Greek island hopping doesn’t need to be complicated – in fact, it can be one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to travel around Greece.
Greek Ferry Travel is a site dedicated to helping you plan your Greek island hopping adventure, with all the information you need to know about travelling by ferry around Greece.
Ferries in Greece
We’ll help you figure out which islands you want to visit, and how to get between them using the Greek ferry system. We’ll also give you tips on what to see and do on each island, so you can make the most of your time in Greece.
Where can I see Greek ferry schedules online?
You can find regularly updated ferry schedules at each individual ferry operator’s site, it’s a bit of a pain to have to check all of them if you’re doing a lot of island hopping.
Luckily, there are a few websites that compile all of the ferry schedules in one place. You can try:
In addition to checking out the summer itineraries for sailing, both these sites offer the option to book your ferry trips directly through their platform.
Island hopping in Greece is the best way to see this beautiful country, and we’re here to help you plan the perfect trip.
What is Greek island hopping?
Greece has over 100 islands you can reach by ferry, so island hopping is a great way to see as many of them as possible. It’s also a flexible and affordable way to travel, as you can take your time exploring each island at your own pace.
The general idea, is that by researching Greek ferry routes, you can put together an island hopping itinerary that works for you.
This could involve spending a few days on each island in a particular group, or perhaps picking 3 Greek islands and spending a month on each if you have the time!
Island hopping is popular among backpackers and budget travellers, but it’s also a great option for couples, families or groups of friends. Many people return to Greece year after year, using Greek island ferries to visit 3 or 4 islands during their vacation, and then picking up where they left off the next time they come back.
For Greek ferry tickets, we recommend: Ferryscanner
What are the best Greek islands for island hopping?
Most people find that it makes sense to pick an island chain or group, such as the Cycladic islands or Dodecanese. This way, you can easily hop between Greek islands with direct ferries.
Some popular islands in different chains also connect with on another. For example, a possible itinerary would involve Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete. The more time you have, the more islands you can visit.
Keep in mind that each island group has its own character and atmosphere. Some are lively and crowded with tourists, while others are relaxed and off the beaten path. You might want to pick a mix of islands, or focus on one particular type of island depending on what you’re looking to experience during your trip to Greece.
Some popular island groups for island hopping include:
– The Cyclades Islands: Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Naxos
– The Dodecanese Islands: Rhodes, Kos, Patmos
– The Ionian Islands: Corfu, Zakynthos, Kefalonia
– The Saronic Islands: Hydra, Poros, Aegina
– The Sporades Islands: Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos
But really, the possibilities are endless!
What are the ferries like in Greece?
The Greek ferry fleet is operated by dozens of different companies, so the age and size of the boats varies. In general, they are large and comfortable, with plenty of space for passengers and some Greek ferries also have room for cars, trucks, and buses.
The most common type of ferry is the conventional ferry, which has both indoor and outdoor seating, as well as space for vehicles. These ferries are typically slower on the longer crossings, but are more comfortable to be on if the winds are blowing across the sea.
High-speed ferries are also available on some routes, which can make the journey time half of what it would be on a regular ferry. These are more expensive, but the extra cost is often worth it if you’re short on time.
Catamarans are another type of ferry that is becoming increasingly popular in Greece. These are faster than regular ferries and have less motion, making them ideal for those who get seasickness.
Finally, there are also hydrofoils, which are even faster than catamarans but can be quite uncomfortable to ride on if the waves are high.
When is the best time to travel by ferry in Greece?
The summer months are the busiest time for island hopping in Greece, as that is when most people take their vacations. However, this also means that ferry tickets are more expensive and the boats are more crowded.
If you’re looking to save money or have a more relaxed experience, consider travelling in the shoulder season (May-June or September-October). The weather is still quite good at this time, but there are fewer tourists.
Generally speaking, the best months to travel to Greece are from April until the end of October.
Which ferry companies should I use?
When it comes to island hopping in Greece, there are dozens of different ferry companies to choose from. Some of the most popular include:
-Aegean Speed Lines: A high-speed ferry company that operates between the Cyclades and Dodecanese island chains.
-Blue Star Ferries: One of the largest Greek ferry companies, with a large fleet of both conventional and high-speed ferries.
-Hellenic Seaways: Another popular ferry company with both regular and high-speed options.
-SeaJets: A high-speed ferry company that operates between the Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian, and Saronic island chains.
-Levante Ferries: A small ferry company that operates between the Ionian islands.
-Golden Star Ferries: A conventional ferry company that operates between the Cyclades, Dodecanese, and Ionian island chains.
-Zante Ferries: Despite the name, this ferry company sails nowhere near Zante! They do however offer some of the cheaper routes in the Cyclades.
There are also many smaller, regional ferry companies that operate between specific island groups.
What are Greek ferry ticket prices like?
The price of a ferry trip in Greece depends on a few factors, such as the route, the type of ferry, the company you’re using, and whether or not you have a vehicle. In general, the longer the journey, the more expensive the ticket will be.
Prices for short ferry services can be 5 Euros, and high speed ferry prices can be over 100 Euros for a passenger depending on the ferry route.
Where can I buy ferry tickets in Greece?
Back in the day, you used to have to go to the port or local island travel agency to buy ferry tickets in Greece. These days, you can book tickets online through most of the major ferry companies or through one of the aggregator websites mentioned above.
Most of the large ferry companies now issue an electronic boarding pass, making the whole process much easier. You can simply show up at the port with your e ticket and board the ferry.
For those ferry companies in Greece which still don’t issue electronic boarding passes, you may have to collect your ticket at the departure port – although you can still buy tickets online first.
Which Greek islands can I travel to by ferry?
You can get to almost all of the inhabited Greek islands by ferry. There are 119 Greek islands with a ferry port or some form of boat connection.
What is the closest ferry port to Athens?
The Greek capital Athens is the start and end point for many people’s vacations in Greece. As such, there are a number of different ferry ports that you can use to get to the Greek islands.
The two closest and most popular ferry ports to Athens are Piraeus port and Rafina.
Piraeus is the main port for Greek ferries going to the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands, as well as Crete. You’ll often find it referred to as Athens Piraeus port. There are literally hundreds of ferry connections departing and arriving at Piraeus every day, making it the busiest port in Greece.
There are direct public transport connections from Athens Airport and central Athens to Piraeus port.
Rafina is the city’s second busiest port, located just east of Athens. From Rafina, you can get a ferry to Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, and other islands in the Cyclades. It’s easy to get to Rafina from Athens International Airport, as there is a direct bus that takes you from the airport to the port.
Lavrio is the third port of Athens, located further south-east of the city. From Lavrio, you can catch a ferry to Kea, Kythnos, and other nearby islands in the Cyclades.
Can I take a rental car on a Greek ferry?
Most rental car companies are quite specific about not allowing their vehicles on Greek ferries.
There are a few reasons for this – the most important being that it voids the rental car company’s (and more importantly your!) insurance.
You should double check with your rental company when you pick up the car, but in general, the answer is no.