Embraced By The Sea

You are going to feel fall’s most beautiful colors on Kinaliada, with its sacred precincts, ornate mansions, rustic fish restaurants, secluded spots that inspire artists and sunsets immortalized in song.

A pair of houses rising diagonally opposite the ferry landing, the Sirakyan Houses were commissioned by a commercial family of the same name in the early 20th century. Symmetrical three-story wood frame structures with steep pitched roofs, each covers an area of 634 square meters. L-shaped with 11 rooms, the houses rise over a stone veranda high above the ground and accessible by stairs.

The pebble beach that extends to the right of the Ferry Landing is the island’s longest. The area from the landing as far as Yarbaşı where the Water Sports Club is located is known as Flamingo Way. If you continue from here to the back of the island you will see several small beaches. Also on the back side of the island is Ayazma Cove with its view of the two neighboring islands, Yassıada and Sivriada.

The district of Jarden rises from the left of the ferry landing up to the island market, while Akasya Caddesi on the right leads to the beaches. If you haven’t had breakfast yet, you can stop at one of the pastry shops around the landing. When you turn into the Jarden road from İskele Caddesi with its many shops, you will see a small square. One of the busiest meeting places for island residents, this square, ‘Çınaraltı’ or ‘Under the Plane Tree’, welcomes guests with its dense shade.

An interesting mosque will attract your attention just opposite Çınaraltı Square. With its truncated, grooved minaret with a triangular roof and its main building which forms a zigzaging seven-sided polygon, Kinalıada Mosque exhibits a modern architectural style without match in Istanbul. The courtyard of this 450-square meter, seaside place of worship also boasts a pool with a fountain, a community room, a health center, a room for bathing the dead, and a water cistern.

Continuing left from the mosque you will come to the area known as Jarden, which takes its name from the famous Jarden Night Club that once stood here. Popular with dapper Istanbul gentlemen and fashionable ladies with parasols in the early 20th century, Jarden is remembered today for its colorful street entertainers.

Built in 803, it was not only a retreat for monks but also served as an institution of religious education. The rooms of this U-shaped, two-story brick building line two corridors. The church in the inner courtyard of the monastery, which was used as a girls’ orphanage in the early 20th century, dates to the 11th century.

This facility, which also boasts Turkey’s first Olympic-size swimming pool, has trained many illustrious athletes and champions throughout its history. It is a giant complex today, including, besides the Olympic pool, an indoor pool, bleachers for spectators, a yacht marina, a restaurant, camping rooms and apartments, as well as a sauna and conditioning center.