The Marmara Sea and the Black Sea surround the Bosphore Straits. It is in this sea that the 'Prince Islands' are situated, waiting to be explored on a cruise from Istanbul. On its western shores is the ancient Roman province of Thrace (Trakya) whose key tourist attraction lies at Edirne (on the borders with Greece and Bulgaria). The city is home to some of the most beautiful mosques in the country, especially the Selimiye mosque - a masterpiece by the 16th Century Ottoman architect Eski Cami. In the southernmost region, the Gallipoli peninsula and its historical national park are fully dedicated to the Dardanelles battlefield. On the other side, the eastern banks of the Marmara Sea exude boundless charm, with hilly landscapes covered with olive groves and orchards, and spotted with small villages. Take time to stop at the Yalova spa or linger a while in the cities of Iznik and Bursa, both endowed with a remarkable historical and cultural heritage.
Istanbul lies on the banks of the Bosphorus, the river that joins the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea.© Pixtal / age fotostock
Some of Istanbul's hotels and restaurants afford spectacular views across the Bosphorus Strait.© Bilderbox / age fotostock
Topkapi Palace stands on the former site of the ancient Byzantium acropolis.© Cyril Bana / age fotostock
The Sea of Marmara spans some 4250mi².© Rainer Junker / age fotostock
Standing on the Asian bank, Üsküdar is a neighbourhood in Istanbul.© Cyril Bana / age fotostock