A new Izmir to Athens ferry route will start in June 2019, marking the first time for sea travel between Turkey and mainland Greece. Officials hope the service will ease traffic at border gates, and help commercial and touristic relationships between the two countries.
The company is confident this route will divert traffic from the already congested traffic flow of Istanbul, used by many because of its easy access to Europe. They are also sure tourists and expats in Turkey who often drive back to their home countries will welcome the ferry service.
The route between the Cesme district of Izmir in Aegean Turkey, and the small coastal town of Lavrion, an hour’s drive from Athens will run every day and take seven hours to navigate the sea distance of 146 nautical miles, the closest distance between the two mainlands.
Companies transferring cargo between Europe and Turkey via this ferry service will receive reduced rates. This is the second route for Cesme. A regular service already runs to the Greek Island of Chios. The nearby Bodrum peninsula also connected with other Greek islands via ferry and hydrofoils services including Kos, Patmos, Leros, Kalymnos, and Rhodes.
Tourists should extend their travelling time to spend a few days in gorgeous Cesme. Sitting side by side with the windsurfing resort of Alacati, both destinations have grown in popularity over the last ten years as more domestic and foreign tourists visit to find out what all the hype is about.
One attraction receiving mass interest in the long, sandy Ilaca Beach, and its hot springs. The region has long been a base for upmarket holiday homes and Cesme’s and Alacati’s real estate market is also growing as more Turkish and foreign buyers look to buy an authentic stone cottage.
This port town of the Athens region has shredded off its dismal past to grow in popularity among tourists although there is still a considerable lack of hotels and overnight accommodation. Also known as Laurium, Athens airport is just 30 minutes’ drive away, making it closer than other ports.
The Cesme to Lavrion ferry is not a new endeavour for them because numerous routes to Greek island already run during summer.