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Tonya is a town of about 15,000 in Eastern Karadeniz about 20 km inland and 750 m up from the Black Sea.


In Ottoman times local butter was sent to the Sultan. When the town was occupied by Russia in World War I, resistance continued from the surrounding hills and mountains.

Get in[edit]

Sign reading "Welcome to butter country" below a giant spoon of butter
Welcome to butter country

The road from Vakfıkebir on the Black Sea coast is good, albeit somewhat wiggly, but if approaching from anywhere else take local advice as other roads in may be damaged by flooding or difficult to follow at night or in fog.

Get around[edit]

The town itself is small enough to walk around. There are minibuses to some surrounding villages and "yayla" (high pastures), although in winter roads may be blocked by thick snow.


Statue of people holding up a pat of butter


The town can be used as a base for exploring the surrounding low (under 2,000 m) mountains.


  • Tonya Koop., Yenimahalle Yolu No:99/101 (a small shop on the left after the bridge over the river as you leave town towards the sea), +90 462 881 30 30, . Cheeses produced by the Tonya Agricultural Development Cooperative, and a few other products which might be easier to get past your home country customs as souvenirs.


Because of the green high pastures and cows Tonya is known for its dairy products, and you may notice the giant model of a spoon of butter on the left as you enter the town from the north.


Haşlama (pronounced "hashlama" meaning "boiled") is a soup containing a large chunk of meat and a few potatoes and other vegetables, which is available at at least one local cafe. At breakfast time the meat will still be rather tough as it will not have been cooked for long, so it is best ordered in the afternoon as it may have run out by the evening. Of course you will also be given plenty of bread.


The water is very good so you can safely drink tap water and refill your bottles at village çeşme (traditional roadside public drinking water pipes or taps). In cafes you can ask for "ev yapilma" (homemade) "ayran" (yoghurt drink).


Except possibly in winter, to be certain of accommodation arrange in advance as, being small, the local Öğretmenevi may be full. Also the small Otel Canada may be full, or if you take a chance and turn up to find it completely empty you can try and bargain a discount.

  • Öğretmenevi (Tonya Öğretmen Evi), Cumhuriyet Alanı, (right in the center by the roundabout - just ask if you can't see it), +90 462 881 25 32. Expect the usual cheap and basic öğretmenevi but don't be surprised to find it full
  • Otel Canada (Kanadalı Otel), Karşular Mahallesi, Kanadalı Sokak No:15 (a short walk from the town center but uphill so if with luggage you may wish to take a taxi), +90 536 911 43 33, . Fine if you don't need an en-suite toilet. Sociable Turkish-Canadian Secaattin returned to his hometown to build and run this idiosyncratic little guesthouse in a quiet green neighborhood on the edge of and looking down on the town. Spacious double and triple (comfortable double and single bed) rooms, some with views over the town, have en-suite showers but you will need to pop to the end of the short corridor if you need the loo or washbasin. Bedrooms also lack bedside reading lights, but there is wifi. Even in Tonya's frequent rain Secaattin can barbecue and you can eat outside undercover overlooking the flowers, fruit trees and enormous vegetable garden. 150 TL (double) 200 TL (triple).


Although there is a good phone signal in town there is no signal in some of the surrounding villages, so if you are going out of town do not rely on your mobile phone for emergencies.

Stay safe[edit]

The town (and surrounding district of the same name) had a "wild west" reputation in the past but, although there are still plenty of cowgirls and a few cowboys, nowadays gunfighting is almost unknown. When travelling outside the town be prepared for sudden thick fog.

Go next[edit]

Gümüşhane (but take local advice about current road conditions before departing)


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