Turkey is a land of diverse beauty that has redefined every sense of beauty. Where the architecture and culture of this county have been a major attraction for many, islands in Turkey are nothing less than a paradisal gateway where you can feast your eyes. The sublime hues of nature and the serene wonders of landscape and life hidden beneath the waters make these islands a surreal land where magic prevails. From digging into history to relishing in the urbanized essence, these islands are perfect for every vacationer in the country.
Top 10 Islands In Turkey For Escaping The City Hustle
- Princes’ island Istanbul
- Akdamar Island
- The Greek Island of Kastellorizo
- Bozcaada Island
- St. Nicholas Island/ Gemiler Island
- Kızkalesi Island
- Kekova Island
- Pigeon Island
There are 500 Turkish islands, located in the Aegean Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Marmara, and Turkish lakes. Spreading to a vast area and preserving Turkey's rich wildlife, history, and beauty, here are some best islands you can visit.
The small island of Cunda, also known as Alibey, is just offshore from the town of Ayvalk on the North Aegean Coast. The name Alibey comes from a particular grape species that used to grow on the island. While not as well-known as other Greek Islands like Kos or Lesvos, this Turkey island has undergone rapid expansion in recent years. Famous for its historic old town, Cunda is a fantastic place to spend an afternoon wandering aimlessly. The western shore is home to the island's principal beaches, which are popular swimming spots for both boat trips from Ayvalk and island residents. The island is well-known for its food culture and several restaurants serve traditional Greek cuisine using locally grown produce made by passionate chefs. Many people make the short trip from Ayvalk to the island just for the fantastic dining.
Location: Ayvalık district of Balıkesir, Mediterranean Sea
How To reach: There are regular ferries that run between Ayvalk and Cunda harbors. You can also take one of the minibusses that run across the causeway between Ayvalk and Cunda.
Things To Do: Explore the historic sites, Enjoy Mediterranean food
2. Princes’ Island Istanbul
One of the famous Turkish islands, Princes’ Island is located in the capital city of Istanbul. The "Princes' Islands" are a pair of islands, the larger island has an area of 22 square kilometers, and the smaller island, called Sedef Adası, is 6.5 km². They lie in the Sea of Marmara about a mile off the coast of Istanbul. The main town on the larger island, Heybeliada, is so big that it is almost like a town in itself rather than just a suburb or neighborhood.
As you set out on an adventure, discover the many delights of Turkey's Princes' Islands. Wander through wooden alleyways lined with lavish homes, or take a ferry across to Heybeliada for a day full of peaceful exploration. Heybeliada retains the atmosphere of a lovely historic village because there are no hotels or restaurants here.
Location: Sea of Marmara
How to reach: There are regular ferries between Istanbul and Heybeliada available. You can easily plan a day trip to Prince’s Island on your Istanbul Tour.
Things To Do: Relax by the Beachside, Admire the nature, Swimming
3. Akdamar Island
Known as the island of tolerance, Akdamar Island is the largest in Lake Van. Akdamar Island is one of the most popular ones around the world due to its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. Home to one of the world's oldest churches, which was built in 921 CE by Armenian King Gagik Artzruni, it is the most fascinating Turkey island you can explore. Apart from the Church of Holy Cross, there is a tomb where King Gagik's remains are supposedly interred. The island is a popular destination in Turkey for picnickers who can enjoy swimming or spending time among its almond trees after visiting this beautiful landmark. Akdamar Island is a protected area that has been a natural habitat of rare birds and wild animals for centuries.
There are hotels and cafes too for visitors on a tour.
Location: Lake Van, District of Gevas
How To Reach: There are boat rides from Gevas operating regularly. It will take only twenty minutes to reach the island.
Things To Do: Visit the Church of Holy Cross, Enjoy beach games and water adventure
4. The Greek Island of Kastellorizo
Are you on a honeymoon in Turkey? The Greek Island of Kastellorizo is surely the most beautiful island to explore. Meis is one of only two Greek islands in Turkey. Despite being known outside Turkey as Kastellorizo, most visitors are tourists from other parts of Turkey. A delight to visit in person, the island's pastel-washed hamlet hugs the port and offers spectacular views in all directions, while the island's interior boasts some historic ruins and a trekking path with secluded swimming spots. Most visitors depart to take a boat ride to see and swim within the blue grotto on the island's coast. There are also trekking paths across the island's steep interior, with spectacular views and some historic church remains along the way. The romantic beauty of the place makes it the best Island in Turkey for a honeymoon.
The island is not large, so the best way to enjoy it is to walk around and soak in the atmosphere.
Location: Easternmost side of Greece
How To Reach: the Greek island of Meis is located around three miles offshore from the Turkish resort town Kaş. Ferries from Kas are frequently available to reach the island.
Things To Do: Have breakfast at the cafes, enjoy boat rides, Swimming
5. Bozcaada Island
Bozcaada is a stunning Mediterranean island located in the Çanakkale district of Turkey. If you're interested in Classical mythology, this is the best island in Turkey. Bozcaada, Turkey's third-largest island, is a place where visitors can enjoy quiet beaches and fresh sea air, and some best adventures in Turkey.
Bozcaada features a sandy coastline and an interior filled with vine-covered pastures. In Classical mythology, Tenedos is where the Greeks hid, pretending to have sailed for home while deceiving the Trojans into allowing the Trojan Horse inside Troy's walls, according to the Aeneid. Tenedos, the island's Greek name, became part of the current state of Turkey in 1923. Today, it is a peaceful getaway for cosmopolitan city dwellers who want to enjoy fashionable beach vacations that are still affordable. Bozcaada is a small island with little land but big features for your best holiday experience.
Location: Çanakkale province, Aegean Sea
How to Reach: Ferry is the best way to reach Bozcaada Island. There are car rentals to Geyikli Yukyeri Port also available.
Things To Do: Bike Trips, Swimming, and Other Water Adventures
Suggested Read: Beaches in Antalya: Discovering The Aqua Marine Shores Of Turkey
6. St. Nicholas Island/ Gemiler Island
The island of St. Nicholas is a small rocky outcrop with a cluster of Byzantine-era churches that is one of Turkey's most popular day trips from Fethiye. Visitors to Gemiler Island typically disembark for a guided tour of the ruins, however, some are content to simply see them from the water. More than a beach it is a bay located close to St. Nicholas Island. Gemiler Island is a fascinating Turkey Island for visitors and explorers alike. Located on the D400 highway between Fethiye and Lüdeniz, is a popular stop on day-trip boat excursions from the beach resort and multi-day yacht tours departing from Fethiye. Do visit Gemiler Beach, which is one of the most secluded beaches in Turkey. Some adjacent sites include the ruins of five Byzantine-era churches on the rocky island hills, as well as tombs and relics of other religious-complex buildings.
Location: Fethiye, Turkey
How to Reach: Ferry and small motorboats are operational every day for the round trip to St. Nicholas Island.
Things To Do: Explore the nearby ruins, enjoy beach activities and boat rides
7. Kızkalesi Island
Kzkales island, located close to a famous seaside town on Turkey's southern Mediterranean coast is quite popular with local vacationers. The island in Turkey is famous for its history and ancient ruins that make it the best place to visit in the Middle East for the history buffs. The Kzkales town gets its name from an island just offshore from the beach, thought to have been referred to as "Maiden's Castle" in ancient times. Kzkalesi Island is home to the ruins of a Byzantine castle (the name translates as "Maiden's Castle"), with its well-preserved ramparts and towers thrusting majestically out from the rocky beach. During your visit, you can swim at the castle and enjoy the sun on the beach while exploring the ruins of this historic castle.
Location: Erdemli, Mersin Province, Turkey
How to Reach: You can get a pedalo and canoe to reach Kız Kalesi from the shore. There are regular boat trips to the island and back from the beach operating all day.
Things To Do: Admire history, Visit the Byzantine castle
8. Kekova Island
Looking for a real "off the beaten track" experience of Turkey? How about exploring Kekova Island and its sunken ruins? Kaleköy provides a great countryside retreat away from the busy streets of Kas. This is one of the magnificent islands in Turkey that itself is an underwater wonderland, dotted with historical artifacts.
Kekova Island is located in the Mediterranean Sea near the southern coast of Turkey. It's one of the most stunning places in the world and certainly worth exploring. Its ancient history dates back to 4,000 BC, making it a great attraction for tourists who enjoy history too! Kekova Island and Kaleköy are part of the stunning region of the Blue Cruises. Here, the culture and history are laid out before you like a smorgasbord that you can explore at your own pace. The most beautiful attraction in Antalya, Kekova Island is a place defining its charismatic nature.
Location: Demre (Kale), Turkey
How to Reach: One can easily find boats from the city of Üçağız, Demre or Kaş
Things To Do: Boat rides, Kayaking, and other water adventures
Forget the fancy piers, flashy resorts, and crowds of people. If you're looking for a taste of laid-back, rustic island life, Gökçeada is the place to be. This is one of the largest islands of Turkey that comes alive only during the summer months, but with its gorgeous beaches and bird sanctuaries, it's a popular spot for nature lovers. In winter and spring, pink flamingos arrive at salt lakes across the island to over-winter before returning again in the summer months. There are also opportunities for mountain biking and exploring a number of natural landscapes. The main appeal of Gökçeada is its untouched, rustic island atmosphere, but there's much more to it than that. This island has a laid-back, rustic vibe. You'll find yourself enjoying most of your time relaxing on the beaches or windsurfing on this Turkey Island.
Location: Çanakkale, Turkey
How to Reach: Ferry operates from Canakkale every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. You can also take a minibus from Kuzulimani to Canakkale.
Things To Do: Windsurfing, Water adventure, Beach leisure
10. Pigeon Island
Pigeon Island is one of the most picturesque islands in Turkey that was established to safeguard the harbor during the Byzantine era. Located on an island in the Aegean Sea, this impressive castle offers visitors an unforgettable visit while they explore all it has to offer. The most notable attraction on Pigeon Island is Kusadasi Castle, which dates back to the Ottoman era. The inside of the castle has been made into a park that presents information boards describing indigenous plants and wildlife strewn along footpaths near the water's edge.
The Turkey island is thought to have been established by Emperor Theodosius II in 408 AD as a strategic waypoint to protect ships from pirates. Today, it's known for its beautiful coastal views and offers a variety of activities like picnicking and cycling on paths that follow the castle's perimeter walls.
Location: 95 km South of İzmir
How To Reach: The glass-bottom boat tour is best to reach the Pigeon tour. Waterways and waterways both are available for visitors. The island is within walking distance from Kusadasi Cruise Port.
Things to Do: Visit Kusadasi Castle, enjoy beach activities, cruise along the Mediterranean Sea
Plan your vacation now, and get ready to feel the adrenaline of water adventures. Islands in Turkey offer the best adventure and leisure to every vacationer. Blessed with a serene landscape, tranquil waters, and diverse marine life, these islands are a natural retreat for escaping the crowd. From preserving history to offering you a day of thrill and entertainment, Turkey is an ideal holiday destination, so don’t wait anymore and take the benefit of the Turkey holiday packages. And for that extra kick of fun, make sure you add these islands to your itinerary and pack your swimming gears to challenge the waves.
The best islands in Turkey are:
- The Greek Island of Kastellorizo
- Bozcaada Island
- St. Nicholas Island/ Gemiler Island
- Kızkalesi Island
- Kekova Island
There are 500 islands in Turkey, located on the Aegean Sea, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Marmara, and Turkish lakes. Many islands are located on the coastal boundary of Greece.
There are many islands in Turkey that are spreading to a vast area, offering a perfect holiday spot. Some of the biggest or largest islands in Turkey are:
- Princes’ Islands
To reach the island of Kastellorizo, you can easily get a ferry or boat ride from the Turkish resort town Kaş. Ferries from Kas are frequently available to reach the island. The island is located around three miles offshore from the city.
Akdamar Island is one of the most popular islands known for its rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty. The world's oldest church, which was built in 921 CE by Armenian King Gagik Artzruni- the Church of Holy Cross is the main highlight of the place. It is also a protected area that has been a natural habitat for rare birds and wild animals for centuries.
There are many tours and adventures available for those who want to enjoy a day at Bozcaada Island. One can visit the Bozcaada Museum, enjoy shopping, try some beach adventures and explore the nearby attractions.
Princes’ Island is a pair of islands, located in the capital city of Istanbul. The larger island has an area of 22 square kilometers and the smaller island, called Sedef Adası, is 6.5 km².
Turkey shares a coast with Greece, offering the tourists some more islands to explore. If you are carrying your passport along, here are some best Greek islands you can visit from Turkey: