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Turkey/Greeks Islands with kids/parents!


I am overwhelmed with Greek Island choices and trying to figure out ferry connections for our upcoming trip to Turkey/Greece. We are travelling with my parents and a 2yo and 6mo baby to Turkey, staying in Kusadasi after our flight into Istanbul (5nights in Istanbul).

We would then like a taste test of Greek Islands - starting in Samos, would like to go somewhere with fewest connections and easiest ferry routes but still go to a lovely destination that would have amenities for our travels (easy to travel around, restaurants etc). Current ideas from forums I have read include going to Mykonos - staying there for 3 nights and doing day trips to Paros (heard that it is very beautiful) and/or Naxos (purely because child-friendly beaches). I would prefer not to stay in Mykonos given that it has a party vibe, but seems to be the easiest island to link us back to Samos then Kusadasi again.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
2039 posts

What I suggest is to check with Openseas what are the possible destinations from an island based on your travel dates. When entering a departure island (or port) only the possible destination ports will be listed. By selecting one of these ports/islands you will see ferry connections for an entire week.

Posted by
2145 posts

In order for us to help you, a few more details are needed. When is your trip? Where will you fly in & out of? Are your flights already booked? How much total time do you have?

It sounds like you intend to travel from Kusadasi to Samos & other Greek islands, then back to Samos, and then Kusadasi. And then, back to Istanbul? The more we know, the more helpful we can be.

Posted by
2 posts

We are travelling in a month's time in June/July 2024 (yes it's last minute, but that's the way it's turned out). We have 3.5weeks in total for both countries. We have only purchased our flights into and out of Istanbul so that is a definite, everything else is fluid. We are staying with friends in Kusadasi hence why the port to enter the Greek Islands is there.

Current plan is 5 nights in Istanbul, flight to Izmir, drive to Kusadasi, stay there for 3-5 nights, go to Samos and then perhaps another island (would love to get to Naxos, but seems too far/hard) for 2-3 nights, back to Samos (1night for transfer(, back to Kusadasi for 3-5 nights, back to Istanbul 1 night at airport hotel before flying home.

Thanks very much for your advice.

Posted by
3362 posts

This thread creates what I considere the RS Forum's greatest flaw -- when one clicks to answer, all the previous posts disappear -- including VITAL infiormation.. so one must open another window. (Rick, fix this problem!)

I see you are travelling in HOT weather, with a tiny baby AND elderly parents... a recipe for disaster if you et over-ambitious. When I add up the time-commitments in Turkey (3 or 5) I come up with a maximum of 8 days or so for Greece, Including to/from Samos and to/from Samos to another island... with a newborn, a 2 year old and parent in the heat. Groan. We visited the N Aegean successfully but we were 4 healthy adults, going off-season in lovely weather, and did much advance "homework":

Have you checked out Samos? the best-known beach - Pythagorios - is a busy busy "package holiday" favorite for UK & Europe ... other beaches are either so - so.... or far far away from any points of interest. The port of Vathy has much of interest & I've stayed there 2x -- but only has small mediocre beaches -- a huge challenge for finding accommodations for your group.

As for visiting other islands -- another huge challenge ... we mianaged it, one May, by staying in Vathy & being willing to take ferries either at 7 am or midnight both ways -- to visit Chios and Patmos... and then went on to Naxos (but that ferry connection disappeared 15 years ago)O. Now even to nearby islands only a few ferries a week in July.. And ery llimited publilc transportation (unlike Samos which does have a bus network). And at this late date, accommodations are heavily booked. I highly recommend that instead, you think about 2 locations on Samos.

In sum, I think you risk a nightmarish situation unless you get VERY professional help... and are willing to spend what it takes, not only for lodging but perhaps car rental as well (and think about car-seat rentals! that puts you into a 3-row seat van situation). I'm getting a headache.

I recommend you immediately contact 3 Athens-based agencies that are accustomed to working entirely online with newcomers to Greece; they all have excellent reviews. Fantasy Travel, Dolphin-Hellas, and Aegean Thesaurus. You need email all of them at once, same t ext, -- you'll have to give fairly exact dates -- be specific ab out lodging needs (double beds/single/ cots/Kitchen?) ... indicate need for walking distance to restaturants, beaches etc, and rough est of budget range per night. Then see which answer fastest, & compare prices. It's your best hope.