When Istanbul’s locals need to get away from the noise of the city or the insufferable heat of the summer sun, they head straight to Princes’ Islands on a yacht charter in Turkey. Although the Princes’ Islands, known locally as Adalar, got their name because they were where the disgraced royalty of the Byzantine Empire was exiled, today they are a refuge for visitors and locals alike. This collection of nine islands just south of Istanbul, near the Asian part of the city, boasts sandy beaches, pine forests, and beautiful Victorian chalets.
Sailing to Princes’ Islands: A Charming Adventure
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While nine islands make up the Princes’ Islands, only four are open to the public. Büyükada is the largest and most popular of the four islands. The island is known for its charming town center full of restaurants and shops and as being home to the best beaches out of the four islands. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on any of the islands, meaning horse-drawn carriages and bicycles are the main modes of transportation. While carriage tours and bike rentals are popular on every Princes’ Islands, Büyükada’s tree lined streets and charming homes make it particularly well suited to touring on two wheels, two feet or four hooves.
Heybeliada is the second largest, and second most popular, of the islands. The island is famous for its patisseries filled with mouth-watering treats as well as the Turkish Naval Academy that calls Heybeliada home. Bicycle rentals are available on the island, but most tourists choose to see the island on foot or by horse-drawn carriage as there are quite a few hills. The islands of Burgazada and Kinaliada are less popular with visitors, making them a haven for those looking to get away from the crowds. Although they may not be as well-traversed as the other two islands, Burgazada’s rich Greek heritage and Kinaliada’s Armenian heritage make these destinations an intriguing day trip from Istanbul.
Why you should choose a yacht charter in Turkey
While many visitors to the islands will take one of the two types of ferries that depart from Kabataş, for those looking to arrive in a more stylish or adventurous manner, sailing there on your private yacht charter is the only way to go.
Yacht charters in Turkey will treat you to a day of luxury and refinement on a sailing trip surrounding the Princes’ Islands. First, your captain will embark towards Kinaliada, where he’ll anchor in a small bay while you have a swim in the calm Sea of Marmara. For lunch, you can even opt to be treated to lunch at one of Burgazada’s best seafood restaurants before returning to Istanbul, with a stop or two for another dip in the sea. For true sailing lovers, why not consider booking a half-day yacht charter expedition around all the Princes’ Islands, with a captain on hand to help you navigate or, if you’re feeling confident, hire a sailboat in Istanbul and head out on an excursion of your own.
Whatever you choose, crewed sailboat or yacht charter in Turkey, sailing alongside a captain, or renting your own boat and heading out solo, the Princes’ Islands are a most idyllic destination to be sailing toward.