Camlica Hill rises up from Anatolian Istanbul in all its brilliance, offering a unique perspective on the city. Popular with Sunday strollers, lovers and those needing some fresh air, Camlica Hill is a dearly loved refuge from the stresses of everyday life. Located about 4km from Uskudar.
Camlica is split into two hills: Küçük Çamlica (‘Little Pine Hill’) and Büyük Çamlica (‘Big Pine Hill’). Büyük Çamlica is the highest point in Istanbul at 267m above sea level.
Not surprisingly, Büyük Çamlica offers the best views, though Küçük Çamlica, with fewer visitors and wonderful gardens, forests and walking trails, is ultimately the more peaceful of the two. The views from Büyük Çamlica are truly amazing, with a panoramic vista of all of Istanbul’s main waterways, the Bosphorus Bridge, the historic Eminonu Peninsula, the Princes’ Islands and even Mount Uludag near Bursa.
During springtime, many tulips are planted here in anticipation of the Istanbul Tulip Festival , contributing to the usual mass of brightly coloured flowers. The hills and their surrounding pine forests also attract many different species of birds and other wildlife while the park at the summit has large open spaces from which to enjoy the view.
A scattering of tea gardens and restaurants have set up shop on Büyük Çamlica, and Küçük Çamlica has its own resident tea garden. There are also many street stalls and the Turkish tradition of picnicking and barbequing is a common site on the hill; it gets especially packed with families on weekends.
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How to get there:
How to get to Camlica Hill: From Taksim: Take the Funicular to go to Kabatas. From there, take bus number 103 ( Kabatas - Tepeüstü). The Bus stop's name is 'Turistik Camlica Tesisleri'. From Sultanahmet: Take T-1 Tram to Kabatas. From there take bus number 103. From Kadikoy: Take Bus number 14F or 14K and ask to get off at the ‘Camlica’ (Chum-luh-ja) stop. The bus stop is situated about five minutes walk from the base of both hills. From Uskudar: Take bus number 11A, 11D or 11E.
"The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time" - Bill Bryson