Princess Islands

Princess Islands in istanbul

The archipelago known as the Princes’s Islands consists of nine various sized islands in the Sea of Marmara and is only an hour away by boat from the pier in the Golden Horn. It is known that during the Byzantine era there many monasteries here. Some of these were used as imperial summer residences and some were used to house the exiled.

Heybeli Ada is the second islands in the archipelago. A small church the last Byzantine structure built before the fall of Byzantium dedicated to the Virgin is situated in the inner courtyard of the Naval School on the island. In the beginning of the 19th century, when steamboats started serving the islands, the population of the islands started to increase.

The four larger islands are popular summer resorts with ideal picnic areas and beautiful beaches. The islands are heavily populated from May until the end of September, and then become almost desolate in the winter. Scheduled ferry boats serve the islands from the mainland. Throughout the summer and especially on weekends, private boats, yachts and sail-boats anchor in the beautiful coves around every island.Motor vehicles are not allowed on the islands, the shores of which are lined by seaside mansions, beaches and picnic areas. Horse-drawn carriages are the only means of transportation.Woods and parks cover the hills on the islands while residences line the northern shores that face the asian side of Istanbul. The first island seen from the ferry boat after leaving the pier is the conical shaped, desolateHayirsiz Ada.
Next to is the flat Yassi Ada. Although there are military installations on this island, projects are underway to use them for tourism.Kinali Ada is the first inhabited island with a beautiful bay in the back, and beaches opened to the public. Burgaz, with its rocky beaches,comes afterKinali. There are watersports clubs on the island. By the square next to the pier at Heybeli Ada and between its two hills, are the buildings of the Naval Schools. Beaches occupy its two beautiful coves. The large buildings of the Orthodox Churchwere used as a scholl fort he monks in the old days. Between Burgaz Ada and Heybeli Ada is a small private island Kasik Adasi (Spoon Island) due its shape.

is the largest, the most popular and the most famous island in the archipelago.It takes two hours to go around the island (the complete tour) in a horsedrawn carriage. This island with high hills, has two public beaches, one of which is situated in an unusually beautiful cove. The most popular ride on the island follows a course between the mansions in well-kept gardens and through the forests on the hills (the half-tour). Unlike the heavily populated residental areas near the pier, the back of the islands is occupied only by desolate, rocky beaches which are ideal harbours for small boats. Fish restaurants and cafes line the seashore near the pier, and there are a few hotels and pensions on the island. On weekends and holidays, people crowd the island for a picnic and swim. The small promontory on the side of the island facing Heybeli Ada is covered with pine forests and it is a very popular recreation area..