Discovering Gurpinar Istanbul’s seaside hideaway
This pretty seaside town was once the destination of choice for city dwellers wanting a weekend escape. With its lovely harbour, green spaces and quiet streets, it’s not hard to see why it became a popular holiday spot, with a population that triples in size from its usual 30,000 during warmer months.
Mahad Kamel says Gurpinar is “a hidden diamond.” The Qatari executive bought a four-bedroom apartment here, overlooking the Marmara Sea. While he works in the central city each day - a commute that takes him 40 minutes each way, his wife and two teenage daughters, who divide their time between Istanbul and Doha, can enjoy the surrounding area. “For them, it’s peaceful and quiet, which they like - like being on holiday while I’m at work.”
The account manager says he originally planned to buy an apartment in Istanbul near his office in Besiktas, but changed his mind when he began looking outside the central city. “Prices are still low in Gurpinar, and the difference in what you can afford here is very striking.”
However, the decision wasn’t purely financial. “We live a very busy life, with a lot of travel between Doha and Istanbul,” Mahad says. “Coming home to our apartment in Gurpinar feels like being on holiday. When we feel like an excursion at the weekend we go into the city and visit Topkapi Palace or explore the Old City, but usually we find ourselves at the beach here, or having a long lunch in the square.”
The town is also 18 kilometres from Ataturk International Airport, a fast journey which Mahad does at least twice a month. Gurpinar is also well connected to the central city, with buses leaving regularly from Yenibosna Station.
Exploring the townLocated on a peninsula - which means homes here often have Marmara Sea views - Gurpinar’s core population hails from Thessaloniki, in Greece, giving the town’s architecture, shops and food a lovely Turkey-meets-Greece ambience. Until the 1980s, the land around the town - which was called Ansara until 1961 - was used for agriculture, with farmers growing tomatoes and wheat.
The town’s Greek legacy survives today in the shops and teahouses in the pretty centre.
Koyici, in Gurpinar’s central area, has the distinct feel of a small Greek village, with teahouses and shops spilling out into the main square, which is shaded by a 300-year-old plane tree. Outside the centre, the shoreline is lined with building developments, lending the area the ambience of a holiday resort. Other suburbs - like Dereagzi, are leafy, with quiet gardens full of flowers and dominated by villa-style houses.
A huge draw for visitors and potential residents is, of course, the seaside. Gurpinar’s beach is seven kilometres long, and weekends see visitors and residents boating, fishing and swimming, picnicking on the shoreline or eating at one of the many restaurants that line the waterfront. The road along the shoreline is also popular with cyclists and walkers.
Growing interestGurpinar is seeing a surge in interest amongst home buyers and investors who are beginning to look outside the city centre - and for a chance to enjoy sea views and natural surroundings. Mahad says the demographics of the area will certainly change.
“In the year or so we have lived here we have noticed new building projects and a lot of improvements to surrounding roads and travel links. Gurpinar is becoming popular with commuters who want the best of both worlds - city working and seaside living.”
Propertyturkey.com director Cameron Deggin says Gurpinar is a holiday-turned-residential area that’s just entering the real estate radar.
“It’s a really pretty place - the town’s Greek roots mean it has a unique heritage and flavour. You can see why it’s always been popular with those wanting to escape the city. Just spend a day at the beach here, looking out over the Marmara Sea - you feel a million miles away.”
Deggin says many buyers gravitate to Gurpinar seeking an alternative to central Istanbul’s high prices and the hectic lifestyle of the city. “Buyers are discovering they can buy luxury apartments here with sea views and great facilities at a fraction of the cost of similar apartments in the city.”
The property consultant says Gurpinar is unknown to most international buyers, but this will change. He cites a Kuwaiti client who approached him looking for property in central Istanbul. “He wanted city and sea, and he was looking in Yenikoy, which is a very expensive area.” Deggin says he convinced his client to take a day trip to Gurpinar. “He liked the town. And when he saw what he could buy for his budget, that was it - he was in love.”
The client bought a four-bedroom apartment overlooking the Marmara Sea for $450,000 Deggin says. “He spent a fraction of what he would have in Yenikoy, and gets so much more for his money. The luxury apartments that are being built in Gurpinar are truly second-to-none and are a few minutes walk from the beach, restaurants, shops - everything you could want.”
Off-plan apartments in this lovely seaside location are selling fast. As well as Istanbul residents, local and foreign investors are capitalising on the current low prices and buying up quickly. If you’d like to know more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.