On Saturday, after all the shopping and the visits, we craved for some peace and quiet time. We headed to the Prince’s islands by boat. All together, it’s an 1h30 away from the center of Istanbul (bus or taxi and then boat).
Boats leave frequently from Kabatas (European side) in the summer months. Otherwise you have to get to the Asian side for the small ferry at Bostanci (every 30min). You can go there with bus 202 from Taksim square, or by taxi for about 50TL from the European side.
Buyukada is the biggest of the Prince’s island, and our favorite. No cars, only horse carriages, donkeys, bicycle rentals and magnificent old wooden houses with vistas over the Marmara sea.
Marcelo was hungry when we arrived so we got him a simit freshly baked (pictured below).
The line for the horse carriage seemed huge but it went fast. The price is fixed so don’t bother bargaining. We opted for the “small tour of the island” with a visit of the Aya Yorgi church and monastery at the top (from the Byzantine empire, 6th century). Lots of Greek tourists there for the Easter week end.
To get to the monastery (a 30min walk uphill), lucky Marcelo was on a donkey…
while lucky Amalya was taking her nap in the baby backpack…!
And so was the horse carriage owner, waiting for us until after lunch.
When we arrived at the top, the view was breathtaking. We sat for lunch at the cafe under the old cypresses. Again, koftes (meatballs) and white bean salad. Love those!!!! (dont tell me you’re a vegetarian).
And we each lighted a candle and made a wish. I heard Marcelo say something about getting a red dragon…
You could spend a night on Buyukada, at the Splendid Hotel. It’s quite atmospheric.