Akçakoca is a town and district in the Düzce Province in the Black Sea region. In Roman times the town would have been known as Diapolis but was changed to Akcakoca in 1934 when it was named after a 14th century Turkish chieftan who fought for the Ottoman Empire. The main tourist attraction is the beaches and a castle. This used to be a hugely popular tourist destination and tourists from Ankara and Istanbul would flock here in the summer months during the 70’s and 80’s.
Akçakoca still has a lot to offer in terms of its natural beauty and sporting activities such as hiking, rafting and caving. There are also a number of water sports activities such water skiing, fishing and scuba diving. This is a camping paradise and a haven for those who love the great outdoors. There is a waterfall in Aktaş Village, several Seljuk and Ottoman ruins and a favourite destination is the Fakilli Cave which is just eight kilometres out of town.
The Genoese Castle is a UNESCO Temporary World Heritage site. It has been restored and renovated extensively. Akcakoca is a 3 hour drive from Istanbul and a similar distance and drive time to Ankara. With a population of around 40,000 the summer months can see this number double with local tourists.
These lands have been under the control of the Romans, the Greeks and later the Seljuks and the Ottomans. Akçakoca has many wooden houses which are protected but sadly in a state of decay with no constructive plans to restore them. This is mainly due to the fact that neither the owners of the houses or the state can afford the painstaking and expensive restoration costs.
The coastline around Akçakoca stretches for 35 km. There are a number of good beaches and plenty of places to relax and enjoy a Turkish tea or coffee as you watch the sun go down. Çınaraltı and Çuhallı Çarşı beaches are the most popular destinations in the summer season.
Apart from tourism this is an important agricultural area. The local produce consists of hazelnuts, kiwi fruit and chestnuts and the abundace of wildlife offers good hunting and fishing opportunities. There have been numerous attempts to invest in tourism in
Akçakoca but the lack of personnel with foreign language skills and a deep seated mistrust of foreigners has not helped. Further along the coat many of the towns and cities have fared much better than Akcakoca.
In and around Akcakoca there are people who speak Georgian, Laz and Circassian. The Laz people have around 30,000 in number who speak Laz as their native mother tongue. The Laz can be found all over the Black Sea coast and 90,000 individuals in Turkey are of Laz origin. The Laz also live in Georgia.
The town has an annual festival in July. You can find a selection of good hotels in Akcakoca, along with some excellent restaurants serving local traditional cuisine.