Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Wed September 09 2015

Opinion Home | The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

  • Worldwide Scott | September 9, 2015 11:00 PM ET

    5 Reasons Why You Definitely Shouldn't Skip Amasya, Turkey

    5 Reasons Why You Definitely Shouldn't Skip Amasya, Turkey

    Photos by Worldwide Scott

    While many fly into Turkey dead set on seeing only Istanbul and its “East shakes hands with West” vibe, those in the know realize that the city is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Turkey's wonders. One of these is located a distant — yet surprisingly comfortable — bus ride or flight from Istanbul, and it's called Amasya.

    Here are some reasons why you should go out of your way to include Amasya in your next Turkish trip.

    1. Stunning Setting

    Point blank, Amasya has one of the most dramatic settings I have ever seen, anywhere in the world. The town is cradled within a steep mountain valley, straddling the flowing Yesilirmak River.

    On one side of the water, you will find dozens of classical Ottoman buildings accentuated with dark brown wood and ivory contrasts jutting out over the water. Above them, sharp cliffs home to a castle and ancient tombs create a breathtaking backdrop.

    The other side of the river is more modern, but still full of character, with a riverwalk full of bronze statues of famous folks from the town's history and paddleboat restaurants.

    2. The Legend of Ferhat and Shirin

    The Turkish version of Romeo and Juliet was set in Amasya, and while it's definitely just a myth, it's a tragically cute one. Legend has it that Fehrat and Shirin fell madly in love, but Shirin's family was having none of it. They told Fehrat that the only way he could marry their Shirin is if he dug a hole through the mountains of Amasya with his hammer. He diligently began his work, but then after months of toiling was told a lie one day that Shirin had killed herself.

    You can probably figure out what happened next, but if not, the statues of the lovelorn couple atop the mountain and along the riverside will fill you in on the fairy tale.

    3. Half Price Hamams

    Soaking in steam and getting rubbed down and exfoliated by a complete stranger at a hamam (Turkish bath) is a quintessential experience that you absolutely have to take part in while in Turkey. Hamams are a huge part of Turkish tradition and Amasya is a great place to take in this cleansing experience. It costs much less here than in bigger cities like Ankara or Istanbul, too. I visited the Kumacik Hamam alongside the river, and they took good care of me and my skin — so be sure tell them I sent you.

    4. The Apples

    Yes, you read that right, the apples. The surrounding hills of Amasya have long been known as fertile ground for apples, and the apples in Amasya are bold red in color and delicious. They are such a signature of the region, that when we checked into our hotel, there was a basket of apples waiting for us. 

    5. The People

    While friendly locals abound in towns over the globe, the niceties we received in Amasya really took the cake, or the pizza as it were. An example: searching for a small respite from Turkish food after nearly two months in the country, we stumbled into a certain international pizza chain one evening craving some cheesy familiar delicacies.

    I won't mention the international pizza chain by name, (it rhymed with tom-in-hose), but the friendliness and smiles we received by the staff there were so over-the-top I was compelled to write an e-mail to the corporate office. But here's the thing: it was just normal for Amasya. All over town we were treated so well and offered so much help that we were constantly left awestruck. The free dipping sauces were just the icing on the cake, I mean, pizza.

More Turkey


You may use your Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook information, including your name, photo & any other personal data you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on Click here to learn more.

Worldwide Scott The Adventures of Worldwide Scott

Worldwide Scott Born in the U.S.A like Springsteen but trying to see the world like Pitbull, Worldwide Scott is the voice behind the hard-hitting travel site of the same name. Employing a groundbreaking strategy of visiting destinations, coming home, and then writing things about them on the internet, Worldwide Scott only tackles the tough questions that other writers wouldn't dare touch: Is travelling fun? Are there pretty places in the world? Do people in other countries wear clothes? Does Europe really exist? And if so, what's the beer like there? Stick around, he's going places.
Experience Alaska With Holland America Line

Cruise Lines & Cruise Ships