Bosphorus Strait, Istanbul
If you are going between Eminönü and Anadolu Kavagi you will all the way have Europe on one side and Asia on the other. And the ferry is going back and forth between both sides. It feels quite special to look at those two continents at the same time, so close to each other.
The photo is taken leaving Anadolu Kavagi, towards the Black Sea.
There are many places by the Bosphorus which are an absolute delight but let's focus on these few:
Ortakoy. Ortakoy is a very popular hangout place here. It's 2nd only to Taksim for nightlife, many concerts in clubs and many very trendy places indeed. But it also boasts an excellent restaurant area where you can eat outside and admire the gorgeous Ortakoy Mosque against the great Bosphorus bridge, particularly when it's lit up in the night.
Beskitas is great for shopping. Many students live here and the atmosphere is youthful and rather great amongst the pedestrianised streets. Lost of cheap shops, some restaurants and a generally nice place to hang out.. Sometimes I like to sit by the water and watch the boats as they come in.
Moda, on the Asian side (take a ferry from Besiktas), there is a charming tea garden here where you can have your Turkish tea and a truckload of sugar. Also some nice bars, good restaurants AND some of the best ice cream in Turkey! (Ali Usta). There's also a great walk along the water's edge. Very nice and quieter than other places.
"Does it ever reverse flow and go back towards the Black Sea?" This would mean that the tidal levels between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara are trying to equalize.
Well damnit. This thing always seems to flow towards the Marmara. It could be the pressure of the water flowing into the Black Sea (primarily the Volga and the Danube) forcing it out.
The best that I can figure out is that the atlases I have are lazy, leaving out a piece of info - that the Black Sea is higher than sea level.
So I have some maps on order that should tell me.
Ships, ships, ships all the time. One of the most strategically important waterways in the world.
Our Bosphorus cruise was one of the highlights of our visit to Istanbul. We used the public ferry - IDO. We visited Istanbul while the ferry was running on its winter schedule so there were two departures - 10:35 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. If you plan to disembark at any of the stops I recommend taking the early ferry. If you just want to do the cruise then the 1:35 p.m. might work out better since it may be less crowded (and a little warmer!). Timing to catch a ferry back would probably only allow you to disembark at only two stops on the route.
We left Eminou at 10:35 a.m. but did not seem to follow the schedule as advertised. The schedule shows stopping at Beskitas, Kanlica, Yenikoy, Sariyer, Rumeli Kavagi, and Anadolu Kavagi, in that order. However, after leaving Eminou our ferry went to Beskitas, Yenikoy, and then the unexpected happened. Thick, thick fog rolled in and when the ferry stopped in Sariyer, the captain decided that we could not go any further and that we would make the return trip after spending a couple of hours in Sariyer.
Since one of the places we intended to see was Rumeli Kavagi we hopped a dolmus heading there from Sariyer. It was an experience we wouldn't have had otherwise and it was quite alot of fun standing and holding on as we zipped around the curves to the town. After spending little time in Rumeli Kavagi, we headed back to Sariyer. We walked around (saw some really interesting "everyday" things- butcher shops, bread shops, a vegetable "truck", fish shop, etc.), had some tea at a restaurant on the waterfront and some lunch at one of the many doner places lining the street. I would definitely recommend Sariyer as a stop.
Finally back on board, the ferry did not head further out into the Bosphorus but turned back to Eminou. The only stop we made before reaching Eminou was at Kanlica, which had been our second planned stop. Since it was now late, we decided not to disembark the ferry. But...Kanlica is known for its yogurt and a steward will come around on the ferry selling some. You MUST buy it!! It was so delicious - extremely sour but then sprinkled with powder sugar.
Ferry details: There is a huge crowd lined up at least a half hour before departure. When the gates are opened, the people are wild. We were there and in line early enough to have gotten a good seat but a huge gate leading to the street was opened at the same time as our gate and people just swarmed in. We ended up without a seat and had to position ourselves in a stairway.
You will know immediately which side of the ferry to sit on for best views, how to avoid the glare of the sun, etc. Sit on the same side on the return trip.
Be prepared for an unexpected change of plans as in our case. Make sure to dress appropriately and bring a head covering. It can be windy and/or cold. Have a great time!
Fare was 17.50 TL round-trip
Departs 10:30 a.m. and 1:35 p.m. from mid-September to mid-June. An additional ferry
leaves at 12:00 p.m. during the rest of the year.
Look for the IDO ticket booth/entrance. That is the ferry. There will be touts trying to get you onto one of the "cruises". May be fine if you don't want to make any stops but I really didn't check them out.
The Bosphorus is a narrow, navigable strait between Europe and Asia connecting the Black Sea (Pontus Euxinus) to the Marmara Sea (Propontis).
It is about 31 km and varies between 1 and 2.5 km wide. The narrowest point is 700 m / 2,300 ft between the fortresses of Rumeli and Anadolu. Swift currents make navigation difficult. The average depth is 50 m / 164 ft. Along both shores, european and asian side, are many attractions including ancient ruins, picturesque villages and forested areas. Near the southern end is the Golden Horn, the harbor of Istanbul, one of the most commodious natural harbors in the world. In ancient and medieval times almost all commerce between the Mediterranean and Black seas was routed through the strait. It is still an important artery of international trade. An average number of 38,000 ships pass through the Bosphorus annually.
bosphorus might just look like any other place with a lot of boats passing by at first, but the place is brimming with history.
few places in this world has seen more battles over the years and it also devides europe and asia.
it's really a special feeling to see this place if you know a little history.
Near the Bosphorus Bridge, there is one of the palaces called the Beylerbeyi Palace. It's on the Asian side of Istanbul and was Photographed around on the way back. This was a summer palace, built during the reign of Sultan Abdulaziz in 1865. There used to be a wooden palace here, built by Mahmut II, but like a lot of wooden buildings in Istanbul, it burned down and was replaced.
Abdulaziz used the palace as his guest quarters, for storing visiting royalty. The list of visiting royalty is long. It includes Empress Eugenie of France, Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, King Nicholas of Montenegro, Shah Nasruddin of Persia, Emperor Franz Josef of Austria and King Edward VIII of England. When you walk around the palace, you can see mementoes of some of these visitors. There are paintings on the walls which are gifts from these visitors to the Sultans, and furniture, and other small mementos.
The Bosphorus, especially near Istanbul, was lined with fine houses right down to the water. Fine Viannese-style houses stood shoulder-to-shoulder with ruined fortresses and ugly 1960's concrete monstrosities. But on the whole, it was a pleasant shoreline. As you moved away from the city, you started to see more estates: large houses with a wide swathe of land.
It is useless to talk about it... you should just see it!
People say that it was even more beutiful before then in ourdays and you could take a sweem... but these days are past... still lots of marvelous views...
It is interesting to know that the Bosphorus is entirely International waters but under the control of Turkey. It was made so by the Montraux Treaty of 1936.
- It is about 31 km (20 miles) long and varies between 1 and 2.5 km (0.5 and 1.5 miles) wide;
- The narrowest point is 700 m (2,300 ft) between the fortresses of Rumeli and Anadolu;
- The average depth is 50 m / 164 ft.;
- An average number of 38,000 ships pass through the Bosphorus annually.
Interesting to know that:
- In the Bosphorus there are two currents; one on the surface from the Black Sea towards the Marmara Sea and one below the surface in the opposite direction;
- The Black Sea is 24 cm higher than the Marmara and this causes the current on the surface. The other current is because of the changes of salt rates in the two seas.
Bosphorus comes from a Tracian word of unknown origin, interpreted in Greek as meaning "Ford of the Cow", from the legend of Io, one of the many lovers of Zeus, who swam across the sea here as a cow chased and continuously disturbed by flies sent by Hera.
Known in Turkish as Bogazici (the Strait), it links the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara and, with the Dardanelles (in Canakkale), separates Europe from Asia. It is a former river valley which was drowned by the sea at the end of the Tertiary period. This is a very busy strait with many ships and oil tankers, as well as local fishing and passenger boats.
With the shores rising to heights up to 200m (650ft), lined with palaces, ruins, villages, and gardens, this is one of the most beautiful stretches of scenery in Turkey. The best way of seeing the Bosphorus in all its beauty is to take a trip on one of the coastal boats, in this way you can also admire many of the old Ottoman wooden houses (called as Yali in Turkish). You can also stay in some of the best hotels or eat in some of the best restaurants along its shores during your stay in this magnificent city.
The Bosphorus is a busy sea strait between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. From the Highway bridges you have a great view onto the waters. Even better is to take a Bosphorus cruise. At the Galata bridge there are several cruise boats available and the ferry between the European- and Asian side of Istanbul.
I first gazed upon the Bosphorus over a full moon from high up at the top of the hill in Arnavurkoy. It was in September 2000. I cannot forget that sight. Five years later I still find myself returning to gaze at that moon over the Bosphorus. It never fails to raise my spirits. The rest is icing on the cake. Some see Istanbul differently but its beauty never fails to impress me despite the street traffic, noise and general conditions that are prevalent in any large city. I always have a fantastic time with friends old and new. By the Bosphorus: have someone you love walk by you along its shores, wake up to its magnificence, kiss it goodnight (or good morning) before you go to bed, delight in its dancing ripples caught in the moonlight called yakamoz...perhaps like me, you 'll be dreaming of returning to it over and over again...
Renting a boat to tour around the Bosphorus would not be a bad idea. Since ferry service twice a day from one end to another was not arranged for the tourists and it has its share of aggressive marketing of Apple-tea and others on borad. A boat could give you a more personal feel.
Here is the place where some rich people in Istanbul make their homes. Bosphorus, though a narrow channel used for ships of Russian, Ukraine, Georgia and other Black sea coast countries as the only way out to the mediterranian. So this is always busy with international ships as well as domestic passenger ferries.
We saw these nice houses while making a five-hour boat trip to the Asian side of Istanbul. It was really cool ... and cheap. Don't pay more than 6 millions TL. Some people will try to sell you more expensive tickets (15 or 20 millions) for shorter trips. Don't listen to them and go to the counters to buy your ticket at the normal price. Once on board, be careful : you'll receive fresh orange juice but don't think it's free, it's 3 millions per glass.
Now you know everything, enjoy your cruise ! But don't forget to stop where you want to. You can take another boat to come back whenever you want (according to the timetable)