After leaving the Yeniköy dock we enter the final leg of the Scenic Bosphorus Cruise. There were plenty of sightseeing spots to look for during the cruise on the lower Bosphorus and the middle Bosphorus, and in that respect the upper Bosphorus may seem a little disappointing. But don’t be fooled by the shorter highlights list below (the place marks refer to their locations on the map below). Views of the Black Sea and the Istanbul strait from the Genoese Castle on the Anadolu Kavağı shore are spectacular. You can also explore the village itself a bit or try out one of the many fish restaurants for lunch or dinner.
- Beykoz – The biggest features of this fishing village are the İshak Ağa Çeşmesi, an elegant ablution fountain (1746) on the village square, and some excellent fish restaurants. From now on you can focus on the European shore, since most of the land from Beykoz until Anadolu Kavağı (the last stop) belongs to the military.
Huber Mansion (Huber Köşkü) – This 19th century yalı, designed by D’Aronco, currently belongs to the government and is an official residence of the Turkish president.
- Tarabya Bay – A little cove which used to be frequented by aristocrats for its healthy water and climate. Today, the area is still rather exclusive, but the focus lies on the rather pricy (fish) restaurants.
- Sarıyer – The first of the three docks where the ferry will land during its cruise on the upper Bosphorus. It is also the biggest village of this final leg. Wandering around the streets and eating in one of the fish restaurants (turn right) is a pleasant experience.
- Rumeli Kavağı – I personally never disembarked at this last stop on the European shore. Why? Simply because it doesn’t seem to be an attractive or lively place, with the only attraction the fish restaurants that are line-up by the waterfront.
Anadolu Kavağı – This is the last stop of the ferry, before it returns back to the city center following the exact same route in the opposite direction. Do get off the ferry here to wander around in this cozy little village, climb up to Anadolu Kavağı Kalesi and/or grab a bite in one of the many fish restaurants. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you don’t miss the last ferry back! And in case you ended up here with the nightly Bosphorus tour, you only just have enough time to grab a bite so don’t stall deciding what restaurant to take. I tried a few already, and they more or less all serve the same (quality of) food.
If you’re up for it, take the walk (under 1 hour) to the ruins of the medieval castle or alternatively take a taxi. The fortress was built by the Byzantines, occupied and reinforced by the Genoese in 1350, and later seized by the Ottomans. Once there, you can enjoy spectacular views of the Black Sea.
View Highlights on the Upper Bosphorus in a larger map