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Prince Islands

Prince Islands

Islands Region, or as it is called, Prince Islands, of Istanbul, which is far from the noise of cars, covered with nature and attractive with its history and fresh air as well as peaceful streets, do still wait to be discovered!

Although the history of Prince Islands goes back to 298 BC, they began to take place on the stage of history during Byzantine era and initial developments of this popular region of Istanbul begin with the construction of palace in Büyükada (Prinkipo) by Byzantine Emperor Justin II. After the palace, monasteries and churches began to be constructed in Islands region.

These islands, which were then ruled by Byzantine Empire, became an area of exile and ordeal mainly due to the fights for the throne. Since they were difficult to reach and it was impossible to escape from these islands, they took this title as they were also close to the city center.

The islands were conquered by Ottomans 42 days before Istanbul was conquered. While all islands except Büyükada had surrendered, Ottomans managed to conquer Büyükada after some fighting. 

Arrival of Western people, such as French and British, to the region for trips, commerce and having a summer house towards the end of 18th century caused a slow change in the outlook of Islands.

Although the interest of Republican People’s Party and Ismet Inönü to the region after the declaration of Republic and relatively cheap land prices accelerated the transfer of lands and led a settled life in Islands, Greeks left the region due to political developments in the country and this caused a domestic migration and these migrations caused the silhouette of Islands to change again.

Bests of Prince Islands

  • Saint George Church, one of the two pilgrimage locations for Orthodox people, is located on a steep slope of Büyükada.
  • Sait Faik Abasıyanık Museum can be visited free of charge in Burgazada (Antigoni).
  • Greek Orthodox Theological School is a historical school, located on Umit Hill of Heybeliada (Halki). Founded in 1844, this school is the first academic school in this field after Faculty of Theology of Athens University, but it is closed today due to differences in opinion with Patriarchate.
  • Kalpazankaya is a small bay in Burgazada. There is also a restaurant in the same region.
  • Hızır İlyas Hill is an observation hill fascinating with its view, located in Büyükada.
  • Greek Orphanage in Büyükada is the largest wooden building in Europe and the second largest in the world and you can visit this building at Monastery Hill of Büyükada.
  • Lovers Road is a bicycle and horse-drawn carriage road of Büyükada, ornamented with flowers.
  • Değirmen Hill is an observation hill in Heybeliada worth to see, where you can see Istanbul with all of her beauty.
  • Değirmenburnu Picnic Area is located on a wide green land, where you can enjoy the day with a magnificent scenery.
  • You can visit the magnificent house of Lev Trotsky, famous Russian politician and soldier, in which he passed his days in exile and wrote his memories, in Büyükada.
  • St. Nicholas Hangar Museum is located within Museum of the Princes Islands, which was opened n 2010 in Büyükada.
  • You can visit historical buildings, such as Büyükada mansions, main of which are John Pasha Mansion, Izzet Pasha Mansion, Reşat Nuri Güntekin Mansion and Kuyumcuyan Mansion.
  • You can take a breath in Bayrak Tepe, the one and most famous observation hill of Burgazada, and accompany with the scenery.
  • Saint John Church, which was built in Burgazada in 1899, has a unique woodwork.
  • Kumluk Beach, which is more silent and peaceful than other beaches in Prince Islands and surrounding areas, is located in Kınalıada.
  • Although Sedef Island (Antirovithos) offers more limited opportunities compared to other islands, it attracts the attention with its silence and calmness.
  • You can visit Hristos (Christ) Monastery, located on Hristos (Christ) Hill of Burgazada.
  • Hamidiye Mosque, which was built in Western style by the order of Abdulhamit II, is located in Büyükada.
  • You can take an island tour by walking or bike thanks to the roads surrounding Heybeliada and Burgazada and enjoy the day you spent.
  • Yörük Ali Beach/Bay is located in Büyükada and is popular among local and foreign tourists particularly during the summer.
  • You can follow outdoor movies, which are organized at intervals throughout the summer and have a movie night if you wish.
  • Yücetepe Observation Area is another observation hill in Büyükada. You can enjoy the scenery of all islands and Istanbul from here!
  • You can take sea buses and ferries, departing from Kabataş and Bostancı, to reach the Islands.

We compiled several venues that you can enjoy in and around the Prince Islands.

  • Fish restaurants that you can find on the shores of all islands cook the freshest and most delicious fish meals of the region. You can have your dinner in any fish restaurant that you see when you get off the sea bus or ferry.
  • Elio Beach, the only venue located in Sedef Adası, is ideal both to use the beach and enjoy the sea and to have a nice meal in its restaurant. Difficulty to reach this place and the fact that is known lesser are the most important factors that make this place tranquil and peaceful. (There is not any public transportation that you can use to reach Elio Beach, but you can make a call to Elio and use their own boat to reach the venue)
  • You can rest at Büyükada/Dilburnu Picnic Area and enjoy the nature while having a picnic.
  • The restaurant located in Burgazada/Kalpazankaya Bay with the same name is one of the favorites of couples!
  • You can visit the islands and have a sea pleasure at any time of the day by Vaporetto of Lazzoni Hotel and you can return to the hotel at any time you wish after enjoying your day.
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