Guide to SKOPJE

Sile – white sand beaches, peace and relaxation north of Istanbul

To visit Istanbul, a city that breathes and lives at a hectic pace, is a real challenge. When you get there you are in a rush to visit each and every landmark. This is impossible because the city has so many museums, squares and interesting locations andit takes so much time to visit them all, so there will always be something left to seethe next time you come.

With every new visit to Istanbul I try to explore a new place. This time Balkon3 guides you on a relaxing tour out of town to the coast of the Black Sea. It is the northernmost point of Istanbul -the town Sile.sile breg ubava balkon3

Sile (Şile) is a small tourist resort located in the northern part of Istanbul on the coast of the Black Sea. The town is part of the city administration of Istanbul (Buyuksehir belediyesi) and is located 70 km from Uskudar. You need to get to Harem bus station (in the Asian part of Istanbul) and board a bus no. 139 or 139A. A single ticket costs 6 TL.

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Because of its proximity to Istanbul many people choose to live here and work in Istanbul. The popular tourist resort Agva is also located of Sile. There is a fishing village that dates back to 700 BC and a lighthouse from the Ottoman period. Most residents of Istanbul use Sile to find some peace and quiet far from the crowded city. This impressive little town is about an hour and forty minutes’ drive from Istanbul. The white sandy beaches stretching to the north are easily accessible from the highway, whereas in the east you will several small beaches.

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The town has a lot of rocky peaks that offer a view on the small harbour. At weekends and during the hot summer period Sile is crowded with day-trippers who come to have a picnic with their families. There are many bars and restaurants that serve delicious food and offering a wonderful view of the Black Sea, especially of the park around the lighthouse.

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It should be noted that this town as well as all other tourist resorts on the Black Sea coast have the same marine conditions, which means that there are very strong undercurrents that pose a danger to inexperienced swimmers.

Sile is also famous for the cotton fabric produced here and sold in many stores in the city. Every summer a fair is organized to promote this fabric.

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What you must visit here is the lighthouse which has great historical significance. It is situated on the west coast of the Black Sea and is still in use. It was built in 1859 commissioned by Sultan Abdulmecid I who reigned from 1839 to 1861. The stone sections of the lighthouse were built by Turkish architects, whereas the metal parts and the crystal lenses system were manufactured by Barbir factory in Paris. The lighthouse went into service in 1860. It played crucial role in navigating ships on the Black Sea. It was built during the Crimean war to show the way for ships entering Istanbul from the Black Sea.

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This is the largest lighthouse in Turkey that rises 60 meters (197 ft) above sea level. The tower of the lighthouse is 19 meters tall (62 ft). In order to be seen clearly during the day, the tower is painted with black and white horizontal stripes. The octagonal stone tower has a gallery around the lantern room. In the beginning the lighthouse used kerosene to light the lantern and later it was replaced with Dalen light produced by burning of carbide (acetylene gas). Since 1968 the lighthouse operates using electricity.

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The lighthouse is one of the most memorable and most beautiful buildings on the Black Sea coast. He was turned into a museum and is open to visitors.

I also recommend visiting the castle which was built by the Byzantines to protect the coast and the capital from attacks coming from the sea. Here you can experience traditional Turkish hospitality, relax on the beach and enjoy the beautiful view of the sea.

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If you want to spend the night there, the city offers many options for accommodation in hotels, boarding houses and inns. Visit Sile at any time of the year and you will not be disappointed. The beautiful color of the sea varies depending on the weather and the sound of the waves will relax you. A visit to Sile will help renew your energy for a new life and a new beginning, reminding you that the earthly life is a real pleasure and enjoyment.

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I would like to thank my friend Meli from Osijek for her beautiful photos of Sile.


Kristina Angeleska

photo: Meli