For tourists and locals alike, Istanbul can be a whirlwind of a city. With its bustling streets and busy commercial districts, the overwhelming amount of sites to take in, and the constant appeal of an exciting nightlife, moments arrive where a bit of peace and quiet does a body good.
A Calming Escape From Big City Life
The Princes' Islands are a chain of nine small islands floating in the Sea of Marmara. Originally used to exile those suspected of wrongdoings during the Byzantine era, it is now the place to go for a calming escape from big city life. Here you will find residents as well as travelers in the know who find the islands' old world charm the perfect balance to even out the over stimulation found in our ebullient city.
Quiet and Fresh
Of all the islands, Büyükada is the largest and most popular. Despite this, it is still a quiet place, with no motorized vehicles allowed. Walking, bicycling, and riding in a horse-drawn carriage is the way to get about the island as you breathe in the fresh, untainted, and revitalizing air.
A Return to the Old World
Imagine an island with narrow streets lined with Victorian cottages and replete with pine trees, herbs, and flowers as far as the eye can see. With shops, restaurants, and a few hotels, you can find all that you wish for here, along with exceptional views that demand your camera’s attention at every turn.
Dock Square, or Iskele Meydani, is the main square on the island. Here you will find the famed clock tower, along with many good eateries, including some great seafood places. Take a long or short tour in a horse-drawn carriage to get the full feeling of Büyükada, with a visit to Aya Yorgi or St. George Monastery and its wonderful view of the other islands.
There are a few small beaches on Büyükada, which quickly become packed, so it is best to arrive here in the morning or on a weekday during the summer months. Pack a picnic lunch and spend some hours lolling on the sand and dipping into the cool water to get the most out of the experience.
At any time of the year it is a good idea to arrive early so that you can take your time exploring the island. There are fast or regular ferries that you can get to easily by public transportation in the city at Kabataş that will take you to Büyükada. Our concierge at Hotel Büyük Keban will help you with ferry timetables, especially if you want to return before they stop running in the evening.
Contact Us Today
For the complete Istanbul experience, make sure to include a day exploring Büyükada, along with the rest of the Princes' Islands. Let us help you plan your itinerary, including recommendations for dining and sightseeing. For bookings and more, please contact us today!