island, named for the "saddle" or
low place between its hills, is Istanbul's
second-largest island at 2.35 square
km (235 hectares, 581 acres) (map).
Less crowded than Büyükada,
Heybeliada has many of its larger neighbor's
pleasures, including narrow beaches,
pine forests for strolling, fine late
19th-century villas and other buildings,
a waterfront promenade, and no
view in a fayton.
As on Büyükada,
you can take a horse-drawn
(fayton) tour of
the island, either the Short Tour or
the Long Tour (costing about 50% more).
Otherwise, there are bicycles
Heybeli even has a few good hotels, including the 43-room Merit
Called Halki by Greeks in
Ottoman times, Heybeli also holds the Turkish
Naval Academy (to the left
of the ferry dock) and, between the
hills, the Aya
Triyada (Haghia Triada, Holy
During its centuries
of existence, Aya Triyada has been
a monastery, a convent, an orphenage,
a girls' school and, most recently,
college training priests
for the Orthodox ministry. In 1971 the
college was closed by government order.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate has been
trying since then to have it reopened,
so far in vain.
Restaurants, cafes and shops in the
town center can supply you with sustinence
and picnic supplies.
When planning your visit to Heybeli,
heed the warnings about ferryboat
—by Tom Brosnahan
promenade by the water