Greek islands from Turkey

Dec 11th, 2013, 09:23 AM
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Greek islands from Turkey

Hi all,
My roommate and I are planning on a trip to the Greek islands mid-April from Turkey. Does it make sense to book a tour or just fly into the closest city to the islands and take a ferry from there on... A bit confused. Thanks
sedaa91 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 09:46 AM
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It depends on which islands you wish to visit--there are +/- 1000! Some are close to the mainland of Turkey and easily visited, but then that would depend on your Turkey itinerary. Those islands are also not necessarily easily connected by ferry to other Greek islands, unless you have weeks to work with.
Short answer, look in a guide book to narrow your choices and transport options. I think you will most likely need to fly from Istanbul to Athens.
yorkshire is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 10:52 AM
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Where will you be in Turkey? If Istanbul, it may be just as easy to fly to Athens and go to the islands from there. Otherwise, you can choose between several islands near the Turkish mainland, ranging from Lesvos, Chios, and Samos in the NE Aegean to Kos and Rhodes in the Dodecanese. There are direct ferry connections to those islands from nearby Turkish ports, but I'm not sure what the frequency will be that early in the year.

Will you be returning to Turkey after your trip to the Greek Islands, or making your way to Athens? As you can see, it is difficult to advise without knowing a little more about your travel plans. I don't see much point in booking a tour, though — it's easy to get around the Greek Islands by ferry, and booking a ticket is as simple as walking into an agency and putting your money on the counter. Hotels on Greek Islands will have plenty of vacancies that time of year, indeed many may not have opened for the summer yet.

Although April is still off-season, Greek Easter is on April 20th, and some ferries will be heavily booked around that period.
Heimdall is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 11:05 AM
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I should've mentioned that I live in Ankara, Turkey at the moment. We have a week off from work (april 15-20) and would like to see the main islands in Greece (Santorini, Crete, Corfu, Mykonos, Rhodes). We can fly to Athens from Istanbul or fly to Izmir and take a ferry to the closest island. We will be returning back to Ankara.
sedaa91 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 11:34 AM
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Well you obviously can't visit all of those islands in 5 days. From Athens, Mykonos and Santorini should be easy. Or, you could fly to Crete for the whole time, but I'll let Hemidall (a Greek expert) advise you.
yorkshire is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 11:36 AM
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There's no way you can visit all those islands in a week. They're too far apart location-wise. Corfu isn't even in the Aegean Sea. Choose one or two close together so you don't waste all your time in transit. Fly to Bodrum and take a ferry across to Rhodes. Kos is nearby as is Megisti.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 12:07 PM
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Okay, that helps. I know little about travel within Turkey, but from Izmir it shouldn't be too difficult to get to Rhodes through the ports of Marmaris or Fethiye. You will have to check frequency of ferries yourself. That, however, is where your problems begin.

With only a week, there is no way you could visit all the islands you mention. It may be possible to combine Santorini with Rhodes, but the Blue Star ferry connection runs only three days per week in each direction. There should also be an ANEK ferry a couple of times per week, and it stops on Crete before going on to Santorini.

Forget any of the others on your list. Corfu is in the Ionian Sea, not the Aegean, and getting there would require flying through Athens. You might be able to reach Mykonos if you can find a ferry stopping at nearby Syros, but that would be time-consuming, and by the time you arrive you will have to turn around and head back to Turkey.

My suggestion would be to pick an island near the Turkish coast, e.g. Rhodes, and stay there.
Heimdall is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 12:29 PM
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Let me add: you will be in Greece during the Easter week. That is a wonderful time to be in Greece, but a busy time for ferry travel. All the more reason for staying put on one island and enjoying the Easter festivities:
Heimdall is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 01:42 PM
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First of all, it is impossible to visit all the places you mentioned, in just 5 days. 5 days are hardly enough for one medium sized island. I recommend you Lesbos and Chios, two unique islands less known to tourists.

If you visit Lesbos, I highly recommend you to visit Mithymna, a picturesque port settlement crowned with a castle, used to be the capital of Lesbos during the Ancient times. Stroll through the narrow streets, eat fish in seaside tavernas and just relax. Then another beautiful place is the village of Agiasos, a typical Eastern Aegean village, with the famous church of Panagia of Agiasos.

Then Chios, one of the most unique places in the Aegean. Pyrgi is a definitely a must see along with the Nea Moni. Chios has great museums too.
PetrosB3 is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 07:59 PM
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I can't comment on Lesvos altho I would love to go there. I have been on Chios in May and the tourist areas were fairly quiet. April will also be quiet in the tourist areas outside of Chios town but I was really struck by the lively Greek local life in Chios town and would think that would be there in April. Full of locals (not tourists), bars and restaurants along the waterfront with allot of young people especially if there is a soccer game on. It made me want to stay in town rather than head to the beach.
Chania is offline  
Dec 11th, 2013, 10:25 PM
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Chios and Lesvos can both visited together, even though 5 days won't be enough to see both.
Lesvos is the 3rd largest Greek island.
Chios is accessible from Cesme and Lesvos from Ayvalik.

Mytilini, the capital of Lesvos falls pretty much into Chania's description of Chios town...a long waterfront full of shops, cafes and restaurants, many young people and very few tourists during April. The island has much to offer, and the best way to see it would be with a rental car.

OP could easily spend 5 days on Lesvos alone.
clausar is offline  
Dec 12th, 2013, 12:59 AM
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I mentioned Lesvos, Chios, Kos, and Rhodes as possibilities in my first post, and sedaa91 came back with Rhodes as one of the islands he/she wishes to visit. No point in recommending islands that sedaa91 has already rejected. Rhodes, with its historic sights, would be an excellent choice. I wouldn't consider Lesvos or Chios unless prepared to rent a car.
Heimdall is offline  
Dec 20th, 2013, 02:03 AM
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A week seems to be not enough time for the islands. Also, I have just found out that my vacation is actually a week before (april 5-14). I think it might be still a little chilly for the islands. I will visit the islands at another point. Thank you for your responds
sedaa91 is offline  

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