Posted by: Gideon | September 27, 2010

Turkey with kids: The Black Sea – Amasra to Sinop.

After some blissful days it was time to move on.

We left our hotel before breakfast and caught the first dolmus back to Amasra. We had about an hour to kill in Amasra. We ate a poor breakfast at a local cafe and then walked around the town. It was pretty and we walked past a morning market. Though we didn’t get to see much, and we felt we had done the right thing by staying in Cakraz. The beaches didn’t look great in Amasra.

Sunflower seeds for sale - morning market

Baris Akarsu

The most interesting sitewe saw  in Amasra is the statue of Baris Akarsu. He was a local kid turned rock star and the pride of Amasra. Sadly, he was killed in a car crash at a young age. The statue is the town’s memorial to Baris. The kids found it really interesting – his motor bike, his cd’s, his leather jacket and of course the statue of this guitar-playing rocker.

From Amasra it was back over the mountains to Safranbolu. We then hung around for a while before catching our connecting bus to Kastamonu and eventually when we got there we found the only connection to Sinop was at 5pm. We had started our journey before breakfast and it was now clear we wouldn’t be there before 8pm. A very long day of travel. At the otogar in Kastamonu we tried to get something to eat. The only English-speaking server insisted we could only order Pide – which we did. But we noticed others coming in and ordering rice, beans, kofte – our favourites. We couldn’t figure out why they only wanted to serve us pide.

Our bus to Sinop turned out to be a large minibus with stools down the aisle – our driver then proceeded to stuff this 15 seater with about 30 people and we set off. We weren’t that happy to be stuffedinto this sardine can and with kids sitting on parents, it wasn’t a comfortable journey. But it turned out  to be really fun – we quickly made friends with our neighboring passengers – hard not to get to know your neighbors when you are practically sitting on top of them.

With Sinop in sight the road turned bad – really bad, and we crawled the last hour into town. Eventually we got out, said goodbye to our new friends, and started walking into the old city where our hotel was. Otel 57 – a decent 3* hotel, and finally we could relax!

For dinner we went to the waterfront – the restaurants floated on the water, and were packed with locals –  we didn’t see another foreign tourist anywhere. Typical for the Black Sea, the menu revolved around fish and the food was excellent.

After dinner it was back to the hotel, but the boys wanted to continue walking about. I took them out and we had a great time – we found a jumpy castle packed with kids at 10pm, and then we walked on the promenade amongst crowds of people. We found a stall selling home-made potato chips – they took a potato, put it on a skewer and then through a kind of revolving cutter, and then fried the chips right in front of us – delicious! Finally I took them back to bed.

PS These days I am planning great family trips to Turkey. For more info click here.



  1. Phil, I wondered if you’d bw so kind as to share your contacts of places to stay in Turkey, particulary Istanbul. We leave in two weeks for Ukraine and are hoping to squeeze in a trip to Turkey as we are adopting and will have a mandatory wait in Ukraine after court. Turkey is calling my name. Five kids will be in tow so anything you can share would be wonderful.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Niamh

      Istanbul has tons of places – but I’d suggest looking for an apartment first -try a site like VRBO or similar. Location in Istanbul isn’t as critical as it might seem – local transport is good – basically anwhere served by the light railway would work well. We also stayed at the Villa Pasha Hotel – ( – small and breakfast was poor, but they have a really nice family room.
      Hope this helps

  2. Its so cool that you visited Amasra, and you saw the memorial statue of Baris Akarsu. I hope to visit there one day!

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