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Explore a different side of Istanbul and experience the peaceful surrounds of Buyukada. Literally “Big Island” in Turkish, it is the largest and most populated of the 9 Princes’ Islands, and has an fascinating history. Motor vehicles are not allowed, but the peaceful carriages (phaeton) are and we take a ride on one.
In the 19th century, the four larger islands—Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kınalıada— became summer resorts. Istanbul's wealthy Ottoman families, especially Greeks, Jews and Armenians, built elaborate Victorian summer cottages along the narrow island-village streets.
The quiet ambience of a century ago is preserved today as no private motor vehicles are allowed on any of the islands. Everyone walks, or rides bicycles, or takes horse-drawn carriages (phateon).
Buyukada was used as an exile destination and as a monastery region during the Byzantine Christian period. It was Buyukada where the Byzantine empresses Irene and Zoe and Anna Dalassena were sent on exile. After his deportation from the Soviet Union in February 1929, Leon Trotsky also stayed for four years on Buyukada. We see mansions, palaces, churches, convents and much more...
We pick you up from your hotel between 7.45 and 8.15am and transport you to the ferry where you will meet the guide.
Once you have boarded the ferry that will take you to Buyukada...a 95 minute journey, your guide will start providing some fascinating information about Turkey. We then start the walking tour. Lunch will be provided at a local restaurant. After lunch we will enjoy a horse drawn carriage before getting back on the ferry to head back to Istanbul where you will be dropped off at your hotel late afternoon.