With over 227 islands one has their fair share of choices when it comes to island hopping in Greece. One of the best ways to get around and experience these enchanting isles is by ferry. Wherever your Mediterranean destination, it’s essential that you are properly prepared for catching a ferry in Greece.
Greece Ferries & Getting Your Tickets
There are options for tickets online and offline. You will find that it’s more convenient to opt for online ticket purchases in most cases.
While wanton island hopping works for some, you still need to be prepared as some ferry rides are over 7 hours and you don’t want to be stuck arriving on an island with nothing booked. Depending on which of the Greek islands you are visiting and which port you are using, the costs vary from one ferry company to the next. For example, the average travel time on a ferry from Athens to Crete is 9 hours and 44 minutes, and the costs can range from €23 ($27) to €160 ($190) based on the carrier you choose.
The Travel and COVID Guidelines to Follow
Travelers in Greece will find that there are no travel restrictions because of COVID-19 at this time. However, visitors will still have to follow the COVID-19 requirements and ferry travel measures that are in place, and certain documentation is required. This can include either negative COVID-19 tests or a full vaccination certificate, a passenger locator form, and a Health Statement Form (digital or printed). Children who are under 12 are exempt from needing to have a negative COVID-19 test to travel on the ferries.
Because this is a constantly changing situation, it’s always a good idea to contact the travel companies before arriving to ensure that you are meeting all of the current requirements.
Available Boat Options
It will often depend on the ferry company you choose and the type of ticket you get. There are business and VIP seats, as well as economy class options available. Some ferries that have long journeys may also have cabins.
The business and VIP seats are often on the upper deck, which can provide a great view. The area for VIP and business seating is usually less crowded, as well.
The economy class will have numbered, reserved seats, and you can walk around the rest of the ferry to take in the views. There is also the option of deck lounge tickets, which will allow travelers to sit on the deck or in the ferry lounge if they choose. However, unlike economy and business/VIP, the seats are not reserved. If you get up and walk around, someone else could take your seat.
What’s Available Onboard
You’ll find that the boats have a wide range of amenities to help make your journey as comfortable as possible. They will have snacks and bathrooms, as well as Dramamine for those who might get sick while they are on the water. Be advised this happens more often than you might think. Don’t plan to drink heavily or eat big meals before your trips, the water is often choppy and even those with the strongest constitutions can succumb to seasickness.
For longer routes, there will often be a self-service restaurant open during meal times. Keep in mind that food and drinks are not included in the ticket price. Travelers can also bring their own food and drinks if they wish. This is a good choice for those looking for a cheaper option or those that have dietary restrictions.
Prepare for Island Hopping Before Getting on the Boat
If you’re properly prepared, ferry rides can be their own little adventure. Make sure that you are ready for the boat before you arrive. This means having your tickets, getting there early and checking in, and ensuring you have all of the travel items you’ll need to have a fun trip. This includes cash, snacks and water, sun protective clothing and sunscreen, sunglasses, a book and a mask. Have clothing that’s suitable for the weather on the water and at the island you will be visiting. It’s helpful to also have your next accommodation written down with the address and phone number (incase your phone battery dies).
The Islands and Attractions
One of the most popular ferry routes is Athens to Mykonos to Santorini. While you can’t go wrong with the classics, we also recommend checking out Amorgos, Hydra, Heraklion, Kos, Lesbos, and Rhodes. Book a tour between Hydra and Poros for the day.
Have a Great Trip to Greece
The Greek Islands will captivate you for years to come. Every trip is bound to have its hiccups, but a little preparation can go a long way. As always, make sure you have travel insurance. Remember to relax and take in the magic of the islands.