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Heybeliada

A day trip to Heybeliada, the second-largest and arguably the prettiest of the Princes Islands, feels remarkably refreshing after a few days of Istanbul’s traffic. Ferries depart from the docks behind Sirkeci Train Station and take about an hour; seabuses—twice as fast but half as charming—leave from Eminönü and Kabataş. Once ashore, rent a bike (for nearly nothing) and explore the waterfront promenade and the crumbling, atmospheric 19th-century villas; stroll the beaches and the pine forests; and stay well clear of the naval academy: that sign in Turkish means “entry forbidden.”

Insider Tip:

For superb meze and seafood, have lunch at Mavi, right across from the ferry pier (011-90-216-351-0128).

 

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