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Kinaliada or Kinali Island Istanbul

Kinaliada or Kinali Island Istanbul
This is the first of the Princes’ Islands that the Istanbul ferries visit, it is tiny and arid, and was originally known as Proti (“First” in Greek). Its Turkish name means “Hennaed Island” because of the orange and red stand-stone cliffs that are on its eastern side. 

The island’s entire area measures less than 1.5 square metres (0.93 miles) and because it is so close to the mainland, is the most built up of the Princes’ Islands and becomes jam packed with the Armenian community in high summer. The island is dominated by three hills; Plane Tree Hill (Çınar Tepesi) 115m (377ft), Visiting Hill (Teşrifiye Tepesi) 110m (360ft) and Monastery Hill (Manastır Tepesi) 95m (305ft).

There are no vehicles on the island or phaeton’s ( an open, four-wheeled, door-less carriage) and can only be explored on foot or by bicycle.


You will appreciate the peace and quiet as you disembark the ferry because of there being no motor vehicles and if you visit off season you will find more cats there than people. Houses and apartments sit in rows on the hillside terraces and on the street of Fazıl Ahmet Aykaç Sokak you will find the Tas Kosku which is one of the finest restored wooden mansions on Kinaliada. There is a promenade backing a narrow shingle beach where you can watch seagulls and crows cracking open mussels by dropping them onto the pavement.

Unfortunately the many radio masts that are on the top of Tesrifiye Hill detract from its natural beauty although it’s still worth a short stop.  

Getting to Kinaliada

Take the regular high speed ferry to the island from Kabatas , Kadikoy and Bostanci (www.ido.com.tr) and note that they are extremely busy at weekends and on school holidays. You can hire bikes from a hire shop close to the mosque.  

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