Sea Breezes and Sunshine – The Ultimate Greek Island Ferry Experience

There are more than 200 inhabited Greek islands to explore. Which to visit depends on your budget, time constraints and tolerance for seasickness.

Island hopping is super easy, especially during the summer months. Use Ferryhopper to check ferry itineraries and prices. I highly recommend you book your tickets ahead of time.

Leaving Athens

Greek Island hopping is one of the most popular travel adventures in Europe. And while a lot of people choose to fly to their destinations, a ferry trip is an equally rewarding experience for those who are willing to take the time and effort to navigate the system.

Arriving at the port can be a bit chaotic during peak season so it is always best to arrive early and give yourself plenty of time to get to your boat. Depending on your destination, you can choose to board either a conventional closed deck car ferry (the biggest and cheapest option), an open deck car ferry or a high-speed catamaran.

Once you are on the ferry, you can just relax and enjoy your journey. There are onboard cafes and restaurants to keep you fed and watered and there is ample seating to enjoy the view and sun.

A word of advice — if you are prone to seasickness, be sure to bring your medication with you. The ferries can be quite rough at times and I saw many people upchucking into paper bags in dismay and desperation.

Also be sure to check the ferry website for updates in case of worker strikes that are common in Greece during peak season. If a strike is happening it is important to stay at the port until you hear from someone that the ferry has been canceled so you can make alternate arrangements for your itinerary.

Departing Hydra

Scattered like pearls across the azure sea, Greece’s enchanting islands have captivated everyone from Jason and the Argonauts to Frankish Crusaders and Mamma Mia film crews. And getting there is half the fun! Traveling by ferry is an unforgettable experience that brings you closer to the land and sea. It’s also a great way to save on travel expenses and spend more on unique souvenirs.

To find the best ferry options for your trip, consider your voyage length and comfort level. For journeys longer than 5 hours, a closed cabin (which looks a little like a hotel room) is the safest choice. They offer privacy and a private shower and can accommodate up to 4 people for a more comfortable journey.

Hydrofoils are the quickest option, but they can be more prone to cancellation and delays in bad weather. Plus they don’t have an open deck and can be uncomfortable if you get seasick.

To get the most out of your ferry adventure, book an 8 day island-hopping tour that includes all your transfers, hotel accommodation, a half-board meal plan and housewarming cocktails at a Greek ‘Philoxenia’ night (hostess gifts are expected). Itineraries include exploring the dazzling white villages of the Small Cyclades and walking up to Santorini’s world famous viewpoint. You can also sail to enigmatic Kea or the enchanted Koufonisia, where their sugar-soft beaches dance with unabashed charisma.

Arriving at Mykonos

During summer, the island comes to life with visitors. The beaches are buzzing with swimmers and sunbathers, and the nightlife is electric.

The capital, Chora, retains its authentic Cycladic character in spite of the huge influx of tourists. The whitewashed houses, windmills and cobblestoned alleyways are beautiful. And the sunsets are simply magical.

If you want a quieter escape, head to the village of Agios Ioannis at the southwest end of the island. This picturesque area has gorgeous beach views without the crowds, and a lovely little hotel that offers seaside suites with stunning views.

Another option is to stay in a luxury Mykonos villa, where you can relax with a book and sip some wine by the pool. The villas are designed with comfort and style in mind, and have a private finity pool overlooking the sea.

One of the most memorable things to do in Mykonos is to dine on a catamaran as the sun sets over the horizon. This is a romantic experience that’s perfect for couples. Enjoying delicious Mediterranean cuisine and sipping a glass of rose or champagne as the sun slowly slips beneath the horizon is truly magical.

Arriving at Santorini

The journey to Santorini is shorter by ferry than by plane, allowing you to relax on board and enjoy the Aegean Sea views. The trip from Athens to Santorini can take between 4 and 7 hours depending on whether you catch a conventional or high-speed ferry.

Ferries to the Greek islands are often packed, especially during peak travel season. Arriving at the port early is a great idea to avoid lengthy wait times. Once the ferry is ready to depart, make sure you follow the crew’s instructions for boarding and board with plenty of time to spare.

When you arrive at the island of Santorini, you will be welcomed by a view that is simply unmatched anywhere in the world. The Santorini caldera is a spectacular sight that is filled with towering cliffs adorned with whitewashed houses and mesmerising sunsets.

Santorini is also known for its beaches. From the red and white beaches to the black sand beaches of Kamari and Perissa, Santorini’s beaches are simply paradise for anyone looking for some sun and sea!