Murad Apart Hotel

Binbirdirek Mah. Asmali Cesme Sok. No: 14/2, Istanbul, 34440, Turkey
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More about Istanbul

Photos

Courtyard - Sultanahmet MosqueCourtyard - Sultanahmet Mosque

The fabulous Hagia SophiaThe fabulous Hagia Sophia

Domes and decorations - Jan 2010Domes and decorations - Jan 2010

Then some really good seafoodThen some really good seafood

Forum Posts

Istanbul to Greek Islands

by hhalepis

Hi Forum!
If this question has already been posted numerous times, feel free to direct me to the right link! If not, I'd really appreciate some first-hand experience/help with this one.

We want to fly into Istanbul in September. We'd like to say in the city for a few days, and then we'd like to visit Samos, Santorini, and Athens (Greece). I have heard that the only way to get to Greece from Istanbul is to take a ten hour bus to a town that's nearby Samos. My questions are:

1. Has anyone taken this bus? What was your experience? Cost?
2. Can we fly from Istanbul to any Greek island?
3. Anyone have a better travel route to take, so that we don't have to fly to Athens, and then backtrack through the islands?

Thanks so much!!

Re: Istanbul to Greek Islands

by brotherleelove

For the most part Turkish buses are comfortable and clean with A/C and there is an attendant on board, similar to a flight attendant. You would be heading to Kusadasi to take the ferry to the Greek island of Samos. Depending on the bus company it might mean a change of bus in Izmir. You can also fly from Istanbul to Izmir and take a bus the rest of the way to Kusadasi. Be sure to allow enough time in Kudadasi so you can visit the ruins at Ephesus. It would be a shame to be so close and not see this amazing archaeological site.

There are no regularly-scheduled flights from Istanbul to the Greek Islands but there may be charter flights to Mykonos. Check with Atlas Jet and Onur Airlines. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines_of_Turkey

From Kusadasi you would take either the morning or afternoon ferry to Samos, and from there you'd catch the Hellenic Seaways ferry to either Naxos or Paros to catch the ferry stopping there on the way to Santorini. Depending on your travel plans and ferry schedules at the time it might mean an overnight on one or more of these islands before you can reach Santorini. After Santorini you can either fly or ferry back to Athens.

Turkey>Greece Ferry: http://www.feribot.net/feribot/?lang=en

Greek Island Ferries: http://www.gtp.gr or http://www.openseas.gr/OPENSEAS/index_en.vm

Re: Istanbul to Greek Islands

by hhalepis

Hi! Thank you for this information! One more question...I have heard that the bus ride from Istanbul takes around 10 hours -- is this accurate? Thanks!

Re: Istanbul to Greek Islands

by brotherleelove

It's about 280miles/450km from Istanbul to Kusadasi. I suppose it depends on how many stops the bus makes and if it's a thru bus or if you have to wait in Izmir for a connection. I doubt that it would be any longer than 10 hours.

Re: Istanbul to Greek Islands

by qaminari

Of course there are other ways to get to Greece from Istanbul, e.g. the night train that leaves Istanbul Sirkeci at 21:00 and arrives in Thessaloniki at 09:20, from where it takes 4 1/2 hours by train to Athens.
Also ferries to Samos from Kusadasi: maybe this is why you thought it was necessary to go by bus, as Kusadasi isn't on the railway (although you can take the Pamukkale express to Denizli and change there for Ephesus/Selcuk: then continue by bus).
I don't know of any scheduled flights from Istanbul to Samos but of course you could fly to Athens.

Travel Tips for Istanbul

Regional Activities

by 80-bettyboo

1st Turkish Contemporary Literature
Meetings 1 -31 January
Kýrým Music and Dance Days
1 -28 February
2nd Turkish Theater Festival 1 -31 March 20th International Ýstanbul Film Festival
14-29 April
17th Child's Feast 17-23 April
4th International Crr Child's Festival
20-24 April
Fetih Celebrations 1 -31 May
Tataristan Culture Days 1 -31 May
Turkish Puppet Theaters Festival 1 -31 May 6th International Crr Youths Festival
12-20 May
13th International Ýstanbul Theater Festival
18 May-1 June
29th International Ýstanbul Music Festival
8 June-3 July
4th International Boðaziçi Festival 15-30 June /Þile Bezi Culture and Art Feast 1 -31 July
Kartal International Culture and Art Festival
25-27 August /
7th International Ýstanbul Bienali
21 September-17 November
International Crr Mystical Music Festival
1 -30 November
Turkish Cinema Days 1 -30 November International Crr Piano Festival
1 -31 December

Meyhane: A Culture, A Tradition (Part 1)

by ozalp

Meyhane is a kind of restaurant in which you can drink alcoholic beverages, especially raki with the meal. The main dishes of meyhane are fishes and meats. But the most important dishes are meze which means appetizers.
Raki has a ceremonial way of consuming. You can have a beer alone, enjoy whisky or get drunk with vodka yourself. But you need company to drink raki. We say “The best side dish of raki is chat.” And you also need to have a nice table with many kinds of food, in small portions of course.
The main side dishes which go together well with raki are white cheese (like feta), melon (in summer), haydari (a mixture of thick yogurt, garlic, dill, salt), liver, stuffed mussels, meyhane boregi, fava (boiled and smashed broad beans), humus (boiled and smashed chick peas), purslane with garlic and yogurt, green salads, fried livers with onion, borek with pastrami, stuffed vegetables, sea fruits, aubergine salad (grilled aubergine is smashed with garlic and sometimes with yogurt), fried aubergines in tomatoes sauce, pickles, barbunya pilaki (kidney beans in olive oil, cold served), grilled red peppers in garlic and vinegar sauce, mezes from some strange and rare plants,…
When you sit a table in a meyhane, waiters come and ask for drink. Then they bring a tray with the mezes (which the meyhane has at that time) on it. You pick whatever you want. The waiter left the chosen meze, bring you your drink, serve the hot appetizers during your stay and finally they bring the main dish (a fried or grilled fish, for example). All these appetizers are in very small portions. So you need to have at least 3-4 appetizers to be full up. I usually skip the main dish and enjoy the appetizers. It is better for the budget.
Meze tradition is coming from Rum (Greek people in Turkish nationality). The best meyhanes of our time once belong to some Rum Barbas (meyhane owner). Some of them still belong to a Rum but many of them are being managed by the Turks now. But –Thank God- the tradition continues.

Winter clothing

by Guzzie19

Forgot to take my winter underwear with me and it was kind of difficult to find
long underwear to wear right away. If you need some walk over Istikal Caddesi (st) in Taksim area and you will find some.

Take with you hat, gloves and a good jacket. Umbrellas are easy to find and they sell them almost everywhere for the rainy days.

Books and Browsing

by mightywease

The Book Bazaar is in a lovely little courtyard just off Beyazit Square and near the Grand Bazaar.
The stalls and shops sell a mixture of different books from tourist guides, textbooks to bestsellers and magazines. There are also some fantastic places to buy prints, pictures and calligraphy.
The clientele seems to be a mix of students from the nearby university, locals and tourists.
A great place to wander and browse.
Please note that all prices are fixed so no haggling.

Shopping in the covered market (Kapali Carsi)

by Bigjones about Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar really worths a visit. There you can find everything : turkish carpets, tea, nargile, belly dancer belts, scarfs, pottery, tiles, jewels, books etc. But don't forget to bargain ;-) And if you don't like shopping, just walk through the passageways and enjoy this colourful atmosphere. Depends on how good you can bargain ;-)

Comments

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