Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Traveling the Greek Islands (Transportation Tips)

Traveling the Greek Islands (Transportation Tips)

Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:10 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Traveling the Greek Islands (Transportation Tips)

Hello Everyone,

I am planning my honeymoon and am looking for some tips for transportation between the Greek Islands. I have been doing research and find that travel cost between the islands to be very expensive. I'm basically planning to go from Athens (Piraeus) --> Crete --> Santorini ---> (possibly another cyclade island) ----> back to Piraeus.

I've been searching the cost for individual one way tickets and for two people traveling economy its an average of $150 per one way ticket. Is there a way that I can do this cheaper or is this the going rate? Maybe there is a "cruise pass" that's kinda like the Europass?

The site I have been using to find prices is user friendly and noted below:
http://www.openseas.gr/OPENSEAS/index_en.vm

Maybe there is a site that has good deals??

My basic questions are: Is there a better and/or cheaper way to travel among the greek islands than by way of one way tickets.

Thank You For Your Help!
jssmith1978 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 02:58 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,804
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is no ferry system multi-pass. Ticket prices are fixed regardless of where you buy them and are sold point-to-point. However, some booking websites do usually tack on a small processing fee.

Please clarify. If you're quoting $150 (€107) per 'island hop' you need to check pricing again. I'm seeing €36 fares per person from Athens/Piraeus to Heraklion, €51.50 from Heraklion to Santorini, €17.5 from Santorini to Paros (for your other Cycladic Island/) and €30 from Paros back to Piraeus. That's $378/€270 for two people for all tickets needed.

Use the www.danae.gr booking website for pricing.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Mar 8th, 2011, 11:59 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Prices for ferries are standardised, and there is no such thing as a multiple trip ticket. Where you can save money is by the type of ferry you choose for travel. When a choice is available, conventional ferries are about half the price of high speed catamarans.

I don't understand how you are getting an average price of $150 per person, either. Use danae.gr to check prices as brotherleelove suggested, or go directly to the individual ferry companies own websites: Blue Star, Hellenic Seaways, etc. Be aware that not all the ferry timetables are out yet, so if you book too early you will be limiting your choices.

When are you travelling? Outside the July - August high season there are plenty of empty seats, so you can wait until just before your trip, or even until you get to Greece, to buy your tickets. The only exceptions are around Easter (Apr 24th this year), and the Pentecost three-day weekend (June 10-13).
Heimdall is online now  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 05:37 AM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
First of all thank you for your help, I appreciate the feedback.

Heimdall the prices I was getting were averaging 100 - 110 Euros for TWO people (~50 Euro per person). The times I am looking to travel are late May and early June.

Even when using danae.gr I am still getting higher prices, but I do see that I have very limited choices at this time, and maybe just the higher priced ferry schedules are publishes at this time. For instance, the one-way ferry ticket from Piraeus to Heraklio on May 27th is about 50 Euro pp, unless I choose a deck seat, which for an 8.5 hr overnight ferry I do not want.

Heimdall, you are suggesting that I wait until my trip gets nearer until I reserve tickets or wait until I get to Greece to reserve tickets. Which do you think would be better?

Does anyone else have an opinion on this? (A)Buy tickets in advance from the US just before going on my trip OR (B) buy ferry tickets when I get to Greece.
jssmith1978 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 06:27 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,205
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
jsmith .. the ferry prices are govt. regulated and will not change with waiting.
You are not traveling in high season. should not have to reserve ahead except perhaps if you are arriving on that Friday May 27 and wish to depart on a specific HI-SPEED ferry which has more limited space (500 passengers) vs. a "regular" ferry which holds 1100-1800 passengers. In that case, you could purchase online via CC from an Airport-based travel agency, and pick up the ticket upon arrival. If you're looking at a 'regular' ferry, don't bother.

If your first destination on arrival is Crete, have u considered flying? The "combo" website that shows both Aegean & Olympic http://www.airtickets.gr/flights.asp?lang=en shows several flights @ 63€ .. 50 minutes vs. 8.5 hours. when u consider transport to seaport plus meals etc it's = to sea fare.

(BTW, when u ask for advice on fares, it helps to be specific about the dates you wish to go also, it is helpful if you cite a per-person cost, so we don't have to "unpack" your totals.)

About ferry prices: heimdall explained the price difference between "regular" ferries and high-speed. The latter can save several hours on a long haul, but can cost nearly 2x as much, and sometimes you do not have a choice. Example: Most days, the only transport between crete (heraklion) and santorini is a fast-ferry, at about 50+. 2x a week there's a morning regular ferry at half that. If you have locked yourself in to specific dates, this can come at a cost.

Perhaps you are not seeing the lower-price ferry options because u are only using open seas. if you use gtp.gr website and specify only the "month" (at 5/May or 6/for June) and leave the date at "any"... you will see a pattern of service for the month,not just your one day. Also this website puts up schedules that are planned but not yet "official."

Also, if you use Open Seas and use the calendar to scroll BACK to last May & June, you can see what the usual pattern of service was then... for a "guesstimate." Last year, on Wednesdays there was a "regular"ANEK ferry about 8:50 am, arriving 12:25, which we took, at 1/2 the cost of the high-speed, ditto on Saturday 6 pm. It's not on the 2011 schedule yet; keep checking.
travelerjan is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 08:01 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,804
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
For May and June you can wait until you get to Greece to purchase your tickets. If you want to buy them when you arrive at the Airport you can go to Amphitrion Holidays in the Arrivals Hall between doors 2&3 (open 24/7) or you can go into any ticket agency in Athens. That way you don't have to bother with the Piraeus port ferry ticket offices.

I also suggest you start thinking in terms of Euro so you don't confuse yourself about prices.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Mar 9th, 2011, 10:51 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Okay, if you are quoting prices for two tickets, that makes more sense. Ferry travel won't be cheap, because many of your trips will be several hours long — think of it as a sea voyage. By contrast, when I take a ferry from Paros to Antiparos it costs only €1, but the crossing takes only 7 minutes. ;-) I agree with travelerjan that your should consider a flight to Crete upon your arrival on May 27th. Not only a long ferry ride, but most Pireaus - Crete ferries leave late afternoon or night, so if you arrive at Athens in the morning, you will have to wait all day for departure, and then not arrive on Crete until late that night or next morning. Flights depart throughout the day, and take less than an hour.

If you decide to fly to Crete you will need to book your flight as soon as possible. Should you decide on the ferry, you <i>can</i> wait until arriving in Athens to buy your tickets, <i>but</i> I can understand why, on your honeymoon, you may not want to leave anything to chance. If you feel more comfortable pre-booking your tickets, recommend going through Amphitrion Holidays and collect your tickets from their office at Athens Airport (if that's where you are arriving in Greece). There is a €2 booking fee, but IMO it's worth it for the convenience.

For the rest of your ferry tickets you can safely wait until you get to Greece, and buy your tickets on each island as you go. Booking tickets over the Internet is a pain in the @&$, and you will only be given a reference number, so will still have to go by an agent to pick up the actual tickets. One exception: if you plan to travel back to Athens on Monday, June 13th, Holy Spirit Monday, you will need to book in advance, as that's the day when many Greeks will be returning home from the islands after a three-day holiday weekend.
Heimdall is online now  
Old Mar 10th, 2011, 04:53 AM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you all for you help. I have gained a great deal of insight on this issue and will definitely take in ALL of your advice.

BTW, I did look into buying a plane ticket from ATH to Crete, and at first glance the tickets looked cheap, but once you select them and then advance to the next screen, the "true" total was displayed after taxes at about 100 Euro each for a one way ticket. At least with the boat option, its like transportation plus hotel all in one as I plan on leaving ATH for Crete at night and arriving in the morning.

Not trying to be cheap on my honeymoon, but looking to save money as much as possible since its a 21 day honeymoon overseas.

Again, thanks for the great advice everyone...I really appreciate it.
jssmith1978 is offline  
Old Mar 14th, 2011, 12:26 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why you don't try Corfu island? especially the nw region? you have easy jet cheap flights from everywhere...take a look here corfuboatrentals.eu, i live here last 4 years, ciaoo!!!
Stefanel is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2011, 06:02 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am traveling 4/13 from athens to myknos for 3 days then onto santorini for 3 and then crete for 5- looks like the only ferry right now from santorini to crete gets us in at 9:30 at night do u think more will open up-we need to take a bus to chania once we get there-
murphy22 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2011, 08:21 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,804
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Look again. The Hellenic Seaways FlyingCat4 leaves Santorini at 6pm and arrives in Heraklion at 7:30. http://www.ferries.gr/hfd

There will be a bus to Chania at 8pm and 9pm. http://www.bus-service-crete-ktel.co...hp?line=1&lg=2
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Mar 16th, 2011, 08:37 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,205
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Murphy22, you confuse me ... and it makes it hard to help you, if you make us count on a calendar to try to figure out which day you mean for a ferry. If you mean Tuesday April 19, why not just say so?? That's what your 13 + 3 +3 added up to, for me. Or do you mean Wed, April 20? For both days, on 2 different ferry websites --- gtp.gr and openseas.gr, I find a sailing at 17:55 arriving at 19:30 (7:30pm). And the last bus to Chania is 2100 (9pm)

Where do you get this info about no ferry arriving until 9:30? Or are you still thinking by the US clock, and thus u think 19:30 is 9:30? If so, just get your brain on world-clock time and relax, you'll be OK!
travelerjan is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2011, 01:15 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,969
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, it does help to give exact dates when this close to departure. If Jan's math is correct, and you are going from Santorini to Crete on Apr 19th, then FlyingCat 4 will be your only choice. The other player on this route is Sea Jets Consortium, and their catamaran Superjet starts on Apr 21st, just in time for the Easter weekend.

When Superjet starts sailing, it will arrive back on Crete even later than FlyingCat 4. Many people wonder why there are no morning ferries from Santorini to Crete. That is because catamarans serving that route start their day in Heraklion, make their stops in the Cyclades, then return to Heraklion in the evening. These are long routes that take all day to complete, not like the Staten Island or Sydney Harbour ferries that make several short journeys throughout the day. ;-)

BTW, Santorini - Crete is not a regular ferry route. Outside the summer tourist season there is about one ferry per week between the two islands. Right now all the catamarans serving Santorini - Crete are in winter layup, and will soon be getting ready for the summer.
Heimdall is online now  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
travlchik
Europe
4
May 8th, 2014 11:23 PM
Weadles
Europe
8
May 8th, 2010 07:25 AM
TigerAthlete12
Europe
12
Apr 21st, 2009 10:17 AM
vacation2008
Europe
11
Apr 5th, 2008 07:23 PM
rositam
Europe
4
Mar 2nd, 2006 10:43 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -