- What’s On
This is the last ferry stop on the Asian shore and one of the prettiest villages on the Bosphorus if a little overcrowded with fish restaurants. From here there is a walk up to what remains of the Genoese (Yoros) castle. Built by the Byzantines and reinforced by the Ottomans, its strategic importance is immediately clear, as there is a superlative view over both the Bosphorus and the Black Sea.
The place to come in winter to blow the cobwebs away and eat the best fish. ‘Az pişsin’ (undercook it), is the essential command. Then walk off the rakı by climbing the steep lane to the ruins of Yoroz Castle, of old a favourite picnic spot with staff at Robert College – John Henry Haynes photographed one outing in the 1880s. In summer, bring swimming things. If you turn right out of the boat station, it should be possible to swim in front of the houses, or a little further along (though expect no amenities). The woods are full of nightingales. This is probably as close as you can get to the Bosphorus as it must have been in the 19th century (see Luigi Mayer’s watercolours in Cornucopia 52)
By boat from Eminönü or Sarıyer, or bus/taxi from Beykoz. If you are lucky you will be on one of the old vapur, such as the Şehit Mustafa Aydoğdu. Splendid, splendid vessels. Silent, swift, airy. Most are now rusting in dry dock on the Dardanelles, unappreciated by the present regime. If you are in a terrible rush, take a sea-taxi. You can get there and back in about an hour and twenty.
Best on foot, though you can get a taxi up to the castle – some restaurants offer a free.