The centre of paradise in the Mediterranean, Greece is a bucket-list country that is home to some of the best beaches in the world. What is on offer does not stop at sandy getaways; each island has its own unique selling point that will either make choosing easy or a little bit of a headache. Whether you are looking for parties, a Greek mythology lesson or verdant nature and untouched landscapes, it’s all possible within the 227 inhabited islands of the south of Greece.
While flights are available to the more popular islands, taking a boat allows more flexibility in your schedule, your budget and your island choices. To take the stress out of your Greece tour, there is some key information that you need to know before you start your island-hopping adventure.
Where You Can Go by Boat in Greece
While all of the islands in Greece are connected, it is not possible to freely hop between all that you wish, some are much further than you think!
Most Greek islands are only connected to the capital, Athens, via the Pireas Port and those that are closest. However, if you wishing to go to the famed islands such as Mykonos, Santorini or Crete, you’ll find a great number of options throughout the day, every day of the week.
Top Islands in Greece and How to Get to Them:
Mykonos is renowned for its party scene, with some of the most exclusive clubs in the world that attract celebrities throughout the year. Equally, it is possible to visit the island and have a calming and relaxing time while you sip on wine in a taverna. This diversity makes it a popular holiday destination for all types of travellers.
Mykonos can be accessed via most islands, with frequent ferries leaving from Athens, Santorini, Milos and Paros.
Sifnos and Serifos
For adventure, look no further than Sifnos and Serifos. Islands that are often forgotten about in the Cyclades archipelago of Greece, Sifnos and Serifos have slightly less infrastructure and more a more natural untouched landscape.
Adventurous types will revel in the long walks that take you to quiet beaches and perhaps even the chance to go cliff jumping. Here, you’ll see the beauty of the Greek islands away from the crowds.
As part of the Cyclades Islands, there are numerous ferries that go to Sifnos and Serifos from the neighbouring islands such as Santorini, Kythnos, Paros, Naxos and sometimes Crete. Only Sifnos is connected with Pireas in Athens.
Paros and Delos
Both Paros and Delos offer an interesting alternative to the beachside tavernas and bars, where you’ll bounce between ancient sites that tell of the mythological stories of these two islands. Delos is the birthplace of Apollo, so sacred that birth nor death are permitted on the island. Paros is known for immortalising the gods, as the home of the marble that was used to depict them for centuries.
As one of the more popular islands, Paros is accessible via Mykonos, Santorini and Athens. Delos, however, can only be accessed on a day trip from Paros, Naxos or Mykonos.
Crete and Rhodes
The best islands to relax on are Crete and Rhodes, where family-run resorts neighbour exclusive couple retreats that offer a quiet moment away from the hustle and bustle. As larger islands on the Aegean Sea, the resorts tend to be more spaced out, presenting a resounding air of calm.
You can get the ferry to Crete from Milos, Santorini, and Paros, while Rhodes is only accessible via Crete, Athens or Thessaloniki.
Boat Times Year-Round
Tickets for all ferry services within Greece can be bought online. However, the times for ferries change often and can be delayed. To avoid arriving at the wrong time, it is best to buy your ticket on arrival in Greece for an accurate schedule and smooth-sailing trip.
During the summer months, there are numerous ferries arriving in Greece’s top destinations. Ferries to the lesser-known destinations only run as little as twice a week throughout the year. Most ports throughout Greece have the ferry schedule posted one week in advance, so you know exactly when you are set to leave.
Organising a Greece tour with a local guide can take the stress out of booking your ferries to your favourite destinations. With constant updates on your travel itinerary throughout your trip, a guide will take care of all eventualities as and when they come.