Top 10 Most Beautiful Islands in Turkey

30-04-2022 10 3 0 0 Báo lỗi

Whether you're looking for a summer retreat, historical character, or some of the best coastal views in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean, Turkey has several islands to suit you. Even the vast metropolis of Istanbul has a group of islands just a ferry ride away for those who need a quick and easy trip away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Choose beautiful islands to add to your travel itinerary with the following list of the most beautiful islands in Turkey.

1 Ngoc Minh Tran

Bozcaada

For Turkish city-siders looking for stylish and upscale beach vacations, Bozcaada Island, just south of the Dardanelles in the Aegean Sea, is a relaxing haven.


Bozcaada is rimmed by sandy shores and has an interior of vine-covered fields. With a year-round population of only about 3,000, the island is only active during the tourist season from June to September. On weekends during the summer, Turks flock here to lounge on Ayazma beach on the island's south coast or head to windswept Cayır Beach, on the north coast, for water sports like windsurfing.


Strolling the streets of the historic Greek quarter or making a quick exploration of Bozcaada's Byzantine castle in Bozcaada Town (the only hub on the island) in the late afternoon is equally strenuous. Accommodation is mostly boutique and upscale, and nearly all options close outside of summer. However, In the summer, it's a good idea to book as far in advance as possible, as choices are limited and Bozcaada is popular.


To get here, either take a car ferry from Geyikli (54 km southwest of Çanakkale), which operates year-round or a passenger-only hydrofoil ferry from Çanakkale, which departs during the summer months.


Location: Çanakkale Province, Turkey

Bozcaada. Photo: passionpassport.com
Bozcaada. Photo: passionpassport.com
Bozcaada. Photo: itinari.com
Bozcaada. Photo: itinari.com
2 Ngoc Minh Tran

Gökçeada

Located just to the west off the coast of the Gallipoli Peninsula on the Aegean Sea, Gökçeada only comes to life during peak summer. Outside of the high season, this is one of the best places to visit for island fans interested in nature and quiet beach breaks.


Today, the stone-cut architecture and cobblestone streets of the empty, ruined villages dot the hilly island's interior are reminders of the island's chaos of modern history and Greek heritage.


Summer visitors spend most of their time here relaxing on the beaches of the south coast of Aydıncık and Kapıkaya. Windsurfing lovers often head to Aydıncık beach. Winter and spring visitors often come here to see the flamingos wintering at the island's salt lake. For the more active, exploring the interior of the island and its villages by mountain bike is popular.


Accommodation is scattered across the island. It's the most intimate, family-run boutique hotel and retirement home, with a few larger hotels included. There are regular car ferries year-round connecting Kabatepe on the Gallipoli Peninsula with the island and a twice-weekly passenger-only ferry from Çanakkale.


Location: North of the entrance of Dardanelles Strait, Aegean Sea

Gökçeada. Photo: blog.biletbayi.com
Gökçeada. Photo: blog.biletbayi.com
Gökçeada. Photo: tatilsepeti.com
Gökçeada. Photo: tatilsepeti.com
3 Ngoc Minh Tran

Cunda

Also known as Alibey Island, Cunda is located just offshore from the North Aegean Coast town of Ayvalık and is easily accessible from the mainland by a causeway.


The island's historic old town contains many remnants of Ottoman Greek architecture and is the top purposeless strolling territory. The most beautiful building is the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangel, which is used as a museum now.


Many people make the short trip to the island from Ayvalık just to enjoy the great dining scene. Plenty of cafes and restaurants specialize in Aegean-style dining, blending elements of both traditional Cretan and Turkish cuisine.


Much of the western part of the island is the protected Ayvalık Adaları Nature Park, where a trail leads through pine forests to the ruins of a Greek Orthodox monastery. The west coast is home to the island's main beaches, which are popular swimming stops with boat tours from Ayvalık, as well as those staying on the island. Orchis Otel is set inside a traditional stone-cut house, just 50 meters from Ayvalık harbor and the ferry to Cunda. Rooms combine modern boutique hotel style with traditional touches for old-world charm.


Location: Ayvalık Islands archipelago, Turkey

Cunda. Photo: freeimages.com
Cunda. Photo: freeimages.com
Cunda. Photo: thesmallhotels.com
Cunda. Photo: thesmallhotels.com
4 Ngoc Minh Tran

Heybeliada (Princes' Islands)

Another one among the most beautiful islands in Turkey that you shouldn't miss is Heybeliada. If you're staying in Istanbul and need a quick break from big city life, do what the locals do and catch a ferry to the Prince Islands.


Located in the Sea of Marmara, Heybeliada is the second-largest island of this group. During weekends from May to October, it looks like half the city is closed here for the day, so try to time your visit on a weekday if you can.


No cars are allowed on the island, so it is a good opportunity to explore on foot or by bike (many plenties of bike rentals). One of the main things for tourists is to wander the streets lined with monumental wooden villas, up to viewpoints with panoramic sea views.


Regular ferries travel between central Istanbul and Heybeliada. Although there are several accommodation options on the island, the vast amount of visitors is day hikers.


Location: Prince Islands, Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul

Heybeliada. Photo: istanbulbosphorustours.com
Heybeliada. Photo: istanbulbosphorustours.com
Heybeliada. Photo: suemtravels.com
Heybeliada. Photo: suemtravels.com
5 Ngoc Minh Tran

Kızkalesi Island

On the southern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, the settlement of Kızkalesi is a beach town popular with local tourists. Just away from the beach, the tiny island from where the town takes its name.


The island of Kızkalesi holds the remains of a Byzantine castle (the name in English means "Castle of the Maiden"), with its well-preserved ramparts and towers still protruding from the rocky shore.


Rising from an island 250m offshore, Kızkalesi Castle (aka Sea Castle) is as romantic as a floating dream. Explore the bird and tree mosaics in the central courtyard, where the remains of two chapels are located side by side, and the vaulted gallery with its 13 domes. Walk along the castle walls and climb one of the four towers (the square in the southeast corner has the best views). To explore the castle - although the interior is dilapidated, and the most impressive feature is the fortified walls themselves - regular boat trips take you to the island and back from the beach.


Since the island is only about 300 meters from the shore, you can swim to the castle and back.


Location: Mersin Province, Turkey

Kızkalesi Island. Photo: planetware.com
Kızkalesi Island. Photo: planetware.com
Kızkalesi Island. Photo: gezelim.me
Kızkalesi Island. Photo: gezelim.me
6 Ngoc Minh Tran

Gemiler Island

Also known as the Island of St. Nicholas, Gemiler is a popular stop on day boat excursions from the Ölüdeniz beach resort and multi-day cruises sailing along the coast from Fethiye.


The ruins of five Byzantine-era churches lie on the rocky island hills, along with tombs and ruins of other religious complex buildings. More history-interested visitors get off the train to hike up to the ruins, although most visitors are happy to see them from the sea.


The island's English nickname derives from the fact that some historians believe that Gemiler may have been the location of the original tomb of Saint Nicholas, who was born in Patara and later became Bishop of Myra (modern-day Demre).


To get to the island without joining a group tour, head to Gemiler Gem Beach, on the shore directly opposite the island, where small motorboats make return trips to the island and kayaks can be rented.


Location: Off the coast of Turkey near the city of Fethiye

Gemiler Island. Photo: flickr.com
Gemiler Island. Photo: flickr.com
Gemiler Island. Photo: propertyturkey.com
Gemiler Island. Photo: propertyturkey.com
7 Ngoc Minh Tran

Büyükada (Princes' Islands)

Büyükada is the largest of the Prince Islands group and the most famous island escape from Istanbul. Its prettiness can be marred by the number of trees in mid-summer, so don't expect a peaceful island. Come midweek between May and September, or spring or fall for the best experience.


There are several beaches along the coast, but the real charm of Büyükada is found in strolling the car-free lanes lined with grand 19th-century mansions and heading up the hill to St. George for views across the Marmara Sea back to Istanbul.


Leon Trotsky spent the first four years of his exile from the Soviet Union at Büyükada, and in Byzantine times, a convent here was a convenient place to send several queens into exile. To discover more about Büyükada (and the rest of the island group's history), don't miss visiting the Museum of the Princes Islands while you're here.


The top island vacation is Ada Palas. Voted one of the most romantic hotels in Turkey, this exquisitely restored wooden villa features rooms decorated in 19th-century regal style and hosts one of the most famous restaurants on the island.


Location: Adalar district, Istanbul Province, Turkey

Büyükada. Photo: trip.com
Büyükada. Photo: trip.com
Büyükada. Photo: bizevdeyokuz.com
Büyükada. Photo: bizevdeyokuz.com
8 Ngoc Minh Tran

Akdamar Island

Located three kilometers off the lake's mountainous southern shore, Akdamar Island was once home to a larger religious complex, all built in the 10th century by King Gagik Artzruni during his reign in the Vaspurkan Kingdom of Armenia.


Inside the church, you can see pieces of frescoes that are not well preserved, but the highlight here is the church's facade. The outer walls are covered with intricately and amazingly preserved stone relief carvings depicting a wide range of Old Testament stories. The church's facade is considered one of the most important surviving examples of Armenian artwork.


The island is reachable by cruise ship, which operates round-trip flights from the Port of Akdamar, near the village of Gevaş on the lake's south shore (45 km west of Van).


Boats only leave the dock when full, so it's recommended to take a tour from Van to secure more passengers and shorten your wait time. During winter and early spring, when Van's tourism is on hold, cruise boat trips are practically non-existent, and you'll most likely have to hire one of the private boats.


Location: Lake Van, Turkey

Akdamar Island. Photo: goodfon.com
Akdamar Island. Photo: goodfon.com
Akdamar Island. Photo: flickr.com
Akdamar Island. Photo: flickr.com
9 Ngoc Minh Tran

Pigeon Island

Built to guard the port during the Byzantine era, Kuşadası Castle is located on Pigeon Island (Güvercin Adası) just offshore from the resort town of Kuşadası. Today it is the most prominent landmark along the waterfront and one of the few historical sites to visit in a town often associated with cruises and full sun and sand vacations package.


The castle mainly dates from Ottoman times, when its fortifications were expanded and restored as the port thrived as an essential link in the Mediterranean trade.


The island is accessed by a causeway from the coast. On the island, a boardwalk follows the path of the castle's walls, while inside has been transformed into a park with information boards dotted along the footpaths providing detailed descriptions of endemic flora and fauna in the Kuşadası area.


It's the best place for a sunset stroll, admiring the ramparts and coastal views.


Location: Gros Islet in the northern region of Saint Lucia

Pigeon Island. Photo: toursforsrilanka.com
Pigeon Island. Photo: toursforsrilanka.com
Pigeon Island. Photo: afar.com
Pigeon Island. Photo: afar.com
10 Ngoc Minh Tran

Kekova Island

Rounding out our list of the most beautiful islands in Turkey is Kekova Island. People come to Kekova Island not for the island but for what lies in the water along its shores. Boat trips and sea kayaking come here to see the submerged ruins of ancient Dolchiste destroyed by an earthquake in the 2nd century.


The entire surrounding area is fascinating to explore and is one of Turkey's most stunning stretches of coastline. Partially submerged tombs peek out from the harbor waters of the village of Kaleköy, directly across from the island. Kaleköy itself is covered by a fortress and dotted with the ruins of ancient Simena.


Most people come on tours arranged in Kaş, but there are also a handful of boutique hotels and retirement homes in both Kaleköy and the nearby port village of Üçağız (four kilometers to the west). west) if you are looking for a rural retreat.


To wake up to the views of Kekova Island, Ankh Pansion is located right on the waterfront in Kaleköy. This friendly, family-run pension has simple but comfortable rooms with multi-million dollar vista balconies and offers free kayaks for guests to explore this stretch of coast.


Location: Demre district, Antalya province, Turkey

Kekova Island. Photo: facebook.com
Kekova Island. Photo: facebook.com
Kekova Island. Photo: facebook.com
Kekova Island. Photo: facebook.com


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