Istanbul is a city with a long and varied history. It has been home to many different cultures and religions over the centuries and as a result, there is much to see and learn in Istanbul. One of the most interesting places to visit in Istanbul is Burgazada.
Burgazada is one of the nine islands that make up the Prince Islands archipelago in the Sea of Marmara. The island is a great place to visit for its beautiful scenery, its relaxed atmosphere, and its rich history.
The Island of Burgazada
Burgazada is one of the nine islands that make up the Prince Islands archipelago, located in the Sea of Marmara just off the coast of Istanbul. The island is a popular summer getaway for Istanbul residents and visitors alike, offering beautiful sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and a relaxed atmosphere.
Burgazada, the 3rd largest island of the Prince Islands, has an area of 1.7 km2. Previously known as Panormos, Burgazada is known as Antigoni, a tragedy hero in Greek mythology, a name that Greeks still use, dating back to the Byzantine period.
The word Burgaz is thought to derive from the Greek word Pygros, which means tower. The source of this is an engraving drawn by a man named Cosimo Comidas in 1794. The engraving clearly shows the watchtower at the top of the hill.
The small island in front in the engraving is Kaşık Island. The 480-meter-long island, which is now a private property, got this name because it looks like a spoon.
What to do on Burgazada
There are plenty of things to do on Burgazada, and the best way to explore the island is by foot. Start your day by strolling through the streets of the old town, taking in the sights and sounds of this historic district.
If you’re looking for something more active to do on Burgazada, there are plenty of options. Rent a bicycle and explore the island’s many bike trails; go hiking in one of the island’s nature reserves.
The port side of Burgazada, i.e. the northern parts, is where the settlement is located. The southern and western parts are mostly forested. Bayraktepe, the 170 meter high hill on the island, has a wonderful view. You should definitely go up there and rest on the bench on the hill, but since not many people go up, you may encounter snakes on the deserted roads.
This hill was subjected to a fire in 2003 and sadly, a large area of forest in Bayraktepe was burnt down, along with a few houses. In the image below, you can see the line formed by the large trees as a result of the fire.
In Bozcaada, which impresses with its greenery, there is Aya Yani Church, built for St. John the Baptist, who is believed to have baptized Jesus Christ in the Jordan River. This church is the church used by the Greek people in the neighborhood. Before this building was built, the clergyman Methodius was exiled to the first church in the same place. It is said that St. Methodius was sentenced to 7 years in prison here.
Burgazada Mosque, the only mosque in Burgazada, was built in 1953, on the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Istanbul, by architect Burhan Arif Ongun.
Hristos Monastery, built by Byzantine Emperor Vasilios I on the top of the island, is another historical place to see.
Writer Sait Faik Museum
The most important place to visit in Burgazada is the Sait Faik Museum. The museum at Burgazçayırı Street No:15 is the place where Sait Faik stayed from 1939 until his death in 1954.
The Sait Faik statue standing in the square reminds visitors that Sait Faik Abasıyanık is associated with Burgazada. On its side are the fishing boats and seagulls that Sait Faik often mentioned in his stories. The last periods of Sait Faik’s life were spent here.
How to get to Burgazada
Since Burgazada is an island, there is no land transportation. We have to use ferries or motorboats.
Transportation by city line ferries
You can go to Burgazada by ferries departing from Kabataş and Beşiktaş on the European side, Kadıköy or Bostancı on the Anatolian side.
Mavi Marmara Bostanci Burgazada line
Another way of transportation is by motorboat. Motors run more frequently and the transportation time is faster. These vehicles, which you can get on with Akbil, depart from Bostancı.
Transportation by IDO Sea Bus
The sea bus moves faster than the city line ferries and can take you to Burgazada in about 20 minutes. These vessels also depart from Kabataş and Yenikapı.
Transportation by sea taxi
You can reach Burgazada by sea taxis in about 30 minutes at any time of the day.
There’s no doubt that Burgazada is a beautiful place to visit, and we hope this article has inspired you to add it to your list of places to see in Istanbul. With picturesque views, Burgazada is the perfect spot for a relaxing day by the sea.