My friends at Anker Travel in Kuşadası, experts on Turkish, Aegean and Mediterranean ferry and cruise services, have suggestions for travel by sea between Italy and Turkey. Have a look at the map in the right column of this page for the ferry ports involved.
1. Depart from Brindisi or Bari in Italy to the Greek port of Patras, then drive, bus or train from Patras to Piraeus (the port for Athens) to cross the Aegean Sea by ferry to a Greek island, then to Turkey.
2. Depart from Ancona or Venice in Italy to the Greek ports of Patras or Igoumenitsa.
From Igoumenitsa to the Greek-Turkish border at İpsala is only six hours by motorway/expressway, a good way to travel to Istanbul or beyond.
3. From Piraeus, ferryboats depart for these Greek islands with ferry connections to Turkey:
—Piraeus-Lesvos-Ayvalık (cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Chios-Çeşme (cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Samos-Kuşadası (no cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Kos-Bodrum (cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Rhodes-Marmaris (cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Rhodes-Fethiye (no cars allowed)
A first look, these routes may seem longer and more expensive, as you must take three ferries to complete the trip. But in fact, travel times and fares are sometimes similar to, or even better than, the former direct services between Italy and Turkey.
The reason is that the Adriatic ferry lines (ie, Venice or Ancona or Brindisi or Bari to Patras or Igoumenitsa) offer up to 45% discounts for advanced bookings, senior-citizens, families, etc.
Another advantage is that on the Adriatic and Greek domestic lines from April 1st till October 1st, camping on board (with campers and caravans) is a possibility, meaning that you do not need to pay for a cabin on the ship. A deck-class ticket will do.
Also, on the Adriatic lines, some companies allow pets to stay with their owners in ships’ cabins instead of in storage.
The one drawback is that it can be difficult to obtain accurate information on bus and train connections between Patras and Piraeus, and between Igoumenitsa and Thessaloniki.
If you can’t find what you need, contact the experts at Anker Travel.
|Ferries Turkey <—> Greek Islands