This weekend I had the opportunity of going to the Prince Islands. Centuries ago, princes and royalty were exiled to these islands, but now, the islands are the perfect destination for the rich and tourist to go to in the weekends. There are 9 islands, but only the biggest 4 are accessible from the mainland. I went to the biggest one, Büyükada, which literally means "Big Island".
The island is beautiful, the perfect mix of luxury!! It has mountains, woods, ports and beach...even the abandoned houses look beautiful. I got there after a 30 minute trip by boat and the first thing I did was rent my bike (15 TRY for the whole day). There are no cars allowed on the island, so if you wanna move around the island you have to walk, rent a bike or take a carriage.
The first thing I did, which is the first must-do on the islands, was go up the mountain to see an orthodox church that has the most amazing views. What I didn't know was that it would take me 2 hours to go up the mountain...carrying my bike most of the time and sweating like a pig. Thankfully, everyone had done what I had, and was sweating their way slowly to the top while carrying their bikes.
The view from the top really was worth the trip. I could see the entire island, Istanbul and the other smaller islands from the top. It was the kind of place that makes you want to scream like Leo DiCaprio in Titanic: "I AM THE KING OF THE WORLD!!".
My next stop was another of the must-haves of the island: a beach!! There are around 4 pretty good beaches, but for what I could read 3 of the 4 are private. I went to a private one, 15TRY for entering the beach and a hammock...which is pretty cool. I stayed there for around 3-4 hours, relaxing and tanning...or rather, getting burned. The beach wasn't even half full and you could see boats crossing by right in front of you, so it was great! I definitely want to go back, but better prepared next time...with a lot of protection!!
At around 5, after I was completely burned, I left the beach to do the 3rd must-do, visit the little town. Very simple and charming town, with little stores and restaurants. The ice cream carts are all around, the men that serve the ice cream are dressed in the typical hat while and vest, while they work on the ice cream. Turkish ice cream is not like the one we know. It is harder and has a chewy ingredient that makes it much more consistent. It's delicious! Of course, the island also has an Starbucks and a few very cute restaurant in the marina.