The Princes’ Islands: Heybeliada

The Princes’ Islands are located about 20 km southeast of the city in the Sea of Marmara. They got their name from the Byzanthine and Ottoman custom of deporting unwanted Princes and dignitaries to live in isolation on the islands.

The islands are really popular summer retreats among Istanbulians, and there are hourly ferries leaving from Kabatas. Keep a sharp lookout on the right side in the Sea of Marmara. I spotted dolphins there, and it is no unusual sight!

There are many summer cottages on the islands, but also quite much nature. Above all there is clear air and (in the quiter autumn) a nice peace compared to the metropolis stress of one of the largest cities in the world. Cars (except emergency and military vechicles) are forbidden, so you have to walk, cycle or travel by horse carriage.

I chose Heybeliada for my visit, since it is said to be the most scenic of the islands. It was clearly outside the main season, but that suited me perfect. I rented a bike and rode a few rounds around the beautiful island enjoying to bike in warm weather for the last time this year.

Heybeliada fishermen

Local shell fishermen collecting shells from the piers

Martin with rented bike 

Me and my bike. Always glad to be able to ride!

Martin rides 

…and a picture of me in action on the Tour de Heybeliada

Heybeliada horses 

The island is full of horses running free

Horse meeting 

…so this is an usual, but strange encounter on the roads

Heybeliada villa 

Beautiful summer villas

Istanbul in the evening

Magic evening scenery on the boat back

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