SCENES FROM BOSPHORUSThe Bosphorus, as it is today, is a Turkish invention. Before the conquest, at the Byzantine era, it was primarily used for strategic purposes.
Following Fatih Sultan Mehmet’s conquest, the Bosphorus gained the liveliness we know today, thanks to the increase in the number of yalıs (characteristic waterside residences along the Bosphorus) which served as summer houses for the Ottoman elite, and newly established settlements on both Asian and European sides.
Being one of the first things about İstanbul to come to the minds of those who are visiting the city, as well as the Istanbulites, the Bosphorus presents unique scenes at every season and any hour of the day. And without a doubt, the best way to enjoy those scenes is to take boat a tour along the Bosphorus.
For those who want to live the joys of Boğaziçi, as it is called in Turkish, Şehir Hatları (İstanbul Ferry Lines) provides three different tour options; "Long Bosphorus Tour", "Short Bosphorus Tour" and "Sunset Cruises". Starting from Eminönü, The Long Bosphorus Tour stops by at Beşiktaş, Üsküdar, Kanlıca, Sarıyer and Rumeli Kavağı piers, and at the end, goes back to Eminönü again. In this four-hour-long tour, one could see more than 600 yalı residences (the oldest one being 500 years old) that represent the peak of Ottoman architectural tradition, as well as numerous historical buildings such as Dolmabahçe Palace, Kuleli Military High School, Rumeli Fortress etc.
The two-hour trip with the Short Bosphorus Tour, on the other hand, starts from Eminönü, Üsküdar and Ortaköy piers and ends after the return from İstinye. And for those who are willing to experience the Bosphorus nights, which have inspired countless poets like the great Yahya Kemal, the Sunset Cruises tour is a perfect fit.
For more info please visit http://en.sehirhatlari.istanbul/en/timetable/bosphorus-tours-404.html