Best Hikes in Istanbul: Top Hikes for Adventure Seekers

 In Adventure, Island, Istanbul, Places To Visit, Travel, Turkey

Let’s dig into the best hikes in Istanbul you can take! Hiking in Istanbul is one of the top things to do in Istanbul. Istanbul is a big city in Turkey that’s a mix of old landmarks and nature, and these trails are a great way to see it. First up is Camlica Hill. It’s this big hill that gives you an awesome view of the city and the sea. There’s this beautiful mosque and lots of green trees.

Next, there’s Belgrad Forest. It’s like stepping back in time with all the old things hidden in the trees. You can walk around and find ancient aqueducts and ruins. Then, you’ve got to visit the Princes’ Islands. These islands don’t allow cars, just horse-drawn carriages and old buildings. It feels like you’re in a different world! And remember Yoros Castle. It’s this big old castle on a cliff overlooking the sea. You can explore the castle ruins and take in the amazing view.

Lastly, there’s the Gokturk Trail. It’s a nice walk through the countryside with awesome views of valleys and hillsides. You’ll pass through quiet villages and see some cool scenery. There are many famous places to visit in Istanbul around here. 

Whether you’re a hiking pro or just want a relaxed walk, Istanbul has something for everyone. So, put on your comfy shoes, grab some water, and get ready for an adventure through the heart of this city with Turkey Tour packages!

The Top 15 Best Hikes in Istanbul are

  • Prince’s Island Loop
  • Fener and Balat Loop
  • Aya Yorgi Monastery
  • Caddebostan Plajı- Suadiye
  • Coastline in Kadikoy
  • Buyuk Barajı Loop
  • Polonezkoy Trail
  • Burgazada Loop
  • Ataturk Kent Ormanı Loop
  • Heybeliada Loop
  • Valide Sultan Goleti Loop
  • Ozgurluk Park- Kadikoy Loop
  • Halk Plajı Loop
  • Kayis Dağı- Ferhatpasa Loop
  • Yavuz Selim – Polonezköy Loop

1. Prince’s Island Loop


The trail begins at the port, and you will hike from the town up to the top of the tallest peak on the mountain and great Hiking Trails over 3 hrs in Istanbul. Generally considered a moderately challenging route.  This island has various areas to shop, rest, and enjoy the views. 

Other cool attractions are the beaches, the Museum of Prince Islands, and the Buyukada Fire Lookout Tower. This trail is great for birding, hiking, and walking. This is one of the best hikes in Istanbul. There are dozens of Day trips in Istanbul and opportunities to break things up if hiking becomes too much. 

Distance: 13.7 km loop

Time taken: 3 hrs 41 mins

Best time: August – October

2. Fener and Balat Loop


Fener and Balat Loop is a great Hiking trail under 3 hours in Istanbul offering scenic journeys through historic neighbourhoods. Starting from Fener, the route winds through narrow streets lined with colorful houses, ancient churches, and busy markets. 

As you make your way to Balat, you will pass the beautiful Golden Horn and get to see the stunning views of the Bosphorus Strait. Balat itself is known for its street art, Ottoman-era architecture, and pretty cafes. This hike is considered a moderately challenging route. This trail is one of the best Hikes in Istanbul.

Distance: 11.1 km loop

Time taken: 2 hrs 39 mins

Best time: May to May

3. Aya Yorgi Monastery


Aya Yorgi Monastery hike offers scenic adventure activity in Istanbul. Beginning at the ferry dock, the trail crosses through pine forests and villages, providing stunning views of the Marmara Sea along the way. As you climb up, stone steps lead to the monastery, situated on the hill.  

At the summit, visitors can explore well-preserved ruins and a peaceful atmosphere away from the city. The hike is a moderately challenging route. This trail is the best Hikes in Istanbul.  

Distance: 8.2 km loop

Time taken: 2 hrs 28 mins

Best time: May to October 

Suggested Read: Hotels & resorts in Istanbul

4. Caddebostan Plajı- Suadiye


Explore this 7.2-km out-and-back trail Hiking around Istanbul. Generally considered an easy route, it takes an average of 1 hour 29 min to complete. This is a very popular area for running and walking, so you are likely to encounter other people while exploring. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime.

Distance: 7.2 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs 29 mins

Best time: All around the year

5. Coastline in Kadikoy


Stretching from Moda to Fenerbahce, this route offers stunning views of the sea, historic landmarks, and greenery around. Walk along the promenade, breathe in the fresh sea air, and enjoy the atmosphere. Stop by the cute cafes and eateries to indulge in local delicacies. It is great for running and walking and is generally considered an easy route. Some of the Homestays in Istanbul are around this area.

Distance: 6.8 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs 26 mins

Best time: August- October

6. Buyuk Barajı Loop


The Buyuk Barajı Loop is the best hike in Istanbul that winds around the Buyuk Dam, offering stunning views of nature. It’s an easy-to-follow path suitable for beginners and families, with gentle slopes and well-marked trials. 

Along the way, hikers can enjoy the beauty of the surrounding forest and listen to the sounds of birds chirping. Don’t forget to bring water, snacks, and sunscreen for a comfortable hike.  

Distance: 6.1 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs 30 mins

Best time: August- October

7. Polonezkoy Trail


The trail is located in Polonezkoy village which has a rich history and calm environment. The trail is surrounded by trees and plants, providing shade and fresh air. You might spot some wildlife along the way, like birds or squirrels. It is a great place to go for a relaxing walk or a challenging hike depending on your preference. This is a moderately challenging hike and one of the best hikes in Istanbul. 

Distance: 9.7 km 

Time taken: 2 hrs 36 mins

Best time: August- October

8. Burgazada Loop


The Burgazada loop hike is a walking trail on Burgazada, one of the Princes Islands near Istanbul. The hike is like a circle, starting and ending at the same spot. You’ll walk along paths through forests and by the seaside, enjoying views of the sea and the island’s beauty. 

It’s not too difficult, suitable for most people, and takes a few hours to complete. Along the way, you can take breaks, maybe have a picnic, and soak in the peaceful atmosphere.

Distance: 4.8 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs 15 mins

Best time: August- October

9. Ataturk Kent Ormanı Loop


Atatürk Kent Ormanı Loop Hike in Istanbul is a nice walk through nature. It’s like a big circle, starting and ending at the same point. Along the way, you’ll see trees, plants, and maybe even some animals. It’s a good way to get exercise and fresh air. The trail is well-marked, so you won’t get lost. You can go alone or with friends or family. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water and snacks. It is an easy route and one of the best hikes in Istanbul.

Distance: 5.3 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs 25 mins

Best time: Year-round 

10. Heybeliada Loop


Heybeliada loop hike in Istanbul is a trail that goes around the island of Heybeliada. It’s a walking path where you can enjoy nature and beautiful views of the sea and the island. The hike is not too difficult, so even beginners can try it.  Along the way, you’ll pass through forests, beaches, and charming neighborhoods. It’s a great way to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and relax in nature. Dogs are welcome but must be on Leash. It is a perfect photography spot in Istanbul.

Distance: 6.9 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs 45 mins

Best time: Year-round 

Suggested Read: Airbnb in Istanbul

11. Valide Sultan Goleti Loop

Image Source : Alltrails

The Valide Sultan Goleti Loop Is the best hikes in Istanbul. It takes you through green forests and offers stunning views of the city. The trail is well-marked and not too difficult, making it suitable for beginners and families. Along the way, you’ll come across colorful wildflowers, chirping birds, and maybe even some friendly wildlife. Dogs are welcome but must be on leash.  The loop takes a few hours to complete, depending on your pace, so be sure to pack water and snacks. 

Distance: 5.5 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs 25 mins

Best time: Year-round

12. Ozgurluk Park- Kadikoy Loop


Ozgurluk Park, located in Kadikoy, Istanbul, offers the best hikes in Istanbul. The trail passes through greenery, providing a refreshing escape from the city hustle. As you walk, you’ll pass by trees and flowers, and maybe even spot some wildlife. The loop takes you on a relaxing journey, suitable for beginners or those willing a walk. Along the way, you might encounter other hikers or locals enjoying the park. It’s a great way to spend some time outdoors, breathe in fresh air, and soak up nature’s beauty right in the heart of Istanbul.

Distance: 1.4 km 

Time taken: 20 mins

Best time: Year-round

13. Halk Plajı Loop


Halk Plajı Loop is a hiking trail in Istanbul, Turkey. It’s a circular path that starts and ends at Halk Plajı which is a popular beach area. The trail offers stunning views of the sea and coastline as you walk through greenery and rocky terrain. Along the way, you might spot various plants and animals. It’s a great way to enjoy nature and get some exercise. The hike is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.

Distance: 4.7 km 

Time taken: 1 hrs  7 mins

Best time: Year-round

14. Kayis Dağı- Ferhatpasa Loop


The Kayış dağı-Ferhatpaşa loop hike in Istanbul is a beautiful trail that takes you through nature close to the city. Starting from Kayış dağı Park, you’ll trek through forests, enjoying fresh air and peaceful surroundings. As you climb higher, you’ll be treated to stunning views of Istanbul and the Marmara Sea. The trail then leads to Ferhatpaşa, where you can rest and enjoy a picnic before heading back.

Distance: 2.9 km 

Time taken: 45 mins

Best time: Year-round

Suggested Read: Guesthouse in Istanbul

15. Yavuz Selim – Polonezköy Loop


The Yavuz Selim-Polonezköy loop hike in Istanbul is a scenic trail that takes you through forests, hills, and villages. Starting from Yavuz Selim Grove, you’ll trek through the greenery, enjoying the fresh air and beautiful views. The trail passes by the Polonezköy village, known for its Polish heritage, adding cultural richness to the journey. Along the way, you’ll come across a variety of flora and fauna, making it perfect for nature lovers and hikers. Dogs are welcome but should be on leash. This is a moderately challenging route. The loop ends back at Yavuz Selim Grove, completing a satisfying adventure filled with natural beauty and cultural charm right within Istanbul’s outskirts.

Distance: 8.2 km 

Time taken: 2 hrs 7 mins

Best time: February – October

What are some of the best hikes in Istanbul?

The best hikes in Istanbul are the Yavuz Selim-Polonezköy Loop, Kayışdağı-Ferhatpaşa Loop, Valide Sultan Goleti Loop, and Heybeliada Loop.

Are these hikes suitable for beginners?

Yes, many of these hikes are suitable for beginners as they offer varying levels of difficulty. 

What should I bring for a hike in Istanbul?

For the best hikes in Istanbul, it is essential to bring comfortable walking shoes, plenty of water, snacks, sunscreen, a light jacket, a GPS device, and a fully charged phone. 

Are there any guided hiking tours available in Istanbul?

Yes, there are guided hiking tours available in Istanbul. You can find various tour companies offering guided hikes to popular destinations.

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