Şile

Şile, is a city and district in the province of Istanbul. It is a popular tourist attraction in the summer months when residents of Istanbul flock to the coast to their summer houses along this area of the coast. Located on the Black Sea, it is just 70 km from the city of Istanbul. The name şile means marjoram or Mercanköşk in Turkish.

There has been a fishing village here at Şile since 700 BC. The famous lighthouse, a popular tourist attraction, was built by Ottoman Sultan Abdulmecid I and was constructed by French engineers in 1859, entering service in 1860. The lighthouse stands at 19 meters tall, making it the second largest in Europe, its light can be seen 20 miles away. The beaches here are also popular but the strong under currents of the Black Sea mean that only experienced swimmers should attempt to swim here and only when a lifeguard is present.

Visitors to Şile will see the remains of a 14th century Genoese castle perched on a rock in the sea. The small sandy beach at Şile also has the harbour right next to it. You can find some good restaurants in the harbour or around the lighthouse. The tomb of the Muslim Saint Kum Baba is on the forest covered hill above the city. Every year the town has a fair to celebrate and promote the Şile cloth, a light see through cotton fabric which you can buy in the shops locally.

The best time to visit Şile is in the summer months but try and avoid weekends when buses arrive packed with local tourists from Istanbul.

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