PRINCES ISLANDS TOUR
If you feel to escape from the hustle & bustle of Istanbul for a day, nothing could be easier and more attractive than Prince's Islands tour.
You will cross the Sea of Marmara with a ferry watching the beautiful Istanbul become a distant shoreline, probably taking exciting pictures. When you disembark the ferry, it is all peace and silence; no cars, no noise or air pollution. You will explore the island the best way possible; a romantic bicycle ride will give you the opportunity to relax and enjoy Buyukada. It is the largest one of the archipelago in the Sea of Marmara and was one of the islands where princes and members of royalty were exiled during the Byzantine Era. Later members of the Ottoman Dynasty were exiled there too, hence the name.
During the 19th century, this became a popular resort for the upper class of Istanbul who built Victorian style houses in large well-kept gardens. A number of the houses are still in good shape and aroused by the families. The island is also blessed with beautiful pine forests and beaches.
Today is a leisure day. If you can detach yourself from the peaceful island, you can visit Heybeliada with more beach and activity options.
The Naval Cadet School is by the breakwater which houses two important pieces of architecture in its grounds; Kamariotissa is the last Byzantine church from before the conquest of Constantinople and the grave of Edward Barton, the second English Ambassador sent to Constantinople by Queen Elizabeth I who preferred to live here for the sake of its beauty and tranquility.
Another major tourist attraction is the 11th century Greek Orthodox monastery at the top of the hill which houses the main Greek Orthodox seminary in Turkey. This is a popular visit for both Greek and Turkish people.
Weekdays are recommended for this tour due to overcrowding of the Prince's Islands by locals of Istanbul over the weekends.