Camlica Hill is one of the highest points of the Bosphorus and Istanbul, 267 metres above sea level on the Anatolian, Asian Side, of Istanbul. The hill borders the Uskudar District and offers wonderful panoramic views over the city as well as the Marmara Sea and Bosphorus Strait. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the Princes Islands and the snow-covered ridge of Uludag Mountain. At sunset, the domes and minarets of Istanbul’s many mosques make a stunning silhouette against the colourful sky. Spring is perhaps the best time of year to climb the hill when the wildflowers and tulips are blooming and birds are migrating.
Now mostly open space, the slopes of Camlica Hill were once coated in dense pine forests which were grown by early settlers and remained throughout the Roman and Byzantine periods. In fact, the scenic hill earned its name due to the abundance of thick pine trees, the Turkish word ‘Cam’ means Pine. Camlica hill has had many used over the centuries; it was a summer home and hunting lodge to the Ottoman king, Murat IV, but was converted to a space for leisure activities under the rule of Selmin III. Bird trainer Ivaz Fakih used the hill to train his birds of prey and his tomb sits upon the grassy peak.
Nowadays Camlica Hill is open to the public, both locals and tourist visit to enjoy the marvellous views and cool summer breeze. At the top, you can find a handful of kiosks offering hot or cold drinks, ice cream, corn and other traditional snacks.