Ordu, Turkey

At the foot of a verdant hill, is this province of Ordu, one of the calmest and greenest sites along the Black Sea coast. Due to its rainy climate, the land is fertile, with vegetable and fruit gardens, and wide forests covering the whole area.

On the road to Samsun, there is the town of Unye, 77 kms west of Ordu, which is an attractive fishing village. There are clean, beautiful beaches to enjoy the restful atmosphere, and extensive hazelnut plantations, typical of the region. At this site with purple rock formations are historical tombs carved into the rock which remain from the early Romans. Also an 18th century townhall building, an outstanding sight.

Fatsa is another little town famed for its hazelnut gardens, and nearby are the ruins of a fortress named Bolaman Castle and the Byzantine Jason Church now converted to an archeological museum.

Previously named "Cotoyora", the ancient city of Ordu carries signs more recent; the Pasaoglu Mansion which belonged to a wealthy and influential family of the 19th-century, and holds signs of the life style once maintained; and an especially remarkable church dating back to the 18th-century.

A distinct characteristic of Ordu is its being the center of hazelnut production. The Golden Hazelnut Festival held in September is hosted by this city, and the local chocolate-nut confection is a tasty specialty.