Büyükada is the largest of the islands is in the centre of Adalar district. It is famous by being an exile for many Byzantine emperors and empress, therefore its history is full of tragedies. Some of its ancient names were Megala (Big), Prinkipos (Lord), Megalc Demonissia (Big Demon), Prinkepo, Crimson Island and Prince Island. All historical buildings which either succeeded to survive through the ages or fell into ruins are religious ones. The most famous of all is the "Monastery of Nuns" (Aya Irini). Other monasteries on Büyükada are Ayios Nikolaos in Karacabey Bay (formerly called Karya Bay), Hristos Monastery on the hill in the middle of the island, and Aya Yorgi in Yücetepe region. The "Hamidiye Mosque" on the slopes of Tepeköy was built in 1895.
On Büyükada, like other islands of Adalar, motor vehicles, except those belonging to the municipality, are nonexistent; therefore ali transportation and touristic trips are made by horse carriages, donkeys, bicycles and by sea. The beach is also recommended for the boat trips and for people who prefer to swim. There are also bicycles available for rent. For hiking, cycling and riding trips there are two routes to follow: The Grand Tour and The Short Tour.
From Yücetepe which is the highest point of Büyükada, you can see all islands, even İstanbul. There is also the famous church, Aya Yorgi, to be visited. The biggest wooden building of the world is located at İsa Tepesi on Büyükada. The building was constructed during the years 1898-99 as an hotel by a French firm and is situated in the middle of a pine forest of 26 square kilometres. There are 205 rooms in the hotel; the height is 1,025 m and the width is 25,30 m. During the reign of Sultan Abdülhamit II, the hotel was banned to work as a hotel. Until 1964, he building was used for several purposes, but then it was taken under protection by the government.