Istanbul Journals

Side Trips around Istanbul

A November 1997 trip to Istanbul by globetrots

Princes Islands Photo, Istanbul, Turkey More Photos
Quote: We lived in Istanbul for five months while teaching English and traveled around the country for another six weeks. The following journals outline side trips around Istanbul.

Side Trips around Istanbul

Overview

Quote:
We went sightseeing every weekend for five months while in Istanbul and still didn't run out of things to see. In case you're wondering what's nearby, however, be assured that there's plenty.Quick Tips: These entries focus on three places that are a short hop by boat from Istanbul: the Prince's Islands, the sleepy pottery center of Iznik, and the hot baths of Termal, as well as a one-day cruise out of town.Best Way To Get Around: We occasionally took a train, but more often it was a bus. Be forewarned that the Turks smoke like chimneys, even on an air-conditioned bus. Occasionally you can get on a bus that's no smoking or is a double-decker with a no-smoking section. Otherwise, not ...Read More

Bosphorus Strait

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "One-day Bosphorus Cruise"

Bosphorus Strait Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
A tour up the Bosphorus is a great way to leave Istanbul without having to stay overnight out of town. There are several companies running cruises out of the city, most leaving from the main ferry area on the European side of the city. If the weather is good and it's not the middle of winter, you'll start off with stunning views of Istanbul, with the distinctive mosques reaching for the sky and the various palaces and landmarks easily visible from the water. As you make your way along the waterway, you'll see architectural masterpieces from hundreds of years ago, forts dating back to a thousand years, and modest houses belonging to people perched over the water. The most famous site is ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 22, 2001

Bosphorus Strait
Eminonu
Istanbul, Turkey

Prince's Islands

Attraction | "Biking on the Prince's Islands"

Prince's Islands Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
Coming from the bland residential architecture and coal smoke of Istanbul, the Prince's islands are literally and figuratively a breath of fresh air. Just dots in the Sea of Marmara, these islands boast some stunning Victorian summer villas built by wealthy Ottomans over the years and a few rich Istanbul residents that live here year round. On the island of Buyukada, no cars are allowed, so you can also avoid the country's notoriously bad drivers. (In my three trips around the globe, the Turks get the prize for recklessness and just plain inability to drive). After arriving on the ferry from Istanbul, you can rent a bike right at the dock and then make your way around the...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 22, 2001

Prince's Islands
20 km from Istanbul
Istanbul, Turkey

Iznik Archeological Museum Photo, Istanbul, Turkey
Quote:
A ferry ride across the Sea of Marmara brings you to...the other side of the sea of Marmara. But you can take a short bus ride from Yalova to Termal (see other entry) or one hour to Iznik. The latter is a historic town that's been around for thousands of years. In the past few hundred, it's become a center for pottery making, specifically the colorful ceramic tiles that are prized around the world. It's also a fertile agricultural area, so you'll see plenty of olive and fruit orchards. We got up early for a day of sightseeing after reading about all the things to see in our guidebook. Well, we could have slept til noon, because you can pretty much see the whole town in a few hours. It's a ...Read More

Soaking in Termal

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
Just across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul is the lovely resort area of Termal (sounds like "thermal" with the accent on the second syllable). The word sounds like thermal for a reason--this is a place built around hot baths. Termal is only 12 km from the ferry stop at Yalova, so it's a quick hop in a shared taxi or a bus. Even without the baths, this is a peaceful place, full of beautiful buildings, huge trees swaying in the breeze, and lush landscaping that is rare in these parts. But the real attraction is the hot mineral baths that flow freely from the earth. They were first developed in Roman times, then expanded by the Ottomans in their peak of glory a few hundred years ago, and...Read More