Flights & getting there
The island group can be accessed by ferry from the mainland ports of Piraeus and Kavala. There is also a service connecting Limnos to the port of Lavrio.
Visiting Turkey’s Aegean coastal resorts and historical sites from Samos, Chios and Lesvos is easy. Visas aren’t usually necessary for day trips. While boat itineraries, prices and even companies change often, the following explains how things generally work.
From Samos, the Kuşadası Express leaves daily from either Vathy or Pythagorio for the 80-minute trip to Kuşadası (one way/return €40/60), a coastal resort near ancient Ephesus (Efes). Daily excursions run from May through to October, with the option to also visit Ephesus. For tickets and information in Vathy, contact By Ship Travel opposite the old ferry terminal. In Pythagorio, contact By Ship Travel at the main junction entering town. Additionally, a Turkish boat connects from Karlovasi in northern Samos to Sığacık (one way/return €30/40, five weekly), which is between Kuşadası and the airport at İzmir. None of these ferries has space for cars.
From Chios, daily departures year-round connect Chios Town with Çeşme, a port near İzmir; services are most frequent in summer and some carry vehicles on board. Boats depart morning and evening for the 40-minute journey (one way/return €20/30). Tour agencies on the seafront also sell package day trips to İzmir. Get information and tickets from Sunrise Tours.
From Lesvos, boats operated by Turkish company Turyol leave Mytilini Town for Ayvalık twice daily in summer and daily in winter (one way/return €15/25, 1½ hours). Thursday departures are especially popular for market day in Ayvalık. Vehicles are carried on board. Most Mytilini Town travel agencies sell Turkish tours; try Mitilene Tours or Tsolos Travel.