Pontus, Anatolia’s Ancient Treasure

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Pontus too many people holds abundant different meanings depending on how savvy you are with history and your ethnicity. However to me, Pontus is yet another one of those places where I had no idea how beautifully unspoiled the scenery was when I first found out about it and just how many hidden treasures there are on offer to the unknowing traveler!

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Located in northern Turkey, lining the Black Sea, Pontus is one of the earliest inhabited parts of Anatolia with a history dating back over 5000 years and being home to long staying ethnicities such as the Greeks, Armenians, Anatolians, Turks and most interestingly, the Amazons (These people were in Ancient Greek mythology an all female tribe of warriors whose queens come descend from the gods!). Besides that the history of the ancient province has left marks across the area with ancient fortresses, monasteries, tombs and Ottoman mansions.

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The natural beauty is just staggering and it’s amazing to think that it is hardly visited by tourists. The option of what to do and see is broad and stretches from the beaches of the Black Sea to the highest peaks of the thick forested mountains.. Personally the thought of hiking or riding through the green mountain forests and the villages shrouded by mist is one of those experiences that I cannot wait to embark upon.

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The regions main centers are scattered along the coast line, these include Sinop, Ordu, Trabzon and Samsun which will cater for the average tourist (not that there’s anything wrong with that); however for the adventure seeker it seems that the more inland of Pontus that you venture, the more fulfilling each province is! Take the town of Amasya, a picturesque wooded ottoman style town that has huge rock carved tombs on the side of a cliff face above the town; many of the tombs date back to about 2000 years ago.

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A big thing for me is the food of the region, and honestly I love Turkish foods and meze’s, so the cuisine is like an added bonus to this fantastic location! And not to forget the locally grown tea of Pontus.

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This part of Black Sea Turkey is mostly unvisited by westerners over the better known and easier to access parts of the country, however though there is few international visitors staying each year, tourism is largely on the rise, and its not hard to see why! I hope you enjoyed these pictures which have bewildered my imagination for a long time and perhaps one day will inspire you to add Pontus to your bucket list! 

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-Daniel Berakov