Aegean Wonders – Discovering Hidden Gems on Greek Ferry Routes

Chart your course through the cerulean waters and island hop by ferry between Greece’s iconic islands. Explore quaint villages, secluded beaches, and traditional culture across these varied islands.

The North Aegean Islands boast a rich maritime history with many shipwrecks scattered along the shoreline. These treasures offer insight into the trade routes, naval warfare tactics, and seafaring cultures of the past.

Scenic Walks and Hikes

The islands of Greece are a feast for the eyes and offer ample opportunities to hike and explore. However, the rocky terrain of some islands can make hiking more challenging. With a guide and proper footwear, these hikes can be a highlight of any trip to Greece.

The best time to plan a hiking trip to the Dodecanese is in autumn. This is when the weather is usually sunny and warm, but not scorching hot like it can be in summer. Plus, the Meltemi wind typically has died down, making the sea and beaches calm and inviting.

The Corfu Trail on the island of Corfu reveals its natural glamor and cultural heritage with a scenic coastal walk around Paleokastritsa, or the “Crown of the Rocks.” Or head to the easternmost Cyclades Island of Amorgos, a wild mountainous island that has an alluring appeal. Here, the landscapes of limestone cliffs and small confidential coves are breathtakingly beautiful.

Aegean Sunsets

Scattered like pearls across a wine-dark sea, the Greek islands inspire myth and romance. From Jason and the Argonauts to Zorba the Greek and Mamma Mia, they evoke a sense of adventure and enchantment as you gaze at their ribbons of sugar-soft sand from a sun-drenched ferry deck or sail into a vibrant port.

While island hopping is possible year-round, we recommend planning your Dodecanese journey between Orthodox Easter and the end of May or September and October for optimal conditions. During these months, the weather is balmy yet not hot and humid, which makes for more comfortable travels. Plus, you’ll avoid the dreaded Meltemi wind that can cause disruptions to island and mainland routes in the summer.

When you book your ferry tickets online, be sure to check the weather forecast and arrive at the port early for boarding. The lines can be lengthy, especially during peak travel season. Once onboard, grab some snacks from the onboard cafes and restaurants to enjoy as you cruise along the Aegean. If you’re prone to seasickness, be sure to take medication ahead of time.


The waters of Greece’s coast and seabed are home to a wide range of shipwrecks with fascinating stories. One of the most famous is the MV Panagiotis, known as the Navagio Beach wreck, on the island of Zakynthos. The skeletal remains of this freighter ship, which ran aground on a gorgeous beach in 1980 while trying to evade police, is a stunning juxtaposition of tragedy and beauty.

The Peristera wreck near Alonissos is another incredible discovery. This mound of Late Roman amphoras (two-handled ceramic storage jars) is the largest found to date, adding 12 percent to the total number of ancient wrecks discovered in Greek territorial waters. The amphoras contained a variety of products, from bulk items like corn and beans to luxury goods such as wine.

While many of the most famous shipwrecks are off limits to recreational divers, there are plenty that you can visit and explore. One of the best is the Antikythera wreck, which yielded a treasure trove of ancient artworks, including the legendary Antikythera Mechanism. Another popular spot is the sunken plane off the island of Iraklia.

Marine Biodiversity

In the southeastern Greek Seas, species of Western Indo-Pacific origin present high richness levels, whereas their diversity decreases towards northwestern marine areas. This latitudinal gradient is attributed to the primary pathways of their introduction, through corridors.

On most conventional passenger ferries, you have the choice to sit wherever you like (except for designated indoors areas). However, to guarantee yourself a seat and avoid having to fight the crowds, it’s best to book reserved “airplane” seats – on some routes this is the only option available. For those who want to travel in style, there are also cabin options with one to four beds.

Local Culture

The Greek islands are home to a vibrant culture that is rooted in the country’s history and landscape. Embark on the ferry to explore this fascinating aspect of Greece’s character.

For example, on the Kavala – Hydra route, you can visit one of the 20th century’s most important painters – Nikolas Hadjikyriakos-Ghikas. This painter and others on the island formed the original ‘bohemian’ lifestyle that blends artistic endeavours with a carefree, laidback attitude to life.

Another great way to discover the local culture of the islands is to wander the towns and villages that make up each destination’s unique character. For example, a day on Santorini can be a fantastic experience if you head to the picturesque capital city of Fira and take in the boutique stores, restaurants, and lively atmosphere.

If you’re planning to go island hopping on the Greek ferry routes, booking online with Ferryhopper is a convenient and efficient option. Remember that ferries can be quite busy during peak travel season so it’s best to arrive early. If your ticket doesn’t have a barcode, you will need to pick up your paper ticket at the ferry port 30 to 45 minutes before departure.