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17 Tips for Traveling the Greek Islands by Ferry

Updated: Jun 11

We posted our top five on Instagram reels, but needed a bit more space to elaborate. Read the full tip list with details and direct links below.

Bonus: We've added some sneak peaks of our favorite photos/videos... link below!

1. Greece has 227 islands. Do some research on which ones you want to visit and map it out based on your budget and travel time. Mykonos & Santorini are the most popular and expensive islands.

You can definitely island hop Greece on a budget by visiting the following islands:

  • Andros- Batsi in Andros is the northernmost of the Cyclades Islands, a group which includes Mykonos and Santorini, but doesn't break the bank.

  • Crete- Crete is the largest island in Greece and one of the most popular to visit. You may think it odd that it appears on a budget travel list, but with a little bit of know-how, you can make your money go far here. Visit Chania in Crete

  • Ios- Though a party island, Ios can offer you some peace and tranquility. As long as you keep your distance from its nightclubs in Chora and Mylopotas Beach. By looks and vibes, it's much like Mykonos. You will need to stay farther outside of town to take advantage of cost savings.

  • Lefkada- Did you know you can drive onto Lefkada? The island in the Ionian Sea is connected to the Greek mainland as it’s so close. You can even take a bus here from Athens!

  • Rhodes - Like Crete, you may be surprised to see it on a list of cheap Greek islands to visit, but it’s inexpensive to get around, eat, and stay here; three top things that can eat into your holiday budget. Be sure to check out the old city of Rhodes (a UNESCO World Heritage site), the Acropolis of Lindos, and go hiking to Seven Springs to get some natural shade away from the midday Aegean sun! Visit Seven Springs in Rhodes Island.

  • Thassos- A hidden gem in the Aegean Sea, Thassos is just over an hour from mainland (Athens) Greece, and you can easily get here from the port at Keramoti. The most northerly Greek island, Thassos gets a lot more rain than others in the Aegean Sea, meaning that it’s very green. Despite more rain, you can still make the most of sun-soaked beaches across the island, especially in summer. Visit Marmara Beach in Thassos

2. Some islands have more than one port, so make sure you know which one you need to stop at.

3. Purchase your tickets at least 2-3 weeks in advance to get the best rates and schedules. I used @ferryhopper - Download the app to manage your reservation and tickets. The Greek Island ferries can range from less than 10 Euros to around 100 Euros per person for a round trip. If you're only going one way each time, this will cut your costs in half, but book a round trip if you're only visiting two islands. An average ferry will probably set you back around 50 Euros.

4. Arrive at the ports AT LEAST 1 HOUR, especially in Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. This is to make sure you are boarding the correct ferry and to be in front of the long lines. You will need to know the port name, ship name, dock number to arrange transportation.

5. Currently need full vaccination (2 doses) or a PCR test within 72 hours or Rapid Antigen test at least 48 hrs before each ferry transfer. Check with each company before departure as travel requirements may be different and are changing daily as the pandemic progresses.

6. Currently need to complete a Ferry Pre-boarding Health Declaration Questionnaire .According to COVID-19 travel regulations, you have to complete this form, PRINT BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE UNITED STATES, as you may not have access to a printer. Present it when boarding.

7. Each port is different. You may or may not have an indoor waiting area. Wear/bring a hat and check the weather the day before.

8. You will store your luggage in the cargo areas of the ship. Take a photo/video of the location. Items may not be easily accessible during your trip so be sure to take anything you may need to your seat.

9. You can purchase different seat classes. I selected economy seating and it was perfect- lots of legroom. VIP had the same seats just farther apart, not worth the up charge. Economy usually includes :

  • One piece of luggage that you will store in the luggage area

  • An assigned seat in the main seating area

10. Pack light so you don’t need to pay extra and bags are easy to move with. Many ships don’t have elevators or ramps, only stairs. Taxi may/may not be able to drop you off right in front of the loading area, especially if catching ferry from Athens.

11. Fares: Just keep in mind that the lower the price, the longer the journey will probably take. It’s all about weighing up the cost versus the time of the journey to find the best deal.

12. Have your hotel arrange ferry transportation as the cost might be included with your stay and they know the ports and departure time frames. Ask them to suggest what time to depart based on your ferry departure time.

13. Wifi onboard is not free. Costs about 3-5 Euros per device for the duration of the ride.

14. You can purchase snacks and coffee onboard.

15. Bring a jacket or blanket onboard, the air conditioning is cold.

16. Go outside and get some fresh air and view all the beautiful islands as you pass them by.

17. Set your alarm on your phone for 10 mins before arrival in case you fall asleep.

We've added our favorite photos and videos from Greece to the gallery, go check it out!

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