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Sail the Bosphorus

All the great waterways of the world have their enclaves of amazing homes. But when it comes to the wooden Ottoman waterfront mansions that line the infamous Bosphorus Strait, separating the European and Asian sides of Istanbul, you’re in for some prime sail-by gawking.

These “yali” are generally secondary “beach” houses, built between the late 1690s and the early 1900s by wealthy families of the region. On the rare occasion when one goes on the market, the ticket price ranges an astronomical $85 million to $200 million, with the reason being, according to a tour guide, that “there are many houses to buy in this world, but only one Bosphorus.” Cruises run almost hourly, so pick a sunny day and pack a zoom lens. Always nice to see how the other half lives.