Amasya is small, only around 90,000 people, and it is tucked into a narrow river valley between cliffs that can only be described as looking like the Cliffs of Insanity from The Princess Bride. It is precisely for this reason that Amasya is such an amazing city – between stretching along a sedimentary green river, the mountains, and the restored white-washed Ottoman buildings, Amasya might as well be set in a fairy tale.
Despite the city’s small size and tranquil setting, it also has a dauntingly long and rich history – like almost any inhabitable spot in Turkey. Used as the capital of the Pontic Kingom around 200 BC, there are still the burial tombs of Pontic aristocracy in the cliff faces which are beautifully light at night. More recently, the Ottomans used the city as a place to educate their children and give them practice in governance. Atatürk also spent significant time in the city planning on how to rally Turkish troops after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
The city also has some great night life centered around the restored Ottoman mansions along the river. Oh, and did I mention its apples? I’m pretty sure I must have, since Amasya is super famous for the half-red half-green apples that grow there – they’re delicious. You can read about Amasya in more detail here.
Getting there is slightly difficult, as it is a smaller city. From Ankara to Amasya is around a five or six hour bus ride, depending upon traffic conditions. Amasya does not have an airport, although the neighboring city of Merzifon does. From there, it is perhaps a thirty minute bus ride into Amasya proper.
If a bigger city is your cup of tea, don’t miss page 4…