Giresun resembles a museum hosting many historical artifacts in addition to unlimited natural beauties with its 122 km. of coastline, forested plateaus, and natural beaches.
The main aspect that proves Giresun suitable for tourism is its rich natural, cultural and historical values. Since the plateaus in Giresun are not far from the city centers and the roads are asphalt, accessing the natural beauties is not a problem.
The inland Giresun is especially attractive for those who is into flora and fauna, enjoy trekking, hiking, mountain biking etc. If you happen to visit in spring or summer, you will have the chance to see colorful festivals.
Giresun Island (Aretias), which is very close to the coast, adds a special value to Giresun because it is the only island in the Eastern Black Sea Region. The island is also the center of attention of visitors with its natural beauty, historical ruins, bird watching areas blended with mythological stories. Mavi Lake (Blue Lake), a natural wonder hidden among the forests and various kinds of plants of Giresun, the Castle of Giresun with its magnificent view, and Zeytinlik district where the historical Giresun houses are located in the southeast of the castle are also worth seeing.
The city, which hosted many civilizations, offers the opportunity to travel through history with its castles, churches, and bridges. The Castle of Giresun in the center of the city and the other historical remains in its districts such as Tirebolu Castle (Saint-John), Şebinkarahisar Castle, Espiye Andoz Castle, and Eynesil Castle are places worth seeing in terms of their natural beauty and history.
The cuisine of Giresun is also very rich and widely acknowledged. Its plant diversity has brought the wealth of cuisine with it. Giresun, with its magnificent nature and more than 180 'vegetarian' flavors, is on its way to becoming an alternative to major 'gastro tourism' cities. Türkiye which is the world’s leader in hazelnut production, the best quality hazelnut comes from Giresun and is renowned as "Giresun Quality Hazelnut".
The Castle of Giresun
The castle is located on an ideal spot to observe Giresun from high above, where green and blue merge. Having a rich historical culture, the Castle was built in the center of the city. There is a mausoleum of Topal Osman Aga, the hero of the War of Independence, in the castle. Caves built with block stones, walls thought to belong to the Hellenistic Period and stone reliefs are significant marks to be seen.
The island is an important landmark that contains many mystical stories. Among these are epics such as “The Legend of Jason and the Argonauts”, “The Story of King Mithradates” “Daughter and Shepherd”, “The Golden Statue of Joseph” and “The Legend of Amazonian Women”. It is the only island in the Eastern Black Sea Region, which witnessed settlement in ancient times and in the middle ages. There are medieval city walls and monastery ruins on the island. The history of the island, based on archaeological finds, goes back to 300 BCE. Giresun Island (Giresun Adası) is also an important location as the habitat for many bird species. Boat tours are organized to the island during the summer months, and it is a center of interest for local and foreign tourists.
The 150-year-old Orthodox church from the mid-19th century is used as a museum today. Among the works exhibited in the museum are ancient artifacts from the Old Bronze Age, Hittite, Hellenistic Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, and Ottoman periods, stone reliefs, weapons, clothes, and coin samples used in ancient times.
Located in Tirebolu district center, the castle is constructed on a peninsula extending towards the sea. Inside the castle, there is a small chapel called the Virgin Mary Church (Meryem Ana Kilisesi) in the yearbooks and the remains of a small mosque. Many tombstones belonging to the Ottoman era are scattered in the castle. Tirebolu Castle (Tirebolu Kalesi) is one of the most beautiful historical sites of the region.
Şebinkarahisar Virgin Mary Monastery
The monastery belongs to the Byzantine period. It is estimated that the building, which is reminiscent of Trabzon Sumela Monastery, was built in a large cavity in the middle of a steep rock. The paintings decorate the walls of the thirty-two rooms that constitute the monastery. There is a church carved into the rocks on top of the monastery.
The historic castle is located in the district center of Şebinkarahisar. It was built on a cliff overlooking the city. The walls of the castle, which were erected in the spacious area between the Inner Castle (İç Kale) in the north and the Maiden's Tower (Kızlar Kulesi), pass through steep cliffs. There are the foundations of many buildings in the castle, such as cisterns descending with multi-step stairs and some rock tombs. In some places, natural rocks were used as walls.
Giresun Zeytinlik District
Located in the city center of Giresun, the neighborhood built with materials imported from Europe about two centuries ago, the Zeytinlik houses where Greeks and Turks lived together for decades and are the subject of folk songs. Today, there are 85 registered historical monuments. The district was called "Gogora District" at that time. Giresun Houses, which is located in the middle of Giresun settlement, where the Greeks resided in the past, stand out with their architectural features. In the houses, which were built with imported materials brought by ships transporting hazelnuts to Europe, Marseille tiles and napi (Russian) stoves, which are very different from today's stoves, worth mentioning. According to the epigraphs, the houses built in the 1840s are positioned in such a way that none of them block the light, view, and the air circulation of others.
Virgin Mary Cave Church
The church is in the form of a small cave carved into bedrock approximately 3 meters above the base on the west side of Giresun Castle, facing the harbor. It is estimated that this structure, which was considered to be a smaller cave, was enlarged and converted into a church in the 4th or 5th century CE. The cave is accessed by a single-arched small stone bridge built in the Ottoman period. On the side of the church facing the courtyard, there is a fountain as a holy spring where sailors could get water and which was also utilized by those who came to the church.
According to some ancient sources, it is assumed that the architecture was formerly called "Panaia" or "Surp Serkis", that it was a three-story structure and that the holy water, attributed to the Virgin Mary, had healing powers. It is one of the most frequently visited cultural assets in Giresun.
The Wall of Hadji Abdullah
Built for protection. It is known that the stone wall, which was commissioned by Hadji Abdullahzade and built by Greek workers in 1610, is 6.5 kilometers long and 1.5 meters high, had only one door, and survived for 404 years.
Çakrak Church and Bridge
One of the four churches built in Çakrak village after the declaration of the Royal Edict of Reform; the "Second Church" is one of the Greek works in the region. The church and the arch bridge provide information about the past life of the Greeks in the region. Although there is no inscription or period source that provides certain information about the construction date and the people who built it, the similarity of used materials indicates that the bridge was built in the second half of the 19th century.
Children's Library – Historical Catholic Church
The Catholic Church (Katolik Kilise), built in the early 19th century, shows traces of gothic architecture and it started to be used as a Children's Library in 1967. The north facade of the church has a spectacular visual quality.
The Tomb of Seyyid Vakkas
Seyyid Vakkas is one of the frontiersmen of Fatih Sultan Mehmet. He was martyred while trying to conquer Giresun and was buried where he was martyred. In 1888, Rizeli Mehmet Ali Bey built the tomb, which is a typical kümbet (tomb) of the 19th-century Ottoman architecture, in place of the wooden tomb at that time.
Şebinkarahisar Taşhanlar (Historic Shopping Mall)
The historical building resembling a shopping mall is located on the northern skirt of the castle in Şebinkarahisar center. It is made of local black stone with two floors, arches, and typical Ottoman caravanserai architecture. There are two-story arched spaces on both sides of the entrance and a courtyard in the middle. There are five arched spaces used as shops facing outwards on the north facade. The facility was built by Taban Ahmet Ağa in the 17th century.
Çamoluk Bektaş Bey Mosque
This old mosque is known to belong to the Ottoman period and has model features in terms of woodwork and interior decorations. The mosque, which is still actively used, exhibits a beauty worth seeing.
Kuzalan Natural Park
The nature park is 45 km from Giresun city center. The peaks in the park are Dikoluk Spring and Marazlı Hill, which are 1800 meters in altitude. Kuzalan Waterfalls (Kuzalan Şelaleri) and Travertines are home to various natural riches such as caves, monumental trees, historical mills, as well as many living species and a different ecosystem. 129 plant species belonging to 60 different families and 105 bird species belonging to 36 families inhabit the nature park. Moreover, monasteries, castles, and arch bridges are among the historical beauties inside the park. With its bed and breakfast facilities, small hotels, and distinguished natural scenery, it offers excursions and accommodation opportunities of rare beauty. Trekking, photo safari, bicycle safari, ATV, rock climbing, angling, bird watching options in Kuzalan Nature Park (Kuzalan Tabiat Parkı).
Mavi Lake (The Blue Lake) (Mavi Göl) is the only place in the Eastern Black Sea Region where carbonated water flows like a stream. Blue Lake turns turquoise in certain months. Composed of 3 large and small lakes, the water of Blue Lake, which is also called "Sodalı Lake" - "Göğ Lake" among the locals, takes on a turquoise color with the effect of limestone and carbonated water.
Göksu Travertines located in Giresun's Dereli district resemble a miniature Pamukkale with their turquoise and white colors and ponds. The travertines developed by the carbonated water that comes out of the underground attract the attention of visitors.
Yedi Değirmenler Natural Park
This natural park is 62 km from Giresun. The park takes its name from the 300-year-old mills that the villagers still use. The mills may have been used in the Genoese period. Besides the mills, waterfalls, caves, underground waters that are rich in flora and fauna, as well as castles, arch bridges are among the historical beauties integrated with the nature. In addition, 102 bird species belonging to 36 families can be spotted in the park.
Şebinkarahisar Atatürk House and Museum
Atatürk House and Museum (Atatürk Evi ve Müzesi), the house was where Atatürk stayed when he came to Şebinkarahisar on September 12, 1924, is an unembellished two-story frame building in the very center of the district. In the Atatürk House and Museum, some items and local ethnographic artifacts that Mustafa Kemal Atatürk used during his stay are exhibited.
Among the most important tourism centers in Türkiye and Giresun's Dereli district, Kümbet Plateau (Kümbet Yaylası) dazzles its visitors with its views. The plateau is spread over a wide area surrounded by lush forests and covered with meadows full of flowers. The plateau offers bed & breakfast places, small hotels, trout and steak restaurants, and a rare beauty with its natural scenery. It is also the eco-tourism center of Giresun.
The plateau, which is 40 km away from Giresun, has an altitude of 1700 m. It fascinates its visitors with its abundant oxygen, unique nature, and beauty. Despot Rock and Water on the way up to the plateau, Erimez locality with natural beauties, and Gelin Rock are outstanding points of interest.
This beautiful plateau is 60 km away from the center of Giresun. There are many large nomad tents (oba) on the highland route. Compared to other highlands, Bektaş Plateau (Bektaş Yaylası) is famous for its rural climate and flora. It is built on a bare area on the slopes of Yörücek Hill which is 2300 meters high, suitable for skiing. The Bektaş Tourism Center forms a whole package together with the surrounding Kulakkaya Plateau, Melikli Obası Plateau and the Alçakbel Picnic Area within the forest. The weather is generally foggy during the rainy season, however the clouds that settle into the valleys when the weather is clear create incredibly beautiful views.
Mount Sis Plateau
This plateau is situated in the border region of Giresun and Trabzon provinces. It is one of the extensions of the Eastern Black Sea mountain range. It has an altitude of 2182 meters. The plateau is considerably crowded during the summer months. There are many pathways suitable for nature sports along the plateau route. It is one of the areas with rich mountaineering activities in the region. “Mount Sis Festivals” is organized on the 3rd Saturday of July every year.
Paşakonağı Plateau (Paşakonağı Yaylası), which displays all shades of green, is located within the borders of Bulancak district. It is 1450 meters above sea level. Paşakonağı Plateau is famous for its yellow, purple, and white azaleas (rhododendrons), deep valleys, and waterfalls in these valleys. Natural beauties worth seeing in the plateau are Karasay Waterfall, Geçilmez Valley, Çiğseli Lake and Kızılot Meadow.
Espiye Andoz Castle
It is a small castle located on a natural peak overlooking the sea and the valley, on the edge of the Yağdere Stream at the entrance of Espiye district. It is estimated that it was built in 1300 CE. Access to the castle is provided by the road to the north. It is surrounded by walls. There are towers in some parts. The castle, on a natural hill, dominates both the sea and the valley inwards and towards Giresun and Trabzon. Therefore, it has held great importance throughout history.
The Castle is located on a rocky peninsula to the east of Eynesil and 2 km from the district center. Current sources indicate that Eynesil Castle (Eynesil Kalesi), which meets the blue of the sea, dates back to the Romans. There is a water cistern in the castle, and it is mentioned in old sources that there is a church inside the castle. The historical castle welcomes its visitors today with its old appearance.
Deliklitaş fascinates those who see it, attracting attention with its natural formation on the coast of Görele district of Giresun. Deliklitaş is remembered with many legends as well as its interesting appearance.
Gölyanı Nomadic Settlements
Gölyanı Nomadic Settlements (Gölyanı Obası) include a natural lake in the form of a bowl, and the location is surrounded by pine trees and houses made of a specific kind of timber called hartama, which is completely natural and unique to the region. Today it is a hidden and undiscovered paradise that offers a natural, healthy, and green side of tourism.
This rocky and steep cliff is located in the district of Keşap. The plants that grow on rocks and trees have gained a natural shape of the map of Türkiye with their formation. There is a large cave in the middle of Şahin Cliff (Şahin Kayası), where it coincides with Ankara's location. The map formed completely in a natural way, exactly fits the dimensions of the map of Türkiye.
Many legends are told about the overlapping of the two giant rocks in Giresun, especially how the giant mass located below carried the rock over the centuries, with its stance on the curved ground without falling. According to the first legend, a beautiful young girl is forced to marry someone she did not like, and could not change her fate, so she sincerely prayed. The bride, who set out with a bridal procession on the wedding day, wished to “turn into a stone and be frozen” instead of marrying the man she did not want, her wish came true on the spot according to this version of the legend.
Another legend tells that this is the result of a strong prayer by a bride who could not get along with her mother in law and wished that "God, please turn me into a bird or a stone" in order not to return home.