Which sucks, especially since everything seems to go to Istanbul and it would be much easier to finish in Istanbul. It's only a 9 hr bus ride from Istanbul to Izmir, and it only costs like 10 euros. I guess I'll take the train then!
Edit 2: Never mind... If there was a reliable way to get from Crete to Rhodes, it would be perfect. I'll look into it.
It is not too difficult to get to Rhodos from a number of Greek islands. Crete should be among them.
http://www.we-love-crete.com/getting-to-and-from-crete.html even says
Ferries from Turkey to Crete. Ferry services run from the mainland towns of Cesme, Bodrum, Marmaris, Datsa, Gokova, and Dalyan in Turkey to matching island ports in the Dodecanese, including Rhodos, in Greece. Companies include Anek Lines, Bodrum Express, Miniotis Lines.
From Rhodos and the above ports it will be easy to get to Ephesus and Izmir and then to Istanbul. See www.turkeytravelplanner.com
I think I've found a possible solution: You need to go Crete-Santorini-Rhodos-Bodrum. That is a popular tourist route, you shouldn't have too many problems making it. As far as I can see there are daily connections when you go this route.
Travelling time using hydrofoils: Crete-Santorini about 45 min, Santorini-Rhodos about 50 min, Rhodos-Bodrum 2 1/2 hours. So you might be able to do it in one day if you can time the departures right.
BTW, I've heard nothing but raving reviews about Santorini, so you should check it out.
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Jul-2009, at 13:56 by t_maia ]
Thank you very very much. All the information you've offered is extremely helpful. My trip is going to be awesome and you helped a lot. My main concern now is the cost of all of these ferries, but I should be able to make it work.
How are you with just turning up at the ferry ports without booking??
Now I haven't done this personally - but I know a guy that said he did. I met him on a train going to a musicfest in Transylvania. I have no reason to disbelieve him. A different part of Greece to where you may be - for sure, he was in (I think it's spelt) Pireaus. It's a short train ride from Athens city centre. I've been there, but I paid for my trip. He told me that he asked around the day before - and got a job helping the cleaners on a ship the following morning and in return was given free passage to one of the islands that it sailed to.
I don't even remember if he spoke Greek. It was an overnight journey for the two of us, from Satu-Mare to Sighisoara and a lot of beer was consumed.
Probably of no use to you at all, this one - but for the sake of a few minutes writing it to tell you - and you taking even less less time to read it, nothing ventured, nothing gained I s'pose.
[ Edit: Edited on 20-Jul-2009, at 10:43 by Redpaddy ]
Yeah, I plan on just showing up, but it's nice to know which routes are possible. Your story is quite interesting, and I'll have you know that I took the time to read every word.