8 things to know about Island Hopping in Greece!
Updated: Mar 19, 2019
Island hopping in Greece is an amazing way to see the fascinating aspects of each island. So like many other people we couldn’t resist… we created our itinerary, booked our ferries, and set out to island hop! Here are 8 things we learned while island hopping in Greece. Hopefully they’ll help you plan the perfect trip!
Book in advance
We booked most of our accommodations about 2 months in advance and even then our options were limited. If you plan on visiting Greece in the high season (June-August) book months in advance to get the best hotels and Airbnbs. If you have an idea of your itinerary, don’t hesitate to book your ferries directly with Blue Star, Seajets, Golden Star ferries, or any of the other companies. It’ll give you peace of mind.
Be prepared to stand under the hot sun
The ports do have shaded areas but you’ll be fighting for room to stand underneath it with other people. Don’t forget your sunblock, this way if you get stuck in the sun you’ll be protected.
Don’t expect ferries to arrive on time
This is something we learned quickly. Ferries rarely run on time. And even if they do you’ll end up getting on it late. However, this doesn’t mean that you can show up later than the scheduled time. Most of the ferries require you to check in an hour in advance. Just be prepared with a snack and water.
Look into public transportation or transfer services
If you can book accommodations that offer free transfer services do it! It is best to plan with your hotel in advance any transportation services. Taxis will charge you an obnoxious amount for short rides because they know they can. If you can’t get a transfer from your hotel, look into public buses. Some of the islands have bus stops right near the port, and will cost you a fraction of the price.
Taxis are limited so it can be difficult to get one, especially on Mykonos, where you’ll be fighting people to grab taxis. If you grab a taxi drivers number it will make it easier. This way you can call them directly.
Don’t just see the touristy islands
Mykonos and Santorini are definitely the most popular islands. If you’re looking to party Mykonos is definitely your island and for something more romantic visit Santorini. But don’t miss out on Milos which has the most amazing beaches, Naxos which is a lot more laid back and allows you to actually enjoy the island life, and Paros where you can rent an ATV and head over to antiparos to see the mountains and caves.
If you’re getting an ATV/car book in advance
Getting an ATV on the islands is a fun way to get around, but during the high season it can be difficult to get on the day of. Research a good company and book it in advance so you won’t miss out (which we almost did). Check to see if you need an international license. Some companies require one while others could care less. It is better to have the international license because you will be less limited to your options.
If you’re planning to go to Paros we definitely recommend getting an ATV and taking the ferry to Antiparos. It was such a cool experience driving around the mountains and to the cave.
Look into a boat tour
Boat tours are a great way to see the islands beautiful beaches in a day. We took boat tours when exploring Milos and Santorini. We decided to do this in Santorini because of how expensive it was to get around the island. For about $120 we were provided with drinks, delicious food, and a half day tour around the island. They also have sunset tours so you are able to see the famous Santorini sunset from the boat. We booked it the day before so you shouldn’t have any problem booking it. The boat tour for Milos is highly recommended! The boat tour is all day and takes you around the whole island of Milos. We got to see just how unique each beach in Milos is.
Get to the Santorini sunset early
If not... you won’t really have room to watch it. We got there about an hour ahead of time and there were already a lot of people waiting and barely any spots to stand or sit. It is breathtaking to watch but gets very crowded. Also, there is major foot traffic after the sunset heading back so be prepared. Oh and watch out for donkeys! While we were heading back there was a donkey tour that was trying to get through the crammed pathways!