Traveling to the Turkish Islands: Best Places for a Great Vacation
Planning a vacation to Turkey? It can be made brighter and more intense if you include a visit to the Turkish islands in your trip. By the way, this country is washed by four seas, and therefore has a lot of large and very small, inhabited and uninhabited islands. Many of Turkey’s best mainland resorts are close to islands that are interesting in terms of history and architecture, as well as natural wealth. But among such a wide selection, it is rather difficult to choose something worthwhile.
Best Turkish Islands for a Pleasant Trip
Not far from the shores of Canakkale is the island of Gokceada, one of the largest islands in Turkey. There are several reasons to visit it, but the main one is its great historical heritage. In order not to get bored during your vacation, the itinerary should include a trip to the abandoned village of Dereköy, which was once considered the most populated in Turkey. Lovers of beautiful views are recommended to visit the village of Bademli. It is located on a hill overlooking the vastness of Gokceada, the Aegean Sea, and the Greek island of Samothrace. Gokceada attracts people with its unspoiled nature. It is a partly rocky island, but there are areas with dense forests and lakes.
A beach holiday in Gokceada is an opportunity to spend time away from the crowded resorts of Turkey. Aydincik with its clean sand is considered one of the best beaches here. It is suitable not only for swimming but also for windsurfing. Another good (and almost wild) beach in Gokceada is Gizli Liman. It stretches as a sandy strip for 2 km and is surrounded by green hills. The infrastructure on the coast of Gizli Liman is well-developed. There are not only sun loungers, but also playgrounds, bars, and hotels nearby.
Bozcaada, a cozy Turkish island, is located not far from Gokceada. This island, like its neighbor, is ready to offer tourists all the necessary infrastructure: hotels of different categories, cafés, shops. Its main attraction is ancient architecture. All the villages of Bozcaada attract tourists with their cozy streets with colorful stone houses, in the appearance of which Greek and Turkish traditions are combined. To feel the atmosphere of the island, it is worth going to the city that is called Bozcaada. Here you can stroll through the cobbled streets and the Greek Quarter and then reach the impressive Citadel of Calais.
All the owners of the island had a hand in its construction: the Genoese, Venetians, Phoenicians, and, of course, the Turks. There is an ethnographic museum inside. In summer Bozcaada becomes an ideal destination for beach tourism.
Princes’ Islands (Adalar), Turkey
While vacationing in Turkey, be sure to find an opportunity to visit the Princes’ Islands, besides, you can easily get to them by ferry from Istanbul. Once uninhabited, today they are transformed into a secluded romantic getaway with good infrastructure and entertainment for every taste. On the map, this is an entire archipelago in the Sea of Marmara, stretching off the coast of Turkey, and includes 9 islands.
Büyükada is the most famous of the Princes’ Islands. Hundreds of tourists come to this island near Istanbul every day hoping to understand why the island was so loved by nobles, princesses, and princes. Büyükada is famous for its variety of ancient churches, next to which there are synagogues and mosques. You can inspect them superficially, but in one of the religious shrines (the Monastery of St George), you need to linger. Büyükada is portrayed in advertising brochures as an island of cobbled streets surrounded by bright flowers. To enjoy the atmosphere, it is best to rent a bike and explore it in detail.
Islands of the Sea of Marmara
If we continue to review the islands of the Sea of Marmara, where hotels in Turkey offer excursions, then we can note the largest of them – the island of Marmara, as well as many other small islands. Here, nature and architecture are in their original form, so you don’t have to rely on luxury hotels. But you can plunge into the natural environment, get to know the life and customs of residents, admire the fortresses and monasteries of past centuries, and see the marble quarries where this noble stone is mined.
Avşa is an equally popular Turkey island. It is famous for its abundance of entertainment and vibrant resort life. There are many nightclubs, bars, restaurants and other venues for you to have a lot of fun. But before choosing a hotel, remember that the most economical option would be family apartments.
The island of Kekova is one of the most demanded and popular among tourists. It is famous for its rich nature and an abundance of historical sites. Many tourists come here from all over the world to enjoy the local beauty. The main feature of the island is the ruins of ancient cities that went underwater many centuries ago as a result of strong earthquakes.
The seismic activity destroyed many amazing and incredibly beautiful structures, and most of them were buried underwater. Crystal-clear water allows you to enjoy this incredible and slightly frightening sight. For this reason, once in Turkey, tourists rush to visit this place to see the beauty frozen under the water.
This is perhaps one of the most visited islands of Turkey among boaters. The reason for this popularity is not only the convenient yacht mooring on the northern side of the island but also the ruins of Byzantine churches and the remains of a settlement from the 4th-6th centuries AD. The very name of the island, translated from Turkish, means the Island of Sailors. In particular, therefore, archaeologists admit that the island could have been the site of the original burial of St. Nicholas, the patron saint of sailors. For the same reason, this island is also sometimes called the island of St. Nicholas.
What about Greece?
You can make your trip even more fun by visiting some incredible Greek islands close to Turkey. Surprisingly, the Greek island of Samos is located closer to Turkey than to the Greek mainland.
Samos offers visitors beautiful scenery, swimming, and outdoor activities. The island is full of greenery, even though it has been hit by devastating fires several times in the past. Constant sunny weather along with golden beaches and turquoise sea create ideal conditions for a summer vacation. Samos is one of the largest islands in the Aegean Sea. It is adjacent to the islands of Chios, Icaria, Agathonísi, Marco, and Patmos. The landscapes of Samos are truly varied, but overall the island is mountainous. The highest peak, Kerkis mountain, reaches 1434 meters above sea level. The mountain is visible from virtually every location on the island, and the resorts dotted along the coastline create a beautiful backdrop.
Istanbul Ferries to Greece
Unfortunately, there are no ferries from Istanbul to Greece, unless you are traveling on a cruise. You can only get from Istanbul to Athens by plane or bus. But once you get to Greece, it would be much easier, because there are excellent ferry connections between the Greek islands, and you can easily visit those islands which you want.
Summing up, it can be noted that the hospitable eastern country gives its guests many wonderful places, among which there is something to see. Choose any island you like (or better, several at once) and go on an unforgettable adventure. Bright emotions are guaranteed!
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