Alternative Vacation In Samsun

Offering everything from sailing races and paragliding to grass skiing and photo safaris, Samsun is fast becoming a popular center with nature sports buffs.

City of Ataturk, Samsun stands out for its luxuriant vegetation and long gold coast under a Black Sea sky. It’s possible to find every hue of nature in this region enriched by the fertile Yeşilırmak and Kızılırmak deltas. A 23-kilometer-long beach crowns the city, in an area where lakes large and small and mountain ranges receding into the distance create pure natural beauty. Seeing this crystal clear landscape is an experience like no other, especially in spring when the forests are given a new lease on life by the Black Sea rains.

The Kocadağ Hike organized every June is also a vibrant scene of many different events. If you’re an inveterate winter skier, head for Akdağ. At the summit of this peak in the Samsun township of Ladik, Akdağ Winter Sports and Ski Center between Uzunyazı Tepesi at 1788 meters and Yemişen Tepe at 404 meters welcomes sports buffs with its long, wide, sloping pistes. Akdağ is also an alternative itinerary for magnificent snow-covered landscapes as well as photo safaris and climbing. Its natural grass expanses host grass skiing competitions in summer.

Covering part of the Ladik Plain, Lake Ladik is one of the Black Sea’s rising stars with its natural beauty and local entertainments. Attracting wide interest among nature photographers for its floating turf islands and the many bird species to which it is home, the lake is also famous for its sailboat races. Water skiing and wind surfing are some of the other activities available on the lake. Meanwhile Samsun city center boasts alternative travel offerings as well. You can go cable skiing in the harbor’s cool waters, or set sail on the open sea in a laser-class sailboat. And if you happen to be in Samsun on May 19, anniversary of the day Mustafa Kemal Ataturk landed in the city in 1919, we recommend that you take in the annual offshore races.

DON’T MISS IN SAMSUN
● Shopping at the Yabancılar Pazarı (Foreigners’ Market)
● A phaeton tour on the coast road
● Taking the cable car up to the Baruthane Tumuli (Archaeological Park)
● Visiting the Kızılırmak Delta and Geleriç Flooded Forest, where more than 300 species of birds have been sighted
● Seeing the wax sculptures on the SS Bandırma, which brought Ataturk to the city

SAMSUN’S FAMOUS PIDE
Its famous pide (flat bread with topping or filling) is the first thing that springs to mind at the mention of Samsun. If you prefer the closed variety, go to Bafra, for the open variety try Terme. Bafra ‘nokulu’ and crispy Samsun simits are some of the other treats you can try.

GETTING THERE
Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Samsun-Istanbul flights daily.
For flight times: www.turkishairlines.com