Whenever we're in need of a vacation but can't afford the airfare, we take a ferry to Princes' Islands, a lovely archipelago just off Istanbul's Asian shore. For the price of just a few lira, we're transported to a small slice of traffic-free paradise where, if we manage to get away from the crowds and explore some of the islands' quiet back streets, we feel as if we've found our way back to the late 19th century and an Istanbul that no longer exists on the mainland.
We're especially fond of the islands in springtime, when their Judas, mimosa and wild plum trees are starting to bloom and a walk along one of their tranquil trails serves as the perfect cure for the lingering effects of the Istanbul winter blues. Of course, a good meal is essential any time of the year, and we've been lucky enough to find a few spots on the islands that are worthy destinations in and of themselves.
Read more on The Guardian: Restaurant hopping on Istanbul's Princes' Islands