The Princes Islands: Among the most terrific getaways, the Princes’ Islands, with a history going back to ancient times, are a classical combination of nature, sea and history.
Comprised of nine islands, the Princes Islands are popular for their tranquil streets where one can take shelter from the hustle and bustle of the crowded city and enjoy the scent of the flowering bougainvillea.
Do not miss the next ferry if you want to take a weekend break and get acquainted with the island culture and cuisine!
The shining star of the Asian portion of the Marmara Sea, the Princes’ Islands are a magical excursion route bearing the traces of the old lifestyle of Istanbul.
Only five of the nine islands that constitute the Princes’ Islands are opened to public. In addition to joining sightseeing tours you may also hire a phaeton or a bike and tour the big islands.
Büyükada is the biggest and most intriguing of the islands that have similar architecture and facilities. The island is frequented particularly by permanent residents, visitors from Istanbul who spend the summer in the islands and tourists.
In addition to long trails suitable for cycling or phaeton rides, Büyükada is surrounded with many terrific bays where you can spend time in nature and sightsee historical houses before you swim in the light blue sea.
Comprised of two hills, the island houses a variety of historical structures such as the Hagia Yorgi Monastery and Church of Hagios Nikolaos, the Sabuncakis Mansion, Dilburnu and Yörükali and the world's largest wooden structure, the Buyukada Orphanage.
You may stopover at the restaurants and cafes by the Clock Tower and taste the local seafood, varieties of ice cream and sage tea.
Heybeliada is the second largest of the Princes' Islands. Heybeliada, surrounded with many hills and named after the valleys reminiscent of saddlebacks, is one of the most frequented resorts by visitors who like to go out into nature and picnicking.
Surrounded with old monasteries, Heybeliada harbors numerous historical structures such as the Church of Hagia Yorgi, Heybeliada Sanatorium, Church of Aya Nikola and the Orthodox Theological School.
Heybeliada is also popular for its picnic areas and harbor where you can spend some pleasant time and taste the local cuisine. You may also explore the island by undertaking a cycling or phaeton trip.
Burgazada is the third largest island in the archipelago. Marked by a single peak, this island is situated in the middle of the Princes’ Islands. One of the most beautiful islands where the green meets the blue, Burgazada is the ideal location to spend some enjoyable time.
Kınalıada leans on the slopes of three hills and is surrounded with settlements. The Church of St. Gregory the Illuminator, the Monastery of the Transfiguration, Hristos Church and Monastery, the Panagia Greek Orthodox Church and the Mosque Kınalıada Mosque in addition to many mansions are among the historical sites worth to sightsee.
Sedefadası is one of the small islands and partially closed to public. Only the restaurants on the pier and the beach extending to the right of the pier are open to visitors.
Sivriada, Yassıada, Tavşanadası and Vordonos Island are entirely closed to public and constitute the smallest islands of the archipelago.
Indeed, the Princes Islands are the most beautiful locations where you can explore the island culture, history, nature and cuisine of the region
The Princes' Islands are a magnificent archipelago where you can spend an enjoyable holiday and undertake daily round tours. The festivals organized in the region will make your time worthwhile.
The International Princes Islands Swimming Championships are held in August every year. Held in Kinaliada, this championship takes place with the participation of many athletes and spectators.
The Heybeliada Spring and Hidirellez Festival and Heybeliada Kite Festival are among the festivities including many enjoyable activities.
You will have a great time if your vacation coincides with the same time of these festivals!
How can I get there?
The Princes’ Islands, five of which are opened to public, have quite enjoyable transportation means.
Reachable via ferry from Istanbul, the islands are within easy reach. The ferries and motorboats departing from Kabataş and Bostanci and seasonally from Eminönü, Kartal and Maltepe take their passengers to the islands in short time.
Do not forget to check the ferries schedule if you are ready to embark on a pleasant journey to the unforgettable islands!