Prince Island Tour
Prince Island Tour
If you feel the need to escape from the bustle of Istanbul for a day, nothing could be easier. You simply join us aboard a ferry bound for the charming Princes’ Islands.
The Prince's Islands are an archipelago of nine islands strung along the Anatolian coast for 15Km, to the southeast of the city of İstanbul.The fresh air and relaxing atmosphere makes the islands feel a great deal more distant.The 20 minute hydrofoil, or a boat trip of about half an hour, makes this a perfect escape from the busy metropolis. Many wealthy İstanbulites have summer houses on the islands. They are known as Kizil Adalar, "The Red Islands", because of the reddish cliffs which grace the chain of isles. They have a long history of occupation, dating back to classical times when copper ore was extracted on Heybeliada. The Byzantines favoured the islands and built convents and monasteries around the islands. Several of these buildings were used by those in internal exile. Because of the fact that to reach the islands in an oar-powered cacique, was three hours plus they were generally ignored by the Ottomans and they became a safe haven for the non-Muslim communities. This was all to change when a regular steam ferry, between all the islands, came into operation in 1849. This enabled wealth Jewish, Armenian and Greek merchants to build summer houses, many of which still survive to the present day. Thankfully the islands are car free thus the only transport on the islands is on foot or by bicycle or the horse drawn Phaeton. The horse drawn carriages take the strain off the legs and can be hired by the hour or, on the island of Büyükada, by the tour. At the turn of the 19th century it was a popular retreat for the wealth İstanbulli's who came to the island, especially at weekends. Many of them constructed huge houses. Hotels and dance halls sprang up along the shores. Lunch will be at one of the many excellent traditional fish-restaurants on the waterfront, gazing across the water at the Asian shore of Istanbul, which although it is so close, it feels a world away.