Traveling around Turkey shows you what a vast and diverse country this really is. When most people travel to better known areas, visiting Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and around, not many people decide for the Black Sea area, which we really enjoyed exploring.
Turkey travel itinerary – 9 days for the Black Sea area
Day 1: Istanbul
Landing in Istanbul and picking up your rented car (our recommendation for renting – Economy Car rentals) you will have the rest of your day to rest or already enjoy a glimpse of always interesting city of Istanbul. Make sure to end up at Sultanahmet area, offering the most epic and stunning tourist attractions in Istanbul.
The best option is to book your hotel in Sultanahmet, what can be a bit of a challenge having the car, but some hotels offer payable parking for an extra fee.
Hotel recommendation: We would suggest Hotel Florenta or maybe Alpek Hotel. They are both on Sultanahmet, but Hotel Florenta is a little bit more in the center, when Alpek Hotel is a bit outside, but the main tourist attractions are still easily reachable on foot.
Day 2: Istanbul – Amasra (450 km)
Start your day early in the morning, before the rush over, to avoid traffic jams in the city and especially crossing the Bhosporus over the bridge. Today will be a long day, but you will end up in a charming little town on the Black Sea costs. Amasra is known for its beaches, but also for its castle, which lies on a small peninsula, connected with traditional bridge. Leave your car at the hotel and enjoy the rest of your day getting lost or sipping Turkish tea somewhere in Amasra’s old town.
Hotel recommendation: Hotel Seymen is the perfect choice – the beach and old town center is close by and reachable on foot. A nice option is also the Northdoor Hotel, which is a bit further out, but still easily reachable on foot. You will get great service for the price.
Day 3: Amasra – Safranbolu (95 km)
You will have less driving today so you can enjoy a long Turkish breakfast before leaving Amasra. Your final destination for today is the traditional Turkish-Ottoman town Safranbolu.
The town is not big, but you will still have plenty of things to do there. Walk around its old and cobbled streets, admiring the old Ottoman houses, rich with history and stories. Don’t overlook the Chrystal terrace (Kristal Cam Teras), offering amazing views over the Tokatli canyon. If you like trekking, you might want to spend an hour or two hiking, getting to know a different side of Turkey. You will also get a nice view to Incekaya bridge, close by the Chrystal terrace.
Hotel recommendation: The Safranbolu is a really great town for unique hotel experience, as you can spend a night in centuries old traditional ottoman house. Choose the Mehves Hanim Konagi for authentic experience, but if you need a bit more luxury, you will also not miss with Zalifre Hotel.
Day 4: Safranbolu – Sinop (300 km)
Today’s travel itinerary will again take you to the Black Sea coast in a town Sinop. Make sure to stop near Erfelek before reaching Sinop and walk up to 29 waterfalls (Erfelek Tatlica Selalesi), running all in a turquoise lake, which is perfect for a swim on a hot summer days.
You will reach Sinop in the afternoon, what will give you enough time to wander around the city or take a tour in one of the oldest Turkish prisons, which is a museum now – Tarihi Sinop Cazaevi.
Hotel recommendation: There is not much choice in Sinop, but being on the Black Sea coast, you might want to take time for swimming too, so we would recommend you the Sinop Antik Otel, with its private beach. It is not in the city center, but it is not too far from it either.
Day 5: Sinop – Amasya (260 km)
When we were traveling around Turkey, we really put a shine on the Amasya city and we are still sorry we did not take more time for it and stay the night there. Amasya is mostly known for its tombs, carved in stone walls along the river Yesilirmak, which look amazing in the evening with the lights on.
Enjoy your day, relax and get to know some real Turkish vibes.
Hotel recommendation: When checking hotels on booking.com, the Hotel Uluhan looks amazing. It is right in the heart of the old city center, steps away from the river and all the sights. You can park your car free of charge on the street. If you would prefer a free private parking, go for the Hatunca Otel & Restaurant. A bit more expensive, but still a great choice if you want to be steps away from the old town.
Day 6: Amasya – Hattusas – Ankara (380 km)
Today is another long day on your travel itinerary. Before reaching Turkish capital Ankara, you will make a stop in Hattusas – capital of the Hittite Empire. Ancient ruins of this splendid and organized town are now under UNESCO World Heritage list.
You will reach Ankara in the afternoon, checking in the hotel and you will still have enough time to see a little bit of this Turkish capital. You can just walk around the old district Ulus, see the bazar or visit the Anatolian Civilizations Museum, climb up the castle or walk through Anitkalir – Atatürk mausoleum.
Hotel recommendation: Ankara has great hotels for really good price, but you might want to check the Hotel Cinnah or Hotel Bera Ankara. They both are located near the city center and the mausoleum and they both offer free parking too.
Day 7: Ankara – Eskişehir (190 km)
Eskişehir is known as the Turkish Venice. The river Porsuk, running through it, offers some really picturesque images. The city is also known for its university and open minded people, what can be noticed as soon as you walk around it. To enjoy some relax vibes and its many cafes / restaurants, walk along the river. To see some of the history, your best bet is the Odunpazarı Evleri district.
Hotel recommendation: You will find the Black Hotel near the river Porsuk and the city center, offering private parking, what makes it ideal to wander around the city on foot.
Day 8: Eskişehir – Bursa (240 km)
Before your Turkey travel itinerary comes to an end, you will reach your last stop – Bursa. If you have visited Istanbul for several times, you probably noticed it is becoming more and more commercialized, so Bursa is a really great option to enjoy traditional Turkish vibes. I really like Bursa because it is less crowded and touristy, what also makes it cheaper.
Walk around the old city center, visit the Ulu mosque and hike up to the castle walls. Not far away you will also find the Clock Tower, offering great views over Bursa. Don’t also miss to visit the Sultan Osman and Orhan tombs – the founders of the Ottoman Empire.
Hotel recommendation: You will find a great option with free public parking in B Loft Hotel. All the sights can be reach on foot and you will get a lot for your money – you can only dream about this kind of hotel for the price in Istanbul.
Day 9: Bursa – Istanbul airport (190 km)
It is your last day and your Turkey travel itinerary has come to an end. Drive back to Istanbul’s airport, return your rented car and wait for the flight taking you back home.
This Turkey travel itinerary will show you a little bit less known and visited places in Turkey, where you will be able to find out some real Turkish vibes, without meeting any foreign tourists at all. If you are looking for hidden gems, that’s the travel itinerary to follow.