The greatest qualities of Amasya are its geography – right between the Black Sea and Central Anatolia – scenery and history. Stretching along a splendid river valley and steep, vertical cliffs, the old town has a shape of a ‘V’ for it follows a sharp river bend. The rugged scenery of the Pontus and Canik ranges makes Amasya appear like a high mountain-town, albeit the city lies almost at the sea level. That is why cycling is easy and enjoyable – moderate climate and mild terrain.

Amasya, Yeşilırmak River Valley


Exploring Amasya by a bicycle can be extremely engaging. It will not only give you the chance to enrich your cultural and historical knowledge (without wasting money on tours and parking) but also you highly likely notice those little details that would be otherwise left overlooked, all that while doing a really good exercise!


Although the Black Sea shores are so close the inland beauty is what characterises this region. There are numerous cycling and heritage trails in the region. Like any other Turkish city, Amasya has a long history, and that is obvious instantly at arrival. The antique town is home to historical fortifications, ancient tombs and castles, Ottoman mansions and beautiful mosques.

Amasya, Yeşilırmak River Valley

Being a Muslim realm, it appears quite exotic to the Westerners, especially for its spicy food, exquisite coffee, indulging local baths and the local handicraft – these are all symbols of Turkey, after all.

In spite of a having a long trading tradition Amasya is not a mass-tourism hotspot at all, and that is the reason for the city`s well-preserved architecture and culture. Most of the buildings are in a perfect condition, and the Silk Road era legacy is omnipresent.

Well-preserved Ottoman Turkish Mansion


Since ancient times, Turkey had been considered to be the trading hub of the middle-eastern nations. Once, the iconic Silk Road cut through Amasya on the way to the Black Sea, leaving behind some priceless heritage. Amasya, linking Europe to the Orient, had been crossed by foreign merchants, artisans and camel caravan, and the land here encountered a blend of many civilisations. All that, naturally, is best demonstrated in the local architecture, cuisine, traditions and folklore.

Let yourself be taken back to the ancient times, and it is the best way to enjoy the local markets, traditional coffee shops, the iconic caravan sarays, impressive mosques and palaces while riding the ancient trade routes of Amasya.

Traditionally served Turkish coffee

Traditionally served Turkish coffee


  • ROYAL PALACE &THE KINGS` TOMBS – the major landmark is situated on the Harşena Rock above the town just above the town, you can visit the Pontus Kings’ Tombs and the Royal Palace (by night it is smartly illuminated and offers a stunning view)
  • MOSQUES – it is hard to overlook these jewels: Yildirim Bayazit Mosque (15th century), Seljuk Burmali Mosque (13th century)
  • HISTORIC LANDMARKS – in the town centre there are also numerous important buildings, including the Pir Ilyas Tomb (15th century), Mental Hospital “Ilkhan Bimarhane” (14th century),  Ferhat Aqueduct & Ottoman Turkish Mansions
  • AMASYA ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM – it includes artefacts dating from the antiquity, as well as the Ilkhanli rulers’ mummies (Amasya has a rich history, starting in 5500 BC and going through various periods. e.g. Hellenistic, Roman-Byzantine and Ottoman)
  • GETTING LOST – search around the historical treasures at your own pace and discover hidden lanes and Amasya`s best-kept secrets, and perhaps meet the locals


If cycling, Amasya can be discovered in as many as 2-3 days, and now it is a good time to start exploring its surrounds. There are various cycling routes, ranging from easy-moderate to challenging mountain bike tracks.

The Pontus King`s tombs and the Royal Palace


  • A short but steep path leads from the city to the Muslim saints’ tombs – truly worth of the effort!
  • Pedal up to the nearby Harsene Kalesi Fortification, standing on a rocky outcrop above the town (note the traditional houses along the river)
  • Terziköy thermal spring (40 km from Amasya) – this fabulous hot spring is a must-visit!
  • A longer but east easy road takes you to (and around) the Yedikir Reservoir (40 km from Amasya) birdlife watching, photography and fishing
  • Lake Borabay is a beautiful national park (65 km from Amasya) and a good place for camping, swimming, hiking, wildlife spotting and eco-tourism (you can stay at one of the regional homesteads and try the local food – YUM)
  • If you fancy a long journey set out on a trip along the Yeşilırmak, Çekerek and Tersakan rivers to reach the Black Sea coast and enjoy the lovely beaches (120 km)
  • Ottoman Railway Station – the daily train runs from Sivas (via Amasya) to Samsun (Black Sea), and it is worth a ride, just grab your bike and hop on!

Characteristic houses of Amasya (on the way to the Harsene Kalesi Fortification)


Amasya is famed for being an important farming area, especially for growing apples. Don`t skip the Apple Palace! Even if you don`t stay at the hotel, pay a visit for spectacular views.

Apple Palace, Amasya


  • Cycling is the most efficient mode of transport
  • What not many travellers realise is that moving around by bike is not only suitable for city tours, but it can be very useful on long routes
  • The bicycle provides a great deal of flexibility – you can enjoy the surrounds at a desirable pace, stopping anywhere and anytime you like
  • Unlike any other transport, bicycle gives you access to many backstreets and narrow tracks
  • When on a bicycle, one is more likely to pay attention to little details that would normally be left unnoticed (hidden spots, interesting buildings on the way, fauna & flora, etc.)
  • It is much easier to interact with people and meet the locals when on a bike
  • It has greater manoeuvrability, and it is surely easier to park
  • At the same time, it reduces the traffic congestion, and it is environmentally friendly
  • Not even to mention that it is cheaper for both the society and the user
  • Finally, let`s not forget that cycling means exercising!

There is nothing like cyclotourism when it comes to exploring the surrounds


Good time to visit Amasya is between April-September, with the peak months of July-August when prices go up. The ideal time to travel seems to be June – fewer crowds, pleasant temperature and reasonable rates.

NOTE Remember to avoid the month of Ramadan since the food options are relatively limited (and you surely do not want to miss out on the best cuisine in the world!)


Fly to Istanbul or Ankara

1.Catch a domestic flight to Merzifon-Amasya or the nearby Samson Airport (there are daily flights from Istanbul or Ankara). Check out the Turkish Airlines and Pegasus

2.However, the best way to get to Amasya is by bus or train from Ankara (5 hrs) to enjoy the stunning landscape

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Eva Bodova

Thursday 21 June 2018

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