Turkey has been one of the hottest destinations of the year. It may be on the opposite side of the globe, but that hasn’t stopped travelers from visiting.
In all likelihood, your first stop is the immaculate city of Istanbul. What a place! Half Asia and half Europe, this one-of-a-kind destination will overfill your sense of wanderlust.
Istanbul may be the main draw, but there is so much more. Another city gaining popularity is the gorgeous coastal resort city of Antalya.
Located on the pristine blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the secret is out. However, that’s not the only coastal destination that should be on travelers’ radar.
There are a pair of waterfront cities destined to become the next tourist hotspots of Turkey. In fact, there is a campaign to make it happen.
The cities of Rize and Samsun are being promoted as prime destinations for those seeking a newfound sense of Turkish culture, scenic views, and the ultimate off-path beach escape.
The Black Sea Has Already Been A Tourism Hotspot
The hot weather of summer naturally makes us want to find the best beach getaways. To some, they choose to stay close to home. Others want to scratch their travel itch and venture across the globe.
Turkey has been a hotspot for tourism all year, but the Black Sea has seen its own set of tourists with record-setting numbers for its beautiful resort towns.
The Black Sea is not limited to Turkey; it covers a lot of ground. Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Georgia also hold title to prime coastal real estate here.
Not to mention Ukraine and Russia, but tourists aren’t exactly taking advantage of the coastline in these neighboring countries for obvious reasons.
Turkey, however, has taken note of the influx of travelers and wants to promote and develop what they believe are the next tourist destinations.
The word “Samsun” translates to “port” in English. That’s fitting given the city’s notoriety. The narrative is going to change, according to Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism.
The goal is for Samsun to become a mainstream tourist destination. With the stunning scenery, the only surprise is why it’s not already a top destination.
“Together with our Governor, our municipality, our deputies, we will prepare this master plan. Our Ministry will fully support its development, and subsequently, the respective institutions will swiftly execute their roles,” said Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism
Mr. Ersoy continued, “The Black Sea is already a significant tourism destination, especially attracting many visitors from Gulf countries. Our aim is to distribute these concentrated visits to other Black Sea cities such as Samsun and Rize.”
Samsun is far beyond what you see looking out at the vast sea. There are multiple archeological sites to visit, a thriving culinary scene, jaw-dropping mountains and a potential tourism season lasting as many as 4 months.
This city already has a head start with familiar waterfront hotels, such as Wyndham and Sheraton.
In Rize, many would say the spectacular nature is unspoiled. There are not many places left with such characteristics. Take the mountain town of Çamlıhemşin, for example.
Here, there are untouched rolling green hills perfect for a tranquil getaway. To those who love to disconnect, there may be no better place than Rize.
At least for now. It’s not a popular destination yet, but tourism officials in Turkey intend to change that. In fact, the Minister of Culture and Tourism was also quoted as saying:
“Our goal is to achieve a revenue of 100 billion dollars from tourism. To reach this, relying on current popular tourism destinations isn’t feasible. We aim for every one of our 81 provinces to benefit from tourism.”
Time seems to stand still in Rize as it currently stands. It may be a coastal city, but it would be hard-pressed to ignore it’s stunning mountains.
This wholesome region of Turkey brings a sense of true Turkish culture of the simple life with a heightened sense of appreciation for nature.
Other than the picturesque coastline with waterfront hotels, one of the main draws is the Zilkale Castle- a centuries-old landmark overlooking the breathtaking views of this tranquil region of Turkey.
Tourists can indulge in traditional Turkish tea and cuisine while immersing themselves in a true untouched gem.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com