inter-island travel in Greece

My fiance and I are planning to honeymoon in Greece this year, September 17th-27th. We would like to do a trip that includes Athens, mikonos, santorini, paros, and crete. I have read online that hydrofoils and ferries either do not run in September, or cannot be booked online. I was told that we have to fly between islands in September. We were planning to arrange the trip ourselves, insead of with a travel agent. Do we need to use a travel agent to get transportation arragned? If we wait until we arrive to each destination, will we be able to book a ferry from the islands? Also, are there any airlines that go between islands other than agean and olympic? Any advice on this subject would be appreciated!

Posted by David
Bellevue, WA, USA
740 posts

there are still boats in Sep. you should buy tickets out when you first arrive, don't wait. for airline tickets you should buy early. cypress airline also flies in the area, check them out. from santorini to crete you clearly don't need to fly.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

katie, You might find it helpful to have a look at Matt Barrett's excellent Greece Travel website. There's an enormous amount of information there, so you should be able to find the information you need. If you have difficulty with a particular aspect of the arrangements, you could perhaps send an E-mail to Matt. Although you could certainly arrange the trip yourselves, I'd highly recommend at least considering the Greek Travel Agencies mentioned on the above website. I used Fantasy Travel to arrange my last trip to the islands and they did an outstanding job. The Fantasy Travel representative met me on the docks at Piraeus at 07:00 on a Sunday morning, and provided an envelope of Vouchers for the entire trip. They arranged everything including Hotels, transfers and Ferry tickets, which made the trip very easy and problem-free. Dealing with them by E-mail was a bit of of work, but I would most definitely use that method again. Congratulations and I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon!

Posted by Lee
Dallas
898 posts

I suggest you post your questions on the Trip Advisor Greece forum where the local experts can advise you.

Posted by Ron
southwest, Missouri, U.S.A.
1359 posts

Hello Katie. Those dates : September 17 - 27 , are those all of the days when you will be away from the U.S.A. ? Or will you be at Greece all of those days ? In either case, I recommend going to a total of two islands. I recommend : fly from Athens to Santorini. And ride on a boat from Santorini to Crete. Fly from Crete to Athens. The total number of days that you will be at islands of Greece is not a long time. If you go to more than two islands, I think you would use too much of your time for travel between islands. Being on a boat on the Sea can be a good experience, but I think you will have enough of that in your boat ride on the Aegean Sea between Santorini and Crete. I say - do not give money to any travel agent for assistance in planning any part of this trip. On Crete, do you intend to rent a car? or mopeds ? At the Greek islands, "High Season" is late June to late September. There will be Ferry boats running between Santorini and Crete in September. Greek ferry operators do not arrange their schedules until just before the season starts.

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
915 posts

There are definitely hydrofoils and ferries in Greece in September. There may be fewer than in peak summer season, but there will be plenty between the islands you've listed. There is really no need to book them ahead of time. Shortly after arriving on an island, check with the ferry lines (there are usually offices or booths near the port) for details on the ferry to your next destination, and buy the tickets then. There is always a chance in September that bad weather may cause a ferry to be cancelled, but if it happens, you are usually just delayed a day and the ferry line will reissue your ticket. So, with that in mind, here is what I would recommend: When you arrive in Athens, fly directly to Santorini. You will need to book this flight ahead of time. Aegean or Olympic sometimes have special offers for very inexpensive flights; sign up for their emails and watch for these. Give yourself at least 2 hours between your incoming and outgoing flights. When you book your hotel on Santorini, ask them to arrange a transfer from the airport to the hotel. Spend 3 or 4 nights on Santorini, then ferry to Paros (my choice) for 3 or 4 nights, and ferry back to Athens for 3 nights. It's always best to save Athens for the end of your trip, to eliminate any chance of transit problems causing you to miss your flight home. A couple of things to think about: you will arrive in Europe the day after you leave the US, so if you are leaving home on the 17th, you actually only have 9 nights in Greece. Even with 10 nights, I think 3 stops is plenty. You may be able to take a day trip from Paros to Mykonos and Delos while you're there. With only 3 stops, you have only 3 hotels to book, which you can easily do by yourself, with advice from people here. You do not need a travel agent. Greece is wonderful, and September is great time to visit. How lucky you are to be able to honeymoon here!