Akçakoca, once a popular tourist attraction centre, is nicknamed a pearl of the Black Sea. Though neglected, but not forgotten, it is preferred by many people who are looking for a different vacation spot rather than the regular ones.
Akçakoca, located 200 km to the East of Istanbul, is a small town and district of the Düzce Province in the Black Sea region (Western Karadeniz region) of Turkey. Akçakoca is the regional center of hazelnut cultivation.
Akçakoca was once known as Diapolis or Dia during the Roman era; however, the town was named ‘Akçakoca’ after a Turkish chieftain AkçaKoca (Whitebeard), a companion of Sultan Osman I (Founder of the Ottoman Empire), who captured and ruled this area in the early 14th century. The town houses a statue in his honor on the waterfront of the Akçakoca Central Mosque grounds, along with the statues of Sultan Osman I and Konuralp from the near settlement of the same name.
Located at the West Black sea’s coast line, Akçakoca enjoys warm and clear summers and cold and cloudy winters. With a significant amount of rainfall throughout the year, the town enjoys a lot of rain, even in the driest month.
Sports & AdventureAkçakoca, due to its beaches, has a variety of water sports such as sailing, swimming, water skiing, sunbathing, fishing, scuba diving, etc.The town also offers its visitors many options for activities like hiking trails, rafting, caving, culture, sea, and some amazing gastronomical tours.Akçakoca houses a 35-kilometer seaside with a myriad beautiful beaches. These beaches are mostly visited during the summer. They include Martı, Tersane, Bulaklı, Köy Hizmetleri, Değirmenağzı, Çınaraltı, and Çuhallı Çarşı. These beaches in particular are the most visited ones during summer.Located at a distance of 15 km, Akçakoca also has an astounding village named Hashem that is home to the historical Hamshen Village Mosque. The mosque is 150 years old. Its architecture is composed of stone and wood-crafting, including the technique ‘çantı’ (a construction technique where nails are not used). The locals here immigrated from Russia in 1877 and converted to Islam. The village reflects the images of Ottoman and Russian architecture in its surroundings. If chance ever takes a person to this welcoming village, "horon" (a traditional Black Sea regional dance) must not be forgotten—tourists can join together with the locals and rejoice!
Things to doGenoese Castle, also known as the Yoros Castle, was made by Phoenicians and Greeks. The area was called the Hieron (Sacred Place) by the Greeks. The castle gives a reflection of the Greek architecture. The remains of the Castle include what’s left of some temples, including Dios, Altar of the Twelve Gods, and Zeus Ourios (Zeus, granter of fair winds) that date back to centuries BCE.Akçakoca’s Central Mosque, also locally known as ‘Akcakoca Merkez Cami’, is a beauty. Built in 2004, it is similar to Pakistan’s Faisal Mosque. The Mosque was designed by Ergün Subaşı. It also accommodates the statues of Akçakoca, along with Sultan Osman I and Konuralp.Fakıllı Cave has been marked as a first-degree archaeological site. It is 1,017 meters long with 350 meters of the cave being currently open for tourists. The cave is an awe-inspiring natural beauty. It has various galleries going in different directions and pendants, stalactites, and stalagmites.Kadınlar Plajı is a beautiful and relaxing beach point where families can enjoy their time to a full extent.
Culture and HistoryThe Thracian nomads from The Thyne and Bithyni tribes, not exactly known when, who, while passing through the Marmara, settled in the area then known as Bithynia and Thyne.Pliny and Younger, an administrator for Byzantines, in the Roman times (1109-1110) took complete control of the Western Black Sea and Central Anatolia; however, when Roma was divided in two, it was Byzantines who got the control of the area and named it Diapolis.During the Latin Empire in Constantinople, established for a short period of time after the 4th crusade, Genoese Castle was built in 13th century in Akcakoca. The castle helped in protecting the area and was used for colonialism activities. The Byzantine Empire took over the area again when the Latin Empire ended.Then Seljuks took control of the region of Akcakoca, settled here, and founded many villages in the area: Gökçeali, Doğancılar, Beyören; Balatlı, Kınık, Ketmenli; Kepenç, Göktepe, Keramettin, Kapkirli and Cumayeri.During the Ottoman Empire, Kerameddins settled in Akçakoca and named it Akçaşar or Akçaşehir because of its colour as it seemed white from the sea.In 1934, after the foundation of Turkish Republic, its name was restored to its original name, Akçakoca, and registered as a district.The cultural heritage of this small town is a blend of all these Eras. Each Empire has left its marks on the walls and history of Akçakoca. Within Akçakoca’s boundaries, this town houses some historical monuments, including a few mosques, castles, and caves. Though in today’s times only ruins remain; these places tell stories of the history and heritage of the town.Traditionally, every July, a festival is organized in the town where people from the nearby towns gather. It is called the Shining City Akçakoca festival.