Ferries in Bodrum and Cruises

You have been asking a wide range of “how-to” questions about Bodrum. “How to get to Bodrum by ferry from Izmir or Istanbul” is a popular one. I am afraid the answer is, you cannot. Ferries in Bodrum are only for getting to Datca or a few Greek Islands.

Unfortunately, sea transportation is not a common way for travelling in Turkey with a handful exceptions like Istanbul and Izmir city ferry lines.

Geographically Turkey lies over two peninsulas of Europe and Asia continents: Thrace and Asia Minor, which is also known as Anatolia.

Small cruise ship at Bodrum
One of the regulars and also my favourite. She always visits Bodrum with her twin sister.

These two peninsulas are surrounded by four seas: The Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Aegean Sea to the west, the Black Sea to the north and the Marmara Sea between Anatolia and Thrace.

The total length of Turkey’s coastline measures more than 8,000 kilometres. This is a huge number which is longer than many other countries like Portugal, Spain, Denmark and even Iceland.

Sadly, despite the potential we have, Turkey has failed to utilize surrounding seas for carrying passengers or cargo loads. Bodrum is not an exception.

Bodrum has a few – but exciting – sea transport alternatives. You can take advantage of the regular ferries in Bodrum to see one of the most beautiful towns of the southern Aegean, Datca, for example. Or you can plan a daily trip to some of the Greek Islands in the neighbourhood.

Location of ports in Bodrum
Ports of Bodrum

Visiting the town with cruise ships is another significant option. Catching a glimpse of beautiful coastal towns in the Mediterranean is a romantic dream for many travellers and Bodrum’s Cruise Port is a popular stop for the cruise lines.

I will not cover world-famous blue cruises or daily boat trips here. Due to their popularity and content which demands special attention, you will find them in separate articles at Enjoy Bodrum.

If you are willing to learn about your local sea transportation options in Bodrum, click here.

The goal of this web site is to share some insider information to enhance your experience. After considering the generic information and opinions, booking a transport or hotel requires touch of a professional. A travel agency or a ticket office can help you to take action.

Ferries to Greek Islands

As you sit at a seaside café in Bodrum in the daytime, the silhouette of Kos Island rises behind the hills of Bardakci Bay and Bitez. It is so close that – just 20 kilometres away from Bodrum – you can see the city lights of our Greek neighbours, garnishing the view at nights.

There are frequent ferry trips between Bodrum Peninsula and some of the Greek Islands. Two largest towns, Bodrum and Turgutreis, have direct routes to various Greek Islands, especially in summers.

Ferryboat ports at nearby locations
Nearby destinations you can visit by ferries

Ferries in Bodrum are run by privately owned companies and the schedules are subjected to change due to demand. I will keep it simple by providing only the available routes’ common frequencies to avoid any confusion or misleading,

From Bodrum to;

  • Kos; every day in summers, 5 days per week in winters
  • Leros: once a week in summers
  • Patmos; once a week in summers
  • Rhodes; twice a week in summers
  • Symi; twice a week in summers

From Turgutreis to;

  • Kalymnos; once a week in summers
  • Kos; every day in summers
  • Leros; twice a week in summers

You can buy your ferry tickets online. So far, I have only used Bodrum Feribot, but there are more services like Yesil Marmaris Lines. A brief Google search should list other available services to compare pricing.

Ferries in Bodrum to Greek Islands have two separate departure points. The most popular one is the old harbour, which is at the town centre, just in front of the Bodrum Castle entrance.

Fast catamaran at Bodrum Cruise Port
Ferry returning to the cruise port from Kos Island

The second one is the Cruise port which is 2.5 kilometres away from the old harbour. To get there, you need either to walk 20-25 minutes from the town centre or to take an Icmeler minibus and ask the driver to drop you off near the cruise port. After a 2 to 3-minute walk down the hill, you are at the port.

Both ports have their own customs, passport controls and kiosks offering ferry tickets. Still, it is safer not to leave it to the last minute in the peak season.

In Turgutreis, ferries depart at the south of D-Marine Marina, which is a central location. As in Bodrum, it has ticketing kiosks, custom services, and passport control. Unlike Bodrum, ferries from Turgutreis to Greek Island are usually available only in summers.

To visit Greek islands, you need your passport and visa. Greece is an EU country and it is a part of Schengen zone. Normally no visa is required for EU or US citizens, but you should check the latest updates with your embassy or the travel agency.

Ferries from Bodrum to Peaceful Datca

Datca is a quiet and amazing town surrounded by natural and historical beauties. It is located on Datca peninsula which separates the Aegean Sea from The Mediterranean Sea. This is a town which I would like to share more articles about here in Enjoy Bodrum.

Because of the wavy coastline and the bendy road between Marmaris and Datca, driving there from Bodrum typically takes 4 hours. However, you can get there with a ferryboat in 90 minutes.

Bodrum - Datca Ferryboat kiosk
Kiosk to purchase Bodrum – Datca ferryboat tickets

Ferryboats from Bodrum departs from the old harbour, near Tepecik Cami close to Bodrum Marina.

Ferryboats from Bodrum to Datca arrive at the Bodrum-Datca Ferryboat Port which is at the north of the Datca Peninsula. Shuttles from the port to Datca town centre are available upon your arrival and they are free. The distance between the two points is 10 kilometres.

Between April and October, daily round trips are available from the old harbour, leaving Bodrum every morning and returning back on the same day in the evening. I think this is a great opportunity making new discoveries while you are in Bodrum.

The schedules become tricky in winters, though. Once a ferry leaves, it returns back on the next day. You can spend the night at Datca and enjoy fresh sea food and delicious mezes in cute and cosy restaurants.

Bodrum - Datca car ferries
Datxa ferryboats depart from the old harbour

Of course, there are other ways to go to Datca or come back to Bodrum, but I would not suggest those since they include 5-6 hours of bus trips. Still, keep in mind that if you miss the ferry somehow, there are regular bus services of the Mugla Municipality (Muttas buses I mentioned in Bodrum Airport Transfers) between Bodrum-Mugla and Mugla-Datca and vice versa.

You can check the schedule or book your trip online at Bodrum Feribot. Like other Ferry tickets, you can also purchase your tickets from the kiosk which is located at the departure and arrival ports.

Floating Islands: Cruise Ships

I have never been in a cruise ship before but most of them look like huge floating island to me, making me intimidated.

Cruise ship at Cruise Port of Bodrum
Cruise ship passengers are ready to explore Bodrum

However, my friends think that cruising in a ship and visiting different places every day is fascinating. It should be a wonderful experience being a part of open seas without compromising the comfort and safety. I would not know.

Many cruise ships sailing the Aegean and the Mediterranean spend a night or two at Bodrum. I love to hear their saluting horns telling me that the streets will cheer up with fresh faces soon.

Cruise ships arrive at Bodrum Cruise Port. It is 2.5 kilometres away from the town centre. If you are a cruise passenger, it is also where your Bodrum shore excursion starts.

Bodrum’s Challenge

Although Bodrum is on the top of the food chain when it comes to popularity, there is a hard-to-beat competitor in attracting large cruise ships: Kusadasi.

Bodrum Cruise Port entrance
Bodrum Cruise Port

Kusadasi is another touristic town, 120 kilometres away from Bodrum to the north. The city itself has a look of a big city rather than an Aegean town but I enjoy spending a couple of days there in almost all my Bodrum trips. I have many family members and friends there and it is always fun to spend time with them.

The friendly competition on cruise ships between two towns has been there for a long time. Although Bodrum has invested heavily to win more cruise ship businesses, Kusadasi has its own secret weapons like the House of the Virgin Marry, Ephesus and the Temple of Artemis which is known as one of the seven wonders of the world,

None of them is in Kusadasi, though. They are near Selcuk which is another town in the countryside of the Aegean Region. It takes half an hour to go to any of these places from Kusadasi, so the cruise ships prefer to drop anchor at Kusadasi port, instead of Bodrum.

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Enjoy Bodrum

I am Akinsal and I am here to guide you on your search for finding your own Bodrum.