‘If you are a nature, history or outdoor enthusiast, then you must come and discover Samsum’
The great Turkish city of Samsum, a traveler’s delight, a sportsman’s paradise and a historian’s dream come true, this is a hidden jewel in Turkey’s crown, a place packed with 7,000 years of living culture, a living testament to historic and cultural values alive with great green stands of forests, warm sand beaches, health-giving thermal hot springs, and a trekker’s adventure hot-spot stretching from mountains to the sea—all accessible in the same day making Samsun truly one of the most remarkable places to visit in Turkey today. Come as a stranger; return home as part of a wider family—this is what awaits you and your friends in the great Turkish city of Samsun.
Expect temperate weather
Samsun has temperate climate generally but you’ll discover that the climate is different on the coast as opposed to inland. Annual average temperature is 15 ºC. The highest annual average temperature is 18ºC and the lowest is 11 ºC.
Expect sunshine July through August. The hottest months on average are July (23ºC) and August (23ºC). The coldest months on average are January (6ºC) and February (6ºC) . There is a 10 ºC temperature range between the coast and inland (10-15 km inland) especially in the winter where it gets colder the farther you travel from the coast.
Experience three spectacular landscapes
Samsun has three different landscapes. The first is the mountainous area in the south. The second is the plateau located between the mountains and the coast. And the third is the coast plains located between the plateau and the Black Sea. At the coast, discover the deltas of the Kızılırmak and Yeşilırmak rivers where the Bafra and Çarşamba plains are located. Importantly they have the highest agricultural potential in Turkey.
Savor the natural diversity of Samsun’s unique districts
Samsun is not a city to rush through as its districts resemble green jewels— the district of Bafra, for instance, is home to the eponymous highlands and the Kızılırmak River. This is a bird lover’s paradise as flocks of migratory birds arrive in the spring to build their nests here.
This delta is one of Turkey’s most preserved wetlands where water hyacinths and lilies complement the eternal beauty of springtime. For beach lovers, Yakakent is home to a long stretch of sand and sea worth savoring over coffee as the sun goes down over the horizon.
Alaçam—where fish are abundant—is famous for the Geyikkoşan picnic area laden with poplars and cherry laurels.
The district of May 19 is home to the Nebiyan forests, from Tekkeköy to Kabaceviz waterfalls, and to the soothing remedial hot springs of Havza and a thermal tourism center. There’s also Çarşamba irrigated by the Yeşilırmak river; Terme, famous for its lakes and Amazon fighters; Kavak, surrounded by delightful places to picnic; Ladik, home of the Akdağ highlands; Asarcık with its traditional fair; and Salıpazarı with its nut trees.
Samsun’s two districts attract nature lovers and sport enthusiasts
1.Spending time in Vezirköprü, an historic craft center
Two districts of Samsun, Vezirköprü and Ayvacık, increasingly attract more visitors and nature lovers. Visualize Vezirköprü’s location, which resembles an earthen bowl surrounded by hills so fertile, in fact, that it has nurtured countless civilizations for thousands of years—some places you can still discover around any corner as you wander among the streets.
The traditional craftsmanship of saddlebags, rope or samovars still bear the traces of the Hittites shaping raw materials into stunning handcrafted objects. In fact samovar-making is one of Vezirköprü’s unique handicrafts: you can still buy the local samovar designs in the covered bazaar, and you’ll be delighted and surprised by the richness of shopping alternatives in the historical Arasta surrounding this covered bazaar.
Experience a feeling of nostalgia in Vezirköprü, which is adorned with mosques and bathhouses where the district still shelters numerous historical bathhouses as well as the ‘still-standing’ stone Kurt bridge, and the deer at the Deer Breeding Farm in the Kunduz forest.
Pack your bag and follow the walking trails on the highlands of Kunduz, Kabalı and Mount Tavşan. Walk through the flower-laden hills and breath-taking scenery where the beauty and silence of nature except for bird song soothes your city-weary soul. The Şahinkaya canyon, located in the narrowest spot on the Altınkaya dam, is a magnificent natural masterpiece rising among high rocks — a must-see packed with visual drama.
When it comes to dining in Vezirköprü, plan to include the famous Beda pastry on your eating-out list—simply mouth-watering! And the traditional Oymaağaç kebab is a culinary delight especially during the month of May. IF you’re here during the height of summer, the two most important summer events are the Kunduz and Esenköy Uzunçayır highland festivals.
Rich in history and blessed with stunning natural scenery, Vezirköprü has all the qualities you look for in memorable off-the-beaten-track travel holiday.
2.Spending time in Ayvacık, the princess of lakes
On the banks of the Suat Uğurlu dam lake, discover the district of Ayvacık. Impressive forests greet you on every curve as you enter. Linger awhile over hot tea at one of the coffee houses along the shore. Stroll around the pine forests breathing in the clear air. Come to your senses again.
Ayvalık waits to be explored with its Yeşilpınar waterfall accessible for a fit climber; Kızlar (Maidens’) castle located in the village of Çamlıkale (mentioned in many stories but, unfortunately, not yet restored); Eynel bridge, lit at night; and Zevgar island. If you look from the top, the Eynel bridge resembles an elegant pearl necklace stretched along the green waters of the lake. Its natural beauty and landscape is waiting for sports enthusiasts, from cycling to sailing to parasailing to off-road, make Ayvalık a fantastic adventure holiday choice. Trailer parks, parasailing opportunities, boat trips, canoeing, and rowing make the district even more attractive to people of all ages. Each spring the picnic areas in the forests surrounding the Hasan Uğurlu dam lake welcome visitors. If you’re a photographer, nature lover, or traveler to hidden destinations, Ayvacık could be the right place soon for you and your family.
Discover Samsun itself, its beaches, restaurants and historic museums
Trips to Ayvacık and Vezirköprü must include a tour to Samsun’s city center because Samsun offers you a wealth of things to see and do such as its panoramic views, well-designed museums, fine sandy beaches, fish restaurants, and especially its warm pita bread fresh from the oven. Walk around Sevgi park and stop to eat along the esplanade.
Interested in the amazing history of Amazon women? Discover female warriors carrying spears and shields in the historic Amazon village created in Doğu park.
More Turkish history also awaits with the 1:1 replica of the Bandırma Steamer (Mustafa Kemal Atatürk arrived in Samsun on May 19, 1919) which is open all year to visitors. Photographs, waxworks and models exhibited on the ship itself tell the story of the Independence War. The Mıntıka Palace (Atatürk stayed here during his trip to Samsun) was given to him later by the people of Samsun. The statue of Atatürk by Krippel is another historic symbol of Samsun’s past. The Gazi museum is also worth a visit to learn about Turkey’s recent history, and don’t miss the Amisos treasure at the Archaeology and Ethnography museum if you’re an archaeology buff.
Planning the perfect trip.
From Kuwait, the easiest way to get there is to fly one of Europe’s best airlines, Turkish Airlines. Flight times: Kuwait to Istanbul (ATATÜRK AIRPORT) is 3:45 hours. Transfer to a domestic flight from Istanbul to Samsun (SAMSUN ÇARŞAMBA AIRPORT), which takes 1:25 minutes. Best time to plan your summer holiday: April to August.
Area: 1,055 km2
Population: 1,200 million
Currency: Turkish lira
Official Language: Turkish