There used to be weekly ferry cruises
in summer from Ancona and Brindisi,
Italy, to Çeşme (west
Turkey, but there are now no
direct ferries between Turkey and Italy.
My friends at Anker
Travel in Kuşadası, experts
on Turkish, Aegean and Mediterranean
ferry and cruise services, have suggestions
by sea between Italy and Turkey.
Have a look at the map in
the right column of this page for
the ferry ports involved.
1. Depart from Brindisi or Bari in
Italy to the Greek port of Patras,
then drive, bus or train from Patras to
Piraeus (the port
for Athens) to cross
the Aegean Sea by ferry to a Greek
island, then to Turkey.
2. Depart from
Ancona or Venice in
Italy to the Greek ports of Patras or Igoumenitsa.
From Igoumenitsa to the Greek-Turkish
border at Ipsala is
only six hours by motorway/expressway,
a good way to travel to Istanbul or
3. From Piraeus, ferryboats depart
for these Greek islands with ferry
connections to Turkey:
—Piraeus-Lesvos-Ayvalık (cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Chios-Çeşme (cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Samos-Kuşadası (no cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Kos-Bodrum (cars allowed)
—Piraeus-Rhodes-Marmaris (cars allowed,
but sometimes it's difficult to get
—Piraeus-Rhodes-Fethiye (no cars allowed)
A first look, these routes may seem
longer and more expensive, as you must
take three ferries to complete the
trip. But in fact, travel times and
fares are sometimes similar to, or
even better than, the former direct
services between Italy and Turkey.
The reason is that the Adriatic
ferry lines (ie, Venice or Ancona or Brindisi or Bari
to Patras or Igoumenitsa) offer up to 45% discounts for advanced bookings, senior-citizens, families, etc.
Another advantage is that on
the Adriatic and Greek domestic lines
from April 1st till October 1st, camping on
board (with campers and caravans) is
a possibility, meaning that you do
not need to pay for a cabin on the
ship. A deck-class ticket will do.
Also, on the Adriatic lines,
some companies allow pets to
stay with their owners in ships' cabins
instead of in storage.
The one drawback is that it can be
difficult to obtain accurate information
on bus and train connections between
Patras and Piraeus, and between Igoumenitsa and Thessaloniki.
Interested? You can check
all ferry schedules and fares on Feribot.net. If
you can't find what you need, contact
the experts at Anker
Turkey <—> Greek Islands
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