The Black Sea region is a mountainous region stretched along the Black Sea with a predominantly rural population. Major cities are Samsun, Zonguldak, and Trabzon, all three are Black Sea port cities. There are two areas with caves, around Zonguldak city and south of Trabzon.
Zonguldak city, the center of Zonguldak Province is also called the Black City, because of its numerous coal mines. Although it is an important harbour at the Black Sea, its coal mines are much more important for its wealth. However, they are also the reason why the city was in the focus of international attention: in a mining accident some years ago numerous miners were trapped and died. The first discovery of caves around Zonguldak was made in the 1970s. Foreign cavers started to explore the caves and soon local caving clubs formed. Currently more than 20 caves are known in the area, two are open to the public.
Trabzon was a main port on the historical Silk Road and the ancient capital of the Empire of Trebizond. There are two show caves in the area and a famous and spectacular cave monastery.