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FİLYOS (TİOS, TİON)

Population: about 6,000

filyos1On the map Filyos looks a mere hop and a skip from Zonguldak. In reality, however, it's a very long and winding road that will get you to this forgotten corner of the Black Sea and while the wooded countryside is theoretically very beautiful what Man has done to it in the form of concrete urban development is certainly not.

Midway there at Çatakağzı you will also be confronted by a power plant streaming pollution into the atmosphere. 

Filyos itself is a small town on the waterfront that you are only likely to visit if you are a diehard enthusiast for ruins and want to tick off those of ancient Tios (Tion) high on the hillside east of town.

In the town itself just one lovely wooden building of very distinctive appearance survives near the main bus stop. Sadly it's mainly in use as an Aygaz shop. filyos2

Around Tios

Most of ancient Tios lies on swampy ground near the mouth of the river Billaios which means that theoretically archaeologists could uncover most of it over time. 

Driving up the hill you will see in a field to the left of the road the most substantial standing remains of what was probably an ancient bathhouse.

Shortly after the slight remains of a theatre are also visible to the left of the road together with three arches of an old aqueduct far away towards the vast factory that disfigures the view. 

From the broken stone steps of the theatre you will be able to see Filyos Kalesi, a medieval castle ringing the hill ahead of you and sloping down towards the sea. A track on the left leads to the heavily restored walls and gate of the castle. Through it on the far side you'll find the most recent excavations of a 2nd-century Roman temple almost side by side with a Byzantine church with a side chapel, said to date from the 8th to the 12th century.

In 2014 visitors were not allowed to walk around these remains although signboards are in place and a ticket box ready so this may soon change. 

A few finds from Filyos are on display in Karadeniz Ereğli Museum. 

Sleeping

You are not likely to want to linger in Filyos. The nearest choice of hotels is in Zonguldak or Bartin.

filyos3Transport info

Buses to Filyos leave Zonguldak from neither the main terminal nor the chaotic local terminal in the town centre but from a separate bus stand near the huge and ugly Valilik building across the road from Türk Telekom. They are fairly infrequent so check times carefully.

Given that the journey is long, slow and windy you're mch better of taking a train from Zonguldak to Filyos instead. In 2014 the Zonguldak station was under renovation but it is in the town centre as is the one in Filyos. Trains are of the Raybus time with wide, comfortable seats and tables that fold down so that you can work on them with power points beside the seat. Prices are extremely reasonable and the view from the window (when you're not in a tunnel) will be of a succession of reasonably attractive bays with dark sand beaches. 

Infrequent buses continue from Filyos to Bartin for Amasra.

 

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