/ŞAVŞAT 

    Gerze

    Gerze, in the province of Sinop, is the happiest city in Türkiye!

    Gerze has been a member of the Cittaslow movement since 2017. This is thanks to its nature where green and blue dance, its beautiful crafts, delicious regional food, and welcoming people.

    The history of Gerze begins in 1800 BC. Several ruins found during archaeological surveys in Köşk Höyük prove that Gerze has been a settlement since the early Hittite period.

    Today, the smell of flowers overflowing into the streets from the gardens will greet you in this old district of the Black Sea. As you breathe the fresh and clean air of Gerze, you will feel the serenity of a quiet fishing town.

    Every Friday, you can find naturally grown agricultural products at the local farmers market, where villagers exhibit their produce to locals and visitors alike. You can taste the local dishes in small, lovely restaurants, and visit workshops that create wooden toys, model ships,tents, and towels to learn about the district's unique material culture.

    Don’t leave Gerze without visiting Sorkun Waterfalls and Yelken Tepe (Yelken Hill), which also offers the opportunity to paraglide!

    Göynük

    Göynük is well known in Türkiye as one of the most beautiful spots in the country.

    Located in the Western Black Sea region, Göynük, in the small district of Bolu, is a charming town set between high hills and valleys with beautiful, peaceful streams.

    From the 14th century onwards, thanks to its location, the district developed economically as a transit area for the saffron trade between Anatolia and İstanbul.

    Göynük is an old Ottoman town with exceptionally well-preserved architecture. The district's historical traditions and culture, the local attire, folklore, and cuisine are still alive today. The entire residential area of Göynük is protected.

    The nearby Lakes Sünnet and Çubuk have not been developed and offer an escape into pristine nature.

    The windmills that were constructed as part of a film set above Lake Çubuk are also very popular with photographers.

    Despite its proximity to major cities such as Ankara, İstanbul, Eskişehir, and Bursa, Göynük attracts visitors with its calmness, tranquility, and uniqueness.

    Mudurnu

    Located between İstanbul and Ankara, Mudurnu is a small town and district in the province of Bolu. A portion of the town center has been declared a “Historic Preservation District” and it is famous for the more than 180 historical buildings and old houses that can be found there.

    Mudurnu was declared Türkiye's 15th Cittaslow in March 2018. The town welcomes many guests who come here to admire the town’s long history and enjoy the surrounding nature.

    As you walk through the city's narrow streets, Mudurnu's fresh air and the aroma of pine trees refresh your body.

    There are dozens of historical houses and mansions in Mudurnu. Many of these houses are still privately owned. The most famous of these mansions are Armutçular Konağı (Armutçular Mansion), Keyvanlar Konağı (Keyvanlar Mansion), Kazanlar Konağı (Kazanlar Mansion), Yarışkaşı Konağı (Yarışkaşı Mansion), and Hacı Abdullahlar Konağı (Hacı Abdullahlar Mansion).

    Lake Abant is a freshwater lake at 17 km northeast of Mudurnu. The lake’s scenery changes with the seasons. Thanks to the richness of the local flora, in 1988, 1,150 hectares of the region were declared a nature park. The lake’s woodlands include, among others, Scots pine, European black pines, beeches, oaks, poplars, ashes, hornbeams, willows, junipers, hazels, and common medlars.

    Near the shore, there are water lilies and an assortment of shoreline plants. Around Lake Abant, an endemic species was discovered called “Crocus of Abant” (Crocus Abantensis). It is a lovely shade of light blue with bright yellow in the middle. The Abant trout (Salmo abanticus) is an endemic subspecies of trout found exclusively in this lake.

    Perşembe

    Perşembe is a small town and district in Ordu Province on the coast of the Black Sea.

    In Perşembe, small hills are separated by deep and steep valleys. The hills reach the shore at steep angles, creating small bays along the coast. There are two large capes on the shores of Perşembe: Yason Burnu (Cape Yason), which stretches out into the sea to the north, and Çam Burnu which is in a deep, steep bay. These capes protect the port of Perşembe from the northwest winds.

    Located in a warm climate, Perşembe is a region rich in vegetation. It is impossible to see a bare piece of land here – the soil is painted every shade of green imaginable!

    One of the district’s most important historical assets is Hoynat Islet. Historically, the uninhabited island has been a hideout, refuge, and storage location for sailors. Some ruins of a wall are still visible on the islet. Now, Hoynat Islet is inhabited by seagulls and in the main reproduction site in Türkiye of the European shag, a species of cormorant.

    Şavşat

    Situated in the eastern Black Sea region of Türkiye, known for its eternal green scenery and clean air, Şavşat resembles a paradise with its green plateaus and the villages on the foothills of the surrounding mountains.

    Şavşat is Türkiye’s 10th Cittaslow. Offering pure nature and a local way of life, you can appreciate a slow pace of life and all the advantages it offers in Şavşat.

    Şavsat sits on a beautiful hilly area surrounded by high mountains on all sides, including the 3,537-meter-tall Karçkal Mountains to the west. Numerous mountain streams and pools surround the town.

    Şavsat gets quite chilly in winter, making it the ideal time to visit – the region is covered in snow and looks its most pristine.

    Established in 1994, Karagöl-Sahara National Park is 45 kilometers from Şavşat. The park is ideal for camping and caravanning enthusiasts.

    SEE
    • Seven Lakes National Park (Yedigöller Milli Parkı)
    • Şavşat (Satlel) Castle
    • Sorkun Waterfalls
    • Yelken Tepe (Yelken Hill)
    • Şavşat Karagöl (Lake)
    TASTE
    • İmaret soup (rice, milk and onion soup)
    • Mengen pilavı (pilaf with lamb, mushroom and walnuts)
    • Ordu pidesi (a kind of traditional flatbread)
    • Hamsi pilavı (anchovy and rice)
    • Hazelnut
    SMELL
    • Cologne of Yeniçağa
    • Forests of Bolu
    • Highland Thyme
    • Breeze blowing from the Black Sea
    • Magical scent of flowers such as highland roses and loops
    TOUCH
    • Buckle Cover of Göynük
    • Needle Lace of Mudurnu
    • Ordu handicrafts
    LISTEN
    • Musical performances at International Köroğlu Festival
    • Century-old polyphonic tunes of Maçahel Seniors’ Choir
    • Traditional Black Sea tunes accompanied by kemancha and bagpipes