Anadolu Kavagi and the Bosphorus Cruise

A wonderful fishing village by the Black Sea – this is how most visitors describe current Anadolu Kavagi in Turkey. Its pleasant ambience and vibrant square gives people the best impression of this Turkish village. In addition, Anadolu Kavagi is home to a couple of outstanding historical attractions. Thus, it is no wonder that most Bosphorus ferry excursions from Istanbul choose this village to be the last stop on their itinerary.

AnadoluKavagiAnadolu Kavagi sits on the narrowest section of the Bosphorus Strait on the Asian side. It marks the entry point to the Black Sea. Because of its strategic location, this strait area was a crucial defense point for many centuries. In fact, it is said that an iron chain was once placed in between the Bosphorus and Rumeli Kavagi to stop enemy ships from entering this territory.

The cruise of the Bosphorus Strait is a very popular attraction for visitors exploring Istanbul. The cruise is offered by the Sehir Hatlari Company, and is operated by the city government. The cost of the ferry ride is minimal, only 15 Turkish Lira, but the cruise lasts for 90 minutes. So it is almost a no-brainer to get on the water, and enjoy this lovely tour. The cruise features spectacular views of the city and favorite sites like the Sakip Sabanci Museum, Dolmabahce and the Beylerbeyi Palace. The ferry cruise usually terminates at Anadolu Kavagi, where passengers can sightsee and grab lunch at one of the lovely seaside restaurants. There are also many cafes, waffle stands and shops to keep both adult and children visitors happy.

Anadolu-KavagiThe most iconic landmark in the town is the Anadolu Kavagi Kalesi (Yoros Castle), an impressive medieval castle nestled above the village. The castle was originally built by the Byzantines. It once boasted not one or two but eight gigantic towers. It is also believed to be the site of a Zeus Ourios temple. Legends say that during his search for the Golden Fleece, the Greek hero Jason passed by this temple. After the Byzantines, the Genoese and Ottomans took over this structure and made some restorations. Aside from its dramatic history, there is another reason why tourists flock to the castle. Perched up high on Joshua Hill, Anadolu Kavagi Kalesi offers incredible views of the Black Sea.

Despite of its location, you can easily reach the castle from the town. If you don’t mind a good hiking trip, you can definitely walk all the way up to the fortress. The journey will take you 30 to 40 minutes depending on your pace. Another excellent option is to hire a taxi in the town square, east of the ferry dock. Taxis in the area tend to congregate near the fountain. The driver will usually charge you for a return trip and will agree to wait for 30 minutes.

The entrance to the medieval fortress is free, and you can wander around the area as much as you want. After sightseeing, you can ride a ferry back to Istanbul at the port area. You can also take bus connections if you want to visit other Turkish towns like Beykoz, Kanlica and Taksim from Anadolu Kavagi.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!