Island Paws: Pet-Friendly Adventures on Greek Ferries

Aboard this Isle of Wight archipelago, dogs can stroll the beach at Brenton Point State Park, watch kite fliers soaring in the wind and visit historic attractions. The islands are dog friendly, with St Mary’s and Bryher’s beaches open to pets all year round.

Skip overcrowded Santorini and Mykonos for the less-visited Paros. Known for its sandy beaches, this island is PAWfect for relaxing with your pup.

1. Mykonos

Located in the heart of the Cyclades, Mykonos attracts free spirits to its glamorous nightlife and dreamy natural landscapes. During the day, enchanting beaches and charming villages welcome travelers to experience local culture. Whether you are searching for five-star luxury or charming family-run hotels and villas, the perfect accommodations are waiting on Mykonos.

Pets travel free of charge in specially designed cabins on all Greek Ferries vessels. If the cabins are fully booked, pets can also board the ferry in a small number of kennels. In both cases, your dog must be leashed and wearing a muzzle. During the duration of your trip, check on your pet at least twice each hour to ensure that they are comfortable and not suffering from any stress or anxiety. In addition, make sure to keep your dog hydrated by offering water every hour to avoid dehydration on hot ferry rides.

Once you arrive on the island, public transit is an efficient transportation option if you stay around Mykonos Town (Chora). To get from the Mykonos New Port to Tourlos Marina or Old Port, the Sea Bus water taxi departs every half-hour between 7am and midnight. Alternatively, you can rent a car to explore the rest of the island at your leisure.

2. Santorini

Pets are allowed on board most Greek ferries but must be kept on leash at all times in public areas of the ferry. It is the responsibility of the owner to ensure their pets do not disturb other passengers or cause any harm or damage. Pet owners must also keep their pets clean and sanitary at all times.

Many large ferries like Hellenic Seaways, Blue Star Ferries and Seajets allow passengers to travel on their outdoor deck with their dogs, free of charge. Alternatively, these ferries offer specially designed pet cabins and kennels for passengers traveling with their pets, at an additional cost. Visually impaired passengers may also travel with their guide dog, in accordance with national and international law (Law No 376 of 25 August 1988), at no additional cost to the passenger.

From Santorini, you can easily travel by ferry to other islands such as Mykonos, Crete, Milos, Ios and Naxos. Island-hopping is a popular way to discover the diverse landscapes and beaches that Greece has to offer. Most Greek ferry companies will allow you to book your island-hopping tickets in advance and some even offer a pet ticket option. This makes island-hopping easier, especially with your pet in tow!

3. Naxos

As an alternative to the more popular Santorini and Mykonos, Naxos offers a plethora of beautiful beaches, picturesque scenery and PAW-tiful ancient sites. It is also less touristy and a perfect place to enjoy the island with your pet and relax away from the crowds.

Naxos is served by both fast and conventional ferries, with around 492 ferry crossings per week during high season from Athens. Pets are welcome onboard and can travel in specially designed pet cabins that must be booked in advance along with your ticket or in kennels on board the ship. Pets travelling in these kennels must be fully vaccinated and have health certificates for travel. On conventional vessels, pets must be kept on a leash at all times and cannot travel in the main cabins or in bars, restaurants or the indoor public areas of the ship.

Some ferries also provide special areas for pets for which you must pay an extra fee and you are responsible for your pet’s behaviour on board, feeding and grooming, and hygiene. Visually impaired passengers may travel with their guide dogs, provided they meet national and international requirements for the animal’s care and welfare, and have the relevant documents (i.e. certificate of vaccination or rabies). It is always best to book your Naxos Ferry tickets in advance as ferries sell out quickly, especially during high season. Booking online is easy, safe and gives you peace of mind knowing you have your ferry ticket confirmed in advance.

4. Paros

Traveling with a pet is easy and convenient on Greek islands. Dogs can dine at restaurants (even indoors in some cases), prance on beaches, and shop alongside their humans at boutique and souvenir shops. Most hotels are also dog friendly, and most do not charge extra for pets. The best part is, all ferry operators between the main islands of Mykonos, Santorini, and Paros allow pets onboard at no additional cost.

The ferry journey between Paros and Naxos is a tranquil experience on the Aegean Sea, offering a smooth transition between two of the most cherished island destinations in the Cyclades. With an average duration of 50 to 55 minutes, the ferry ride offers a relaxing environment with comfortable seating options, onboard snacks for purchase, and wheelchair accessibility.