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The ultimate guide to Greek Island Hopping

Greek Islands ● 21 January 2018
 

Greek islands are more than 5,000! With this fact, you may wonder that it is really difficult to choose an island and organise your vacation in Greece. With this guide, you can learn everything you need to know about the Greek islands, book your accommodation and ferry tickets and get ready for unforgettable holidays. Plus, you can think about having the amazing experience of island hopping and visit more islands during your journey. The distance between the islands is short, and you can explore various destinations. In this article, you will learn about the island-groups in Greece and how to travel from one island to another. Then, you can choose which is the most fascinating for you and prepare your schedule in order to have as many gorgeous moments and cool photos to remind you of your summer in Greece!


The various island-groups

Ionian Islands
The Ionian Islands are located in the western side of Greece, in the Ionian Sea, which is part of the Adriatic Sea near Italy. These islands are Zakynthos, Kefalonia, Ithaca, Lefkada, Corfu, Paxoi and Antipaxoi. They are distinguished by lush greenery, verdant nature, Italian-style architecture and long sandy beaches with turquoise waters.

Lefkada

Cyclades
Cyclades are located in the southern side of Greece, in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Some of these islands, like Kythnos, Kea, Serifos and Andros, are situated in a short distance to Athens, while some other are located near Crete, such as Santorini, Amorgos and Anafi. Western Cyclades are Sifnos, Milos, Kimolos, Folegandros and Sikinos, while in the middle of the Aegean Sea you can find renowned Greek islands, such as Mykonos, Paros,  Syros, Ios and Naxos. Around Naxos, you can travel to the subgroup of Small Cyclades (Koufonissi, Donousa, Schinoussa, Irakleia), which has small undiscovered islands. Cyclades are characterised by dry and wild nature, strong winds, sunshine, whitewashed villages, rich history and significant archaeological sites as well as impressive beaches with turquoise waters.

Santorini

Dodecanese
The group of Dodecanese Islands is located in the eastern-southern side of the Aegean Sea, in a very close distance to Turkey. These islands are Rhodes, Symi, Tilos, Kastelorizo, Chalki, Nisyros, Kos, Leipsoi, Karpathos, Kasos, Leros, Patmos, Arkioi, Telendos and Farmakonisi. The characteristics of these islands are the hospitality of the local people, their authentic and virgin character, the deep blue crystal clear sea waters, the neoclassical well-preserved architecture and the important historical sites in islands, such as Kos, Rhodes and Patmos.

Symi

Northern Aegean Islands
The islands in northern Aegean Sea are Chios, Lesvos, Samos, Ikaria, Fournoi, Psara, Limnos, Agios Eustratios and Oinousses. Chios, Lesvos, Samos, Ikaria and Limnos are large islands with touristic facilities, while the other islands are unspoiled destinations for total peace and privacy. They have the same characteristics with Dodecanese islands and are also located close to Turkey.

Chios

Saronic Islands
The Saronic Islands are located in a close distance to Athens (1-2 hours by ferry or boat) in the Saronic Gulf. These islands are Aegina, Agkistri, Poros, Hydra and Spetses and their characteristics are the crystal clear sea waters, the lush greenery with pine trees, important historical sites and neoclassical harbours.

Hydra

Sporades
Sporades is the island group in the Pagasetic Gulf in a close distance to the town of Volos in Thessaly. These islands are Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros. Their characteristics are that they have verdant nature, traditional towns and impressive beaches with warm sea waters.

Skiathos

Travelling between the islands

The easiest and cheapest way to go to the Greek islands is by boat from Athens (Piraeus Port) to the Saronic islands, Cyclades, Dodecanese, Crete and the islands of northern Aegean. To Sporades, you can take the boat from Volos Port or Agios Konstantinos Port. To the Ionian islands, you have to take the boat from Patras or Kyllini Port.

To some islands, which are located close to the ports, such as Aegina, Poros, Kythnos and Andros to Athens, or Skiathos to Volos, or Zakynthos to Patras, the duration of the journey by boat is less than 2-3 hours, but to other remote islands, such as the northern Aegean islands, Crete or Dodecanese, the journey can be long. In that case, you can travel by ferry or aeroplane (when the island has an airport).

The greatest disadvantage of ferry is the high price of the tickets. The good news is that you can travel on a budget even by ferry if you choose the Cyclades for your island hopping. Greek Island Pass is a ferry pass when travelling to Cyclades or Crete (click here to learn more). With Greek Island Pass, you pay the price of only one ticket, but you can do more routes and visit more islands with great flexibility whenever you want. So, if you are the type of traveller, who wants to reach the destination conveniently and quickly, but you wonder about the budget, this ferry pass is your thing. You can plan your itinerary, make several routes and explore the Aegean Sea affordably!


Where to Stay

Hotel & Appartment in Andros, Greece Ostria Hotel & Apartments
Ostria Hotel & Apartments
Main Street, Gavrio, 84501 Andros, Greece

Ostria Hotel & Apartments are located in Gavrio, Andros just 500 m from the port and offer year-round, budget accommodation with the sea view in the great location. The nearest beach can be reached within 10 minutes walk.

Studio & Appartment in Zakynthos, Greece Studio Stars
Studio Stars
Mouzaki - Laganas, 29092 Zakynthos, Greece

Surrounded by lush gardens with citrus trees, Studio Stars offers self-catering accommodation in a quiet location just 1 km away from the lively center of the cosmopolitan Laganas resort and 3 km from Laganas Beach. Zakynthos international airport is at 4 km, while the main port in picturesque and historic Zakynthos town is at 5 km. A bus stop with good service to the town can be found just a few meters away from the property.

Hotel in Epidavros, Greece Hani Inn
Hani Inn
Hani Merkouri, Ligourio, 21052 Epidavros, Greece

Hani Inn Hotel is located in the small village of Chani Merkouri, 5 km from the Ancient Theater of Epidavros. The famous archaeological site of Mycenae is 38 km away. The nearest beach can be reached within a 20-minute drive. The historic and picturesque Nafplio town is at 20 km.


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