Set sail on an adventure to the Sea of Marmara to experience the natural beauty of the Princes' Islands.
Duration 6-7 Hour
Check availability to see starting times.
Live tour guide
Arabic and English
Pick-up from the hotel at 08:00 - 09:00 am. Drop off to the hotel at 07:00 pm (subject to change based on traffic conditions).
Byzantine princes used to holiday on these islands! Today, they are famous for their sandy beaches, wooden mansions and natural beauty. The tour starts with a hotel pickup (if your hotel is located within the pickup area). Once everyone has been picked up, you will take the boat to the Princes' Islands. The boat ride takes about one hour to get to the first island which is called 'Heybeliada' in Turkish. On Heybeliada, you will enjoy a horse and carriage ride and then have an opportunity to take photos of the islands and the Sea of Marmara from a particularly lovely spot.
Next, take another boat to the biggest of the Princes' Islands, Buyukada. When you reach Buyukada, your guide will give you some general information about the Princes' Islands and then you will head to a restaurant for lunch. You can choose one of the following delicious options: fresh seafood, authentic Turkish kebab or vegetarian food. Later, you will have free time to swim or explore on your own. After the free time, head back to the meeting point to catch up with your guide and return to the mainland.
Finally, upon our return to Istanbul, there will be a shopping break near the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet area). After the shopping break, we will take you back to your hotels.
Pick up is valid for centrally located hotels. Pick up times may change +-15 minutes due to the location of hotels. Please ask if pick-up available for your hotel.
Princes Island Tours
The Princes Islands are a group of nine beautiful islands in the Marmara Sea. Only four of the nine islands are well-known and open for visits. The Princes Islands, which were once utilized as a place of exile, are now one of the most popular tourist destinations for a relaxing and serene break from the hustle of city life. Because vehicles are prohibited, the Princes Islands have become one of the most tranquil weekend resorts.
The Princes Islands in Turkey are unique in that they are true ethnic and cultural melting pots, with each island having a predominant religious group. For instance, Kinaliada was a popular vacation spot for Armenian bishops and Armenians from Istanbul. Or, Burgazada was a Greek fishermen's village. Many active synagogues, churches, and mosques could still be found on all of the Princes Islands.
How to Get Around on the Princes’ Islands
Motorized vehicles are not permitted on the Princes Islands. The islands used to employ carriages (fayton) to go around, however, this mode of transportation is not seen as acceptable due to the poor treatment of the horses. In fact, an increasing number of Istanbul residents are becoming more and more aware and trying to find different solutions to improve the condition of horses on the islands. If you want to visit the Princes Islands, therefore, you might prefer bikes to avoid the encouragement of the maltreatment of the horses in the islands. Moreover, if you want to travel between the Princes Islands, you could use the ferries. The ferries that land from each island stops at the rest of them since it is the only possible way to transport among the islands.
You could find various activities to attend if you visit Buyukada. It is a touristic paradise that is filled with hidden gems. Buyukada is far from the crowd of the city and closer to nature but it is also more city-like than the other Princes Islands. If you get tired of the touristic features of Buyukada, you could visit the other three any time! There are a lot of nice hotels to stay at Buyukada. They are small, colorful, and have incredibly lovely personnel.
There is a famous street called Ankaya Street in Buyukada. It is filled with wooden houses. One of the houses in Ankaya Street is known to be owned by a famous Russian politician, Leon Trotsky. But the most famous part of the Buyukada is definitely the Greek Orthodox Monastery Aya Yorgi (Saint George). It is at the highest spot of Buyukada and when you visit the monastery, you will be blessed with a breathtaking view of Istanbul.
Heybeliada is the second-largest island among the four Princes Islands. It has perfect tones of green and a lovely vibe. In Heybeliada are a lot of beautiful wooden cottages and a Greek Orthodox Monastery. There is also an institution dedicated to theological trainings of Orthodox clergy.
Burgazada is the third-largest island among the four Princes Islands. It is populated by Greek residents from the Ottoman period. Greeks call it Antigoni instead of Burgaz. The reason why it is called Antigoni is because of Demetrius I’s father Antigonus. Burgazada is perhaps the most serene and quiet island among the four. There are small places where you could taste the traditional food and drinks of Burgazada. Unlike Buyukada, it does not even have the service of carriages. Everyone uses bikes in Burgazada. The air is incredibly refreshing and clean, as could be predicted.
Kinaliada is the smallest and least visited island among the four Princes Islands. It still is beautiful, but there is not much to do at Kinaliada. The name is a combination of kina (henna) and ada (island). The henna reference comes from the color of the island’s waters.
Princes Islands are a must-see attraction in Turkey. Many people use the islands as a getaway from the city. You could also visit the islands on the weekend and wander around the beautiful nature. If you want to visit the Princes Islands fully, though, you might want to consider joining a tour group or booking a private tour. With a Princes Islands tour, you will be able to enjoy every second of the islands without having to panic about what to do. If you have not visited the gorgeous Princes Islands, yet, do not wait for another second and visit them as soon as possible.