Journeying between Turkey and the Greek islands is a fascinating voyage, seamlessly bridging two rich cultures across the vibrant blue Aegean Sea. Discover the convenience of various ports, the enchanting allure of popular Greek islands, and the ease of reaching these from different Turkish cities. Each island from Chios to Rhodes unfolds a unique story, offering a blend of history, culture, and unmatched beauty.
On this page you will find essential details like ferry schedules, fares, and reservation tips accompanying these insights, ensuring a smooth and memorable journey across these Mediterranean gems.
The easiest way to travel between Greece and Turkey is on a ferry from a Greek island to the Turkish mainland (or vice-versa). Ferries (motorboats and hydrofoils) depart from at least 6 Greek islands to 10 ports in Turkey
The busiest, most convenient Turkish ports are Bodrum, Marmaris, Kuşadası, and Çeşme; those in Greece are Rhodes, Kos, Samos, and Chios. (For ferries from these Greek Islands to other Greek Islands, see my domestic Greek ferries page.)
To voyage between Turkey and Santorini (Thira), you take ferries linking Bodrum and Kos, and the Blue Star Line ferries between Kos and Santorini, or ferries from Marmaris, Fethiye, or Bodrum to Rhodes, then a further ferry trip to Santorini.
The most uncertain and expensive ferry connection (for what you get) is and always has been the one between Lesvos (Mytileni) and Ayvalık.
The Most Popular Greek Islands
Turkey is a region rich with many beautiful and culturally-rich islands, particularly those belonging to Greece in the Aegean Sea. These islands are highly accessible from various coastal areas of Turkey, making them popular destinations for tourists and locals, especially during the summer.
- Chios: Easily accessible from the port city of Çeşme, Chios is an island known for its medieval castles, beautiful beaches, and mastic production. The island offers a unique blend of history and natural beauty, featuring sandy beaches perfect for a relaxing getaway. Its good restaurants offering local Greek cuisine add to the charm of this Aegean island.
- Kos: Kos is an island of great historical importance, with numerous archaeological sites. Besides, it offers beautiful scenery, pristine beaches, and excellent restaurants that serve traditional Greek food. The island's vibrant nightlife also attracts a younger crowd.
- Lesvos: This island is known for its vast olive groves and the beautiful petrified forest, a UNESCO-protected natural monument. Mytilene's port city boasts a stunning fortress and vibrant cultural scene.
- Rhodes: As one of the largest islands in the Aegean Sea, Rhodes offers many attractions, from the Medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, to beautiful beaches and great restaurants. Its rich history, combined with a lively nightlife, makes it a favorite among travelers.
- Samos: Samos, accessible from Kuşadası, is renowned for its wine production and ancient history. Pythagoreion and the Heraion of Samos are notable UNESCO World Heritage Sites on the island. Besides its historical significance, Samos also offers beautiful beaches and picturesque villages.
- Symi: This small island is known for its neoclassical architecture and colorful houses that are a sight to behold. The island's peaceful ambiance is a delightful escape from the bustle of bigger islands.
Greek Island Ferries from Turkey
Turkey provides easy access to several Greek islands through its port cities. Here are where you can access each Greek island from Turkey:
- Chios: Accessible from Çeşme, Chios is a charming blend of history, beauty, and local Greek cuisine.
- Kos: With archaeological significance and vibrant nightlife, Kos can be reached from Bodrum and Turgutreis.
- Lesvos: Known for its olive groves and petrified forest, Lesvos can be visited from Ayvalik.
- Rhodes: Offering rich history and lively nightlife, Rhodes can be accessed from Bodrum, Fethiye, and Marmaris.
- Samos: Famous for its wine production and historical sites, Samos can be reached from Kuşadası.
- Symi: popular for its neoclassical architecture, Symi is seasonally accessible from Bodrum.
Each of these islands is a short ferry ride away, making them ideal places with their cultural richness, beautiful scenery, stunning beaches, and delightful cuisines. They provide an excellent getaway during the summer season for those visiting or residing in Turkey.
Ferry Routes & Prices
Below is a summary of ferry route frequencies and fares (port taxes included). The first fare is one-way/single; the second fare is round-trip/return, as €20/25.
Travel Agency for Ferries to Greece from Turkey
If not, Anker can help with ferries among the Greek islands, ferries between Turkey, Greece, and Italy, and travel services in Greece (hotels, tours, rental cars, etc.).
Tips for Traveling to Greek Islands from Turkey
Make your reservation at least one day in advance of the voyage. You may have to submit your passport overnight for registration, whether you embark from Greece or from Turkey.
You can often get a same-day round-trip ticket for little more than the standard one-way fare, meaning that you can make the voyage over in the morning, see the sights in the port, then return to your original port in the evening. An open-date round-trip ticket, meaning that you can make the return voyage at some date of your choosing in the future, will be more expensive, but it's usually less expensive than two one-way fares.
Off-season (November-April), service is less frequent. In winter there may be only one boat a week, or a boat may leave if there are enough passengers to make it worthwhile, or there may be no ferry service at all.
The most reliable off-season service is Bodrum-Kos; the second-most reliable is Marmaris-Rhodes.
Before depending upon a boat in winter, confirm departure dates and times carefully, in advance, and remember that bad weather can cause cancellation of winter voyages. (Weather is not usually a problem in summer).
In conclusion, traveling between Turkey and the Greek islands by ferry is a practical and enjoyable experience. Whether it's for a summer getaway or historical exploration, the Greek islands provide a rich cultural experience accessible from various Turkish coastal cities.
—by Tom Brosnahan