Of the approximate 6,000 Greek islands, about 200 are inhabited. Each with their own unique landscape and architecture. You could spend weeks or months hopping from one island to the next.
The Cyclades and Saronic Gulf island groupings are the easiest to get around and hop between. They include the following islands:
Due to the proximity to major ports in Athens, island hopping via ferry to the Cyclades or Saronic islands can be a very budget-friendly way to enjoy the islands. You can get a ferry ticket at a port office or online through third party booking tools. While you can book your ticket online, you will still need to pick up the physical ticket in person at the ferry office or have it mailed to you. The ferry offices are located at the Port of Piraeus in Athens and at island ports. If you’re traveling during the peak season, it is highly recommended that you book your tickets online 3-5 months in advance.
Some ferries allow for cars to board as well. Be sure to watch for this option when booking your ferry, if you’re taking a vehicle. You can also rent cars or motorbikes on most islands.
Many of the populated islands also have airports. Island hopping via air can be extremely convenient, especially for individuals who get motion sickness on boats. And hotels on the islands often have a shuttle service or will arrange transportation for you from the airport.
The following are some of our favorite island hopping routes via ferry:
1 day trip: Athens (Port of Piraeus) –> Aegina –> Athens
1 day trip: Athens (Port of Piraeus) –> Hydra –> Athens
3 day trip: Athens (Port of Rafina) –> Mykonos –> Andros –> Athens
5 day trip: Athens (Port of Rafina) –> Mykonos –> Naxos or Paros –> Santorini –> Athens