Istanbul - Amasra
I had heard from Erkmen that two buscompanies goes all the way from Istanbul to Amasra. They are As74 and Ozemniyet. Other buses goes to Bartin and from there you take a dolmush. The dolmush takes 30 minutes and costs 1 650 000 TL.
As I in Istanbul didn't go to the otogar before it was time to leave I bought a ticket from a travellagent in Sultanahmet. I don't know how much more I paid for the ticket because of that but it was 20 000 000 TL. The company was Metro, which is a good company. To Bartin it took about 6 hours from Istanbul (Harem otogar).
Amasra - Safranbolu
To leave Amasra you take the dolmush to Bartin, where you can find buses to many places in Turkey.
From Bartin there are also local buses to Safranbolu, Kiranköy and Karabuk. To Safranbolu it takes about 2 hours and the ticket was 5 500 000 TL.
Amasra was my first stop from Istanbul, and direct bus connections are limited, if not nil. I took the overnight bus operated by Metro from Istanbul to Bartin, the closest ''hub" to Amasra. The bus ride took 7 hours, passing through some mountainous and hilly terrain. Unfortunately, darkness deprived me of enjoying the view.
Bus ticket could be purchased from travel agencies on Divan Yolu in Sultanahmet. It is advisable to book in advance since the bus was full. Fare was 20 YTL (about 10 EUR).
Upon getting off at the Bartin otogar (bus terminal), there are plenty of mini-buses (dolmuses) waiting for Amasra-bound passengers from the otogar itself. Fare was 2.50 YTL (about 1.25 EUR).
Amasra is about 2 hours' drive north of Safranbolu. The road goes through hilly terrain, alternating between hills and valleys, but the road is good and it's not very windy, except for the portion down into Amasra itself. The countryside is varied and attractive, much of it quite heavily forested, with a number of town and villages along the way. Overall, it's a pleasant and scenic drive to Amasra from Safranbolu.
i took the tram and metro from beyazid to the central bus station in esenler not knowing where exactly to go. then i found myself buying a ticket to amasra though i was contemplating on going to egirdir. anyhoo, i was happy with my choice.
fare at metro turizm bus is TL30 from istanbul to bartin only as there's no direct bus to amasra, i only found dolmush at the amasra bus depot - there isn't even a bus terminal or otogar, just the side of the street where a uniformed red&white dolmushes are parked...or maybe i didn't see the terminal?
i took the almost midnight metro bus so i would be sleeping the whole trip which I almost did when in the mid of the night the bus stopped and i needed a smoke, so i went down but as i start to make the first step i missed it! and hit my butt on all the steps of the bus from the top til the bottom...ouch big time! me arse is still uncomfortable til now - after 3 weeks).
I reached the town of bartin at around 7AM, juz a couple of souls around and the restaurant, the dolmush is nowhere in sight, so i took a tripe soup and bread breakfast. after the b.fast, the kind owner lead me to the direction of the dolmush and there it was waiting for a full fill-up. it's a 20-minute scenic ride to amasra and fare is TL3. you won't miss the dolmush actually, i juz got to bartin so early - it's a red&white van that looks like an ambulance of sort, strange, or is it juz me?
by the way, the exact and detailed transport are as follows:
1. big bus (i took the metro turizm bus) - istanbul to bartin central terminal
2. service bus (from the same bus company, i.e. metro) - from central bus station to bartin town centrum transport station
3. dolmush - from bartin town centrum to amasra.
i heard this ozemniyet bus company goes all the way to amasra - that, i cannot confirm as i didn't see any big bus in amasra - only dolmush - maybe i'm wrong and i didn't have the time.
coming back to istanbul, i took the Ozemniyet bus, but as usual i took the 11PM dolmush to bartin and from bartin i took the ozemniyet bus, but of course the small service bus drove us from the central dolmush depot to the central bus terminal of bartin where i cought the big bus of ozemniyet.
if that sounds a lil confusing, it's similar to the istanbul-amasra route, only the reverse.