Whether you want to relax by the sea or escape to the countryside, Samsun Province offers a host of unique experiences. The port city of Samsun has cultural museums, ancient archaeological sites and fresh Black Sea seafood, while regional spoils include shimmering lakes, dramatic canyons and historic villages.
Things to do in Samsun Province
Samsun boasts some of the Black Sea's best museums, including the Archaeology & Ethnography Museum, which showcases a magnificent Roman-Byzantine mosaic depicting sea monsters, mythical creatures and scenes from the Trojan War. Just out of town is Amisos Antik Kenti, an archaeological site known for its rock-carved tombs and chambers.
You'll find plenty of hotels, cafes and restaurants clustered around Cumhuriyet Meydani, Samsun's main square. Head down to the marina for the city's top seafood taverns. Pamuk Kardesler Balik Restaurant is a local favourite, serving up fresh red mullet and barbecued anchovy.
Stretch your legs in Ladik Golu, a shimmering lake surrounded by forested hills. A scenic walking trail winds around the lake and offers premier birdwatching. Keep an eye out for purple herons and great egrets fishing on the lake.
Vezirkopru Sahinkaya Canyon is a natural treasure. Scenic boat cruises are the most popular way to discover the emerald river winding through the valley. Most trips include lunch at one of the riverside restaurants. You can also admire historic Ottoman homes and mosques in Vezirkopru, a small town next to the canyon.
Getting around Samsun Province
Local buses are a convenient way to get around Samsun Province. In Samsun you'll also find "dolmus" minibuses, an oceanfront tram line and taxis. Flights arrive at Samsun-Carsamba Airport, 30 minutes from the city centre.