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How to do Greek Island Hopping on a budget

Greek Islands ● 17 May 2018
Greek Island Hopping may be the best experience you can have for summer vacations! Travelling from one island to another and visit more islands in order to understand what is so special with them is something truly exciting! However, you may think that Greek Island Hopping is not affordable for you. The truth is that this kind of journey can be expensive if you are not careful. But we recommend you some ways to make Greek Island Hopping on a budget. Do you have doubts? Read this article and be prepared for the best island hopping in Greece on a budget!

Generally, you have three options, which you can choose separately or combine them: 1) You buy a Greek Island Hopping ferry pass, to save money in the ferry tickets. 2) You visit the Greek islands in the off-season 3) You spend your vacations in off-the-beaten-path islands away from mass tourism, where you can find authenticity, virgin landscape and low prices.

Greek Island Hopping ferry pass

If you buy separated ferry tickets to travel between the islands, the whole trip can cost you a fortune. But the Greek Island Hopping ferry pass of Hostelbay can make you travel on budget if you are willing to do Greek Island Hopping in the Cyclades. Forget the expensive prices of ferry tickets that made island hopping in the Cyclades impossible for most of the travellers in Greece. With this island pass, you visit more islands easily and affordably. Just book online one of the Hostelbay Island Passes and pay the price of only one ticket making the routes you want to/from these islands with great flexibility for 20 days!

Inter-island Pass

With Inter-island Pass, you can visit 4 islands (Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini) and make 5 routes in every combination you want within 20 days. With only 68€, you can start your journey from Piraeus and visit the most famous Greek islands in the Aegean Sea! 

Greek Island Pass

With Greek Island Pass, you can visit 7 islands and make 8 routes in every combination you want within 20 days. With only 99€, you can start your journey from Piraeus, visit all the islands of Inter-island Pass plus three more (Mykonos, Amorgos, Heraklion Crete). Thus, you literally see the best Cyclades and Crete have to offer to you! 

Visit the Greek islands off-season

Another option you have in order to do Greek Island Hopping on a budget is to visit the touristic islands of Greece during the off-season. The renowned touristic islands in Greece, such as Santorini, Mykonos, Crete and Corfu, are expensive in the high-season. Contrariwise, in April, May, September and October, you can find perfect accommodation deals, and generally everything is cheaper than in summer. Travel agencies offer unbeatable packages for all the top Greek islands, and March and October are the best months to find super deals.

However, you may wonder about the weather because the Greek islands are worthwhile destinations to swim and sunbathe. Well, the truth is that the weather is better in the middle season than in July and August. During summer, the temperatures in Greece, and especially in southern Greece, can be really warm. If you are not used to it, you may find it really exhausting. Something you may not know is that Greece has sunny weather with temperatures over 25 degrees from April to October. Moreover, in some places, like the Cyclades, the Dodecanese and Crete, good weather can be expected all year long. Especially if your homeland is a northern country and you can’t stand hot temperatures, visiting the Greek islands in the fall or spring, when temperature is 20-25 degrees, is a wise thing to do to feel comfortably and enjoy your vacation. Thus, you can explore the beautiful Greek towns and villages as well as the archaeological sites without the danger of a heat- or sunstroke. Remember also that the sea, especially in autumn, is warm enough to swim and enjoy its emerald waters, while sunbathing is not as dangerous as in the summer, when the sun can really harm you.

Plus, if you are the type of traveller, who wants to discover the authentic side of each place, then we recommend you to travel off-season. Local people are calm and relaxing, and you can discover the hidden gem of each destination away from mass tourism and the crowds of people around you.

Cheap Greek islands: Cyclades


Sikinos is a small, rocky Cycladic island, in a close distance to more famous Folegandros. It is the perfect destination for hiking thanks to its cliffs and mountains that will offer you a breathtaking view of the Aegean Sea and the complex of Cyclades. The Chora of Sikinos is typically Cycladic, with small white houses, but the island has not long and sandy beaches. However, the emerald sea waters in small cozy coves are calling you to swim in an experience of true calmness.


Kimolos was basically, million years ago, part of Milos, and thus, it has the same impressive landscape as well as volcanic and mineral earth, which gives Kimolos its natural product, the chalk. Imposing rocks, turquoise waters and a colourful scenery together with a white, lovely capital is what the island has to offer to its visitors together with very low prices. An off-the-beaten-track paradise ideal for people, who search an authentic place and want to save money. Don't miss swimming in the sea of white beach Prasa!


Anafi will impress you with its gorgeous beaches, the azure waters of the Aegean Sea and its typical Cycladic Chora. On Anafi, you can eat cheap fresh fish, stay in budget rooms to let and enjoy your swim on public beaches, where you don't have to pay nothing! Just you, the sea and the sun!


Small Cyclades are wonderful virgin Cycladic islands that have something unique to offer to you. They are located in a very close distance to each other, so that you can travel from one island to another in less than one hour. Schinoussa has the style that all the other Small Cyclades have. Secluded exotic bays with turquoise waters and golden sand, small settlements, wild landscape and authentic atmosphere. Away from mass tourism, you can enjoy there the beauty of nature. Every day, you can eat fresh fish and seafood because the locals are still fishermen.



In Donoussa, another island of Small Cyclades, you will find total privacy and relaxation. The most beautiful area of Donoussa is the southern side of the island, with long sandy beaches, such as Kedros and Livadi. The only settlement of the island is the port, an authentic small Chora with some taverns and café-bars to spend relaxing days and find your inner peace. Donoussa is also the meeting point of free campers.


Irakleia is the less inhabited destination among the Small Cyclades. With only a few houses around the small harbour, Irakleia impresses its visitors with its virgin landscape and its lonely beaches. Livadi is the best beach of the island, an imposing cove with the clearest waters you can find in Aegean Sea.

Cheap Greek islands: Dodecanese


Tilos is an amazing untouched destination with secluded beaches and small traditional villages. The most touristic place is the neoclassical port of the island, but you will be impressed by the village Mikro Chorio, a ghost village with abandoned buildings. If you want total privacy and low prices, include Tilos in your Greek Island Hopping in the Dodecanese!


Chalki is one of the smallest inhabited islands of the Dodecanese with a permanent population of 330 people, which is increased only during the summer months. Because its tourism is not as developed as on the other islands, Chalki is ideal for peace and privacy. The island is distinguished by its impeccable architecture and the relaxing beaches, which are accessible by bus or on foot. A sweet island you should not miss!


Kasos is the small island of the Dodecanese, which is located between Crete and Karpathos. It is an off-the-beaten-track destination, an authentic island with a cozy friendly Chora and one of the best beaches in Greece, Marmara. Golden sand, azure sea waters and the feeling that you have just discovered a virgin heaven, this is Marmara and Kasos.


Leros is the ultimate island for chilling out. As the ferry or the boat reaches its colorful port, you will immediately understand that this unspoiled by mass tourism island is what you were searching for when you wanted to get rest during the tough winter without spending much money. Calm beaches with turquoise waters, hospitable locals, low prices for food and accommodation and the feeling of medowness in the air are the characteristics of Leros.


Arkioi is one of the smallest and least populated islands of Greece with only 45 people. It is located near famous Patmos, and when you visit this totally untouched island, you will feel that you have travelled back in time. In Arkioi, you will find unbeatable serenity, eat fresh fish at great prices and forget the noise and the expensive prices of the crowded islands. Total isolation and contact with nature, this is the island of Arkioi.

Cheap Greek islands: Northern Aegean


Limnos is an untouched, wonderful Greek island that will impress you with its numerous beaches, the hospitality of the locals and its traditional villages with their hidden treasures. If you are looking for an off-the-beaten-path island away from the crowds and with cheap prices everywhere, don't miss Limnos. Myrina, the capital of the island, is a beautiful town with neoclassical buildings and a castle, which is one of the biggest and best preserved in Greece, home to around 70 deer!


Fourni Ikarias is a tiny island with turquoise waters in a very close distance to Ikaria. On this isolated and totally unspoiled island, you will appreciate your privacy and inner peace. It is a remote, fishing island where you will be impressed by its emerald waters, the calm sea and the scenery, with the houses and the villages that look like coming from the 50's.


Near Chios, is located the island of Psara. It is a tiny island with only 500 residents and a few hotels and rooms to let. Around Psara, there are a few other, uninhabited islands you can visit, such as Agios Nikolaos and Antipsara. There, you will enjoy swimming in the amazing sea waters and also eat fresh lobster, as the island is well-known for the recipes with lobsters.

Other tips


Souvlaki is a great option for cheap food during your Greek Island Hopping. Every island of Greece has several traditional taverns that prepare souvlaki, this delicious sandwich with meat, pommes frites, tomato, onions and tzatziki. It costs less than 2€, is delicious and nutritious. Alternatively, seafood is also cheap on the Greek islands, especially on the above mentioned islands, where local people are still fishermen.


During your Greek Island Hopping, you want to have fun, drink, meet new people and flirt. However, you think about your budget and how many drinks per day you can afford. Well, the good news is that you can find cheap drinks in Greece, but you should definitely stay away from cocktails. Cocktails is the new must in Greece, and in popular islands, you can literally find dozens of cocktail bars. However, these beverages can cost even 12 or 13€! Wine, beers and topical Greek alcoholic beverages, such as ouzo and raki, cost less and are as strong or even stronger than the cocktails. Public drinking is allowed in Greece, so you can easily buy beers or other drinks from the mini market and have fun on the beach. On islands away from mass tourism, drinking and singing on the beach, meeting all the tourists the island has, is a must and a unique experience!

Cheap ferry tickets

Are you wondering how to find cheap ferry tickets? In addition to the Greek Island Hopping ferry passes, which can save you a lot of money during your vacation in the Cyclades, there are also some other tips to find the best ferry deals you can achieve.

Book your ferry ticket online

If you book ferry tickets online, you can find really good ferry deals in Greece. You just print or load in your smartphone the ticket, and you are ready to travel exactly like having bought an air-ticket. Without booking fees, buying your ferry ticket online is simpler and cheaper than in the travel agency or in a holiday package.

Discount tickets

Don't forget to check if there are special prices for some groups of people. Many ferry companies offer discount on student or group tickets, and this discount can be up to 50%.

Travel on the boat deck

You may think that travelling on the boat deck may be tiring, but the truth is that this kind of trip is exciting. You meet new people, feel the sea breeze on your face and watch the seagulls follow the boat. You can also feed them, they will take the biscuit right from your hand! Plus, the prices of the ferry tickets on the deck are cheaper than inside the boat, such as in the airline seats.

Where to Stay

Hotel in Chios, Greece Esperides Hotel
Esperides Hotel
Agia Foteini Beach, 82100 Chios, Greece

Esperides Hotel is located just one minute's walk from Agia Foteini Beach. Chios town and Chios Port are approximately a 20-minute drive away. Chios National Airport is a 16-minute drive away.

Hotel in Chalkidiki, Greece Stratos Hotel
Stratos Hotel
Afitos, 63077 Chalkidiki, Greece

Stratos Hotel is centrally located in the lovely, traditional village of Afitos. The beach is approximately a 15-minute walk from the property. Thessaloniki International Airport is 75 km away.

Hotel in Athens, Greece Elizabeth Hotel
8.5 10
Elizabeth Hotel
46, Arkadias Str., 11527 Athens, Greece

Elizabeth Hotel is only 10 minutes away from Panormou Metro Station. Syntagma Square is just 4 stops away using the metro and the Eleftherios Venizelos Airport can be easily reached as it is directly connected with Panormou Metro Station.