Traveling around Greek Islands on a Budget: Learn Tips That Will Help You to Save Money

Jun.07.2021
how to island hop in greece

The islands of Greece are generously scattered over three seas and encircle the mainland of the country as if protecting it from possible enemies. And there were many such in its history, and each considered it their duty to leave a mark on the culture, architecture, and even the culinary traditions of Hellas. Fortunately, peace and serenity reign in these lands today, and we can go on a trip to the many islands to see how multifaceted and diverse modern Greece is. But what about the cost of this pleasure? If you do not want to spend a lot on such a trip, then we have good news for you! Now we will tell you how to visit Greek islands on a budget.

To begin with, everyone has different travel budgets. For some, it is 20-30 euros per day per person, and someone can spend several hundred euros per day. This article is for travelers on an average budget of € 50-60 per person per day.

Considering the prices for transportation between Greek islands, buying ferry tickets can hit your wallet hard and cost you half your budget for the day. But do not be upset, because there are opportunities to save on other things, such as food and accommodation. Today we will prove to you that island hopping in Greece on a budget is quite possible, and we will tell you how to do it.

Travel and Hop to Islands in Greece That Belongs to the Same Group

This is the first, and perhaps one of the most important points to adhere to if you are wondering how to travel between Greek islands and meet your budget. To begin with, we advise you to plan a route and study the location of the islands so that upon arrival you will not have any problems.

There are six main groups of islands and several ones, for example, Evia and Crete. Traveling to specific island groups will save your money on transportation between Greek islands and will not take long to get around. We sincerely do not advise you to choose islands between which it is difficult to move, as such island hopping in Greece will significantly impact your budget.

Reduce the Number of Islands You Visit If Possible

island hopping in greece

If you have not much time and a limited budget, then it is better to visit and to hop on several large islands in Greece where you can see more beautiful and interesting places than to spend time and money traveling from island to island. For example, instead of spending two or three days in a hurry to explore small islands, it makes sense to immediately go to larger ones, such as Chios, Rhodes, Naxos, and others, and spend 5 days there. Believe us, even this time will not be enough for you, since there is something to see, but from the pleasant bonuses, you will significantly save on transport. But if you want to see as many Greek islands on a budget as possible, then choose such islands, the moving between which is not difficult.

Visit Islands That Are on the Same Ferry Route

Please note that even if the islands belong to the same group, island hopping in Greece can still be difficult due to the lack of direct communication between the islands. Therefore, the best option for hopping an island in Greece on a budget is to visit those islands that are on the same route or those where transportation between Greek islands is quite simple, and you will only need to use inexpensive local ferries. This is a great way to save money, as a local ferry ticket won’t cost you more than a few euros per person. Examples of such islands are Milos and Kimolos, as there are local ferries between them every day. Between Paros and Antiparos you can also easily get around with small local boats.

Use Slow Ferry

Today, traveling around the Greek islands is possible on a variety of ferries. For example, if we talk about the Cyclades, then you can get there both by large slow ferries, and by small, but very fast ones. Ticket prices are also varied. So, the prices of tickets for a passenger ferry from Piraeus or Rafina can cost you as much as 35 euros per person, if you move along the same route, and reach as much as 100 euros or more if you prefer to see more places and have more comfortable conditions. Many ferries also have business class, but if you want to visit the Greek islands on a budget, then we recommend that you take a closer look at the usual places. Believe me, the views from there will be no less attractive!

You Can Travel by Night Ferry from Piraeus to the Islands

island hopping greece

If you are in no rush and are willing to set aside more time for traveling around the Greek islands, then you can take the overnight ferry. The overnight ferry to Crete is a good example. For your money, you get a completely comfortable place where you can even sleep and arrive at your destination early in the morning. We advise you to travel around the Greek islands on night ferries if you are interested to save money, as you will pay for the night ferry less than for the day ferry together with an overnight stay in Crete.

If You Want to Save Money, Do Not Buy Food on the Ferry

This is a pretty obvious point, given the temptation to buy a snack or a cup of coffee on the ferry. Whichever company you travel to the islands of Greece, treats on the ferry will always cost you much more than in an ordinary café on land. Therefore, we advise you to take care of the provisions in advance and take food and water with you.

You Can Take Advantage of Discounts

The answer to the question of how to travel between Greek islands without big costs is simple: discounts! Often, various companies offer discounts to their passengers. For example, you can get a discount of up to 50% if you are an ISIC student cardholder. Just make sure before traveling that such discounts are relevant in the company on the ferry on which you are going to sail. For travelers with children, there is also a nice bonus: often, depending on age, a ticket for a child will cost you less due to various discounts for children, or even free of charge. We also recommend checking the official websites of the companies from time to time, as you may stumble upon promotional tickets that will cost you 70% less. If you are lucky enough to find these tickets, please note that they cannot be returned or exchanged later if you suddenly change your mind.

You Can Take the Plane

The ferry is not the only answer to the question of how to travel between Greek islands. You can also use the plane. But keep in mind that only some of the islands have airports. By air, you can easily reach islands such as Corfu, Crete, Santorini, and a few others. Be sure to check if there is an airport on those islands where you are interested in going. Before booking plane tickets, be sure to check the fares of the airlines, as some basic fares only allow carry-on luggage, and for some, you will even have to pay extra for that. Alternatively, you can also fly from one island to another, and then use the ferry as a means of transportation between the islands. You will definitely remember such a rich journey for a long time!

How to Hop on Island in Greece

greek islands on a budget

Since you have decided to hop island in Greece, you also need to take care of the freedom of movement on the islands. Of course, the best option is to rent a car, but first, you need to familiarize yourself with the driving rules in Greece. As for the price, it varies depending on which island you are on and how many days you need a car, but on average, you should expect a price of 25-30 euros per day and more. If you are not ready to spend money on renting a car, then public transport comes to the rescue. The advantage of public transport is not only its low cost, but it is also a good way to get to know the locals and see the life of this island from the inside, feeling the whole atmosphere. Of course, local transport will not take you where you want, which significantly loses to cars, but do not worry: you will still see all the sights since almost all routes pass through the most interesting places on the island. When using public transport, keep in mind that there are often long queues at the stops, and you will have to waste a little of your time getting on the bus. But as soon as this happens, you can be calm and enjoy the incredibly beautiful scenery from the window.

Besides car rental and public transport, another tried and tested way of island hopping in Greece is by hitchhiking. This method works especially well on islands such as Tinos, Schinouss, and Ikaria.If your choice fell on such islands as Kimolos, Koufonisi, Antiparos, Donousa, Gavdos or similar small islands, then you can rest assured: here you do not need any transport at all, since you can perfectly travel on foot. If you do not know how to hop on islands in Greece and where to go, then we advise you to plan a route in advance and think over all the places you would like to visit.

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