Travel by boat from Istanbul to Büyükada and explore the largest of the Princes islands by horse-drawn carriage. See Ottoman-era mansions, enjoy a tasty lunch at a seafood restaurant, and afterwards take some time at your leisure to explore the island.
What to Expect
Explore Büyükada, the largest of Turkey’s Princes islands, on this 9-hour excursion from Istanbul. Cruise across the Sea of Marmara, watching the sights of Istanbul slip from view.
You’ll explore the pedestrianized island in the best possible way – by horse-drawn carriage! Hear the history of this laid-back island from your expert local guide and then spend time at leisure, perhaps relaxing on one of its beaches, before returning to Istanbul.
Travel from your hotel by air-conditioned coach to the port with your guide, and board the boat that will take you to the Princes islands. The largest and most interesting of the islands is Büyükada, which is your destination for the day.
From the boat you can look back on the sights of Istanbul, seeing iconic landmarks such as Topkapi Palace and the pretty Kiz Kulesi (also known as the Maiden’s Tower), which was featured in the James Bond film, The World is Not Enough.
Dock in Büyükada and then take a stroll through the streets with your guide, soaking up the laid-back atmosphere of island life. Vehicles are notably non-existent here, and the roads resonate with the pleasing clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages.
Hop aboard your own carriage to explore Büyükada at a fittingly relaxed pace. Your guide will tell you about the island’s history during the ride, and about its time as a place of exile for banished statesmen and royalty, and of its life as a monastic settlement during Turkey’s Byzantine-Christian period.
Pass lovely wooden mansions that are stunning examples of the island’s late Ottoman-era architecture, and look out over the sparkling sea. Seagulls are everywhere in Büyükada, and if you’d like to feed them your guide will give you simits (bread with sesame seeds) so you can toss them a treat.
Stop for lunch at a seafood restaurant and then spend the rest of your day at leisure on the island. Go for a swim or check out the island’s craft shops and waterfront cafés.
Meet your guide at a pre-arranged time for your boat ride back to Istanbul. The last leg of your journey will be by coach, and you’ll be dropped off at your Istanbul hotel.
- Hotel pick-up and drop off
- Transportation by air-conditioned non-smoking tour coach
- Professional tour guide
- Entrance fees
What's Not Included
- Drinks at lunch
- Personal expenses
Know Before You Go
An Arabic guide is also available.