The Environs of İstanbul
Want to make a break? The environs of the city has various choices to offer.
The environs of İstanbul offers to its visitors an historical, natural and culinary discovery experience. Reflecting many ancient civilizations’ traits like Roman, Greek, Byzantine and Ottoman; the Marmara Region is an attractive destination for history and nature lovers.
The Princes’ Island
Also known as Islands, The Princes’ Island is located on the Sea of Marmara, at the closest point of İstanbul’s Asian Side. The place takes its name from the Byzantine period, when princes, emperors and empress’ were exiled there. The Princes’ Island is a combination of nine separated islands which are Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada, Kınalıada, Sedef Adası, Sivriada, Yassıada, Kaşık Adası and Tavşan Adası. Those islands with their natural beauties, car-free streets and hospitable local populations are veritable refuges for those who want to escape from the metropolis’ crowd. Public boats and sea buses from Kabataş, Sirkeci, Bostancı and Kadıköy are available to visit the islands. For more info: www.ido.com.tr
65 kilometers from Taksim; Polonezköy is an important piece of the Anatolian cultural mozaic. Firstly settled by Polish people, polish traditions can still be observed in Polonezköy. The village is mostly classified as a recreation area by İstanboulites because of its natural beauty, comfortable hotels and pensions, lovely restaurants and restful parcs. Butter, honey and cherry are few of the many local flavors that every visitor should taste at least for once.
25 kilometers from the Taksim Square, Kilyos is a resort town with its motels, guesthouses and restaurants. The village is a famous entertainment place hosting various concerts and festivals and visited especially at weekends, for big parties. Strategically settled near the intersection of the Bosphorus and the Black Sea by the Phoenicians and Greeks for primarily military purposes, Genoese Castle absolutely worth a visit. Visitors can see etched Greek inscriptions and the symbol of the Palealogus Family, Byzantium’s rulers, on the castle’s walls. In addition to its historical richness, the village’s beaches are very famous and attract a lot of visitors especially during summers.
Located 70 kilometers from İstanbul, Şile is an old and small fishing town on the Asian side of the Black Sea. The city is one of the most popular summertime vacation spots with its famous beaches and also known for its Ottoman era lighthouses and the Şile cloth cotton fabric made in the Şile coast.
1,5 hours from İstanbul and accessible by both bus and train Sapanca is a true beauty with its stunning natural environments. Firstly settled by Phrygians, the village’s cultural and historical origins worth to be discovered. Located on a tectonic hole between İzmir Bay and Adapazarı Meadow, Sapanca Lake is very important for domestic, industrial and touristic needs. Just above Sapanca, 115 kilometers from İstanbul, Kartepe ski-resort makes Sapanca an attraction center during winter. In addition to famous welness-Spa hotels and centers; the village has also many restaurants and cafés.
Date back to 7th century BC and part of the ancient Bythinia, Ağva is located between Göksu and Ağva Rivers. 97 kilometers from İstanbul, the village is an ideal choice for a peaceful holiday. Ağva is a heavenly touristic place with its historical structure which still reflects the style of ancient civilizations settled in and also with its hotels especially near the Göksu River.
Located on the east of Bursa in Eastern Marmara, İznik is an historical town once served as the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Hagia Sophia Church, Mosaics of Jesus, Mary and John the Baptist, Nilüfer Hatun Soup Kitchen, the Green Mosque, İznik Church and Church of Zoimesis are few of the many historical places of the city. İznik is also the center of tile (Çini) and ceramics production since the 15th century.
Known as Yeşil (green) Bursa because of its outstanding natural beauty during 15th century, Bursa is the former and first capital of the Ottomans. Turkish silk industry’s center Bursa is also rich in thermal springs. Green Mosque, Green Tomb, Muradiye, Ulucami and the silk market Koza Han are few of many places worth visiting in the city. In addition to those historical richnesses, Bursa features Turkey’s one of the most popular skiing centers, Uludağ. The city is also the homeland of İskender Kebap.
Located in the west of Turkey, Edirne is the former capital of Ottoman Empire after Bursa and before İstanbul. The city is dressed up with 14th and 15th centuries Ottoman buildings like mosques and medreses. Visitors can also enjoy the Great Architect Sinan’s masterpiece the Selimiye and the complex of Sultan Bayezid II, the Health Museum. Besides, the traditional Turkish sport oil wrestling from early times of the Ottoman Empire is originated from Edirne.