Getting Around Greece by Ferry

©Jason and Kirsten/flickr

©Jason and Kirsten/flickr

If you are traveling to Greece during the high-season, the routes are pretty extensive. So you can expect many connections from Athens and even in-between islands where you can hop from one island to the other. During the winter season, be ready that the ferries run once or twice a week only. So the frequency of these Greek ferries might impact your travel plans and you are recommended to always plan ahead.

Greek Ferries Availability

Depending on the time of the year, you can check the availability of Greek ferries. If you plan to travel to Greece from January to March, it’s the off-season since it is winter. And because of the rough weather on the Aegean, the boats are not out during these time. It makes it less predictable as the port authority decides how long the delay might be. So incase if you are planning to go Greece during the off-season, be ready for such flexibility in your travel schedule as well. Thinking of a travel plan that is like departing a Greek island in the morning and then taking a flight home in the noon within the very day will have to be rethink. Besides, the other important date to remember about your Greece travel is its National Holiday on the 15th August. This time is a peak season so all the ferries are usually filled up very quickly.

Potential Complications

Running on a hub-and-spoke system, the Greek ferry system is not running on an every day basis. The spokes radiates from Piraeus out to the various island groups. So boats within groups are frequent but not between groups. If you are looking at the islands on a map, they looked geographically close together. Western Cyclades like the Serifos, Sifnos and Milos seems close to the Central Cyclades: Naxos, Paros, Mykonos. However, they are on different spokes. So you can get from one island to the other of the same group on any day but the boats from Naxos to Sifnos are less frequent.

Be Flexible

Greek Ferry ©artgecko/flickr

Greek Ferry ©artgecko/flickr

No single official comprehensive source is available and it can cause some frustrations. What is best is the ferry schedules posted on the boat ticket offices in departure ports. The other note is the boats tickets to the popular destinations maybe sold out in high season or holiday weekends. Other determinants are weather, mechanical breakdowns or even strikes that can possibly cause a delay. The way to counter it is to be as flexible as possible.

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