We were overwhelmed with the crowd of the city, the intensity of work, and the fear of viruses. A relaxing weekend getaway can be best for all of us. "And where to go for a day?" If you think, of course, our first choice should be Heybeliada with its cultural richness and lush beauty! There are many places to visit. The food is delicious, the transportation is easy, and the view is invaluable, what more?
Heybeliada, the second largest island in Istanbul after Büyükada, where you can spend your day to the fullest, awaits you with all its beauty. Let's start if you are ready to get lost on the streets of Heybeliada, which is home to many cultures! Let's get to know Heybeliada, which will take you away from stress for a day and rest your soul with its magnificent nature.
Places to Visit in Heybeliada
Heybeliada is one of the right addresses to get away from Istanbul's stressful life. The history of this island, which is the greenest of the Princes Islands, is as old as the history of Istanbul. Therefore, there are many places to visit here. Therefore, coming to the island early in the morning will be one of the best choices.
Our suggestion is to rent a bike and start touring the entire island. Heybeliada draws attention with its sanatorium that heals many diseases, its Byzantine monastery, and museums.
Aya Yorgi Cliff Monastery
Although it is not known precisely when this monastery was built, it is thought that it was built towards the end of the 16th century. This monastery, consisting of three different structures, is located on the edge of the cliff. The pink-colored historical building has a fascinating view due to its location. In 1882, the monastery was badly damaged because of a big fire, and many artifacts inside burned. Later, modern Russian icons were replaced by these works.
Bet Yaakov Synagogue
In the 1940s, Jewish families were spending their summers in Heybeliada. As the number of these families increased, the need for a place of worship appeared on the island. In 1953, the Neve Shalom Foundation built a synagogue. Since the population is low during the winter season, the temple is only open on weekends and religious holidays. In the summer, this period is longer.
Heybeliada Naval High School
As you approach the island by ferry, Heybeliada Naval High School greets you in all its glory. This build is almost 250 years old! High school education ended in 2016. Although it is not actively used at the moment, Heybeliada Naval High School continues to welcome the island visitors in all its glory.
İsmet İnönü's House
İsmet İnönü was advised to take a rest when he became ill in 1924. For this, Heybeliada was chosen as the most suitable place. After the İnönü family bought this house, the furniture of the house was presented as a gift by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. İnönü's villa is on display today as a museum. Preserved and exhibited by the İsmet İnönü Foundation today, the mansion welcomes its visitors as used by İsmet İnönü in his time and with the gifts given by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.
Hagia Nikolaos Church
There is no clear information about when and who built this church. Thanks to the column outside the church, researchers think this building may have been built by the Byzantines in the 14th century. This church, which is thought to protect the sailors and was built in the name of St. Nicholas, has a shape that resembles a closed cross.
Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar Museum
Hüseyin Rahmi Gürpınar, one of the popular names of Turkish literature, spent 32 years of his life in this house. Everything except the library in the museum belongs to Gürpınar. These items shed light on a significant part of his life. Let's not go without saying that every work in the library is also original!
Ornate Tomb, a mausoleum from the 19th century built by Spyridon Kanglaris, who served as the Gemlik Consul of Great Britain. Consul lost his wife at a young age in Heybeliada. He built this grave in 1868 and ensured that his wife was buried here. There are open arches on the walls of this grave, which has an octagonal structure. Besides, the consul dictated a letter at the entrance of the cemetery to express his love for his wife. When he died, he was buried next to his wife.
In 1924, by order of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, this sanatorium was established to cure diseases such as tuberculosis, which take a long time. Well-known people such as Rıfat Ilgaz and İsmet İnönü were also treated here for a while. It was once used as a research hospital. However, it does not serve today. Only in 2013, a part of the movie called The Butterfly's Dream was restored and made available for shooting.
Heybeliada restaurants continue to serve their guest's delicious dishes from Turkish and Greek cuisines. Especially shrimp pie and scorpion salad are very famous here! We also recommend you to try the island Ponçik which has become synonymous with Heybeliada.