Expanded Visa-on-Arrival Access for Turkish Tourists to Greek Islands

Expanded Visa-on-Arrival Access for Turkish Tourists to Greek Islands

The Greek Embassy in Türkiye has recently expanded the visa-on-arrival program to include five additional Greek Islands for Turkish citizens. This extension allows access to Leros, Lemnos, Kalymnos, Kastellorizo, and Symi islands, enhancing the travel options for Turkish tourists seeking quick and convenient visits.

Overview of the Visa-on-Arrival Program

Initially launched on April 1 for five islands, the visa-on-arrival program now covers ten islands following an agreement signed by leaders from Greece and Türkiye. The program, designed to ease historical tensions, permits stays of up to seven days on these islands, with each visa costing 60€.

Conditions and Regulations of the Visa

These express visas are issued year-round at designated ports on the islands and are strictly for single-entry use. Travel to any other country within the Schengen Zone is prohibited for holders of these visas, and strict compliance is enforced by Greek authorities through police inspections.

Tourism Boost on Greek Islands

Surge in Tourist Numbers

April's first ten days saw a record influx of 20,690 Turkish tourists to the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos, and Rhodes—a significant increase from the previous year. This surge is attributed to the convenient access provided by the new visa scheme.

Economic Impact on Local Tourism

Local economies on the Greek Islands benefit from this increased tourist activity, particularly during off-peak seasons, helping to sustain businesses and employment in these regions.

Challenges for Türkiye’s Domestic Tourism

Decline in Local Tourism

Concurrently, Türkiye has observed a decline in domestic tourism, with high prices driving Turkish citizens to prefer visiting the Greek islands. This shift has prompted calls for price regulation and promotional efforts in Turkish tourist spots like Bodrum.


The expansion of Greece's visa-on-arrival program for Turkish tourists not only facilitates easier and quicker travel to popular Greek islands but also plays a crucial role in bolstering local economies through increased tourism. This initiative is an important first step towards enhancing bilateral ties and boosting regional tourism despite the challenges faced by Türkiye's internal tourist industry.


  • What is the Visa-on-Arrival Program for Turkish Tourists?

    The visa-on-arrival program allows Turkish citizens to obtain visas at designated ports on specific Greek islands for short stays of up to seven days.

  • Which Greek Islands Are Included in the Visa-on-Arrival Program?

    The program includes Leros, Lemnos, Kalymnos, Kastellorizo, Symi, Chios, Kos, Lesvos, Rhodes, and Samos.

  • How Much Does the Visa-on-Arrival Cost?

    Each visa-on-arrival costs 60€ and is valid for a single entry for up to seven days.

  • Can Visa Holders Travel to Other Schengen Countries?

    No, the visa-on-arrival is only valid for entry to the designated Greek islands and does not permit travel to other Schengen Zone countries.


Apply for Turkey visa:

  • Online Application: Fill out the visa application with your passport details.

  • Payment: Use a credit card to make an online payment.

  • Email Confirmation: After payment confirmation, your visa will be emailed to you.

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