Athens/the Islands to Istanbul?

Travel Forums Europe Athens/the Islands to Istanbul?

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1. Posted by GoExplore (Budding Member 3 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

I am traveling Europe this summer. I will be in Athens and the Greek Islands in June and will want to make my way to Istanbul. So far the most feasible option is train or bus from Athens to Thesaloniki to Istanbul. This a long trip though. Airplanes appear to be too expensive (close to $200).

Does anyone know of how to take a ferry from one of the Greek Islands to Turkey and then a bus to Istanbul? This seems like it could be quicker and more fun. Anyone have experiece with this?

Also I am planning to take the Bosfor Ekspresi from Istanbul to Bucharest. Has anyone done this?


2. Posted by Zoom (Full Member 131 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

GoExplore, Transportation between the Greek Islands and Turkey is VERY limited because they're not on very good terms with each other (it's a long story). One of your few options is the hydrofoil between the Greek Island Rhodes and Marmaris on the Turkish coast very close to Rhodes. Naturally the best travel time is May to October. My girlfriend and I did this a few years ago in reverse (Marmaris to Rhodes) and it was no problem. Doing it this way you can do a circular trip starting in Athens and ending in Istanbul.You can also do a stop in Izmir, Turkey on the way to Istanbul. Izmir's suppose to be nice. I would skip Thesaloniki - kind of a dumpy city. Also, have not been to Romania but have heard nothing but not to hot reports about it. I would recommend taking the overnight bus to Sofia, Bulgaria from Istanbul instead. Like I said - have not been to Romania but have seen SO MUCH negative stuff about it that I feel there's enough different opinions saying the same thing I would skip it. Have been to Sofia, Bulgaria and it's a pretty cool city. A bit poor but a lot of nice, interesting architecture and nice looking females (as with Belgrade, Serbia). Croatia is become the new cool place to visit and I would check that out for sure if time permits - cute babes all around. Zoom.

3. Posted by tallbird (Respected Member 269 posts) 15y Star this if you like it!

You can get a ferry from Samos (probably via Paros or Mykonos) over to the Turkish town of Kudasaki and then get a bus up to Istanbul. A few years ago I went the other way round. I got a train from Athens to Thesaloniki (agree with Zoom about this place) and then to Istanbul. Then a few days later caught an overnight bus down to Kusadasi and got the ferry the same day across to Samos.
You have to remember that when leaving one of the countries (not sure whether it was from Greece into Turkey or the other way round) they charge a big departure tax as the two countries are not on favourable terms.


4. Posted by propertrvl (Budding Member 17 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Another option ; Kos to Bodrum.
Zoom, one thing I cant agree on; we as nations are great admirers of each otehr. As a Turk I love being in Greece and have no problem saying where I from, I get more respect than any other nation in Greece. So we do extend our warmth to Greeks when they are here. Yes there are some stuff going on between two countries but at governmental levels, I believe.
We do not have much ports of entry between two country yet, probably each party does not want to loose their tourists but I belive Turkey & Greece would make one of the best destination to visit in the same time....

Happy travels
Murat from Propertravel in Cappadocia

5. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

I have done both the ferry from Samos to Kusadasi (was as sick as a dog) and also the ferry from Kos to Bodrum.

We then took various buses up to Istanbul.

No problem overall, apart from the suicidal bus drivers.

6. Posted by Rish_n_Ben (Full Member 32 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!


I would confirm what everyone else has already said. There are connections but you need to remain flexible if the connections dont meet up. The boats from the Greek islands to Turkey mainland can be un-reliable.

I was hoping to do this last March, but the people at the ferry companys couldnt confirm if there would be ferries from kos to bodrum at all due to it being in low-season. In the end the Greek ferry port went on strike for over a week, so we caught a flight from Athens to Istanbul (around 120euro one way) by the time you take into account the travel time buying food, losing a day and extra transfers the train isnt all that much cheaper.

I would say go for the island hopping, I would say you wont have any problems. And drop in at Fethiye in Turkey, it is a beautiful part of the world.

[ Edit: Edited at Jun 6, 2006 8:21 PM by Rish_n_Ben ]

7. Posted by LuisaMiao (Budding Member 33 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Thanks for the informations :-)

My friend and I were thinking about this option... unlucky we wont be able to have so much flexibility and so we quit the idea (just for now!!)

8. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 14y Star this if you like it!

Did Samos to Kusadasi in September 1997 and was a pretty good ride.
Best thing about Kusadasi was having a day at Ephesus which is close by. Ephesus is one of the wonders of the ancient world, and is a MUST!!!
Kusadasi was chocka full of British package tourists when we were there, so think about staying in Selcuk if you get to this part of Turkey.


9. Posted by dmtt (First Time Poster 1 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

We are trying to get from Samos to Athens next week on a ferry.

Anyone know how much it costs for one person and how often does it run.

Is it a direct ferry to Athens or another side port city?

The Kusadasi ferry to Samos should be okay.

10. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 13y Star this if you like it!

Kos to Bodrum is one option. Is about a 45 minute trip.

Another is Samos to a place that I can't remember.