Despite Troubles, Ferry Service Starts Again from Turkey to Greece

ATHENS – Their governments may be arguing over who owns rights to the seas and other issues, but a ferry service has resumed between Turkey’s city of Fethiye to the Greek island of Rhodes and will be followed by others to more destinations.

The service picked up again on Feb. 26 after stopping almost two years earlier when the COVID-19 pandemic struck and especially gives Turks living along the southern coast a chance to get back to a favored Greek destination.

In a report, Turkey’s pro-government newspaper The Daily Sabah said ferries will also have routes from Çeşme to Chios,  Rhodes and Ayvalık to Lesbos – Kos and Lesbos are two of the five Greek islands where Turkey has allowed human smugglers to keep sending refugees and migrants.

Most ferries, if not all, have services that leave in the morning and return the same afternoon, the paper said, nothing that there’s a short window to stay on Greek islands of 4-6 hours, limiting how much can be seen, unless staying overnight.

In off-season months when the weather is good the service can be curtailed because of wind or high seas but there will be plenty of boats and the cost is relatively affordable round-trip, 50 euros ($55.45) to get to Rhodes and back on the same day.

On March 1, the route from Çeşme to the North Aegean island of Chios will resume with vehicle-transporting ferries taking off at 2 p.m. from Çeşme with a return service leaving Chios at 5 p.m. the report said.


Coming off a record tourism year in 2023, Greece is poised for another with more airlines adding direct flights and named Best Tourist Destination in the world for 2024 at the Grand Travel Awards (GTA) in Sweden.

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