Getting to Turkey from the Greek islands isn't quite as easy as you'd think and for Americans a 100 eu Turkish visa must be purchased and paid for at Turkish customs on arrival. Greeks get to go for free and for the rest of you, the rate varies according to how Turkey feels about your country.
There are five Greek islands designated as legal crossing points. Logically enough, they happen to be very close to the Turkish coast and consist of, from north to south: Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, Rhodes.
Service is patchy however and like all ferry service, less frequent off season when demand has lessened. In fact most of these services don't operate at all except for the period May through October and are only advertised on the island itself. So count on a day or two of waiting around in some instances. Fares can vary greatly as well and so can the type of boat. Since the voyage on the longest run is less than 2 hours it is manageable for the most part. Kos and Rhodes are the busiest crossing points with popular resorts on both sides of the Aegean and the least amount of waiting time involved year round. Vehicles are allowed at all crossing points but not all boats are equipped to carry cars and some can carry only very few.
Tickets should always be purchased the day before especially with a vehicle. There is usually a morning and an a late afternoon ferry departing from both Turkey and Greece. Add 5 to 10 eu for port taxes to the fares which are subject to change. Rhodes is the one place you really do have to book in advance (the day before on the island) since the Greek boats are smaller and faster and thus more expensive. In high season you may have to wait whether you want to or not! See Greek Islands map in new window.
Lesvos (a.k.a. Mytiline) to Ayvalik Turkey - 85 minutes, 60 eu one way, 80 eu open return.
Least amount of traffic of the 5 ports, smaller ferries with the occasional car. Daily in high season, 'every other day' rest of the year.
Chios to Ceseme Turkey - 90 minutes, 38 eu one way, 50 eu open return.
If you have a wheeled conveyance this is the best ferry port. Tickets can be purchased in advance from Piraeus (Miniotis Ferries).
Samos' Vathi port to Kusadasi Turkey - 90 minutes, 42 eu one way, 75 eu open return.
Most of the traffic is from Greece consisting of tourists to Ephesus and back.
Kos to Bodrum Turkey - 50 minutes, 20 eu one way, 35 eu open return, hydrofoils 57eu/75eu.
Equal traffic each way, one hour crossing. Vehicles only on the Turkish boats as they are bigger.
Rhodes to Marmaris Turkey - 115 minutes, 60 eu one way, 80 eu open return.
More expensive Hydrofoils only from the Greek side and must be booked in advance, service erratic on weekends.
Ferry Costs, Ferry Schedule Chart, Note about FS, Ferry Operators, Piraeus Port, Going to Turkey, Greek Islands Map, Beaufort Wind Scale, C. Cyclades Routes, E. Cyclades Routes, N. Cyclades Routes, W. Cyclades Routes, Ferry Gallery 1, Ferry Gallery 2, Ferry Gallery 3, Ferry Gallery 4, Ferry Gallery 5.