miss b's quote

'I haven't been everywhere yet but it's on my list' Susan Sontag

Thursday, 13 June 2013

miss b loves .....Princes' Islands, Turkey

Princes' Islands (Kizir Adalar) in the Sea of Marmara, off the coast of Istanbul, are a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the city. A couple of Sundays ago we visited the largest island Büyükada (Big Island!)

The catamaran from Kabatas soon transported us to another world ... a bygone era ......

As there's no traffic on the islands (except for service vehicles) the only way to get around is on foot, horse and carriage(fayton) or bicycle and we thought it would be fun to hire bikes and ride to the top of the island. 

During the Byzantine and Ottoman periods, members of the royal family who fell out of favour were exiled here and gave the islands their name.

The bike ride took us past impressive villas and wooden mansions set in the most beautiful lush gardens along flowery lanes. No skyscrapers here!

During the first half of the 20th century, wealthy families built elaborate houses. For a time it fell out of vogue with affluent Turkish people who preferred holidaying on the Mediterranean, in resorts such as Bodrum, but many are now returning to Büyükada.

In the last decade, investors have been renovating run down old properties and many Istanbul residents have holiday homes on the island to escape the summer city heat. This pretty villa is in a perfect spot with gorgeous sea views .....

If we ever decide to come back and stay on the island, then this is the hotel we would choose .......... Naya

We stopped regularly to admire the views - a good excuse to have a quick rest from pedalling in the heat!

Along the way, vendors were selling their wares ... day trippers were buying floral headresses, pretty coronets to wear on the island .... What a lovely tradition!

and I bought a pretty souvenir bracelet too .......

We walked the last section - a steep hill up to Ayia Yorgi (St George) a lovely Greek church ........... and the sky really was this blue!

At the top we were rewarded with breathtaking panoramic views.......

On the ride back down, we spotted the abandoned and delapidated four storey Greek Orphanage nestled in the hills. It's apparently the second largest wooden construction in the world .....

We had certainly worked up an appetite and took a welcome break  at the contemporary Bahçede Sinek Kafe. We loved the quirky touches.... especially the colander lampshades .....

The all day Turkish breakfast was beautifully presented and included the most delicious home-made pear and apple jam and fig too ...

....... followed by refreshing mint lemonade and mozaic pasta .... a delicious biscuit and chocolate dessert (a version of what we call tiffin in the UK.)

Having returned the bikes, there was just time for a stroll around the town ........  

The Splendid Palas Hotel, with its twin cupolas and bright red shutters, has become a landmark of the island and apparently Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII once stayed here. 

We stopped to admire the ferry terminal, an attractive domed building ..

and nearby there's an impressive number of fish restaurants .....

Time to board the ferry.........

Views of The Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia
in the distance

...... and fifty minutes later we were back in the city heading over to Beşiktaş ..... to Aşşk, a beautiful restaurant with a romantic garden on the banks of the Bosphorus and more stunning views .... 

.... a carafe of refreshing and fragrant iced tea ......  a perfect, relaxing way to end the day! 

If you missed Day One, including a  visit to the Asian side of Istanbul, click here

More Istanbul posts here and here 


  1. Wow Princes' Islands looks beautiful and Turkey in general has such amazing landscape and beautiful architecture! Lovely photos :)


  2. Oh my friend ... what a fabulous trip you took me on with my morning coffee this morning. Your posts on travel are magical and inspirational ~ living in Europe has many perks of being able to escape to various locals.

    When I visit your blog many times I turn to the Mr. and say ... ok we are down sizing here in North America ... and going to spend months at a time in Europe - where we can easily explore so many beautiful places.

    Thank you for sharing your travels ... xo Hugs and Blessings, C. (HHL)

  3. Sounds and looks idyllic. Wish I was there now - the weather is miserable again. And the size of that orphanage???

  4. this sounds and looks AMAMZING! especially the food


  5. Hi miss b,
    I'm assuming there were no riots yet in Istanbul when you were there...

    It's a beautiful place! I love the houses, the carriage with horse ride, the hotel with red shutters, and of course the food looked great!

    Did you buy a floral headdress for yourself?

    Weather's doom and gloom in the UK again as you know, so photos such as yours are really tempting.

    Have a lovely day x

    1. I did actually buy a little white floral headdress but I don't think I have a picture of it.

  6. Such a beautiful place and how fun are those horse drawn carriages! Interesting bit of history too. Thanks for taking us along on all your travels. You go to some amazing places!


  7. oh wow - a tranquil trip like this is exactly what I need after the hustle and bustle of NY. It looks breathtaking, you've captured some great shots, which really show off this island's beauty.

    The food looks great too - a little different to our All Day Breakfast.

    Those homes are idyllic, I'm very envious.

    You do introduce us to some gems of the world Miss B - aaahhh x

  8. hello!
    Nice shots. Lucky you!


  9. Well just exile me there ANY day! HaHaHa Oh Miss B, it is lovely! Those mansions are absolutely gorgeous and everywhere you turn there's an awesome view. It would be wonderful to live there. To sit outside and eat such marvelous food. I love your new bracelet too. It's beautiful. Thanks for sharing this.

  10. All how lovely, you know Istanbul has changed greatly since I've been, now I just want to visit! Thanks once again for transporting us to your beautiful holiday environments. xx/Madison Enjoy the week!

  11. These are gorgeous pics and I totally learned something new today , thanks for the lesson honey xo

    Meghan Silva's Blog

  12. These are such lovely pictures today. I love the Greek Church, it's so tall. I want one of those pretty headresses with the pink roses! For some reason, I've always loved those red flowers; they are so unique. Your bracelet is very cool.

    Another wonderful place you have taken me through your lens. Thank you.


  13. Stunning villas with gorgeous views. Ah Dreamy! I like how relaxing your trip went. Great post as always, Miss B. The all day Turkish breakfast looks mouth watering and they did an excellent presentation.

  14. Looks like an amazing trip!!! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Thank you so much for your recent visit and comment on my blog. I am loving your blog. Would you like to follow eachother? I also have an online boutique www.petitjoujou.ca. I will check out your for sure. :)
    Unfortunately I am having hard time getting any traffic on my boutique. It's definately very hard.
    Hugs from Toronto
    Claudia P.

    1. I shall pop back over to your blog and at the same time have a look at your boutique too. I'm so pleased you like my blog.

  16. Oh how totally wonderful!!! I would love it there too!
    Mary x

  17. Your calling is in Travel hun, your descriptions and photos are truly a wonderful and authentic display of this beautiful place. The villas look amazing, I am so impressed by the glorious views and hotels. The food looks pretty good too! I hope I ma lucky enough to visit Turkey again so I can stop by Princes Island.Thanks for your great comment on my last post! You were in trend way back in school with your uniform! lol. Happy Friday!

  18. What a fun and amazing adventure! The mansions are so huge and gorgeous. The food looks delicious. It seems a perfect day spent biking and walking around the Island.

  19. Love those buildings- the pink and white ones are amazing!

  20. Miss B, this sounds like a pretty nice day trip. I was in Istanbul a couple of years ago and fell in love with the mysterious energy of this ancient city. Next time I go, I'll definitively follow some of your advice in order to discover interesting new places in the region. Thank you for bringing back such exciting memories! Cheers, Catherine xo

  21. I adore Turkey and this is a great reminder to show what a lovely country it is. I hope the turmoil there goes away soon! Istanbul is such a fascinating city in every which way that it would be a pity for politics to prevent people from seeing it. I feel a lot of people will have to see this post to get a taste of what Turkey is like this summer...

  22. I'm sooo jealous. I wish I were there too. It looks so marvellous over there and I need a vacation pretty badly. Love the cute bracelet :D


  23. I always love to learn something new, thanks! Great pics too:)b

  24. aww miss B!!! I envy you.. that is so beautiful place and I can see how you love it there!!! imagine waking up with that view.. really beautiful!!!!

    take care dear and wish you a lovely weekend!!
    xoxo,Meg of Sweet Gala's

  25. Lovely pictures! Traveling vicariously with your pics!!

  26. Thank you for taking me to this part of Turkey! For some reason I find the wooden building very intriguing. The food looks amazing and you always pick the best desserts :)


  27. wow, I am jealous... great pictures, lovely trip

  28. How lovely!.. Especially as there is no traffic on the island.. I have never been to Istanbul and will be sorely tempted to visit this island!.. Love that hotel with the red shutters! Xx

  29. Amazing trip!!! nice photos!!
    Have a good week, dear! and my g+ for you!!!:)))

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  30. Dear Miss B, everytime I browse your posts, I know they would make me want to travel! Visit Turkey is into my dreams as I have told you before, the islands look so beautiful, there are many things to do and see, and what a view! The photos are stunning, also very tasty food!:) Kisses dear! xo

  31. i've never heard of this place. looks amazing

  32. This place looks amazing! I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

  33. What lovely place to step back in time!
    Thank you for sharing your world,

  34. fabulous post Love the pink house! so happy to travel with you on your blog!
    Have a GREAT week !!


  35. So beautiful! Such a wonderful place to visit. x

  36. I love history and really enjoy that your posts always include a few fun historical facts!

  37. I love everything about Turkey - I went there so many years ago, not sure if I made it to those islands but think I went somewhere on a boat so maybe...

  38. Once more, you've whisked us away to another wonderful adventure! I agree, I'd stay in that hotel took, what beautiful views! Thanks for sharing all the fun with us ... it's like travelling while sitting here with my feet up! xox ~S

    SANDY M Illustration

  39. LOVE these photos!! x, Julie

  40. seems like you had wonderful time, a peaceful break from the city center these days :) visiting the islands is in my list but I can't wake up early to catch the ship, I live a bit far in the european side of Istanbul =)

  41. I love the idea that there is somewhere in the world where carriages are still used as a mode of transportation, it's just so romantic - not to mention good for the environment! Buyukada looks like a stunning place, I would love to spend the day wandering and admiring all of the old villas, but reading this post was definitely the next best thing :)

  42. Dear Miss B, you touched my heart with this beautiful post from my home town, thank you so much. I have so many lovely memories from Buyukada : ) I stayed at Splendid hotel many times. I wish I was there now. And Asssk Cafe is another lovely spot I love returning, this summer I will go for sure : ) Till soon : )

  43. What a lovely place this is. I wish i have the chance someday to visit Princes islands too.
    Miss Margaret Cruzemark

  44. WOW I want to visit there someday:)

    Check out my new post and have a great week beautiful:)

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis.se


Thank you for taking the time to write a comment on my blog. I really do appreciate it. miss b

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