Beyond Backpacking – Luxury Travel Experiences on Greek Ferries

Beyond Backpacking Luxury Travel Experiences on Greek Ferries

A trip to Greece is all about island hopping! Corfu is a beautiful island best known for its pretty harbour villages.

The Greek islands are also home to spectacular hiking! Make sure to add a day trip to Meteora where monasteries sit on top of soaring rock pillars.

Ray Jardine’s ultralight philosophy created the backpacking movement that we know and love today. His ideas influenced Golite gear, quilts, new tarp designs, and hibbeltless packs.

1. Luxury Cabins

The ferry system in Greece is huge, connecting most of the islands within an island group and a few to Athens. Ferries range from small boats to massive car ferries that rival cruise ships in size and include luxury sleeping cabins. The cost of a single ticket varies depending on the distance traveled and during peak season. You can save money by visiting fewer islands for longer stays and booking your tickets online in advance.

The best times to backpack in Greece are May and September when the scenery is lush and wild, but temperatures are still warm enough for swimming. The beaches are less crowded too!

You’ll want to pack a few pairs of shorts and tank tops, a few bathing suits (and some cover-ups), and your favorite pair of sunglasses. You’ll also need comfy shoes for exploring and a few hiking outfits for the mountains. Packing a rain jacket is always a good idea in case of showers or wind. It is also a good idea to bring a few hats and scarves for the colder temperatures.

2. Sea View

The ferries in Greece have beautiful sea views that make the ride more enjoyable. They also offer a lounge area with comfortable seating, and some have an onboard restaurant where you can buy meals. The ferries are also fast and comfortable, making them perfect for getting around the Greek Islands.

If you’re backpacking in Greece in summer, it’s best to book excursions in advance because the popular islands fill up quick. May and September are the best times to travel, as the weather is still warm but less crowded.

One of the most amazing things to do in Greece is visit Meteora. This otherworldly place is home to monasteries that sit on top of soaring rock pinnacles. You can visit several monasteries in a day trip from Athens, which costs about EUR 3. Another must-see attraction is the Cave of the Lakes in Kefalonia, which offers a postcard-worthy landscape that’s free to visit. It’s also worth exploring the island’s beaches, as they are pristine and uncrowded.

3. Dining

There are more than 6000 islands in Greece and most are packed with tourists during the summer. Ferries are the most popular way to get around – they’re fast, affordable and provide amazing views.

Dining on a Greek ferry is an amazing experience. The cuisine is simple, based on local produce and meat. The freshest olive oil in the world is produced here too, which is served with every meal.

Wine is another big draw in Greece – vineyards are everywhere and you can enjoy a glass of wine with almost any meal on most islands for a fraction of what it costs back home. Ouzo, a spirit, is also popular in Greece. It’s strong, but has a hint of licorice and goes well with any appetizer or snack!

Learning to speak a little Greek will make you stand out from all the package tourists and impress your local hosts. Plus, it’s an easy language to learn!

4. Entertainment

If you’re looking to get away from the standard backpacking method – where deep fatigue, painful knees and blistered feet are accepted as part of the experience – then a trip on a Greek ferry is for you. Greek ferries are comfortable, fast and offer the chance to travel around the beautiful Aegean islands at your own pace.

There are lots of different ferries in Greece, but the ones most visitors will take are the large conventional ferries operated by Seajets and Hellenic Seaways. They run on the most popular routes, including those to Santorini (Thira) and Mykonos. Their ferries are big, with cabins and plenty of deck space.

On some of the overnight ferries you can book reserved “airplane” seats, which gives you your own seat and is much more luxurious than sitting on the deck. On other ferries, you can also book cabins, which range from one to four beds.

For accommodation, hostels start at 15-20 EUR per night in off-peak season and budget hotels can cost 30-60 EUR. Couchsurfing can also be a good option, but bear in mind that some of the islands do not have a couchsurfing scene.

5. Wifi

While there are plenty of great reasons to visit Greece’s mainland, most backpackers end up spending a fair amount of their time island hopping! Crete, Santorini (Thira), Corfu, and the Ionian Islands are all popular destinations. These are the islands where you can experience Greek cuisine at its finest and enjoy stunning beaches!

Ferries connect most islands within each island group and the larger ones with Athens. They range from small boats to massive car ferries that rival cruise ships in size and include luxury sleeping cabins. Ferry tickets can be expensive, but they’re often cheaper if you book them online in advance.

Jardine’s lightweight hiking philosophies have resonated with thousands of hikers, inspiring them to lighten their pack weight. His musings about minimalism aren’t extreme, but they certainly push the boundaries of what is considered reasonable for a long-distance walk. While his books are not scholarly works, they’re useful for anyone who wants to improve their hiking experience! His philosophies are particularly helpful for the beginner hiker who wants to avoid the dreadful pain of a heavy pack.