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Princes Islands Guide

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My Destination
My Destination

This group of nine islands ooze old world charm. Situated in the Marmara Sea, the Princes' Islands make for an easy day trip from Istanbul. Named for the fact that undesirable princes were exiled here, the Islands are now a popular summer spot for locals and tourists alike. The ethnic diversity is clearly visible on the Princes’ Islands. Still home to substantial Greek, Armenian and Jewish populations, the four main islands - Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kinaliada house a number of beautiful monasteries, churches, synagogues, beaches and Victorian era mansions. Most of the houses are made of wood and enjoy a stately air.

Motorized vehicles are banned from the Islands so the most popular transport method is horse and cart. These quaint carriages are a unique and practical way to navigate around the Islands and to visit their beaches, many of which are privatised.

If the hiking, swimming or simply lazing about works up a hunger, there are a plethora of cafes and restaurants on hand as well as fruit shops and ice cream stalls. The Islands are a perfect place to relax with a plate of fish and a glass of raki or beer on a balmy summer evening

The Princes Islands’ are easily reachable from Istanbul. Frequent ferries depart from Eminonu and stop in at the four main islands.

Photos: Princes' islands © Ali Basarir

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"A traveller without observation is a bird without wings" - Moslih Eddin Saadi