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: Kucuk Camlica (‘Little Pine Hill’) and Buyuk Camlica (‘Big Pine Hill’). Buyuk Camlica is the highest point in Istanbul at 267m above sea level.
Not surprisingly, Buyuk Camlica offers the best views, though Kucuk Camlica, with fewer visitors and wonderful gardens, forests and walking trails, is ultimately the more peaceful of the two. The views from Buyuk Camlica 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 colored 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 Buyuk Camlica, and Kucuk Camlica 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.