- Beach / Seaside Resort
Büyükada is without doubt one of my favourite places in the Istanbul region. From my very first visit, I was inspired by its unique atmosphere. And arriving by ferry only adds to the excitement of an unusual trip. One full of surprises...
Firstly, you won't see any cars in Büyükada. People get around on foot, by bike... or carriage. Once settled in my carriage, feeling like a Queen, I began to tour the Victorian and Art Nouveau villas, each one as beautiful as the next. You'll need to end the tour on foot if you want to see the minsicule, yet adorable, Orthodox chapel. It's on the highest part of the island and you'll get an amazing view over the archipelago.
If you enjoy walking, you can do a tour of the island. During Spring, huge pink and white flowers on giant bay trees decorate the streets. You'll also see people swimming and playing on the beach, even if it's not one of the best places for a swim!
I loved this island, which, if you're pressed for time, is not far from Istanbul.
Leave on an early boat and eat your breakfast during the crossing, whilst admiring the view.
Don't forget your swimwear so you can enjoy the beach, but not by the fish restaurants at the jetty.
During summer I'd often spend the day on the island. I sometimes hired a bike on arrival. You must take the time to stroll around Büyükada's calm, flowery streets. Its pretty houses date back to the Ottoman Empire. Only bikes and carriages are allowed on the streets. You can also go walking in the countryside on the southern part of the island.
If you happen upon a beach seller who has Turkish lollipops called a 'Macun şekeri' (made from honey and spice), you must try one!
And towards the end of the afternoon, before you head back to Istanbul, make sure you go for a dip in the sea!
Here arethe times of boats leaving from Kadiköy and Kabataş.