For those who choose to island hop within Greece, a ferry is the most economical way to go. Adults need to complete a health statement form 24 hours before their ferry trip.
The Saronic Gulf Islands are closest to Athens and overflow with weekend day-trippers in summer. On the other hand, gloriously car-free Hydra offers a serene retreat away from the crowds.
1. Aegean Anecdotes: Personal Stories from Greek Island Ferry Travelers
The Greek Islands float like pearls in the blue expanse of the Aegean Sea. From Jason and his adventuring Argonauts to Frankish Crusaders and Mamma Mia film crews, myth and enchantment swirl around the islands as they lure visitors from far and wide. Each island beckons with its own flavor and appeal.
The islands have been inhabited since ancient times. Many have a rich history of mining for marble, and a few even produce wine. Some are rocky with little fertile ground, while others are forested and mountainous. The islands’ diverse landscapes have given rise to a rich cultural heritage that is expressed in the architecture, food, and art of the region.
Island-hopping is easy in Greece, thanks to the extensive ferry system. Unlike flights, all ferry tickets are one-way, and most trips don’t require months or weeks of planning (although it’s smart to book a few days in advance for the busiest routes). You can also skip the need to buy paper tickets, as most companies allow you to check in online or via an app.
Whether you’re an armchair traveler, beach bum or history buff, ferries can provide a more relaxing, convenient, and scenic way to visit the islands than flying or driving. With a bit of know-how, you can plan your ferry journey and enjoy the sights along the Aegean coast with ease.
2. Aegean Anecdotes: Personal Stories from Greek Island Ferry Travelers
The Greek Islands have inspired myth and romance through the ages—from Homer’s Odyssey to “Zorba the Greek.” But stepping foot in this ancient archipelago doesn’t require a billionaire’s bank account. A ferry ride—or several—can be the perfect way to discover the majesty of this sea-bound paradise.
With a little research and advance planning, it’s easy to hop between the most popular island groups with the best passenger ferries in Greece. Top ferry companies like Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Minoan Lines and Hellenic Seaways crisscross the Aegean with routes that connect to Cyclades, Dodecanese, Sporades, Argosaronic islands, Crete and Northeastern Aegean islands.
On these large conventional ferries, passengers have the option to book seats or cabins, and can also dine on-board at various cafes and restaurants. On longer trips or overnight routes, you may want to reserve one of the many available cabins, which vary in size and amenities.
Another perk of traveling by ferry is that it’s more relaxed than flying, which means you won’t have to wake up early and spend most of your trip sitting around in a stuffy airport drinking overpriced coffee. Instead, you’ll enjoy a leisurely journey on the boat, letting the sea breeze blow through your hair and the sun warm your skin as you gaze at the shimmering turquoise waters below.
3. Aegean Anecdotes: Personal Stories from Greek Island Ferry Travelers
The Aegean Sea is home to a diverse group of islands that offer everything from secluded coves and rugged mountain ranges to vibrant villages and unspoilt beaches. It also boasts a rich historical heritage with many archaeological remains from the Greek Bronze Age to the Byzantine Empire.
Its importance as a vital route for ancient trade cannot be underestimated, and it’s still an important trade zone today. The Aegean is also a major tourist attraction, drawing around 10 to 13 million visitors each year.
Ferries are a great way to travel around the Aegean, and you can hop from island to island with relative ease. It’s much easier than having to get up at ridiculously early hours to go to the airport and wait for a flight, plus you can save a lot of money.
There are a few different types of ferries that travel throughout the Aegean. The conventional passenger / car ferries typically have economy seats, which gives you the right to sit anywhere on the deck or in designated indoor areas. For longer trips, or overnight routes, you can book reserved “airplane” seats which are usually in designated cabins. Some ferries, like the high-speed Worldchampion Jet operated by SeaJets, are considerably faster than others. They travel at speeds of 38-40 knots (or 37-45 kms / 23-29 miles per hour), and they have cabin options ranging from one to four beds.
4. Aegean Anecdotes: Personal Stories from Greek Island Ferry Travelers
The Greek islands are a cosmopolitan, touristy place, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t escape the crowds. Read on for tips, inspiration and practical advice to help you island hop like a local.
Ferries crisscross the Aegean Sea, making island-hopping easy for visitors to Greece. However, ferry schedules can change with a moment’s notice (for example, windy weather and worker strikes) so it’s best to plan ahead. This is especially true in the high season when most ferries run on strict timetables and seats are limited.
Jeevan Vasager, a freelance journalist who frequently travels to Greece, says that the best way to see the islands is on a ferry, but you’ll want to make sure to book your tickets in advance and check the luggage policies, as each company is different. Also, remember that while ferries may be safer than flights, they are not completely reliable and accidents can happen. Having a sense of adventure and some flexibility will help you have a smooth, stress-free trip. In the end, it’s worth it to save a bit of money by taking the ferry and have more freedom on your vacation. It’s a great way to experience Greece!