One of the best ways to experience the majesty of the country and culture of Greece is to visit the islands. The Greek ferry system is designed to make it easy and convenient to travel between all of the best islands that Greece as to offer. While it may seem overwhelming to navigate this vast network of ferries, it is actually easy once you get the hang of it. Here is everything that you need to know about using this system to transport you to the various islands:
Consider Booking in Advance
In general, it is not necessary to book your ferry pass in advance. Most ferries do not sell out in advance. However, if you are traveling during a busy time, is always a good idea to purchase your ticket before your journey. Sailing trips between mid-July and the end of August are the busiest of the summer travel season.
The week around the Christmas holiday is also especially busy, necessitating that you book your ticket in advance. It may also be hard to get a ticket at the last minute on Friday evenings outbound from Athens and Sunday evenings inbound to Athens as locals head home after a weekend on the islands.
Popular Ferry Routes to Consider
Here’s a look at me of the most popular ferry routes that Greece has to offer. Even though you don’t need to get your ticket in advance if you don’t want, it still helps to have an idea of the route you want to take:
- Athens to the Greek Islands – As the most populous city, it is no surprise that Athens boasts daily service to nearly every Greek island every day of the year.
- Italy to Greece – During the busy summer months, it is possible to travel from the east coast of Italy to the west coast of Greece, making international travel easy.
- Naxos, Paros, and Ios to Santorini – Service to Santorini from Naxos, Paros, and Ios is generally offered year-round each day.
- Mykonos to Santorini – The direct services between islands is available during the high season, usually late March to early October.
What to Know About Ferry Travel in Greece
You should plan to arrive approximately 30 to 45 minutes prior to the scheduled sailing. Changes in departure times will be sent to you via text or email. It is always a good idea to check the planned route on the morning of your departure to ensure that everything is running according to schedule. There are restroom facilities located on every ferry. Almost all ferries offer refreshments for purchase, including sandwiches, coffee, pastries, beer, wine, and soft drinks. It is not unusual for people to become seasick during particular rough or windy conditions on the sea. If you are prone to developing seasickness, it is recommended to take a preventative medication a few hours prior to boarding. The bigger ferries will offer a smoother ride.
With the right research and planning, you can equip yourself with the knowledge and tools that you need to have an amazing Greek adventure. Part of the fun of a Greek island vacation is the journey to the final destination. The only thing left to do is to set sail on the sparkling blue waters!