Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Asia

Princes' Islands

The Princes' Islands are comprised of nine idyllic strips of land located in the Sea of Marmara about 20km of the Istanbul coast. These islands have been a popular retreat since the peak of the Byzantine period, with their natural beauty and vibrancy continuing to make them a top destination to anyone visiting Turkey.

The population of this island group is around 15,000 but during peak season it can rise to as much as 100,000, with tourism being the main industry. The islands offer peace and tranquility after the hustle and bustle of Turkey's largest city. With lush vegetation, azure waters and pristine beaches this makes for the perfect day trip from Istanbul. Cars are not permitted on the islands so transport is either by bicycles, on foot or even by horse and cart.

The highlights

If you are a lover of history, make sure you pay a visit to Büyükada, the largest of the islands and home to the sixth century Ayia Yorgi Monastery and the Ayios Dimitrios Church. However, many of the other islands also have historical treats worth exploring. The island of Kinaliada is perhaps the most picturesque of the Princes’ Islands, with its fiery beaches and beautiful fauna making it the ideal day trip if you are looking to unwind. If you want to be among nature, the islands have lovely walking trails and pristine beaches. Food and drink plays a central role in the culture of these islands so be prepared to dine on the region's finest seafood, offering you a real taste of life here.

From Istanbul you can take a ferry to four of the islands and explore. Continue the day's theme of relaxation back at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Asia with a Turkish bath or sauna after a day exploring this beautiful island chain.