Gerze is a place where the bluest of the Black Sea meets the endless green. There is a reason why Sinop, where the slow city of Gerze is located, has been chosen as the happiest city in Turkey – it is almost impossible to not be happy after witnessing the gifts Mother Nature has bestowed upon us. The peace that Gerze offers is something so precious for the modern man that people from around the world are willing to give up their fortunes for a mere visit.
The moment you step inside this lovely fishing town, you are welcomed by the fragrance of different flowers that adorn the gardens of local houses. Despite being close to Turkey's largest coal mines and industrial cities, Gerze is blessed with the cleanest air you can breathe. As you walk down the coast, breathing fresh air in the winter breeze, do not be surprised if you are invited to dine with one of the warm-hearted locals. This is what makes Gerze a unique place – the locals welcome you not just as tourists but as brothers and sisters, trying everything in their power to make you feel at home.
What to do in Gerze?
If you want to visit Gerze, make sure you are around the town on a Friday when produce markets are setup. At the lovely open-air market, you can find organic foods that are grown by local farmers inspired by the slow food movement. You can also taste some of the finest examples of the local delicacies at the market where the locals prepare and cook onsite.
Gerze's craftsmanship is also world-renowned. You can find different workshops specialized in wooden toys, model ship making or tile, at every corner of the town. You can also visit the workshops for an in-depth understanding of the crafts.
Although this little fishing town has made a name for itself through its tranquility, there are many opportunities for sports lovers to pump up their adrenalin. Thanks to its natural wonders and location right on the coast of the Black Sea, Gerze is suitable for many alternative sports.
The village of Hacıselli and Yelken Hill are favorites with paragliders. Those who want to experience what it is like to float in the sky prefer to spread their wings at these locations.
Nature lovers can also find some hidden gems around the town. Located 15 kilometers from downtown Gerze, the Saklıköy Waterfall is paradise on earth with its creek bed hidden in the slope of the Asar Hill. It is home to hundreds of plant species and butterflies so you can also bring out your inner botanist.
What is the slow city movement?
Cittaslow, which means "Slow City," is an international municipal association movement founded in 1999 in Italy. It aims to improve the quality of urban life as well as the overall well-being of urban-dwellers through cultural preservation and healthy lifestyle initiatives. "Slow cities" are known for their beautiful natural surroundings, organic foods and tranquil daily life.
To qualify for a Cittaslow certificate, each city must act per the philosophy of the movement, have a population of under 50,000, and complete an application file to be submitted to the Union. The Cittaslow movement, which became widespread among Italian cities during its early years, now has 262 members in 30 countries.