Island Hop Day Trip from Greece to Turkey

Island Hop Greece

One of the luxuries of visiting the Mediterranean is being able to island-hop between them. Cruise ships, private yachts, and ferries herd crowds of people from one ancient wonder to the next. But if you’re up for an adventure, ditch the Greek Isles for a day trip to Turkey on a speedboat over to Bodrum. Boats leave daily from the ports in Kos and Rhodes. An hour later, the sweet smells of wafting hookah and the low, melodic calls to prayer, fill the air long before your feet hit solid ground.

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  1. Day Trip from Greece to Turkey
  2. Kalimera to Günaydın
  3. The Charms of an Ancient Port City
  4. The Leisure Crowd
  5. Accommodations
  6. Activities
Aerial-View-Beach-Bodrum-Peninsula-1 Island Hop Day Trip from Greece to Turkey


Island hopping to Bodrum

Day Trip from Greece to Turkey

I visited Bodrum for the first time a few years ago on a day trip from Kos Greece with my kids. It sounded beautiful and exotic, and the first visit to a Muslim country. So I was a little anxious, but far more curious.

All the tourist shops offer excursions to nearby islands. Kos became a regular hangout for the kids and me. And cheap flights on Ryan Air allowed us to escape the harsh German winters. And the ancient port city of Bodrum is a great day trip. But I digress.

Myndos-Gate-Myndos-Kapisi-1 Island Hop Day Trip from Greece to Turkey


Kalimera to Günaydın

I want to start by saying my anxiety was unnecessary. The locals flung pleasantries upon us the moment we arrived. It was a little overwhelming. Before leaving Kos, we grabbed a Turkish language cheat sheet, which we studied on the 50-minute boat ride across the Aegean. My son put it to use immediately, and not unsurprisingly, it was met in kind. An hour later, he had racked up two or three complete sentences, hurling them at passersby like a seasoned quarterback. And every encounter ended with a sincere “my brother,” which empowered him even more.

Sailing-from-Kos-to-Bodrum-on-a-Speed-Boat Island Hop Day Trip from Greece to Turkey

Ancient Port City of Bodrum

Turkey is rebounding from three years of political unrest, which affected its economy. However, things seem to turn around. In 2018, tourism increased by 22%. This year an estimated 40 million international tourists entered the country, and I was fortunate to be one of them. Although Istanbul continues to be Turkey’s top travel destination, the Turquoise Coast, also called the Turkish Riviera, is enticing travelers to its beautiful coastline of the Aegean Sea.

Bodrum is So old. How old is it? It was mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey more than 2,500 years ago. And Alexander the Great liked it so much, he added it to his, already impressive, conquest.

The port city spreads upwards from a crescent-shaped bay dominated by the towering 15th-century castle of St. Peter. Today, island hopping to Bodrum’s markets, nightlife, and ferry port is trendy. Boats make daily day trips to the Greek island of Kos, 50 minutes away. And that’s how I first discovered Bodrum.

turkey-bodrum-castle-of-st-peter Island Hop Day Trip from Greece to Turkey

See also a day trip to Rhodes, Riding the Overnight Ferry to Santorini, and Flying with RyanAir.

The Leisure Crowd

Turkey’s leisure crowd has been island hopping to Bodrum for many years.  It has all the necessary attractions for a summer vacation. There’s a marina (Yalikavak Marina), a castle and some Roman ruins.  However, unlike some of its closest neighbors– Santorini, Capri, or Taormina– it’s mostly undiscovered– aka cheaper and less overrun with tourists.


I’ve only visited for the day. But, like many sleepy seaside cities in the area, Bodrum lacked upscale accommodations. However, Bodrum’s tourism board is preparing for an influx of tourists. And several hotels and resorts like the Bodrum Edition, the Six Senses Kaplankaya, and Mandarin Oriental have filled the void. And more private villas and a Four Seasons nestled in the hillside above the turquoise sea is scheduled to open in 2020.

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There are several cute shops, restaurants, and cafes. Sit and enjoy the call to prayer while enjoying a lovely mint hookah under one of its shaded streets. Or explore one of the original seven wonders of the ancient world, the Tomb of Mausolus or the Greek amphitheater above it for a sense of the city’s past.

My boys love hot tea, so we ordered a cup with lokma, the local donuts, in a little cafe shielded from the menacing sun. Just as we sat down to enjoy our snack, the call to prayer bellowed out from somewhere in the distance. And without a word from me, they both finished their lunch in respectful silence.

We toured the museum and ruins, shopped for a hookah, and got henna tattoos. Then as we always do when we travel. We look for something to climb, throw, or hit. Boys!!!

But the main reason people have come to Bodrum is the beach. Or should I say beaches, because there are several to choose from like Bitez, Torba, Yahsi, and Gümbet, to name a few? Just don’t ask me to pronounce them. They are all beautiful— offering a front-row seat to the blue, green, and teal-colored waters of the majestic Aegean Sea.

And most of them are just a pebble toss from any one of the fishing villages’ locally-owned cafes and restaurants. When you do go, make sure you try the midye dolma. It’s stuffed mussels filled with rice, onion, black pepper, and pimento.


Blue-Turkey-Attractions-Booking-Site-Sale-Travel-Story-Ad-576x1024 Island Hop Day Trip from Greece to Turkey


  1. Ewa

    Island Hop between Greece and Turkey that sounds like a great idea for me especially since these two countries are on my list of dream destinations.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      Thanks Shannon, I hope you get the chance one day– both are great places to eat and play in the sun.

  2. Idalmis

    It’s such a great experience to learn about different cultures, their cuisine, history…Now I know something new through your post. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. Stacey

      Exactly, that’s why I love to travel around the world. For the interaction with people from different cultures, foods and culture.

    1. duffelbagspouse

      You are so right, I’d go anywhere right about now, if it were safe. But this is definitely something to think about when can all roll out again. But I needed to write about a travel experience and this is definitely one of my favorites.

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