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Burgazada Island Guide

Burgazada, a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul. It offers an unforgettable experience with its historical texture and natural beauty. In the continuation of our detailed guide...

Burgazada Island Guide
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Burgazada is one of the hidden gems for those seeking a peaceful escape from the noisy atmosphere of Istanbul. The island’s serene streets, historical charm, and natural beauty offer visitors an unforgettable experience. In this article, we will embark on an enjoyable exploration of the city and history of Burgazada as we delve into the Guide to the Island. The island has played a significant role not only due to its geographical location but also because of the numerous changes it has undergone throughout history. So, let’s embark on a journey into the mysterious world of Burgazada.

Where is Burgazada?

Where is the Burgazada

Burgazada, located in the waters of Kartal district on the Asian side of Istanbul, is situated in the Marmara Sea. After Büyükada, Heybeliada, and Kınalıada, Burgazada’s beauty is truly unique. As an island of tranquility surrounded only by the sea, it is a paradise easily accessible by sea. You can reach the island by ferries departing from Kartal district or by sea buses departing from Bostancı. For those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Istanbul and take a break in the midst of greenery, Burgazada is like a gateway.

How to Get to Burgazada?

How to Get to Burgazada

Getting to Burgazada is quite easy and is facilitated by various sea transportation options from different points in Istanbul. Ferries departing from Kabataş and Kartal, as well as sea buses departing from Bostancı, operate regular trips to Burgazada. Ferry trips from Kartal offer a romantic sea journey to the island, while sea buses departing from Bostancı provide a faster means of transportation. Both routes offer reliable and enjoyable options to access the unique atmosphere of the island. By using these transportation modes from different parts of Istanbul, you can begin to explore the mystical world of the island.

When is the Best Time to Visit Burgazada?

When is the Best Time to Visit Burgazada

The doors of Burgazada are open to Istanbul residents every day. Especially for Istanbulites, the island is both an easily accessible and a close getaway, ready to welcome you in every season. However, it can be risky to go to the island on stormy days, which may affect your return plans, so it could be a perfect excuse to stay one more day on the island.

The popularity of the island peaks, particularly in the spring and summer months. Starting from April-May, visitors flock to the island in June-July-August for both short and long getaways. Summer house owners or seasonal residents enjoy the island throughout the summer. During the same period, both local and foreign tourists also travel to the island for day trips because leaving without visiting the islands is almost impossible for those exploring Istanbul.

For those who want to escape the summer crowds, it’s worth mentioning that Burgazada offers a unique tranquility in the spring and autumn months. Even if you don’t swim in the sea, warm September days are ideal for exploring the island’s beauty and experiencing an unforgettable dinner by the seaside. For those looking to get away from the crowds of the popular summer season, the island’s calm atmosphere in spring and autumn is an excellent choice.

Where Can You Stay on Burgazada?

Where Can You Stay on Burgazada

If you’re planning a weekend getaway or a weekly vacation on Burgazada and don’t have your own summer house, finding accommodation is not difficult at all. As soon as the ferry docks, many hotels will greet you and offer you the best accommodation options. If you want to stay in one of these hotels with sea-view rooms, we recommend making a reservation in advance. This way, you’ll wake up to a unique Istanbul view in the morning.

Whether you want to stay in a hotel close to the center of Burgazada and the pier or you’re looking for a hotel near a cove for swimming, there are plenty of options on the island. You can easily find and book hotels on the island through reservation websites that offer free cancellation and/or don’t require a credit card. Many of these hotels offer services such as restaurants and live music. If you don’t want to dine at the fish restaurants lined up along the coast, you can have dinner at your hotel and enjoy a pleasant time.

When you arrive on the island and if you have heavy luggage, you can take advantage of the transportation service at the pier. However, it’s important to determine and agree on the transportation fee in advance because the fee can vary depending on the distance from the pier to your hotel.

History of Burgazada

History of Burgazada

The history of Burgazada dates back to ancient times. In ancient times, the island held significant strategic importance and, after coming under the rule of the Byzantine Empire, it hosted various civilizations in different periods. The history of the island extends back to the Byzantine period, which began in the 11th century.

With the conquest of the Ottoman Empire, Burgazada flourished with numerous civilian architectural works and churches. During the Ottoman era, the Greek community living on the island contributed to the construction of various structures, bringing together different cultures. The historical process that extends from this period to the present has left a heritage that can be felt in every corner of the island. While the island continues to carry the traces of time with its historical texture, it offers visitors the opportunity to experience the charm of the past.

What are the Places to Visit in Burgazada?

What Are the Places to Visit in Burgazada

We’ve listed the unforgettable spots on Burgazada for you. Embark on a mystical journey at the Aya Yani Church, find tranquility on the peaceful shore of Madam Marta Cove, experience a literary adventure at the Sait Faik Museum. Immerse yourself in the historical echoes of Aya Yorgi Monastery, and peacefully perform your worship in the simple beauty of Burgazada Mosque. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the island from Bayrak Tepe and Hristos Monastery. Let the natural beauty of Kalpazankaya enchant you, and take a delightful break in the culinary world of Barba Yani, the island’s most famous restaurant. Here are detailed insights about these special places for you…

Aya Yorgi Monastery

Aya Yorgi Monastery, which has maintained its presence in the enchanting atmosphere of Burgazada for centuries, carries its thousand-year-old history woven with mysterious tales. As you wander through the serene corridors of the monastery, you can almost feel the touch of the past. The church adorned with sparkling frescoes and the historical icons it holds reflect the deep spiritual atmosphere of the monastery. By climbing to its peak and savoring the sea view, you can transcend time in the serene and mystical world of Aya Yorgi Monastery. Don’t forget to add this unique monastery to your travel itinerary to discover the soul of Burgazada.

Hristos Monastery

Located on Bayrak Tepe, formerly known as Hristos Hill, the monastery was built on the ruins of an ancient Greek temple by Macedonian Emperor Basil I. The current remains belong to a structure dating back to 1603, according to a document recently discovered. During the reign of Sultan Murat IV, a panic caused by a fire during ceremonies held here led to the demolition of the building by order of the Sultan.

The monastery takes its name from the Greek name of Jesus Christ, Hristos. In the area where the monastery is located, there are currently four arched underground cisterns that still collect rainwater. The view from Bayrak Tepe is so impressive that it is recommended to climb to the summit just to see the scenery. Especially on August 6th, the holy day celebrated by Orthodox Christians, all islanders, especially Orthodox Christians, gather at Bayrak Tepe on this date.

Sait Faik Museum

Prominent Turkish short story writer Sait Faik Abasıyanık purchased this mansion in Burgazada in 1938. The fact that the Princes’ Islands are frequently mentioned in the author’s works, especially the 16 out of 19 stories in his book “Son Kuşlar” (The Last Birds) taking place in Burgazada, is noteworthy. After Sait Faik’s passing, the mansion was opened to the public as a museum and can be visited free of charge.

The museum is open for visits on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10:30 AM to 5:30 PM. Advance reservations are required for school and group visits. The museum is closed on official holidays and public holidays. A reading room on the basement floor, Sait Faik’s guest room and dining room on the ground floor, the author’s bedroom and library on the first floor, and the letter room on the second floor are open to visitors. Finally, it is recommended to go up to the roof of the mansion to enjoy the magnificent sea view. Sait Faik Abasıyanık’s mansion on Burgazada continues to welcome those who want to touch the writer’s life and works.

Beaches and Coves of Burgazada

Beaches and Coves of Burgazada

Burgazada, like an oasis, offers a peaceful atmosphere, the touch of history, and its unique sea. It beckons those who want to escape the chaotic noise of the city and enjoy the crystal-clear waters. With its historically rich serene streets and stunning views, Burgazada offers an unforgettable destination for sea-loving travelers. Let’s take a closer look at the beaches and coves of Burgazada.

Burgazada Public Beach

Located just 1.5 kilometers from the Burgazada pier and the closest beach to the town, this beach offers free entry. The unique feature of this beach is its rocky structure, and it doesn’t have a sandy shore. However, the clear and clean waters of the beach are much loved by the island’s residents and visitors, making them forget about these details. You can purchase your needs from the markets around the beach, or you can place your orders at the beach’s establishment and make use of amenities such as sun loungers and umbrellas. With its beautiful scenery and clean sea, this beach provides a pleasant break for those looking to explore the natural beauty of Burgazada.

Madam Marta Cove

The name of Madam Marta Cove sounds like it comes straight out of a fairy tale. Marta Arat, of Lebanese-Armenian origin, was known as an extraordinarily beautiful woman. It was Marta, one of the locals of Burgazada, who gave this beautiful cove its name. She lived on the island with her family all year round and was like a guardian angel to the children, making them happy by creating jewelry from the stones she collected from the sea. Marta, full of life, was remembered by the island’s residents as ‘Auntie Flower.’ After the lively Marta, the cove began to bear her name in her memory.

Located 2 km away from the island pier, this enchanting cove has become the first choice not only for sea lovers but also for camping enthusiasts. Especially on weekends, this cove, which is flooded with campers, offers a tranquil haven with its shallow and calm sea.

Mimi Cove

Located between Çamakya Beach and Madam Marta Cove, Mimi Cove is a natural wonder without a sandy beach. There is a small establishment with a warm atmosphere in this cove, where you can enter the sea from the pier. In this charming place, you can meet your desires and needs and enjoy the day to the fullest. Like Madam Marta Cove, Mimi Cove also offers easy access to the beach with stairs. For a peaceful break in nature, Mimi Cove awaits you with its simple and friendly atmosphere.

Dreams Shore Beach

For those looking to escape the crowds of Istanbul and find peace, this beach, located right next to Mimi Cove, is an ideal destination. The beach’s isolated structure offers a calm and shallow sea, allowing for an enjoyable swimming experience even on windy days. These features of the sea make it a preferred choice for families with children and non-swimmers.

The beach has also become a favorite stop for campers. Nestled in nature and away from the chaos of Istanbul, Dreams Shore Beach continues to be a favorite destination for those seeking tranquility and wanting to savor the sea.

Kalpazankaya Beach

This beach, which has gained fame as one of the prominent coves of Burgazada, stands out not only for its beauty but also for its crystal-clear sea. The beach, which is very popular among sea lovers visiting the island, also hosts a pier. In addition to enjoying the sea and the sun, the beach has a special area where you can have a picnic with your loved ones. You can spend fun activities during the day at the beach, and in the evenings, it attracts attention with its famous fish restaurant.

The rocky structure of the beach ensures a calm experience even on the windiest days; however, we still recommend using water shoes. The unique sunset view at the beach attracts visitors just to witness this spectacle. If you plan to visit here, don’t forget to bring your camera! :)

Çamakya Family Beach

The most distinctive feature that sets Çamakya Family Beach apart from other beaches in Burgazada is that it is generally preferred by families. This beach, which is chosen by families to enjoy the sea during the day, is visited by tourists and islanders in the evenings who want to see the unique sunset view. Çamakya Family Beach is known for its well-maintained areas and has a less rocky sea environment, which sets it apart from the others. With these features, the beach has become one of the prominent destinations on Burgazada, offering a peaceful and family-friendly atmosphere.

Summary of a Visit to Burgazada and Travel Tips

Summary of a Visit to Burgazada and Travel Tips

Burgazada is not only captivating due to its geographical beauty but also because of its historical and architectural richness. This island, nestled in the arms of the Marmara Sea, away from the crowds of Istanbul, resembles an open-air museum with its tranquil streets, historical churches, and traditional houses.

The history of the island dates back to ancient times and this history can be felt in every corner of Burgazada. Historical churches, mosques, and traditional houses dating back to the Ottoman era offer visitors an opportunity to see the cultural richness of the island.

The island is not just a holiday destination but also a place of discovery for history and culture enthusiasts. With its unique atmosphere, peaceful beaches, and historical texture, Burgazada is a getaway for anyone looking to escape the noisy life of Istanbul. Visitors feel like time has stood still on this small island, tracing the traces of the past while discovering the beauty of the present. Burgazada offers a unique experience that is intertwined with history and embraces nature.

Burgazada Island Guide Map

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