The center of the Islands, which form a district of Istanbul province, is Büyükada and there are settlements in Heybeliada, Burgazada, Kınalıada, and Sedefadası. There are no permanent and regular settlements in Sivriada, Yassiada, Kaşık Island and Tavşan Island.
The climate of the islands is similar to Istanbul. The temperature is a few degrees higher. There is less snow in winter and less rainfall in summer compared to other parts of Istanbul. Autumn is generally warmer than spring.
Houses are mostly used as summer houses, ie second homes. Part of the resident population works in Istanbul and goes to the city on a daily basis by ferry. The district has a rich and diverse flora. Maquis and pines form the dominant natural cover.
The distances of the Islands from the center range between 7 nautical miles and 13.5 nautical miles (25 km), with the closest being Kınalıada and the furthest Tavşan Island. People who want to take a weekend or a day tour to the Islands and get rid of the crowd and noise of the city, even to a bit, find themselves in the Islands.
There are nearly a thousand historical buildings in the Islands, which are believed to have a history of 2000 years. The oldest known historical building in the Islands is the Antigoni Castle built by Dimitrios Poliorkites in the memory of Antigonus, one of the commanders of Alexander the Great.
Since it was the place of exile of nobles and princes in the Byzantine period, the name of the Islands in western sources is mentioned as the Prince Islands.
Islands are one of the most frequented places for people who want to spend a quiet and peaceful holiday, especially in summer. Projects with high investment value are beginning to rise in the Islands. Recently, apart from the houses in the form of flats and detached houses, condominiums have also attracted great interest, especially by families.
Considering the annual averages, the neighborhoods that gained the most value in the Islands district as of 2020 were Heybeliada, Maden, Nizam, Burgazada, and Kınalıada.