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Heybeliada: A guide to the most beautiful island

The weather was a nasty one the day I decided to visit Heybeliada. Shivering in the rain with the weather of 3° celsius, wet socks, and a rough plan jotted out on a paper, I was behind on my schedule. I rushed off to the ferry terminal in Besiktas around 12.30 PM and found out that the next ferry by Sehir Hatlari would leave by 4.15 PM. Utterly disheartened and discouraged, I was completely lost. I tried my luck with one of the security guards, asking him on the ferry timetable, just in case what I was reading on the timetable schedule is wrong. :-)

He directed me to another ferry terminal just next to the one I was in. Surprisingly, I went there and I found the private ferries for the princess islands - one of which was leaving in the next 30 minutes. To my delight, I booked the ticket without a second thought. The lady charged 10 TL for a single trip. She did not accept IstanbulKart or any card. Only cash.

While I waited for 30 mins, gorging on french fries and hot chocolate from a nearby shop, I looked into this article by Istanbul Insider which explained perfectly how you should reach the princess islands. This reminded me to be more cautious before planning any remote trips in future. 😃

Now, there are a number of ferry vendors available at Besiktas. Besiktas is the primary terminal for boarding all types of ferries you need. The regular ferry (Sehir Hatlari) which accepts IstanbulKart and charges only 6 TL for a single trip, have limited ferry timings; whereas the private vendors have multiple timings available. But, they are not fixed which is still manageable, considering you have the entire day planned for the island trip.

The ferry started on time and the journey took around 90 minutes, landing me on Heybeliada island around 2.30 PM. The area around the terminal looked desolate. I was able to catch sight of the military base too, which was situated on the border of the island.