Day Trip Destinations

  • Princes’ Islands (1hour): Situated in the Marmara Sea, this group of nine islands make an easy day trip from İstanbul. Named after some undesirable princes were exiled here, the Islands are now a popular summer spot for locals and tourists alike. The ethnic diversity is clearly visible on the Princes Islands. Still home to substantial Greek, Armenian and Jewish populations, the four main islands - Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada and Kinaliada house a number of beautiful monasteries, churches, synagogues, beaches and Victorian era mansions. Most of the houses are made of wood and enjoy a stately air. Motorized vehicles are banned from the Islands so the most popular transport method is horse and cart. These quaint carriages are a unique and practical way to navigate around the Islands and to visit their beaches, many of which are private. If the hiking, swimming or simply lazing about works up a hunger, there is a plethora of cafes and restaurants on hand as well as fruit shops and ice cream stalls.
  • Bursa (2 hours and 30 minutes): Despite its smaller size, many of Bursa's Ottoman landmarks rival those of Istanbul. Best of all, this lush city, known as "Green Bursa", rests at the base of Mountain of Uludag, a forested peak once thought to be the mythical Mt. Olympus. Enjoy a magical day of incomparable architectural wonders and natural beauty. Green Mausoleum is located in Bursa, world-renowned for superb tile decorations, as well as the late 14th century Great Mosque and the Koza Han, which for centuries was the center of Bursa’s flourishing silk trade.
    As the capital of Turkey’s silk production and importation, Bursa was also the home of the skilled artisans who produced kaftans, pillows, embroidery and other silk products for the Ottoman palaces until the 17th century. Enjoy a leisurely cable car ride up the slopes of Mount Olympus, in Turkish, Uludag, or if the cable car is not running, take in the panoramic views from beneath the more than 1,000 year-old plane tree that gives Cinaralti its name.
  • Troy & Gallipoli (3 hours and 30 minutes): Gallipoli includes  the famous battlefield, Anzac Cove, War Cemeteries (Beach Cemetery, Quinn’ s Post, The Nek) and the Anzac Memorials (Lone Pine - Australian Memorial, Conk Bayırı - New Zealand Memorial, Hellespont - English Memorial) of the naval battle (18 March 1915) during World War I. Take the Ferry across Dardanelles. You’ll see the maquette Trojan Horse used in the famous movie “Troy” before at Çanakkale. Visit to the ancient city of Troy, famous with the legendary Trojan Horse from the times of Beautiful Helen, the Queen of Sparta and Paris, the Trojan Prince.
  • Ephesus & Virgin Mary's house (2 hours and 30 minutes by plane from Istanbul): Take the early morning flight to İzmir and depart for Ephesus, one of the twelve cities of the Ionian League during the classical Greek period. Ephesus was also one of the “Seven Churches of Anatolia (Asia)” that are cited in the Book of Revelation. Visit the old Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, Marble Street, Odeon, Bouleterion, Temple of Hadrian and Serapis, Agora, Library of Celsus, Great Theatre, Double Church, Arcadian Way, Gate of Magnesia. Last abode of Virgin Mary at Mount Solmissos and lunch at Selçuk. Visit the Isabey Mosque, one of the oldest and most impressive works of architectural art remaining from Anatolian Beyliks and the Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World”.
  • Şile & Ağva (1 hour and 30 minutes): Şile has been a fishing village here since 700 BC and a lighthouse since the Ottoman period. Today, Şile is a beach resort popular with people who want a resort atmosphere without having to go to the expense of travelling to the Mediterranean Sea. The 150 year-old Şile lighthouse is the largest one in Turkey and second largest in the world - a definite must see. Head to Ağva, pass through the traditional Black sea villages where you feel yourself far away from the crowd of Istanbul. The picturesque way along these villages soon reaches Ağva which means "the land between two rivers".

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