If you want to escape from the city crowd for a bit, sail to the Islands on weekends. Hang out in the beautiful bays of Heybeli Island, taste the delicious calamari of Burgaz Island, swim in the cool waters of Kınalı Island.
You can also read this article in Boat International magazine:
The best option to visit Istanbul Islands; sailing!
“Island ferry” has now become a colloquial idiom to indicate that a place is “too crowded.” The idea of going to the Islands, especially from the spring months, directly brings to mind the crowd and chaos. Unless you are one of the lucky few who own their own boat, sailboats are a wonderful alternative to reach the beautiful bays of Heybeli, the delicious calamari of Burgazada and the cool waters of Kınalı. With the sailing boat that moves calmly even with the light wind, you can chat with your friends with pleasure, without rushing to get anywhere. The journey itself; the feeling of being at sea, being away from the noise, hustle and bustle is a very reasonable reason not to calculate how many hours it will take. Many restaurants on the beach have mooring services. As soon as you drop anchor, a dinghy boat greets you, drops you off to the restaurant, and you can come back to your boat whenever you want. This is also a very sheltered and suitable place to spend time on the boat. You can stay here for the evening and watch the magnificent colors of the sunset on your way from the Islands back to Kalamış Marina Istanbul.
Closest swimming spot in Istanbul
Apart from the pleasure of the journey, there are also wonderful coves around the Islands where you can anchor and swim. So much so that you can forget that you are in Istanbul and at the end of the day you may feel as if you have been on holiday in a bay of the Aegean for days. For example, the Heybeliada Water Sports Club, the back of Kaşık Island, or the beaches of Kınalıada are very suitable for anchoring. Pretty clean and sheltered areas if you're lucky with the wind. Of course, renting a sailboat in Istanbul is not as easy as it is in Bodrum or Marmaris. There are not many alternatives to charter, and the sea traffic is heavy, chartering a boat without a captain may not be possible. The easiest, effortless and safe option for this is a company that regularly organizes island tours.