Hidden Beaches History and Nature
Sile is a lovely town on the Asian side near the Black Sea, about 80 km from Istanbul's center. It takes around 1 to 1.5 hours to drive there. It's a perfect place for a day trip with its beautiful nature, beaches, and restaurants. In the summer, a lot of local people go there to enjoy a holiday-like feel.
Not many tourists from other countries know about Sile, so it's a special spot. There, you can experience a traditional "Turkish bath". The town used to be called Origanos and has a rich history with different people ruling it. Exploring this old Greek town is like stepping back in time and seeing a more countryside side of Istanbul.
A Brief History of Sile
Sile's story started around the 600s. It's a place where old Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman cultures once lived. Also, "Sile" means "Wild Flower" in the old Greek language, and it's a great spot for a fun vacation.
Places to Visit in Sile
A Simple Guide to a Country Getaway in Şile
Şile is a beautiful green paradise, covering over 800 square kilometers. It's perfect for nature walks and birdwatching, with lots of different birds and rare plants. Don't forget to try a cup of Sakli Göl tea, named after a hidden lake. This spot, surrounded by trees and water, is so pretty that it's been used for many Turkish TV shows. It's a great place to enjoy nature's beauty, especially when everything is blooming.
Take a walk to the small villages around Şile. Yeniköy, with its Bosnian community, is nearby. Kabakoz and Akçakese are also close and very picturesque. Walking through these villages, with their traditional houses, gives you a real taste of life in the Turkish countryside. It's a unique and authentic experience.
Discovering Şile's Famous Landmarks
Make sure to check out Şile's two famous landmarks. After wandering through the town center, head down to the harbor. There, you'll see the Sile Kalesi, a castle from the Byzantine era, standing on one of the rocks of Ocakli Island. You can only look at it from afar now. The harbor is also worth a visit, especially the fishing port.
Try some local fish dishes at the boat restaurants – the combination of raki (a traditional drink), mezze, and grilled fish is a local favorite.
After eating, a walk to the lighthouse is a good idea. Built in 1860, it's still working and is the tallest in Turkey at 19 meters high. It was built by the French and offers an amazing view of the Black Sea. It's like being at the junction of earth, sky, and sea.
Shopping for Traditional Şile Clothing
While in Şile, check out the local Sile Bezi clothing. It's a great souvenir from your trip. These clothes are made from 100% natural cotton grown in the south of Turkey. You'll find dresses, jackets, shirts, tablecloths, and placemats, all made locally since the 1970s. The fabric is dipped in the sea and dried on Şile's sands, making it fine and perfect for hot days. Some even say these clothes have health benefits!
Sile Lighthouse: A Big and Old Lighthouse
Sile Lighthouse is a famous landmark in the town. It's the biggest lighthouse in Turkey and the second biggest one in the world that's still being used. It was built way back in 1859 by Sultan Abdülmecit I. There's a nice tea garden nearby where visitors can relax. You can visit it from May to August, from 10 am to 4 pm.
Sile Beaches: Fun in the Sun
The beaches are the most fun part of Sile. Lots of people, especially from Istanbul, come here on weekends. Be careful of the waves and currents, though. There are several popular beaches like Aqua Beach Club – Uzunkum Beach and Aglayankaya Beach. Kumbaba, Uzunkum, and Akcakese beaches are also great spots along the coast.
Kumbaba Hill and Beach: Beautiful Views and Healing Sands
Kumbaba Hill is a favorite in Sile, known for its sea views and nature. It was a sunbathing spot for ships in old times. The hill's sand is thought to help with diseases. Nearby, there's Kumbaba camping and caravan area and a beach good for sea lovers and those with rheumatic diseases. There are facilities like changing rooms, showers, and food places.
Akcakese Village and Beach: A Peaceful Spot
Akcakese Village is perfect for weekend visitors looking for a quieter place. It's known for its pretty beach and unique nature. It's less crowded than other Sile beaches.
Nature Walk & Trekking: Explore the Great Outdoors
Sile is great for nature tourism. You can hike and trek in the largest forests of Istanbul. There are many caves to discover. Don't miss trying local village products when visiting nearby villages.
Dine & Wine: Fresh Fish and Great Views
Sile, once a fishing town, is now a paradise for fish lovers. You'll find tasty food that fits all budgets. The fresh fish is a must-try. Many popular fish restaurants offer great food with beautiful sea views.