How To Get From Greece To Turkey By Ferry (& Other Ways)

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Post author Gabi

Written by our local expert Gabi

Gabi is an award-winning writer who lives on the Island of Crete in Greece. She is an expert in Greek travel and writes guides for the everyday traveler.

Here are all of the ways of how to get from Greece to Turkey & of course, on traveling from Turkey To Greece.

Balkan Travel Blog_How To Get From Greece To Turkey

The Eastern Mediterranean region is beautiful for road trips between Greece and Türkiye. Over here, two very different but unique countries can be a great addition to your itinerary or a fantastic destination on their own.

Suppose you are traveling from Greece to Turkey or the other way around. In that case, it’s a good idea to learn all the possible travel alternatives between both countries and keep a flexible mindset to pick the perfect travel method to reach one country from the other.

Not far from each other, it can be pretty easy to go from Greece to Turkey; it will always be necessary to take into account how much time you have to move around between countries, what areas of each country you are willing to visit, and how much your budget will you stretch to find the most convenient ways to get to your destination.

Keep in mind that your travel style is also something to consider. A road trip can be more expensive and take longer travel times, but it will also be relaxing and allow you to enjoy landscapes and discover unknown corners of both countries. Instead, if you are short of time, a plane can be the fastest solution to see more in less time.

Since there are a few different ways to get from Greece to Turkey, we have listed the more common and easier ones, considering Athens and Thessaloniki as your departure points to reach Turkish territory. This way, you will be able to decide, knowing the pros and cons of every option. Read on!

Getting From Thessaloniki To Turkey By Plane

Things to do in Thessaloniki Greece - View
Thessaloniki, Greece – Trigonion Tower

The most convenient way to go from one country to the other is by boarding a plane at Thessaloniki International Airport (SKG) that lands directly in Istanbul (IST).

The route from Thessaloniki to Istanbul is about 491 kilometers, and the trip can last about two hours and thirty minutes. This is an average trip with some layover time (no more than thirty minutes). However, direct flights also connect both capitals; the trip takes 1 hour or more.

The companies serving the route Thessaloniki-Istanbul are Turkish Airlines, Aegean Airlines, and Olympic Air, with 25-28 flights each week.

During the summer season, the winter holidays, Christmas, and other special occasions, and on weekends, the schedules are often subject to change, so planning and booking ahead of time can save you some extra money.

Checking for flights in advance is also an intelligent move when finding better departing and landing hours, something you don’t want to disregard when traveling with kids.

Prices range from 110 to 240 euros, but it is possible to find better deals and seasonal offers when searching and booking in advance and traveling in the off-season.

Flying From Athens To Istanbul – Flights From Greece To Turkey

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You must consider that you can land at two airports when arriving in Istanbul. You can either come in the Asiatic part, in Sabiha Gokcen, often cheaper, hard to reach or where many low-cost companies choose to fly.

You can also arrive at Istanbul International Airport, which is much more convenient as it is just minutes from the center of Istanbul.

Flights from Athens land at both airports, with prices ranging from 55 to 100 euros, and sometimes even more if you purchase the ticket last minute.

Flying time from Athens to Turkey is about 4.5 hours. Still, travel times are much longer if you land in Sabiha Gokcen because you will need at least 1 hour (it seldom takes less than two because traffic on this road is overwhelming) to reach Istanbul’s central bus station.

The low-cost company Pegasus is an excellent alternative for cheap flights connecting both capitals.

Travel From Greece To Istanbul By Bus

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No direct bus routes cover the trip from Athens to Istanbul; however, it is possible to arrive in Istanbul via Komotini, a city located in northeastern Greece. Although the distance from Greece to Turkey is 560 km, the road trip is over one thousand kilometers long, which can be very tiring.

This itinerary sees travelers boarding a bus in Athens and arriving in Komotini about ten hours later. The ticket is about 75 euros, and there are often two daily departures.

From Komotini Bus Station, it is necessary to catch a second bus and travel for about six more hours to reach Istanbul. The price is much lower, about 15 euros, and there are also two daily departures. The company operating the service is KTEL Rodopis, and there’s more information on this website http://ktelrodopis.gr

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How To Travel From Greece To Istanbul By Car

The most convenient option, if you enjoy sightseeing, as well as driving, traveling from Greece to Istanbul by car can vary immensely according to the place of departure chosen; it can take more or fewer hours if you depart from one city over another, so pick a good map or GPS device and carefully plan every leg of the road.

The driving distance from Athens to Istanbul is about 1080 kilometers. The trip usually lasts 11 and a half hours when no stops are made on the road. The approximate expense of taking fuel and road tolls into account is between 140 and 220 euros.

If you’re not a local, you should also add to that expense the car rental costs and always remember to check beforehand if international border crossings are allowed by your car rental company as well as what documents are necessary to present at the border, both for the car and the travelers. You will definitely need your passport and proof of insurance.

Remember that you are entering a non-EU country, so visas might also be needed. When traveling from Athens to Istanbul, you can stop in cities like Thessaloniki, northern Greece, or Kabala before crossing the border near Alexandroupoli.

So there you have all the options to travel from Greece to Istanbul, which one will be the one you choose?

Take The Ferry From Turkey To Greece

You can now choose a ferry ride from Greece to Turkey. There are several options; the newest one is thanks to the coastal shipping company Levante Ferries, which now has a ferry connection between Thessaloniki and Izmir, Turkey. This ferry service began in October 2022.
The ferry from Greece to Turkey goes three times per week and takes 14 hours to travel from the port of Thessaloniki to İzmir in Turkey.

Greece And Turkey Ferry Route

There are around 15 ferry companies that go from Greece to Turkey. Other ferry routes to Turkey between Greece and Turkey are possible from:

  • Çeşme – Chios
  • Marmaris – Rhodes
  • Fethiye – Rhodes
  • Bodrum – Kos
  • Seferihisar – Samos
  • Kaş – Kastellorizo
  • Ayvalik – Lesbos (Lesvos)
  • Kuşadası – Samos
  • Turgutreis – Kos
  • and as we have already said, İzmir – Thessaloniki

Ferry Tickets & Ferrys Schedules

FAQs About Going From Greece To Turkey

TRAVEL FROM TURKEY TO GREECE FAQs

What are the options for a ferry from Greece to Turkey?

Numerous ferry routes operate from Greece to Turkey, providing a range of options for travelers. Popular routes include the ferry from Bodrum, Turkey, to various Greek Islands and the ferry from Greece to Istanbul. These journeys offer a scenic and convenient method to traverse between the two nations.

Is there a direct Istanbul to Greece ferry available?

Yes, there are options for taking an Istanbul to Greece ferry. Routes and availability can depend on the season and current travel regulations. So, it’s advisable to check the latest Istanbul ferry to Greece schedules on our website or contact our customer service for accurate information.

Can I take a ferry from Turkey to the Greek Islands directly?

Absolutely, there are ferries from Turkey to the Greek Islands, offering a delightful and straightforward journey across the Aegean Sea. The routes, such as those from Bodrum, Turkey, to Greece, provide an excellent opportunity to explore the stunning landscapes and cultures of the Greek Islands.

What should I know about taking a ferry from Greece to Istanbul?

Taking a ferry from Greece to Istanbul allows you to witness the splendid views of the Aegean and Marmara Seas while transitioning between these vibrant cultures. Ensure to check the ferry schedules and be mindful of any travel restrictions or requirements, such as visas or health documentation, when traveling from Greece to Turkey.

How can I find more information about the Greece to Turkey ferry services?

More detailed information about Greece to Turkey ferry services, including schedules, prices, and booking options, can be found on our official website. Alternatively, you can get in touch with our customer service team, who will be happy to assist you in planning your journey between Greece and Turkey, ensuring a smooth and memorable voyage.

Where To Stay When Traveling From Thessaloniki To Istanbul

The following are some of the best places to stay in Thessaloniki when traveling to Istanbul.

Budget Places To Stay In Thessaloniki

Greece Travel Blog_Where To Stay In Thessaloniki_Hotel Kastoria
Photo Credit: Hotel Kastoria
  • Hotel Kastoria is a nice hotel in the city center; it is comfy and very affordable.
  • Little Studio, you can also check out this tiny apartment in a very central location and with affordable fees.

Mid-Range Accommodation In Thessaloniki

Greece Travel Blog_Where To Stay In Thessaloniki_Greece Travel Blog_Where To Stay In Thessaloniki_Hotel Olympia
Photo Credit: Hotel Olympia
  • Hotel Olympia is located just minutes from Aristotelous Square
  • Are you looking for a comfy home in town? Check out The Trilogy House, perfect for enjoying a more extended stay in town

Luxury Stays In Thessaloniki

Greece Travel Blog_Where To Stay In Thessaloniki_Electra Palace Thessaloniki
Photo Credit: Electra Palace Thessaloniki
  • Electra Palace Thessaloniki is right in the center of the city and is often described as one of the best hotels in Thessaloniki.
  • If you want to stay in a home, check out Icarus Penthouse in the central area of Aristotelous Square.

Where To Stay When Traveling From Athens To Istanbul

Although most convenient flights often depart from Thessaloniki, Athens has a broader choice of weekly flights to reach Istanbul; check these hotels if you’re staying in town before the departure.

Most of the hotels listed here are in Monastiraki. A stay in the area helps you easily reach any point in town since it is very well served by several means of transport. If you prefer to stay in another neighborhood in Athens, check out this Athens accommodation guide.

Budget Places To Stay In Athens

Greece Travel Blog_Best Places To Stay In Athens_Suitas
Photo Credit: Suitas
  • Check a convenient budget place in Athens, such as Tempi Hotel.
  • Suitas is a cozy house not far from the city center’s most important metro and train stations.

Mid-Range Accommodation In Athens

Greece Travel Blog_Where To Stay In Athens_Mythos Luxury Suites
Photo Credit: Mythos Luxury Suites
  • Mythos Luxury Suites is a lovely place to stay in the center of the Monastiraki area and very close to the metro.
  • Arethusa Hotel is another excellent place in town with stunning Acropolis views and a very convenient location.

Luxury Stays In Athens

Greece Travel Blog_Best Places To Stay In Athens_Amazing Penthouses With Acropolis View
Photo Credit: Amazing Penthouses With Acropolis View
  • Concierge Athens features self-catering units with very convenient facilities for families.
  • Finally, this Amazing Penthouse with Acropolis Views is a stylish place in Monastiraki, close to the train station.

Where To Stay In Istanbul

There are hundreds of places to stay in Istanbul. Choose a central place to stay to have easier access to landmarks such as the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia, or choose more romantic quarters for a quieter stay.

These are some of the best places to stay in Istanbul; check them out!

Budget Places To Stay In Istanbul

Balkans Travel Blog_How To Get From Greece To Turkey_Antique Hostel
Photo Credit: Antique Hostel
  • La Bella Hotel is located within 1 kilometer of Istiklal Street and 1.5 kilometers of Taksim Square in the center of Istanbul. It features units with a seating and dining area. The property offers a paid airport shuttle service.
  • Antique Hostel is located in the historic Sultanahmet district’s central area of Istanbul. Antique Hostel is only a few steps from Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and Topkapi Palace and has a rooftop restaurant with sea views. The hostel offers both private and shared facilities.

Mid-Range Places To Stay In Istanbul

Balkans Travel Blog_How To Get From Greece To Turkey_Albatros Hagia Sophia Hotel
Photo Credit: Albatros Hagia Sophia Hotel
  • Albatros Hagia Sophia Hotel is in the center of Sultanahmet, enjoying stunning views of the sea and the area. The hotel is just 350 m from Grand Bazaar and 500 m from Blue Mosque. Sultanahmet Tram Stop is 300 m away. The airport is 17 km from the hotel.
  • Constantinopoli Hotel is located in the district of Fatih, in Istanbul. It’s only 10 minutes walking distance to the historical site of Sultanahmet Square and steps from Cemberlitas Tram Station. Check more details here.

Luxury Places To Stay In Istanbul

Balkans Travel Blog_How To Get From Greece To Turkey_Hammamhane
Photo Credit: Hammamhane
  • Ferman Port Hotel is a beautiful property featuring a picturesque bar, shared lounge, and a garden only 500 meters from Galata Tower. See photos and other details here.
  • Check out the beautiful premises of Hammamhane Hotel for a luxurious stay in the romantic district of Beyoglu. The property has spacious suites with a private kitchen and a historical onsite Turkish Bath. Some suites also feature beautiful terraces. Every day, guests enjoy the traditional breakfast served in this atmospheric hotel, just meters from the best landmarks in town.

Where To Spend The Night It Komotini, Greece

Need to spend the night in Komotini when traveling by bus? Check these convenient, budget hotels.

  • Anatolia Hotel Komotini is located just meters from the city center and offers modern accommodation with free Wi-Fi in all areas.
  • Saint George Rooms is a convenient bed and breakfast in the city’s center.

Final Word

Traveling from Greece to Türkiye opens the door to a seamless blend of ancient marvels and vibrant cultures. Opting for cruise ships or ferry operators is not just the easiest way; it’s a journey that carves through the Aegean Sea, offering views of the Dodecanese Islands and the chance to hop off for a quick day trip or a delicious meal at a local restaurant.

For those preferring the skies, Aegean Airlines connects you directly, saving time for more explorations. Dive into the history by visiting ancient cities and sites with the help of a knowledgeable tour guide, or explore at your own pace to find Turkey’s unique cultural experiences. Whether it’s the architectural charm of Celsus Library or the serene beauty of Turkish seaside towns, making ticket reservations ahead of your travel dates ensures a smooth adventure.

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