Surrounded by the sea, Turkey has many stunning islands to visit. The islands in Turkey have some of the most well-known islands and attract attention with their natural beauty. We have compiled a list of some of the islands you can visit and enjoy.
Located on the south of the district of Gevas, the Akdamar Island is approximately 4 kilometers from the shore. Because of the fame of the Cathedral of the Holy Cross, which dates back to the 10th century, the island is one of Turkey's most popular tourist destinations. The native almond trees start to blossom and color the entire island pink, creating an admirable atmosphere for locals and visitors in the spring. Akdamar Island is one of the four islands taking place in the middle of Lake Van. Even though the island offers a breath-taking view and photographable scenery, the natural wonders are not the only reason for visiting. The island is known for being ruled by the Kingdom of Vaspurakan as a vassal of the Abbasids. Bishop Manuel, one of the greatest Armenian architects in history, was commissioned by the Armenian king in the 10th century to build a church on the island. Since then, the church is believed to house a piece of the True Cross, the cross Jesus Christ was crucified on.
Getting its name Alibey from Ali Çetinkaya, who shot the first bullet during the war of Independence, the Cunda (Alibey) island will make you feel like you are traveling the back streets of the Ottoman Empire. Also, the name Cunda is coming from a Greek word, meaning scent. Cunda Island is taking place between Greece and Turkey, and it is the largest Ayvalik island. The island can be considered a heavenly gateway for those who want to take a closer look at the olive trees, colorful stone houses, and the Taksiarchis Church, also known as the island's landmark. The trippers can enjoy baths, saunas and can be fascinated by the Ottoman-Greek houses surrounded by undiscovered bays and higher spots around the island. In addition to these, Cunda Island's distinctive cuisine is waiting to be discovered by gastronomy fans. Many fish restaurants on the island serve herb dishes with olive oil and a popular fish called papalina, a dish that will make you feel like you're complimenting your tastebuds.
Turkey is seen as one of the first places where wine was made 7000 years ago, making Turkey number 6 in the world for grape production. Millions of grapes get produced at Bozcaada, which made its vineyards an attraction for the fast-growing wine industry over the millennia. Bozcaada, a formerly Greek now Turkish island, is the third-largest island of Turkey and one of the two islands of Çanakkale. The island is mostly chosen for different kinds of activities such as swimming in the Ayazma Beach's crystal-clear water, discovering the streets of the Greek district and historical monuments from different periods, and spending a night out at Bozcaada's taverns. If you can plan the visit for the first week of September, you can participate in the Bozcaada Vintage Festival. Also, the Bozcaada Jazz Festival, organized in the last week of July, is waiting to be attended. So, if you are looking for a place with Maldives-like white sand and cold waters that are perfect for hot summer days, Bozcaada is a must-see place.
Located in the Aegean Sea, Gökçeada is the largest island in the borders of Turkey. One of the island's important features is being the only island member of the Cittaslow movement. Cittaslow is a philosophy with a membership system that focuses on protecting the environment and the uniqueness of the member cities. With its untouched bays and sandy beaches, mountainous and arid landscape, family-run pensions, reds, greens, and blues surrounding the island, Gökçeada is seen as an Aegean escape to island life in Turkey. Formerly known as Imbros, Gökçeada translates to the heavenly island and gets mentioned in Homer's epic, The Iliad, as the island of the Sea God Poseidon. Gökçeada was home to a large Greek population and explains the abandoned historic churches located around the island. Another specific feature of the island is 'efibadem' a cookie made from almonds, and 'cicirya' a pastry dish made from melted goat cheese, mint, and thyme. Gökçeada is a place that has retained its undiscovered wonders and has protected its natural charm to attract and host tourists from all nationalities.