Şile is one of the most peaceful places to escape the crowds and exhaustion of Istanbul. The Black Sea city with plenty of oxygen is a holiday town with endless natural beaches, fine-grained, clean and high-quality sand, which is frequently popular especially on weekends during the summer months due to its proximity to Istanbul.
The word Şile means “wild flower” in ancient Greek and archaeological excavations have revealed that its history dates back to the post-ice age. Many ruins belonging to the Hittites, Phrygians, Lydians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans have been found in the region covering the Kocaeli Peninsula, known as Bithynia.
The most important feature of Şile cloth, which is a product that can be a symbol of Şile, which is eighty percent forest, is its ability to keep the body cool and absorb body sweat on hot summer days. Due to its light weight, it provides a comfortable feeling when worn. Although there are imitations, real Sile cloth is manufactured in Şile because of the need for the salty water and air of Şile. Every year in the last week of July, Şile organizes an international event called Şile Cloth Culture and Art Festival, which includes concerts and fashion shows. Nazım Hikmet mentioned the name of Şile cloth in his poem titled Memleketim.
What to do in Sile?
Another symbol of Şile overlooking the blue in green is the Şile Castle on a large rock in the harbor dating back to the Genoese. The castle, also known as Ocaklı Island Castle, is 12 meters high and 10×10 meters wide with a square plan and was built to guard against possible attacks from the sea.
When talking about Şile, it is impossible to miss Şile Lighthouse. The lighthouse was built by Sultan Abdülaziz so that ships coming from Istanbul could find their way during the Crimean War. During the summer months, you need to reach Şile Lighthouse Street to reach the museum, which is opened to visitors as a museum.
Each of the beaches in the 10 kilometers long large and small bays connected to Şile is beautiful and clean. Uzunkum Beach, Ayazma Beach and Kumbaba Beach are the most preferred beaches. Many sea and land caves in the vicinity, the 8-meter high Değirmançayırı Waterfall in Değirmençayı Village are among the other natural formations of the Şile region.
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We talked about the fine-grained beaches of Şile. One of these beaches is Kumbaba Beach located on Kumbaba Hill. The special feature of the beach is that it has a treatment feature called Tallassotherapy, which is made by using the natural support of the sun and sand. It is said that throughout history, especially rheumatism patients preferred Kumbaba Beach due to the radioactive properties of the minerals it contains.
Opposite Kumbaba Beach, next to Şile Castle, there is a breakwater stretching along its length. Along the road that ends with an old lighthouse, you can take a nice walk by breathing in the air of Şile and take a close look at the rusted ferry in the park.
Şile has 138 historical wooden houses, which are 150 years old and have the original texture of the city. The historical houses, mostly located in Balibey and Hacı Kasım neighborhoods, are generally built on two floors. While some of the restored houses continue to live, some of the unused houses have fallen into disrepair.
Another beautiful place near Şile is Saklıgöl in Karamandere Village. If you are looking for a dining facility with plenty of oxygen where you can feel peace and tranquility, Saklıgöl is for you. Here you can have breakfast and normal meals, or you can eat nothing and take a ride around the lake with your bicycle or on foot.
Where is Sile and how to get there?
To get to Şile, just follow the signs to Şile from the 1st or 2nd bridge. Since it is a central region, Şile is a Black Sea coast that can be easily found. If you prefer to go by bus, it is possible to get to Şile by taking bus 139A from Üsküdar.