Island hopping is a great way to discover the Greek islands and to experience the uniqueness of each one of them. Because of their proximity to one another, the Cyclades and the Dodecanese are two wonderful island groups to explore in this way. Island hopping allows tourists and locals alike to enjoy the clear blue Aegean Sea, set sail and feel every island’s unique vibe.
Those who prefer to travel without fixed schedules and timetables can organize their island hopping adventure independently, booking each ticket online when it’s time to change place: one good search site is www.ferryscanner.com.
Buying individual tickets close to departure-date can be expensive though, which is why getting a Greek Island Pass from Interrail & Eurail is a viable option!
Travelers can choose from two passes: the first pass includes 6 ferry trips within a 1-month period, including 2 international trips between Italy and Greece and 4 domestic trips to Greek islands. The price for youth (ages 12-27) is €155 and €176 for adults (ages 28 and older). Up to 2 children under the age of 12 can travel with an adult for free! The second pass includes 5 domestic trips in Greece within a 1-month period. The price for youth is €68 and for €90 for adults.
Visitors with a pass can choose the routes of the Attica Group (Superfast Ferries, Blue Star Ferries & Hellenic Seaways). These trips can be booked only through the Attica Group’s Call Center in Athens or via email, and all trips need to be booked in advance of traveling – preferably as soon as possible to ensure there are still seats available. For some this might sound restricting, but many like to have their travel plans ready before heading off for vacation. After booking your trips, mark the travel dates and details on the Travel Calendar in the Pass – the pass is not valid for travel on days that are not marked on the Travel Calendar. Then you are good to go!
The Greek Travel Pass brochure suggests the following routes for travelers interested in the Cyclades and the Dodecanese:
Piraeus-Syros -Paros-Naxos-Piraeus. This is a route for those who wish to see the three of the most popular islands of Greece, experiencing the fascinating culture of Syros, high mountains of Naxos and beautiful beaches of Paros.
Piraeus-Santorini-Kos-Rhodes-Piraeus. This is a route for travelers who wish to combine travel in both the Cyclades and the Dodecanese. This combination is full of ancient cities, tasty wines, and outstanding scenery.
When traveling with ferries and boats it’s important to remember that out at the sea, it’s the wind that decides the day’s itinerary, not the clients! During strong winds, the boats, especially the smaller ones, won’t leave the Greek ports. Also while booking your trips, it’s good to remember that not every island has daily departures, so planning ahead saves visitors from many surprises.
For more info, check the website: https://www.interrail.eu/en/interrail-passes/one-country-pass/greece-passes/greek-islands