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This region of Turkey is never crowded, partly due to the fact that cloud is more common than sun but the lush green landscape coupled with the craggy and spectacular coastline make this a bit of a hidden gem.

About Black Sea Coast of Turkey

The combination of damp northerly and westerly winds, confronting an almost uninterrupted wall of mountains south of the shore, has created a relentlessly rainy and riotously green realm. It’s not unlike the northwest coasts of North America or Spain. The peaks force the clouds to disgorge themselves on the seaward side of the watershed, leaving central Anatolia beyond the passes in a permanent rain shadow. With the short summer season ensuring the area sees few package tourists or backpackers, most foreign visitors are either archeology groups or trekkers.

That said, when the semi-tropical heat sets in, in July and August, you’ll certainly want to swim. The sea here has its own peculiarities, just like the weather. Fed huge volumes of fresh water by the Don, Dnieper and Danube rivers to the north, it’s diminished not by evaporation but by strong currents through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles. The resulting upper layer is of such low salinity that you could almost drink it, were it not for the pollution.

This is an historic region, scattered with the legacies of civilisations and empires that have ebbed and flowed like Black Sea waves. Castles, churches, monasteries and architecturally important mosques recall the days of the kings of Pontus, the Genoese and the Ottomans. Queen Hippolyte and her tribe of female Amazon warriors supposedly lived here, and the seafront chapel at Yason Burnu (Cape Jason) marks the spot where Jason and his Argonauts passed by.

Horon Dance – Folk Dance from Black Sea Region of Turkey

Anatolia , which means East in Greek, which is now modern Turkey, was the heartland of Byzantium before the Ottoman invasion. The Anatolian folk dance called the Horon dance of the Black Sea is the ancient koron-horon, originally of pagan worship which was to become a sacred ritual dance and was performed by men only. Their are many different types of this dance in different regions with the Horon word coming from hur-kor, meaning ‘Sun’ or horom meaning a line of six or seven corn stalks all tied together to form a lattice… Which looks like people joined together with arms raised.

The Horon is generally danced by a chain of either men or women who form a line or semi-circle. The Horon has one of the most characteristic movements which is a fast shoulder shimmy (tremoulo) and a trembling of the entire body and sudden squats, which imitates … or suggests the movements of a fish called the hamsi (a type of anchovy) as it swims in the sea or struggles in the nets for its life. When men and women link arms and perform together as a couple, the dance is often referred to as Rahat, (comfortable horon) which is slower and simpler in its patterns. Horons are danced to music of the cura zurna, cura davul, tulum, kemence, koltuk davulu, and even the accordion.

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Dance the Past Into the Future

As social and economic forces encroach upon traditional culture in Turkey’s Kachkar mountain highlands, many distinctive practices have vanished or are facing extinction. Among the three generations now straddling the not-yet-forgotten past and the globalized tomorrow, some are finding hope in one tradition that could stand alone as the primary catalyst for ongoing cultural identity, communal peace, and the celebration of life.

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Check it out for yourself in Turkey’s Black Sea Mountains – From the Air!

While many visitors flock south to the Mediterranean or west to the Aegean, the Black Sea (Karadeniz) is equally deserving, particularly because it is so different from the other coasts. After Amasra’s seaside-holiday vibe and Trabzon’s big-city buzz, you can relax in pint-size fishing villages or head inland and up to alpine yaylalar (mountain pastures). And the spectacular coastline makes for a scenic route across Turkey to other parts of Anatolia.

Sights in Black Sea Coast

People who do not like the heat and humidity of the summer in the Mediterranean and Aegean regions of Turkey, escape to the plateaux of the mountains in the Black Sea region which are almost permanently cloudy and receive immense amounts of rain. Black Sea Region is very attractive for visitors with its rich flora and fauna, forests, crater lakes, waterfalls, rivers, streams, mountain and nature walk, rafting, canoe and winter sports, hunting and fishing, grass skiing, healing water and local dishes.

Some Incredible Views You Will Only Find in Turkey’s Black Sea Region

Matador sent a group of social media all stars on trips to the Black Sea region of Turkey, the culturally rich, historic, and incredibly scenic strip of territory spanning the north of the country from Istanbul to the border with Georgia. Here are just a few of the spectacular views they captured, ones you’ll see here and nowhere else.

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