Büyükada is the largest of the Princes’ Islands near Istanbul. It is about an hour ferry ride from Istanbul and costs only 4 Turkish Lira (about $2.25).
The island is still very small (I met a guy there who is the only Math teacher on the entire island) and gives you a feeling that you have traveled back in time. There are no cars allowed on the island, only horse-drawn buggies or bikes. Beautiful Ottoman Era mansions and churches are nestled into the peaks and surrounded by tall trees, white gates and overgrown flowers.
There are these little areas all over the island that look like they have hidden treasures buried inside them. The hillsides lead you down rickety dirt paths that open up to little rugged beaches.