Summer undoubtedly feels quite suffocating and hot in the city, and everyone would like to get away and escape. Unfortunately working life does not allow for an uninterrupted vacation. But there are still some alternatives with which you can enjoy the summer and change your mood without even leaving the city. This week, I gathered together the places in Istanbul where you can take a vacation
First off, I would recommend that you drop by the Princes' Islands, which is half an hour away from the city. You can take the boats from Bostancı and Eminönü, for what is sure to be a worthwhile getaway. Büyükada is the largest one of the island group. You can still enjoy the view of Istanbul from a distance surrounded by ancient wooden residences, ice cream shops, fishmongers and local people. Even though it is rather crowded in the summer months, it is still a worthwhile break.
When you arrive in Büyükada, the first thing you should do is to take a coach (phaeton) trip. You can take a tour around the island on these nostalgic horse carts. Negotiation is highly recommended! On this trip, do not forget to stop by the ancient Greek orphanage which is the largest wooden building in the world. Examine this magnificent architectural work. Even though it is forbidden to enter, it is still fascinating to view it from outside. You can also enjoy the fantastic view of Istanbul from the point where the Aya Yorgi Church is located on the summit of the island.
If you fall in love and wish to spend the night in Büyükada, my advice would be the Splendid Palace Hotel. The hotel, an architectural example of the art nouveau movement, is breathtaking with its decoration brimmed with antiques and the sea view. Still standing after 109 years, the Splendid Palace Hotel will take you on a nostalgic journey.
The best place to enjoy the sea in Büyükada is the Bay of Viranbağ. Yada Beach Club offers services to its guests in this bay. Adjacent to the jetty where you dock to Büyükada, special boats from Yada depart to the bay. There are personal sun lounger areas at Yada Beach where you pay an entrance fee. Unique sushi examples from Far Eastern cuisine are offered and the restaurant is also inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. Yada Beach is even more fun as the evening hours draw close. The sunset is even more fascinating with its Sunset Party. DJ performances that best suit different times of the day, sirtos and Greek music, Turkish nights, a Full Moon Party, jazz events, fire dance and Sunday fashion shows as well as different activities for the kids are some of the fun events. Go and discover Büyükada.
If you do not wish to leave Istanbul proper but still would like to enjoy the summer, then my advice will be the Swiss Hotel Bosporus. One of the oldest hotels in Istanbul, the Swiss Hotel is already very popular thanks to its woods, right in the heart of the city. Even seeing this area, called "Sultan Park", will make you feel like you are outside the city. The pool area of the hotel is quite impressive, and from there you can enjoy the restaurant named Oasis.
Oasis's menu has special cocktails, delicious and light food, ice cream and many more options. You can sip these original creations either by the pool or in the cabanas. There is also music playing, selected by special DJs. If you wish to stay for dinner, you can enjoy unique tastes at the terrace restaurant of the hotel. There is a rich menu from paella to seabass to risotto and sushi varieties, blended by Executive Chef Philippe Bischoff with contemporary touches special to the summer. Another option is Café Swiss, which offers a barbecue menu in the woods area. You can enjoy beef, chicken and seafood as well as Turkish appetizers and desserts under the shade of the old pine trees.
My last place to offer where you can enjoy the summer in the city is the Four Season Bosporus Hotel. SUP Yoga, which combines the peace and balance that are involved in the practice of yoga, could be an unusual alternative to spend the summer days for fun. SUP Yoga combines the SUP (stand up paddle), which is a sport activity done by rowing afoot on a surface similar to a surfboard, with yoga exercise. Another summer program of Four Season Bosporus is available at the Sun Spa. A unique sunbathing experience is offered even to those who have a highly sensitive skin. It consists of three steps: pre-sunbathing care, pool and post-sunbathing, which is spread throughout the day. You can indulge yourself with these two programs or you can chill in the pool of the hotel, overlooking the Bosporus, and taste the long-awaited flavours throughout the day. Moreover, it is right in the heart of the city. I hope you all enjoy the summer days!