Istanbul, Turkey

Büyükada Island

This is one of the best places to run in Istanbul, if you have time for an excursion. Büyükada is the largest of the Prince Islands, with a population of 7,000. Most interestingly, there are no cars! Only horse-drawn carriages and bikers. The island is reachable by ferry and takes about 2 hours. Note: ferry from Kabataş closed until 2018. There are gorgeous water views and good shaded sections.

It is possible to do a loop of the entire island, which is 11.8 km, (7.3 miles), following the perimeter road. There are water views for much of the way, though the road does turn inland for some sections. There are interesting Ottoman era buildings, and lovely trees and flowers — a very Mediterranean feel. This is a fairly hilly run, with nearly 1,000 foot elevation gain over its 7+ miles. It is rolling, but a fairly steady climb starting near mile 3 for about a mile, and then a decline at mile 5.3.  You could do a shorter run by renting a bike and incorporating part of the perimeter or some of the interior roads/trails.  One can also run on the roads/paths in the island’s interior, a combination of paved, gravel, and cobblestone. The southern 2/3 of the island is Dil Burnu Milli National Park, with many trails and views to explore. There are also some small beaches on the island.

Ferry Information




  • Full perimeter loop is 11.8 km (7.3 miles). Options to shorten. Many inerior paths
  • 990 feet over full loop -hilliest section between mile 3 and 5.5
  • Ferry terminal
  • Ferry Access. See schedule.