6 Breathtaking Islands In Turkey
Situated between eastern Europe and western Asia is the stunning country of Turkey. Not only renowned for its cultural ties to ancient empires, but Turkey also boasts a plethora of captivating islands. While you can find islands elsewhere, the allure of the islands in Turkey is indescribable. Without trying to brag, the beauty of these beaches is so mesmerizing that one glance at them will make you never want to go anywhere else.
1. Akdamar Island
The biggest island in Lake Van, Akdamar island is famously known as the island of tolerance. Encircled by towering rocks that reach up to 80 meters high, the island offers a captivating view at all times. However, during the spring season, the beauty reaches another level with the blossoming almond trees in the backdrop. Covering a total area of 70,000 square meters, Akdamar island has a coastline that spans 3 kilometers, and its highest point stands at 1912 meters. This Turkish island is home to the magnificent Akdamar Cathedral, which has been converted into a museum but still holds its religious significance, making it one of the most renowned islands in Turkey. The church has been restored and is open for prayer once a year. During the migration seasons, the island becomes crowded with various bird species, most notably the white-winged tern, as it lies along the migratory path of many birds. The island is a popular choice for picnickers, as visitors can engage in swimming or simply enjoy the serene ambiance of the almond groves that surround the island. Your Turkey island getaway would be incomplete without visiting this masterpiece of an island.
Location: Off the southern shores, approximately 4 kilometers from the district of Gevas. How to get here: The island can be easily reached via a 20-minute boat ride from Gevas.
2. Bozcaada Island
An ideal destination for tourists seeking a serene and tranquil experience amidst ancient Greek dwellings and historic remains in the surroundings, Bozcaada Island is among the finest islands in Turkey. This exquisite Turkish island is not only the third largest in the nation but also one of the two islands located in the Aegean Sea under Turkish possession. Renowned for its windmills, vineyards, charming houses, impressive historical landmarks, and captivating beaches with pristine waters, Bozcaada Islands are a must-visit during your Turkish island getaway. The rugged cliffs that envelop the island give it an elevated and rocky character, yet there are numerous small coves dotted with sandy beaches to be found. You can also relish a delightful meal while appreciating the beauty of the place at the restaurants situated in the harbor and at Ayazma Beach. Besides the abundant seafood options, the locally produced wine of the island is an excellent companion. Stirring your adventurous spirit, the most challenging part on the island is embarking on a bike tour around its circumference, after which you can finally unwind and spend the remainder of the day in relaxation. Though relatively modest in size, immersing yourself in the dreamy ambiance of Bozcaada Island will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark in your memories and hearts.
Location: Çanakkale province, Aegean SeaDirections: Ferry transportation to Bozcaada Island is readily available throughout the day. However, the only mainland harbor with a ferry connection capable of accommodating cars to Bozcaada is Geyikli Yukyeri Port. Alternatively, there is a passenger-only fast ferry service from Canakkale to Bozcaada.
3. Cunda Island
Among the most picturesque islands in Turkey, Cunda Island is an idyllic and unforgettable holiday destination for travelers seeking a serene vacation in a natural environment. Also known as Alibey Island, Cunda is a typical Aegean resort town that boasts numerous historical sites such as churches, monasteries, and mosques. The island is encompassed by a breathtaking natural beach where the boundless blue sea instills a sense of joy, while the shore is lined with small and large restaurants serving delicious fish dishes. The charm of Cunda lies in its neoclassical buildings, which are nestled amidst the tranquil greenery of pine and olive trees. Exploring the backstreets of Cunda Island, where dilapidated Greek houses gather around the remnants of the grand Taksiyarhis Church, will transport you back in time by over a century. This island stands out as a gem on the Turkish islands map, enticing visitors from across the globe with its Aegean cultural essence.
Location: Balıkesir province, Aegean SeaHow to arrive: You can arrive here in just 15 minutes by taking a boat ride from Ayyalik coast. You can also come here by bus, walking, or by using the bridge, which is the first and currently the oldest structure in Turkey that connects lands separated by a strait. However, sailing on the calm and expansive sea is much more enjoyable than the other available options.
4. Chios Island
Along the eastern and western coasts of Turkey are a few Greek islands that you can include in your Turkey islands vacation to visit two countries in one trip. Located in the north-eastern Aegean is Chios, it is so close that one can even swim there. Being the only place with the trees that produce mastic – the magical medicine used to naturally treat various ailments, the place is quite renowned for its mastic gum production. This magical gum grows on the trees in the form of a tear and is also known as a tear that provides relief and healing. Apart from mastic gum, you can also enjoy a beer and some shrimp at the restaurants. Therefore, during your trip to Turkey, make sure to visit these Turkish islands near Greece.
Location: 7 km away from Cesme in TurkeyHow to arrive: To reach Chios, you first need to get to Cesme, which can be easily reached in around 1.75 hours by bus from Izmir.
5. Princes’ Islands
A relief for the residents of Istanbul, especially during the hot summer months, Princes’ Islands is the collective term for the nine islands located off the Asian coast of Istanbul. Some of these include Buyukada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, and Kinaliada. Visiting these islands will provide you with a perfect way to escape the crowded places in the city and enjoy a pleasant time in natural surroundings. You simply need to choose one of the nine islands, board a ferry, and prepare yourself for a breathtaking view. If you’re keen, you can even visit a few of these islands in a single day, but it will require some quick travel. Once on these islands, you can take a bike tour or simply stroll around to explore the streets lined with beautiful wooden mansions and gardens overlooking the distant city. You can relax and enjoy the mesmerizing view while sipping tea and admiring nature’s remarkable work, or you can visit the lovely beaches that are part of the Princes’ Islands. These stunning beaches have crystal-clear blue waters and are very clean and suitable for swimming. The Princes’ Islands offer a mix of relaxation and activity that is hard to resist. While there are no party islands in Turkey, the vibrant vibes of the islands in Princes’ more than make up for that.
Location: A collection of 9 islands situated southeast of Istanbul in the Sea of MarmaraHow to arrive: You can either take a ferry or a water bus from Eminonu, Kabatas, Kadikoy or Bostanci to reach these islands.
6. Gokceada Island
Well-liked for its untouched and conserved natural reserves and peculiar landscapes, Gokceada is the biggest island in Turkey. In Homer’s epic The Iliad, it is referred to as the island of the Poseidon, the Sea God. It is also renowned for its absolutely pristine waters and the unspoiled lands that attract both domestic and foreign travelers. The island is home to multi-hued pine trees and dense olive groves that make it a favorite of all nature enthusiasts. Its unconventional terrain and unparalleled natural beauty have placed it at the top in the list of islands in Turkey.
Being an ideal vacation destination, Turkey is always bustling with tourists. Although there are many other activities to engage in, the top spots on the tourists’ priority list have mostly been occupied by islands. Out of the numerous islands in Turkey, we have attempted to narrow down the best to provide you with a delightful glimpse of what you can expect during your forthcoming Turkish vacation. However, if you are aware of any additional islands on the Turkey map, please let us know in the comments below.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Islands In Turkey
Which is the biggest island in Turkey?
Imbros is the biggest island in Turkey.