Islands in Turkey

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Islands in Turkey

Turkey, renowned for its rich history and stunning landscapes, boasts a treasure trove of islands scattered across its seas. From the ancient ruins of Kekova to the vibrant culture of the Princes' Is (Read More)lands near Istanbul, each island offers a unique blend of history, natural beauty, and cultural allure.

Here is the list of 14 Islands in Turkey

1. Akdamar Island

Akdamar Island

Located in Lake Van, Akdamar Island is famous for the Church of the Holy Cross, dating back to the 10th century. It's accessible via tourist boats from Akdamar Harbor near Gevaş village, about 45 kilometers west of Van city. The island offers historical marvels like ancient frescoes and detailed stone reliefs, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts and those interested in Armenian architecture.

2. Pigeon Island

Pigeon Island
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Pigeon Island is small and home to the historical site of Kusadasi Castle. It is within walking distance of the bay of Kusadasi and is connected to the mainland via a causeway. The 13th-century Byzantine Fortress engulfs the entire island. Visit the castle or one of the small beaches on the island. To get to the island, take a 15-minute walk across the causeway lined with ships or ride a minibus. It is famous for day tours and is one of the most popular islands in Turkey.

3. Kekova Island

Kekova Island

Known for its sunken city and picturesque coastline, Kekova Island attracts visitors interested in underwater archaeology and natural beauty. Located near Kaş, tours offer glimpses of ancient ruins submerged by an earthquake in the 2nd century. The nearby village of Kaleköy and Üçağız provide serene accommodations and a quieter exploration of the island's charms.

4. Kizkalesi Island

Kizkalesi Island
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Positioned at the entrance of the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul, Kızkulesi is a historic tower with roots dating back to the Byzantine era. Accessible by boat from Üsküdar, it now houses a café-restaurant offering stunning views of Istanbul's skyline. It's a must-visit for its unique location and historical significance.

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5. Burgazada

Burgazada

One of the Princes' Islands, Burgazada is known for its rugged terrain, historic landmarks, and serene beaches. It's a short ferry ride from Istanbul and offers attractions like Kalpazankaya Plajı for scenic views and the Sait Faik Museum celebrating local literature. It's perfect for a day trip to relax amidst nature and explore Turkish culture. One of the most famous islands in Turkey, Burgazada, is known to be a famous guided tour as well.

6. Kinaliada

Kinaliada

The smallest of the Princes' Islands, Kınalıada is famed for its reddish terrain and scenic hills offering panoramic views. Accessible by ferry from Istanbul, it's ideal for hiking enthusiasts and those interested in Byzantine history, with landmarks like Teşrifiye Hill and Manastır Hill providing glimpses into the island's past.

7. Kalem Island

Kalem Island

Located in the Aegean Sea near Dikili, Kalem Island is historically significant for its role in the ancient naval battles of Arginusae. It now offers a private hotel and beach, appealing to tourists seeking historical intrigue and modern relaxation amidst scenic surroundings.

8. Marmara Island

Marmara Island

The largest in the Sea of Marmara, Marmara Island boasts diverse landscapes from rugged hills to serene pine forests. Accessible from Istanbul and other coastal towns, it's known for its Roman-era marble quarries and open-air museum showcasing relics. It appeals to nature lovers and history enthusiasts alike.

9. Sedir Island

Sedir Island

Known as Cleopatra Island, Sedir Island is a popular attraction in Turkey, situated towards the north of Marmaris. The beach particularly famous for its organic sand which is made from seashells. This a protected area and main attractions include Cleopatra beach, Tiyatro agora, Appollon Kutsal Alani and Kistac church located within walking distance. There are boat tours organised from Marmaris to Sedir Island which include lunch as well.

10. Orak Island

Orak Island

Situated in the Gulf of İzmir near Foça, Orak Island is noted for its natural beauty and ancient stone quarries possibly tied to mystical pasts. Accessible by boat, it offers a serene retreat with opportunities for exploring ancient civilizations and enjoying the Aegean Sea's tranquility.

11. Bozcaada

Bozcaada

Bozcaada, situated in the Aegean Sea near Çanakkale, is known for its charming vineyards, ancient fortress, and sandy beaches. Accessible by ferry from Geyikli, a town on the Anatolian mainland, Bozcaada offers day-trippers opportunities to explore its historical sites, taste local wines, and unwind on its picturesque shores.

12. Gökçeada

Gökçeada

Gökçeada, the largest island in Turkey, lies in the northern Aegean Sea near Çanakkale. Renowned for its pristine beaches, traditional villages, and windmills, Gökçeada is accessible by ferry from Kabatepe and Çanakkale city. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails, archaeological sites, and vibrant local culture during a day trip to this idyllic island.

13. Heybeliada

Heybeliada

Heybeliada is another gem in the Princes' Islands archipelago, known for its tranquil ambiance and historic landmarks. Located a short ferry ride from Istanbul, it offers attractions like the Halki Seminary and the lush Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar Park. Day-trippers can explore the island's pine forests, Ottoman-era architecture, and serene beaches.

14. Rabbit Island

Rabbit Island

Rabbit Island, or Tavşan Adası, is a small island off the coast of İzmir, known for its clear waters, snorkeling spots, and sandy beaches. Accessible by boat from Foça, it offers day-trippers opportunities to relax on the beach, explore underwater wildlife, and enjoy a peaceful getaway amidst stunning natural scenery.

Turkey's islands present a captivating tapestry of history, natural beauty, and cultural significance. From the ancient churches of Akdamar Island to the bustling shores of Burgazada, each island offers a unique glimpse into Turkey's rich heritage and scenic landscapes. With their accessibility from major cities and a wealth of attractions ranging from archaeological wonders to tranquil retreats, Turkey's islands stand as testament to the country's diverse and enduring allure.

This post was published by Monika Gautam

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