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Istanbul
Princes Islands: The Backyard of Istanbul

Citiletter Radar

It is not only Istanbul but Turkey's greenest, most calm and most stunning beauties are Kınalı, Burgazada, Heybeli and Büyükada Islands. Of course, locals are more fortunate to reach the Islands in 30 to 45 minutes. Far away from the exhaust fumes, the streets of the islands are resonating with the voice of the phaetons.

The centuries-old mansions, the pine forests, the bushes, chatting Islanders in front of doors, the children who play in the streets will remind you of your childhood. It is as if time froze here. The warmth and sincerity that you used to live in are everywhere. If you want to remember these beautiful feelings even for a moment, you will reach the islands you wish, with a pleasant short ferry trip.

Büyükada/Big Island

I will never choose this island if I will not do a bicycle tour (because now everywhere is full of buildings and very crowded) But this is the only place I would prefer I will do bicycle tour because the most spacious bicycle path with the most beautiful view is in Büyükada. If you want to make a 'Big Tour', it takes two hours but you have a wonderful two hours. Give yourself an exquisite time to pass by the centuries-old mansions, glide through the forests, and feel like you are pedalling on the sea. There is a very nice restaurant when you come to the top (a place where the scenery blows your mind) Take a break here. Try gozleme - ayran. In the afternoon, take your place in one of the restaurants in the centre, eat your meal in the accompaniment of the sound of the waves and enjoy your raki pleasure among the mixed music tones.

And if you want to stay in hotels in the islands, the best alternatives are in Büyükada. Keep in mind that many of the hotels are old mansions.

Kınaliada

The smallest and quietest island is Kınalıada. It is the ferry’s first stop. You will be welcomed to a small bazaar and beach at the entrance. If you do not want to go out to the heights, you can visit the streets, the bazaar and the coast in half an hour. But if you ask me, make a comprehensive tour and take a long walk to the hills and pine forests.

If you say yourself, let me take a one day holiday, go to the islands and have a piece of mind, then come early in the morning, make your breakfast here and stay all day. At sunset, take your seat in one of the taverns on the beach to watch the unique Istanbul scenery and sip your raki.

Burgazada

My favourite island among all is Burgazada. Every spring, the first thing that comes to my mind is ''Burgazada is waiting for me''. Of course, most important reason for me to like it is the wonderful hill and the restaurant “Kalpazankaya”. You can reach Kalpazankaya by walking to the right from the island square (in a breathtaking landscape). First, watch this stunning scene and then go to the restaurant. Order a watermelon with white cheese and a raki with ice. Then leave everything behind and listen to Greek music coming from the kitchen. You will find peace at that moment (I know you will:)) Everything for which you ruin yourself and become stressful, will become meaningless. While the universe has offered so many beauties, you will be saddened for losing them even if you have the chance to see them. Oh God, I think I'm giving it a long time when it is Kalpazankaya, now lets come to Burgazada. With its lively square, mini bazaar, streets, beachfront cafes,

First, watch this stunning scene and then go to the restaurant. Order a watermelon with white cheese and a raki with ice. Then leave everything behind and listen to Greek music coming from the kitchen. You will find peace at that moment (I know you will:)) Everything for which you ruin yourself and become stressful, will become meaningless. While the universe has offered so many beauties, you will be saddened for losing them even if you have the chance to see them. Oh God, I think I'm giving it a long time when it is Kalpazankaya, now lets come to Burgazada. With its lively square, mini bazaar, streets, beachfront cafes, tavernas, and beaches, it is a miniature paradise. If you ask me, it should be your first choice in Islands.

Heybeliada

It is the Ferry’s third stop. I do not like the square and the bazaar, but they have some things to love. When you get off the ferry, walk to the right (towards the top). After about 10 minutes you will see a picnic area post. There is an entrance fee but if you sit in the cafe next door (which you must sit), you do not pay any fees. This is a huge area surrounded by pine trees.

You will see picnickers, rope skippers, ball players, photographers, horseback riders (yes you will often come across horse riders:)) and sleepers beneath the trees. It's like a separate world. You will lose your time concept, no trouble, no stress.

You will see picnickers, rope skippers, ball players, photographers, horseback riders (yes you will often come across horse riders:)) and sleepers beneath the trees. It's like a separate world. You will lose your time concept, no trouble, no stress. Afterward, you can take a breath in one of the few good fishermen on the beach. We sat at ''Heyamola'' one time. The appetizers were beautiful, the atmosphere was cute and there was live music at a certain hour. While listening to Zeki Müren songs, it was nice to have your drink.

What to do in Islands?

  • Bicycle tour (especially in Büyükada)
  • Walking
  • Raki - Fish (Burgazada - Kalpazankaya is the best)
  • Photo Tour (It would be much more beautiful in springs)
  • Phaeton Tour (each island's routes are beautiful)
  • Picnic (Heybeliada promenade area is perfect)

Translated from https://gezipgordum.com/adalar-istanbul-un-arka-bahcesi/

photo credit: Corine Bliek Sunset at the Kornati islands via photopin (license)

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