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Islands In Turkey

13 Most Beautiful Islands In Turkey | You Must Visit In 2024

If you're looking for a perfect summer getaway, a dose of history, or breathtaking coastal vistas in Turkey, guess what? There's an island for that! Some are dreamy summer hotspots, while others are cool for a quick day trip. Even Istanbul has its island escape just a ferry ride away! Pick your favourite islands with our list of Turkey's best!

List Of 13 Amazing Islands In Turkey 

Hey there, beach bum or peace-seeker! Turkey's coast is sprinkled with fabulous islands for your dose of sun and serenity. But if you're puzzled about where to go and how to get there, don't fret! Our affordable Turkish island vacation guide spills the beans on the top Turkish islands.

  • Bozcaada | Discover the Charms of Bozcaada
  • Gökçeada | Where Serenity Meets the Sea
  • Sedir Island | Unearth the Mysteries of Sedir Island
  • Cunda Island | A Tranquil Turkish Escape
  • Heybeliada | A Gem of the Princes' Islands
  • Gemiler Island | Explore Ancient Marvels
  • Büyükada | The Crown Jewel of Princes' Islands
  • Pigeon Island | A Natural Sanctuary
  • Akdamar Island | Where History Beckons
  • Kızkulesi | Istanbul's Enchanting Maiden's Tower
  • Kekova Island | Sunken Treasures Await
  • Kastellorizo | Greek Island Charm in Turkey
  • Marmara Island | Where Nature Thrives

1. Bozcaada | Discover the Charms of Bozcaada

For those city-dwellers in Turkey craving an upscale beach escape, Bozcaada, nestled in the Aegean Sea just south of the Dardanelles, offers the perfect serene getaway. Formerly known as Tenedos, this island is a tranquil haven with a touch of Ottoman Greek heritage visible in its preserved architecture. Bozcaada's coastline boasts sandy shores, while its interior is draped in vine-covered fields. With a modest year-round population of 3,000, the island comes alive from June to September. Turks flock here for sun-soaked days at Ayazma Beach or wind sports at Cayır Beach. Stay in eco-friendly resorts in Turkey and explore the historic Greek quarter and the Byzantine-era castle. Savour boutique accommodations!

  • Location. Bozcaada is a picturesque island in the Aegean Sea, situated off the coast of Çanakkale, Turkey.
  • How To Reach. You can reach Bozcaada by taking a ferry from Geyikli, a town on the mainland near Çanakkale. The ferry ride offers stunning views and is the primary mode of transportation to the island.
  • Highlights. Bozcaada is known for its charming vineyards. One of the things to do on Bozcaada island is visit historic castles and crystal-clear waters.

2. Gökçeada | Where Serenity Meets the Sea

When embracing that relaxed island life, Gökçeada takes the cake. This gem is located just off the coast of Gallipoli Peninsula in the Aegean Sea. Gökçeada truly comes alive during the peak summer season. But if you're an island lover seeking nature and serene beach getaways, the off-season is when you should visit.

Much like Bozcaada, Gökçeada had a significant Ottoman Greek population and was initially known as Imbros. One of the historical islands near Istanbul, the Greek community faced persecution in the 1960s, leading to their departure. Today, the island's charming but crumbling stone-cut architecture and cobblestone streets in quiet villages are poignant reminders of its Greek history and modern turbulence.

During the summer, visitors flock to Aydıncık and Kapıkaya beaches on the south coast for some severe lounging, while windsurfers make a beeline for Aydıncık beach. In winter and spring, the island becomes a haven for flamingo-spotting around its salt lake. For the more adventurous, exploring the island's interior and villages on a mountain bike is a popular choice.

  • Location. Gökçeada, the largest island in Turkey, is located in the Aegean Sea near Çanakkale.
  • How to Reach. You can reach Gökçeada by ferry from Çanakkale or Kabatepe, providing access to the island's serene and picturesque landscapes.
  • Highlights. Gökçeada is celebrated for its pristine beaches, lush greenery, and tranquil atmosphere.

3. Sedir Island | Unearth the Mysteries of Sedir Island

Heading to Sedir Island, aka Cleopatra Island, one of the best-secluded islands in Turkey, is a must for your Turkish island hop. Just a 30-minute drive from vibrant Marmaris, this place has some intriguing tales. Legend has it that Cleopatra and Mark Antony swam in its crystal-clear waters. Folklore suggests Cleopatra brought Egypt's golden sands, forming the unique beach here. Ancient ruins among olive trees and lush greenery await. Escape Marmaris' party scene and book tours, or go solo with an easy drive and a boat ride from the pier. Take advantage of this legendary escape!

  • Location. Sedir Island, also known as Cleopatra Island, is in the Aegean Sea near Marmaris, Turkey.
  • How to Reach. Reach Sedir Island by taking a boat tour from Marmaris or Dalyan, enjoying the scenic journey across the azure waters.
  • Highlights. Sedir Island is famous for its golden sandy beach and the legendary sands believed to have been brought by Cleopatra.

4. Cunda Island | A Tranquil Turkish Escape

Cunda, or Alibey Island, is a gem off Turkey's North Aegean Coast, linked to Ayvalık by a causeway. It has a fascinating history – its Greek residents were exchanged with Greek Orthodox Cretan Muslims in the 1920s. The old town boasts Ottoman Greek architecture, and you can't miss the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangels, now a museum. Cunda is famous for its dining scene, blending Cretan and Turkish flavours. Nature lovers will enjoy Ayvalık Adaları Nature Park. While it's a popular day-trip spot, small hotels and charming places like Orchis Otel are perfect for extended stays. Access is easy via ferries or minibuses.

  • Location. Cunda Island, also known as Alibey Island, is located in the Ayvalık district in the Aegean Sea, off the coast of Turkey's Balıkesir province.
  • How to Reach. You can reach Cunda Island by driving to Ayvalık on the mainland and then taking a short ferry ride to the island. Alternatively, some buses and minivans connect Ayvalık to other major cities in Turkey.
  • Highlights. Cunda Island is known for its peaceful ambience and laid-back charm.

5. Heybeliada | A Gem of the Princes' Islands

Let's talk about the next island, which isn't just one but a bunch of nine separate islands known as the Princes' Islands. They're a quick and budget-friendly ferry ride away from bustling Istanbul, offering a tranquil escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

Out of these nine islands, four are accessible to the public (and trust me, they're the most stunning). These include Buyukada Island, the largest and most popular, followed by Burgazada, Heybeliada, and Kiniliada. Interestingly, these islands have banned vehicles, so your options are bicycles, traditional horse-drawn carts, or simply exploring on foot. This experience is delightful, as you can cycle along peaceful streets, admire wooden villas, and enjoy the coastal scenery.

  • Location. Heybeliada is one of the Princes' Islands located in the Sea of Marmara, near Istanbul, Turkey.
  • How to Reach Princes’ Islands. Ferries from Istanbul's Kabataş or Bostancı ports provide regular transportation to Heybeliada. The island is a popular day trip from Istanbul.
  • Highlights. Heybeliada is known for its lush vegetation, pine forests, and serene landscapes. Explore historical landmarks, relax on quiet beaches, and spend some quiet time.

6. Gemiler Island | Explore Ancient Marvels

Gemiler Island, also known as St. Nicholas Island, is one of the quiet beaches on Turkish islands. It is a hot spot for boat day trips from Ölüdeniz's beach resort and more extended yacht tours starting from Fethiye. On this rocky island, you'll discover the fascinating remains of five Byzantine-era churches, tombs, and other religious structures. While history buffs may hike up to explore the ruins, many prefer to admire them from the sea. Interestingly, Gemiler Island may have been the original resting place of St. Nicholas or Santa Claus, who hailed from Patara and later served as the Bishop of Myra (now Demre). To reach the island independently, head to Gemiler Beach, directly opposite the island, where you can find boats for return trips and rent kayaks.

  • Location. Gemiler Island is located near Kayaköy, off the southwestern coast of Turkey, near Fethiye.
  • How to Reach. Access Gemiler Island by taking a boat tour from Fethiye or Ölüdeniz. The island is a popular destination for day trips and excursions.
  • Highlights. Explore the fascinating archaeological remains, including Byzantine-era churches and dwellings. Enjoy panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding coastline.

Read More : Things To Do In Turkey

7. Büyükada | The Crown Jewel of Princes' Islands