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Catie FunkTravels Chios Greece Greek Island

TRAVEL: 3 Day Itinerary for Chios, Greece – Sakız Adası

Chios is the first choice for both expats and Turks in the Izmir area when considering which Greek island to visit first. A quick 20-minute catamaran ferry ride in the morning and returning in the evening makes Chios the most popular choice from the beach town of Çeşme.

Located in the Aegean Sea, the island went through many names such as Pitioussa for its pines, Makris for its long shape, Aethalea for its volcano and Ofioussa for the many snakes. However, the name of Chios comes from the daughter of Inopion, Chiona rooted from the word hioni meaning too much snow fell on the island.

Chios’s Turkish name, Sakiz or Mastic, hails from the local island tree that produces a sappy, natural gum. Mastic is the leading local product. Gums, liqueurs, varieties of sweets, natural soaps and candles are just a few mastic products solely on the island.

While most people make Chios a day trip, a 3-day getaway was the perfect amount of time to explore most of the island while having time to relax. In the morning and evening, we enjoyed the beach near our apartment rental. During the day, we travel via rental car to see other parts of the island.

Enjoy our 3 Day Itinerary for Chios, Greece:

Day 1:

Arriving by the AM ferry, the 10-minute walk from the ferry to the car rental is easy and quick. Our pre-made reservation at Hatzelenis Tours (ran by our Airbnb owner’s son) ensured us easy and seamless pick-up and we were on our way! 

By making one big loop by car, you can see most of what South Chios has to offer.

From the Chios city center, head west to the 11th century Nea Moni Monastery and explore the renovated church and the now overgrown former quarter of monks. The 1881 earthquake had devastating effects on Chios, and almost every village has some remnants.  The monastery closes at 1 PM for the day, so make sure to visit it first.

From the Monastery, head another 20 minutes west to explore the deserted hilltop of Avantas. There is not much there besides a couple of cafes, an art studio and lots of old homes. After working up an appetite from exploring, we enjoyed a late lunch, ordering the traditional Mosak, at the restaurant and guesthouse which boast panoramic views of the opposite side of the island.

Because Chios’s Turkish name, Sakiz (Mastic), you cannot go to Chios without making it to the Mastic Museum, a 30-minute drive south of the Nea Moni Monastery located in Mastichochoria region (literally meaning mastic villages).

The Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation (PIOP) created the Mastic Museum as part of 9 cultural heritage museums throughout Greece, affordable to all for only 3 euros a person. The museum is an architectural beauty with its tall glass walls mixed with natural wood and concrete features. The story of traditional mastic cultivations and the economic value throughout history is creatively explained through multimedia applications, excellent video documentaries, models, and original machinery in functioning order.

Day 2:

Spend a day at the beach. Our favorite beach was the Volcanic Rock Beach, Emporio. The secluded little cove is famous for its black round lava stones and is perfect for enjoying the water and sun without the hassle of sand. Pack a lunch or enjoy lunch at Porto Emporios in the little town nearby. 

Day 3:

If time, the medieval sister cities of Mesta, Olympi, and Pyrgi all have their claim to fame. Go inside Mesta’s castle walls to the center to explore the small streets. The main square has cafes, coffee or ice cream. Olympi has nothing too spectacular except in season (April 1 to October 1) when the caves tours provide an escape from the summer heat. Prygri’s homes are all engraved with the black and white motifs. The cities of Mesta and Olympi have a 1-hour long, well-marked walking trail, 1 of 8 on the island.

OR

Spend this day in Chios town before departing back to Ceşme, Turkey. Our return was on Sunday AND Greek Independence day and quite a few places were closed (Check out our 8 Tips for Traveling to Greek Islands from Turkey for this information). However, you can always walk through the unimpressive Chios Castle and all the museums: the Chios Archeological Museum, Maritime Museum, and Byzantine Museum.

If you are like us, we prefer to eat our way through a city. Below I referenced some places we enjoyed eating at in Chios City!

How to get there:

Check out our 8 Tips for Traveling to Greek Islands from Turkey where I explain more about the ferry system from Turkey to the Greek Islands.

Where to eat:

For pork lovers, the 3 Little Pigs in Chios city makes your favorite Turkish ‘et döner’ but replaced with pork meat. At 2 Euros a sandwich, the price is just as favorable. For an afternoon coffee or cocktail, you must check out No. 44 where a crowd enjoys iced coffees. Make sure to ask for the complimentary chocolate covered donut that comes with your drink order. For ice-cream lovers, Kronos is sure to please with it’s white, diner-like appeal and creamy, gelato flavors.

Where to stay:

Kafas is a smaller beach town that is just a 15-minute drive south of Chios city center. Our Airbnb rental was right on the beach (sign up via our referral code for $20 credit!). If we wanted, we could have skipped the rental car and stayed in this self-sufficient little town which is complete with a market and a few restaurants and cafes.

What to buy:

Mastic products! Whatever you desire, you can most likely find a product made with mastic. The natural, mastic gum is a tourist favorite choice. The natural gum has an irregular shape because it is unprocessed! Lotions, soaps, food flavorings, and even liquors are all available as well. The Mastihashop is a favorite shop to purchase quality mastic items.

I hope you found my 3 Day Itinerary for Chios, Greece helpful! We will definitely return for another weekend! There is so much more to see!

We want to hear from you!

Did you enjoy this 3 Day Itinerary for Chios, Greece?

Have you been to Chios, Greece?

What did you love when you traveled to Chios?

Pin it for later or share it via Pinterest with a friend!

Listen to our 3 day Chios getaway via our podcast!

Episode 50: When you move on to new things

Read more information about other islands we have visited:

ADOPTION: The Funks are adopting!

We have some big news to share with everybody!

Are you ready?

We’re adopting!

That’s right!

So let’s start at the beginning where is the beginning…. oh, goodness, where’s the beginning?  

I’m gonna chat about 3 things:

    1. Why we want to adopt
    2. Why we want to adopt now
    3. What that process will look like for us

Why we want to adopt

Let’s start with why we want to adopt in the first place. Both of us, even before we knew each other – before we started dating or got married, we’ve both had a desire to adopt. If you ask my parents if you ask anybody who knows me well, it’s always been something that I have had a passion for and have desired to do in the future. A desire to add to your family, not from just biological kids but adding through adoption. Taking care of other children and have them in your home, to become part of your family, is something that I’ve always wanted to do. Also, we hope to be able to make a better, lifelong change for a child who, through no fault of their own, lost their family or their family couldn’t provide for them.  We hope to provide for a child like that and give them a hope in the future – a safe place to grow up.

This desire for adoption is also something that’s really important to us in our faith. We believe that God adopted us as His children, and likewise, we too are called to provide and adopt other people into like our lives and into our homes – one way to do that is through adoption

Why we want to adopt now

Currently, we don’t have any children of our own and it is something that we do desire and hope one day we will have. However,\ at the same time, we have wanted to have adopted children. Whichever one comes first for us is just as equally exciting. Since we’re of the age where we want to have children and we want to start a family, we know too that the adoption process can take a while. These factors lead us to decide that now is a good time to start the process.

We knew that the adoption could take awhile and we thought: Well, if we know we want to adopt sometime in the future and if it’s going to take a few years maybe to actually finish the adoption, we should just start the process now so that in a few years you know we’re further down the trail and we can keep going with it.

Last fall (2017) we started talking about it more seriously and I, in my usually excited nature, have a way of getting way ahead of Jason. To be fair though, I have been asking Jason if we can go ahead and adopt kids since we got married.  Basically, I’ve been fixated on it for quite some time, knowing now is the time for sure that we should move forward.  Regardless of my intuition, I had coasted really far down the road of researching all of these agencies and knowing everything about everything about adoption, and Jason had barely done any research. Jason had to tell me to stop and remind me that we need to make this decision TOGETHER.

From that discussion, we decided to read a book about adoption it’s called Adoptive For Life. The book was really helpful for us to learn about adoption and helped us talk through what type of adoption we should pursue. After reading it we decided, “okay, let’s let’s do this!”

Thankfully, we found some fellow expats who both live in Turkey and adopted. Per their agency recommended and our research, we applied to use them. Since we’re living overseas and this agency knows how to work with people overseas, it seems like a great fit so far.  

What that process will look like for us

The process of adoption looks different for everyone. While there are lots of reasons people go with domestic or international, we have chosen to go through an international adoption instead of a domestic adoption. From reading the book together and talking about adoption together, we felt that while we are living in Turkey, adopting from a nearby country would be absolutely great and easier for us.  

I’ll share a lot more specifics about the adoption as we go along, both via videos first then transcribe it to a post like this one. Right now we’re still pretty early in the process and so there’s a lot of things we just don’t know yet. Some of those being:

    1. we don’t know we don’t know how long it’s may take
    2. we don’t know who the kids are
    3. how many kids we’re going to adopt (yes, we get to decide!)

We are really excited about the adoption and there are going be ways that y’all can support us through this journey. We asked right now for your support and your encouragement.  

As well we hope to encourage other people too who want to adopt – especially those who live overseas. We hope you will consider. Just because you live in another country, doesn’t mean that you can’t adopt.

***Watch a video of our announcement HERE.

 

Questions for you folks out there! I want to hear from you!

Have you adopted before?

Do you hope to adopt in the future?

Any positive words or tips you have for us as we go through this process?

 

Note about adoptions in Turkey: Adopting from Turkey is basically impossible for us. That being said, we didn’t even try to adopt from the Turkish system, and we don’t actually know if it’s impossible for us. We’ve heard from many other people who have lived here as expats that adopting from Turkey that is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Some of the rules make it hard for even Turks to adopt.  However, it can be possible to have a private foreigner to foreigner adoption through the courts, but it is not easy to come by. It is something we hope to be considered for in the future.

Share our news via Pinterest for others to join in on our journey!

CatieFunkTravels Rodes Island Greece

TRAVEL: 2 Day Itinerary for Rhodes, Greece

Just slightly smaller than Lesvos and 4th largest of all Greek islands, Rhodes is a hub for cruise ships pouring 1,000s of travelers into the city for short land-side excursions. Fortunately for us, our travels did not overlap with the hordes of cruises.

Only 20 mi/30 km from the Turkish coast, Rhodes Island is popular for its lively nightlife, excellent beaches, flowers, hills and historical sites. The island has a fairly active artists’ colony, and it’s not uncommon to come across a painter at work.

Rhodes island offers its visitors a history that goes back in time thousands of years, to the ages of mythology.

The beautiful myth of Rhodes says that after Zeus’s victory against the Giants, he decided to divide the earth among the Olympian gods; The only god who received nothing was Helios, the god of the Sun.

He, according to the myth, was absent and “No one remembered to include him in the draw”! When he came back he demanded his share, but Zeus told him that he was not able to make the cast again because the rest of the gods would not agree. Helios was disappointed but asked Zeus and the other gods to promise that the land that was to rise out of the sea could be his.

As he spoke, a beautiful island slowly emerged from the bottom of the blue sea, Rhodes. Helios bathed Rhodes with his own radiance and made it the most beautiful island in the Aegean Sea.

The visitor can find monuments and evidence of Rhode’s long history and myth to explore scattered all over the island. Some of the most important historical sights and monuments on the island are:

In Rodos City:

  • The Acropolis of Rhodes
  • The Archaeological Museum of Rhodes
  • The Medieval City of Rhodes and the Palace of the Grand Masters

Outside of Rodos City:

  • The Acropolis of Lindos
  • The castle of Monolithos
  • The castle of Kritinia
  • The castle of Feraklos in Haraki
  • Ancient Lalysos
  • Ancient Kamiros

Rhodes Greece Rhodos Greek Island

Here is my 2 Day Itinerary to Rodes, Greece: 

Spend Day 1 in Old Town

Much of its flavor and architecture arrived with the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, who occupied it 1310-1522. In the capital, Rodos, see the medieval quarter of Old Town.

Old Town is surrounded by the most impressive, well-maintained pair of medieval walls which easily could take hours to see all the towers and former moats. A UNESCO site since 1988, the parallel walls are separated by a dry moat and is in outstanding condition. The 3.2 mi/5 km long and 12 meters wide walls distinguish Old Town from the rest of the city.

Inside the walls, each street and turn compelled us further into the maze of streets taking time to meander through the Greek, Turkish and Jewish neighborhood. Along the way, we stopped for lunch and shopping at little pockets of shops. (see below for a list of our favorite restaurants)

Your tour must include time at the 14th century Grand Master’s Palace, the most prominent historical and architectural landmark and once the residence of the Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller. The Palace holds two permanent archaeological exhibitions: “Ancient Rhodes – 2400 years” celebrating 2400 years since the founding of the city of Rhodes (408/7 BC) and “Rhodes from the Early Christian period to the Turkish conquest (1522)” covers the city from the 4th century AD until the beginning of the Ottoman period.

For €10, a 3-day ticket includes entrances into the Grand Masters’ Palace, Archaeological Museum, the church of Our Lady of the Castle and the Decorative Arts Collection.

Rhodes Greece Rhodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

CatieFunkTravels Rhodes Rodes Island Greece Greek Islands

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

 

Spend Day 2 in New Town and outside the city.

New Town is north of Old Town. Mandilara Street is home to some of the best restaurants and shopping in New Town. The long-standing Koykos Restaurant serves traditional Rhodian recipes such as Koulouria, a hand-made local pasta topped with fresh crumbly cheese and spices is beloved by both locals and tourist.Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

The Agios Nikolas Tower (at the harbor entrance), marks where one of the legendary 7 Wonders of World, Colossus of Rhodes, once stood.  The Colossus of Rhodes was a statue of the Greek titan-god of the sun Helios, and once straddled the harbor which boats had to enter through. Now, unimpressive columns are set in place of the feet as a remembrance and are considered an island ‘must’ see.

How to get there: From the Old town’s East wall, you walk the jetty with the three, well-preserved Wiatraki Rhodes Windmills toward the Fort of St. Nicolas. The jetty makes a turn to close in the harbor, and at the end is the ancient Colossus. Now you can take the best picture of the two Colossus with Rodos in the background.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

CatieFunkTravels Rodes Island Greece

As you walk the outskirts of new town along the coast, take a quick look at the painted walls of the Eklisia Church to see the walls that are covered from floor to ceiling in paintings of scenes from the Bible and of the saints.

Lastly, even if you don’t get in the water, spend an hour resting your feet from the walking and enjoy another view of the Mediterranean Sea at the beaches before heading back to Turkey.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

If time:

Most travelers are only staying in Rhodes 1 day. I would suggest spending most of the time in the Old Town, but make sure to walk along the outside of the Old Town by the water so you enjoy the sea as well!

During the high season, between April-October, a double-decker sightseeing bus waits for travelers and cruise passengers at the port. While the bus could use some work on the sound system, the 12 Euro day pass gives you access to 2 buses making an hour-long loop around the city of Rodes; a quick way to get your bearing of where you may want to spend your day.

The route also passes by the unimpressive Acropolis of Rhodes to see a theater, stadium and two temples. The buses pass by every hour which gives you chances to stop and look through the ruins before catching the next bus.  If time permits in your busy schedule and the buses aren’t in season, you can hike or take a taxi.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

How to travel from Turkey to Rhodes:

The 1-hour fast ferry takes passengers from the Marmaris port in Turkey to the entrance of the Old Town, Rodos of Greece. Rodos splits into ‘new town’ and ‘old town.’ If you have two days, spend one day exploring each. See my articles 8 Tips for Traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey to explain the one-way and round-trip tickets from Turkey.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Where to eat:

In New Town, the long-standing Koykos Restaurant served traditional Rhodian recipes. “Koulouria” with fresh local pasta and crumbly cheese and spices is beloved by both locals and tourist. In Old Town, the Odyssey Restaurant offers up delicious traditional Greek dishes at a reasonable price for the touristy part of town. I suggest the mixed meze plate for 2 and a mug of the local Alpha beer.

Our nontraditional restaurant choice would be the George & Maria Art of Falafel, located near the Koykos Restaurant on Mandilara Street. For dessert, we enjoyed yummy, single serving lemon pies from PURE Sweets & More in New Town.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

Where to stay:

For budget travelers, we recommend the Lydia Hotel in New Town (50 Euros per night) or the Medieval Rose Inn guesthouse in Old Town (25-30 Euros per night). In New Town, the fore-mentioned Koykos Restaurant is also a beloved 8-room guesthouse. If you like a little luxury, Rhodes Park, and Suites Hotel near Old Town (180 Euros per night). This island is so small that it would be easy to stay in the central city and take day trips to other areas of the island.

What to buy:

When your sandals break in Greece, buy another pair! I heard Chios was the place for leather shopping, but Rodos has way more options. Real soft leather sandals in the latest fashion cost around 35 to 45 Euros.

Rhodes Greece Rodos Greek Island

 

I hope you found my 2 Day Itinerary for Rodos, Greece helpful! We will definitely return for another weekend and explore other parts of the islands! There is so much more to see!

Watch our video about our travels to Rhodes Greek Island HERE.

We want to hear from you!

Did you enjoy this 2 Day Itinerary for Rodos, Greece?

Have you been to Rodos, Greece?

What did you love when you traveled to Rodos?

 

Like it?! Share it or pin it for later!

Read more information about other islands we have visited:

8 Tips for Traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey

Chios (coming soon)

Lesvos (coming soon)

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

IZMIR: Izmir’s Largest Outdoor Market: Karşıyaka Bostanlı Pazar

Ever curious about what a local market looks like for us in Izmir, Turkey? Look no further than the Bostanlı Pazar!

In this article, I cover: 

How large is the Bostanlı Pazar?
What should you bring to the Bostanlı Pazar?
What should you be aware of before you go to the Bostanlı Pazar?

Here we go!

Depending on one’s love of crowds, the weekly outdoor market of Bostanlı Pazar competes for one of the best or one of the worst parts of Turkey. The empty covered parking in a matter of hours is filled to the brim with a surprisingly organized array of stands that sell fruit, vegetables, nuts, clothes and household items. The sellers can be heard in the distant calling out for buyers and sharing how scrumptious their products taste.

The Bostanlı Pazar, established in Karşıyaka’s (literally “the other side”) Bostanlı neighborhood, exceeds the normal neighborhood bazaar by being the largest market in Izmir. Not overly touristy, sights and sounds of daily life in Turkey engulf visitors as they enter the market. But unlike other smaller markets, tourists can still find more traditional Turkish items for sale such as Turkish towels and antique dishes. In addition, local vendors with shops downtown bring their rugs, purses and handcrafted jewelry to the market.

However, the experience is not for everyone. The market can be loud and very busy, especially in the afternoon and evening. Exploring the market in the morning will allow for a more relaxed experience. While the items are a bargain, quality items are rare. Bargain vendors sell clothes with minor defects, such as dresses/shirts with small holes in them or t-shirts with a slight offset in the print.

Time:

This famous Bostanlı Pazar is only open on Wednesdays.

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

How to get there:

The Bostanlı Pazar attracts visitors from all over the city. After taking a bus or ferry to the Bostanlı Iskelesi, the market is an easy 10 minutes walk. Several buses also travel from Karşıyaka and Bostanlı by the Bostanlı Pazar on their way to Mavişehir. Otherwise, for around 10 lira you can grab a taxi for a quick drop off right by the entrance.

Traveling by car presents a slight difficulty because the parking is difficult and hard to come by the later it gets in the day. The 6 lane seaside road between the Bostanlı Pazar and the coast becomes 4 lanes as visitors start parking in the side lanes. There is a small parking lot to the east of the market but it is usually packed with the seller’s vehicles.

What to bring:

  • Cash: Some vendors that sell higher priced items like rugs may have a credit card payment option. However, cash will usually get you a discount since there is no fee required for the payment.
  • Rolling cart: For larger purchases or hungry eyes, bring a rolling cart to make the trip home easier to manage! The kilos of fruits and vegetables quickly add up!
  • Camera: If you are touring the markets on vacation, bring your camera to take pictures! After checking the locals’ approval for a photo, you may find the seller calling you over to their stands to pose for a shot!

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

What to eat:

Of course, the vendors always offer up samples of their food but make sure to leave room for the gözleme stands outside of the covered Bostanlı Pazar.  Gözleme is like a Turkish quesadilla except not as much cheese and thiner dough (see video below!) With several stands to choose from, order a potato, spinach, cheese or eggplant stuffed gözleme and drink an ayran  (salty yogurt drink) and relax with your meal in the provided chairs and tables.

How to navigate the market:

If coming for the experience and not for a weeks supply of food, start the tour from the west side where the clothing and household items are sold. The middle section is full of vegetables and fruits that are in season, nuts, pickles and fresh herbs. The last section on the far east is reserved for cheese, olives, and seafood. Many varieties of cheese from different parts of Turkey can be found in these cheese stalls. Come hungry as vendors are eager to let you sample their products.

What to buy:

Some of the items that you see are priced about the same as what you would get from a local market, but other items, such as shawls and women and children’s clothing, can be found at ridiculously cheap prices (as low as 5 TL or less). Make sure to try the dried fruit and nuts (“kuruyemiş”).

 

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Bostanlı Pazar Izmir Turkey

Visiting with the family:

The market spans a large area and even regular visitors find themselves lost among the ever-changing stalls. While it is possible to come with young children, it can be difficult. The crowds are tricky to navigate and they can easily get lost. Children who grow tired of shopping can enjoy the seaside park across the street.

A final note:

If you really want to experience a market in Izmir and you miss the Wednesday market in Bostanlı, there are other markets in nearby Karşıyaka on Sunday (only food) and Tuesday (only clothes and household items).

Note: This article was originally guest-posted for Yabangee.

 

I would love to hear from you! Comment below or on the video answering one of the following questions:

1. Have you been to this market – the “Bostanlı Pazar“?
2. What tips do you have?
3. What did you find interesting from the video?
Like this post! Save it for later!
CatieFunkTravels Rodes Rhodes Greece Greek Islands

TRAVEL: 8 Tips for Traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey

When you look at a map, the islands just off the Aegean coastline look like they belong to Turkey. But they are actually part of the Greek islands. Travelers in Turkey can access the EU with a quick ferry ride.

Once belonging to the same ancient empires and rulers, the Greek islands have a messy mix of overlapping Greek and Turkish history. While you could say that the citizens living in either country are entirely native, you will find that most Greeks and Turks in the southwest of Turkey have a jumbled heritage of Greek and Turkish ancestors.

Today, the Greek laid-back Islanders and relaxed warm Turkish people of Izmir have a comfortable relationship that politicians could learn a thing or two about.

Alongside the history, travelers like to visit the Greek Islands for the ease of island life. Big cities like Rome and London also come with traffic and crowds of people. While we saw a few people from the ferry, tourist lines were never a problem on the Greek Islands.

When traveling to the gorgeously sunny areas of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, the Greek Islands of Chios (click here to listen to our podcast about Chios), Lesvos, and Rhodos, are the perfect international day trips from the Turkish coast.

CatieFunkTravels Lesvos Island Greece Greek Islands
Lesvos, Greece – Greek Islands

But before you go, here are 8 tips for traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey:

  1. Check your visa requirements! Rules still apply for entering the EU. Some islands have daily visa pass, but make sure your nationality can purchase them.
  2. Traveling to the island is best in the summer: May to September. The island comes to life with other travelers, and all the shops are ready to greet you. But if you are like us and want a more relaxed, getaway, consider coming in the off-months: October- April.
  3. Chios and Lesvos are relatively protected from the masses of cruise lines and craziness that comes with the hordes of tourists being dumped onto the island all at once. Rhodos, however, is another story. For a more enjoyable experience, consider checking out this island during the off-season or the edges of the summer season.
  4. Booking your ferry tickets online is easy. From the several websites I have used, I suggest www.marmarisferry.com provided the most diverse selection of routes and online payment.
    • Chios’ daily departures in both on and off-season. Tickets are a flat one-way fee of 20 Euros (40 Euros round trip).
    • Lesvos’ schedule is irregular in the off-season but picks up around the summer months. Tickets are a flat one-way fee of 25 Euros (50 Euros round trip).
    • Rhodos charges 30 Euro extra per roundtrip (40 Euros for same day round trip) if you arrive and depart on different days.CatieFunkTravels Lesvos Greece Greek Islands

      Catie FunkTravels Chios Greece Greek Islands
      Chios, Greece – Greek Islands
  5.  Rental cars are easy and cheap to rent for your desired amount of time. Even if you have a car, you will find that renting a car for a day or 2 will be cheaper than paying for your car ferry fee and the extra required international insurance on the island. Only if you plan to stay for longer than four days should you consider taking your vehicle.
  6. While I thought it was just a Spanish tradition, Greeks also honor a similar afternoon siesta from 1-3 PM. Most shops besides restaurants and cafes will take a break mid-day for lunch and rest. At 3 PM the shops reopen for shoppers until 6 PM or if in a shopping district, 8-9 PM. Also, if you want to travel around the island, make sure to see the big city when you first arrive.
  7. On Sundays, most non-food shops close, and the shopping areas become a ghost town. Thankfully, most shops near the water stay open for locals and the random tourists waiting for their ferry boats back to Turkey. If you are looking to grab some European products to take back to Turkey, Lidl and other supermarkets have a large, affordable selection of goods. However, they close on Sundays.
  8. While the refugee crisis has potentially affected some of the Greek Islands, we never saw any disruptive events or services during our visits. Besides the occasional beggar near the port areas, which is common in most cities, we saw none in the other regions of Greece.

CatieFunkTravels Lesvos Greek Islands Greece

CatieFunkTravels Rhodes Rodes Island Greece Greek Islands
Rhodes, Greece – Greek Islands

I hope you enjoyed these 8 tips for traveling to the Greek Islands from Turkey.  Have you traveled to the island? What tips do you have from your travels to the islands?

Now to you:

What Greek Islands have you traveled too?

What did you love about your travels there?

What are your tips for traveling to the Greek Islands?

 

Read more information about other islands we have visited: (coming soon!)

Chios

Lesvos

Rhodos

 

 

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