The Ultimate In-Depth Greek Ferries Guide: Island Hopping Made Easy

Melina Thalassinou
Table of Content
Table of Content
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Key Takeaways

  • Explore Greece's island beauty, and indulge in its inviting waters and beaches.
  • Effortlessly hop between islands using top ferry companies like Blue Star Ferries, Sea Jets, Minoan Lines, Hellenic Seaways, and Levante Ferries.
  • Maximize your journey with practical tips on budgeting, luggage, essentials, and advance booking.
  • Unveil Greece's allure, hop islands seamlessly, and master ferry travel with expert guidance.

greek ferries guide 1Greek ferry in the Dodecanese islands - credits: Pixabay.com

With undeniably breathtaking islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian Seas, it's no wonder Greece is a country worth visiting. If it's not the first European destination on your bucket list, in our opinion, it should be!

Greece has some of the most inviting turquoise waters in the world, and to back it up, the beaches here are just as amazing.

Don't take our word for it, though. The only way to believe us is on a mesmerizing Greece island hopping extravaganza on a cruise ship.

If cruises are not your cup of tea, however, one of the best ways to do this cost-effectively and equally excitingly is by taking ferries. We’ll admit, though, using Greek ferries isn't plain sailing (well, it is, but you know what we mean).

So, to make the most of your time in this unforgettable country, get ready to learn all you can in our Greek Ferries Guide.

We hope you'll be singing our praise at the end of the day! 

The Best Ferries in Greece

greek ferries guide 2Greek ferry - credits: Pixabay.com

There are 24 independent ferry companies in Greece, so to say you're spoilt for choice and Greek ferry schedules is an understatement. With such a variety of options, knowing which ones are worth using is essential.

Before we dive right in (or float), here's a quick outline of the top 5 ferry companies:

  • Blue Star Ferries — It's a great option that connects over 50 destinations across the Aegean and Ionian Seas.
  • Sea Jets — They are the closest competitor of Blue Star Ferries and connect over 26 destinations.
  • Minoan Lines — An ever-reliable ferry company connecting the Greek islands to Piraeus and Italy to Greece. 
  • Hellenic Seaways — Provide affordable and fast ferries to all the major islands in the Aegean Sea.
  • Levante Ferries — Offer comfortable and reliable ferry services in the Ionian Sea.

Blue Star Ferries

greek ferries guide 3Greek ferry - credits: Pixabay.com

The bigger, the better, right? Well, in Blue Star Ferries' case, it is, as this is the largest fleet of ferries in Greece. They have a fleet of over 20 ships ranging from luxury catamarans to state-of-the-art ferries.

That's right, you have a variety of ships to pick from, with the catamarans hitting speeds of up to 40 knots. Now that's a lot of power!

They travel to 55 destinations across the Greek Isles, so it's almost a given you'll get to your Cyclades Islands paradise in no time.

Paros Traditional Cooking Class with Transportation

Whether traveling to Mykonos for a party or to the archeological goldmine of Crete, you'll get to your destination stress-free with Blue Star Ferries. 

As far as costs go, they are also fairly affordable, with prices ranging between $15 and $200. These prices vary depending on the travel class, ferry route, and ticket type.

Although there are faster ferries around (we know it's a bummer), there are none as reliable or affordable as Blue Star Ferries.

Top Tip: Book your ticket online and well in advance for the best prices.


greek ferries guide 4Greek ferry boarding at Rafina Port - credits: Pixabay.com

If it's fast travel you seek throughout the Aegean Sea, look no further than SeaJets.

That's right, SeaJets is the largest competitor of Blue Star Ferries in the Aegean Sea regarding high-speed ferries, as they travel to more than 250 ports across 26 locations.

Do you like the sound of that? What if we told you they're also one of the quickest ferries? It may sound too good to be true, but their high-speed people carriers allow you to get from A to B in a flash.

The only downside is that they don't provide ferry tickets that include vehicle transportation, but it's a small price to pay for a quicker trip.

With 18 vessels in their fleet, waiting around for a ferry isn't in their DNA, meaning you can tick transportation off your Cyclades travel guide.

As far as pricing goes, ferry tickets range from $50 to $90, depending on the route and travel class. SeaJets even have special accommodations for travelers with pets, so the pups can join in your Greek adventures.

Minoan Lines

greek ferries guide 5Greek ferry in the sea  - credits: Pixabay.com

Traveling from mainland Greece to the Isles has never been easier with Minoan Lines. Although small, with a fleet size of 12 vessels, this company considers luxury a necessity and not a privilege.

You'll find spacious accommodation on all their vessels, as well as a spa and fitness center. We could go on, but there's still plenty to discuss, so we’ll leave it at that.

The main route they provide connects Athens to Crete. That's only part of it, though, as they now venture to 12 other locations, including an overnight ferry trip between Patras and Italy

The ferries are large, so don't expect to get to your coastal oasis quickly. If you ask us, that's not an issue when you consider the fantastic lodgings on board. As for ferry tickets, expect to pay between $44 and $105 per person.

A Minoan Lines ferry doesn't do discounts like the larger ferry companies. Their slow ferries do offer loyalty cards, though, which are similar to a ferry pass. Before you think, "How will that help me" just listen up.

They have temporary ferry passes for vacationers so that you can get some fantastic perks during your romantic Greek holiday.

Hellenic Seaways

greek ferries guide 7Saronic ferry in Piraeus port  - credits: Pixabay.com

If you seek affordability and leisure — we certainly do — then book your ticket with Hellenic Seaways. It's a company that considers everything, from its environmental footprint to the comfort of its passengers.

They provide ferries across the Northern Aegean and Ionian Seas (60 different destinations, to be exact). You can also pick from the 15 vessels in their fleet, ranging from ultra-fast to casual carriers. 

Need more convincing? The ticket prices are also insanely cheap, starting from as low as $9 and going up to $120 per person.

These prices depend on your travel itinerary, but it's hard to beat such a great deal – trust us, we've tried to find better.

While on their ferries, you can enjoy complimentary WiFi, enjoy a drink at the bar, or even listen to live music on the larger ferries.

And to sweeten the deal, they offer a range of discounts, so keep a lookout for these great deals on the Hellenic Seaways website.

Levante Ferries

greek ferries guide 6Journey across the Greek sea - credits: Pixabay.com

Levante Ferries is a small yet reliable carrier with only six vessels in their fleet. Despite the small size, they offer fantastic services across the Ionian Islands at a great price too.

They travel to eight ferry ports in total, and the journey time is often short, thanks to their sophisticated and fast fleet.

You'll travel in style, with restaurants and bars on board. They also encourage you to book online and early. As a matter of fact, they offer an early booking discount. Now is that a deal or what?

The Main Greece Ferry Routes

greek ferries guide 8Aegean Sea view - credits: Pixabay.com

With 227 inhabited Greek islands to explore, there are thousands of potential travel routes you can embark upon. So, to help prevent a headache from picking your ideal destinations, we've identified the top routes throughout the Greek Isles.

Popular Ferry Lines From Mainland Greece

You'll want to use two main ports from mainland Greece, namely Piraeus port (Athens) and Kyllini.

To make your ferry trip a breeze, here are the best routes from Piraeus, including the cheapest ticket price:

  • Piraeus to Mykonos: Blue Star Ferries ($45 per person)
  • Piraeus to Crete: SeaJets ($25 per person)
  • Piraeus to Santorini: Anek Lines ($42 per person)
  • Piraeus to Naxos: Blue Star Ferries ($45 per person)
  • Piraeus to Paros: Blue Star Ferries ($43 per person)

Corfu Old Town Tour with Olive Oil Tasting

Here are the top routes to the Ionian Islands, including the best price to buy Greek ferry tickets for each journey:

  • Kyllini to Kefalonia: Levante Ferries ($15 per person)
  • Kyllini to Zakynthos: Levante Ferries ($13 per person)
  • Igoumenitsa to Corfu: Kerkyra Seaways ($6 per person)
  • Kyllini to Ithaca: Levante Ferries ($16.50 per person)

Popular Routes From Island to Island

As important as getting from mainland Greece to the Greek islands are, you'll also want a chance to enjoy some Greek island hopping. Once again, there is a plethora of opportunities, so to help you narrow it down a bit, here are the top island hopping routes:

  • Mykonos to Santorini: One stop, Blue Star Ferries and Anek Lines ($88 per person) 
  • Santorini to Crete: Anek Lines ($26 per person)
  • Kefalonia to Zakynthos: One stop, Levante Ferries ($27.50 per person)
  • Mykonos to Naxos: One stop, Blue Star Ferries ($41.50 per person)
  • Paros to Naxos: Blue Star Ferries ($16 per person)

How to Prepare for Your Greek Ferry

greek ferries guide 9Greek ferry in action - credits: Pixabay.com

Booking your ferry ticket is one thing, but knowing what to bring with you is an entirely different story. From your ferry budget to luggage restrictions, get ready to learn all the 'other' essential details about exploring the Greek Islands by ferry.

How to Budget for Greek Ferries

Your budget will depend on how much traveling you intend to do during your time in Greece. As far as travel options go, though, ferries are the cheapest way to get around

All Greek islands are amazing; there's no disputing that, but some are slightly more expensive to travel to than others.

Even so, the price difference between a flight and a ferry is astronomical, a little bonkers, actually. Although the travel time is a little longer, you'll save a pretty penny by ferrying around the Mediterranean.

Tip: Read about transportation in Greece to learn a little more about the other travel options in the country.

Know Your Luggage Limits

greek ferries guide 11Greek ferry in Santorini - credits: Pixabay.com

There is no straightforward answer, as ferry companies operate differently, and each has its own luggage policies. We know. Why can't they just make it the same across the board?

Unfortunately, it's not that simple, as each ferry has different weight restrictions, from the number of passengers to (you guessed it) the luggage requirements.

Although regulations differ from ferry to ferry, passengers are entitled to 110 pounds (50 kg) of luggage.

If you have special sports equipment or require additional luggage that exceeds the weight limit, you can purchase more before the ferry departs.

Note that your luggage may have to stay next to you, for example, if you book a deck lounge ticket. If you don't want to worry about your bags, consider booking a slightly more expensive ticket.

Top Tip: Avoid those sticky situations of waiting around with extra luggage by checking your ferry company's baggage policy the day before you leave.

Some Essentials to Bring With on Your Greek Ferry

Of all the Greece travel tips we can give you, this next list of items is probably the most important. Here are some must-haves when traveling to Greece:

  • The FerryHopper app will help you find all the best deals and ensure all your travel details are in one place.
  • Always keep your passport and any other travel documents nearby. Having two copies of items, such as flight tickets and your ID, is also a good idea.
  • It doesn't matter how tough you are. Sometimes the ocean waves will have your stomach doing acrobatics. Avoid motion sickness by packing some antiemetic pills. They're a lifesaver.
  • Although there are restaurants and bars onboard most ferries, you can save some bucks by bringing food and drinks with you. The ferry food is often overpriced, so rather avoid it if you can.

Final Thoughts For Your Greek Ferry Adventure

greek ferries guide 10Greek sea - credits: Pixabay.com

So, now that you know all the ins and outs of Greek ferries, where will be your first destination? You don't have to answer that right this minute, of course, as there's no rush to get to paradise.

When you're ready to figure out your travel plans, read about the best things to do in Greece. That way, every unforgettable experience is there for the taking.

Our Tailor-Made Trip Planning
Hop on a quick call with a local expert from our team
Receive a tailor-made itinerary for your journey
Fine-tune the details and you're ready to go

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it Better to Book Greek Ferries in Advance?

Do Greek Ferries Sell Out?

Are There Seasons When Greek Island Ferries Don't Run?

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