Straddling a peninsula with two bays and a rocky island reached by a Roman bridge, Amasra is the Black Sea's prettiest port. With a long history of settlement and strategic importance, it's nonetheless relatively isolated from Turkey's main tourist beats, and all the better for it.
The historic town of Giresun, 45km east of Ordu, was founded more than 2000 years ago as the Greek colony of Cerasus (Kerasos). Because its ancient name means 'cherry' in Greek, the town is credited with introducing cherries to Europe. Today, however, the ubiquitous hazelnut (fındık) drives Giresun's economy.
A Greek-founded trading port that's passed through the hands of Romans, Byzantines and many others, Ordu is a prosperous, attractive place unmatched as the hazelnut capital of the world. Geographically blessed, central Ordu sits between Kiraz Limani (Cherry Port) and the handsome green slopes of Boztepe (550m).
Amasra to Sinop
Winding sinuously around rugged hills hugging the sea, the D010 from Amasra to Sinop (320km) is breathtakingly scenic. Expect minimal traffic and stunning views at every turn, with glistening turquoise waters, lush forested headlands and rugged cliffs of marla, a distinctive, slate-like volcanic rock used for roofing.
With its lakeside mosque and forested mountains that recall Switzerland, the 'hidden valley' of Uzungöl (Long Lake) remains idyllic, but be prepared for more than a few tacky hotels. There are currently over 2000 rooms here, catering to a growing number of visitors from the Gulf States.