The Ultimate Greek island hopping tour

Combine Mykonos, Santorini & Crete for the ultimate Greek holidays!

As most of the Greek ferry schedules for 2023 have been announced, you can start planning your vacation in Greece and explore various islands with ease. A very popular Greek island-hopping ferry combination that many travelers choose includes Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete.

Read below all the information you need on how to organize your trip with Ferryhopper to Greece and find ferries to the most famous islands of the Aegean Sea.

The Quintessential Greek island-hopping tour: Mykonos - Santorini - Crete

Mykonos, Santorini and Crete are some of the most popular Greek islands that attract many visitors from all over the world. Organizing an island-hopping tour around these destinations is a great way to experience the wonders of a summer vacation in Greece.

Ferry operators serve multiple ferry routes to these islands throughout the year, with increased frequency in summer.

So, would you like to know more about the ultimate island-hopping tour in Greece and how to visit these 3 top destinations consecutively?

How to book the "Unicorn" island-hopping itinerary

On Ferryhopper, you can plan your Greek island-hopping holidays easily and quickly! Our fare search engine has updated and real-time data regarding ferry schedules for these islands.

Below,  you can find detailed information on how to book ferry tickets for the Mykonos - Santorini - Crete trip.

Selecting your island-hopping ferries

Using Ferryhopper’s booking engine for island hopping, you can include 4 different trips in one go. All you need to do is select the “Island Hopping” option in our search bar, add your destinations and dates, and click the “Search” button.

In a couple of seconds, all available ferry connections between your selected locations should appear. Each ferry route includes information about trip duration, departure/arrival times, intermediate stops, seat availability, and prices. Easy and quick, right? Let’s go through the options for each part of your journey.

The island hopping feature on Ferryhopper's booking engine

4 ferry routes in 1 booking

Ferry from Athens to Mykonos

Athens is connected to Mykonos through the ports of Piraeus and Rafina. Piraeus is the main port of Athens and is located near the city center, making it easily accessible. If you are traveling to Mykonos, however, we suggest you catch a ferry that departs from Rafina.

There are more ferry crossings available from Rafina to Mykonos, which are also shorter in duration. If you plan to take a taxi from Athens International Airport to your point of departure, getting to Rafina is also faster and cheaper.

In summer, there are up to 11 daily ferries departing from Rafina to Mykonos. The ferry companies that serve this connection are SeaJets, Golden Star Ferries, Blue Star Ferries, and Fast Ferries.

Most ferries depart early in the morning, between 07:00 and 08:00. However, there are usually additional ferry crossings scheduled in the afternoon, between 15:00 and 19:00.

The duration of the ferry trip from Rafina to Mykonos depends on the ferry company and the type of vessel you’ve chosen. High-speed ferries reach the port in about 2.5 hours while traveling by conventional ferry takes about 4.5 hours.

The ferry ticket price of a standard economy seat for the Rafina - Mykonos trip starts at €38. The final cost may vary depending on discounts, offers, seat type, garage space, and ferry company.

Tip: the port of Rafina is rather busy during summer, especially in the morning. Therefore, we suggest you arrive at the port well in advance to avoid delays. Close to the port of Rafina, you can find shops, coffee bars, and various services.

Seaside café in Mykonos

Scenic café right next to the sea in Mykonos

Ferry from Mykonos to Santorini

The Mykonos - Santorini ferry route is rather popular, with around 6 daily trips from morning to afternoon. The ferry companies that operate the connection between Mykonos and Santorini are Seajets, Golden Star Ferries, and Minoan Lines.

The earliest ferry departs at 09:25 in the morning, while the last one leaves at around 13:00. The duration of the ferry ride depends on the ferry company, type of vessel (mainly high-speed), and any intermediate stops. The shortest crossing lasts 1.5 hours, while the longest lasts around 3.5 hours.

The price of a standard ferry ticket ranges between €65 and €89. If you want to bring along your car, make sure to book an itinerary that allows the transport of vehicles.

Tip: instead of departing early in the morning, take some time to experience the vivid nightlife of Mykonos before leaving the island. You can choose to travel in the afternoon and arrive in Santorini later in the day, the best time to enjoy the island’s world-famous sunset!

Sea view in Santorini

Magnificent sea view from Santorini

Ferry from Santorini to Heraklion (Crete)

The ferry route between Santorini and Heraklion is available with up to 3 daily sailings and is operated by 3 companies: Seajets, Sea Speed Ferries, and Minoan Lines.

The ferry ride lasts around 2 hours and a standard ferry ticket costs between €35 and €90, depending on the ferry operator.

Keep in mind that Santorini to Crete ferry Ferries usually depart in the afternoon. The earliest ferry crossing from Santorini to Heraklion is at 15:30 and the latest at 16:40. By arriving at the port of Heraklion early in the evening, there is plenty of time to leave your luggage at the hotel and enjoy a nice walk around the city.

Tip: if you are hungry after your ferry trip, we suggest you try out the delicious local cuisine of Crete. Don’t forget to taste the legendary souvlaki of Heraklion.

Koules Fortress in Heraklion

The impressive Koules Fortress of Heraklion

Ferry from Heraklion to Athens

Getting back to Athens can be tricky, but Ferryhopper is here to make it easier for you. While Rafina is the suggested starting point for this island-hopping journey, your return trip will be to Piraeus instead, the only port connecting Crete to Athens.

There are usually 2 daily ferry crossings between Heraklion and Piraeus. The earliest ferry departs around 09:00 and arrives at the port of Piraeus (Athens) at 17:30 while the last crossing leaves the port of Heraklion (Crete) at 21:00 and reaches Piraeus at 06:30, the following morning.

The 4 ferry companies operating on this route are Minoan Lines, ANEK Lines, Sea Speed Ferries, and Blue Star Ferries.

The cost of a ferry ticket for this route starts at around €42, though the final cost may vary depending on seasonality, offers, and discounts. Ferries from Heraklion to Piraeus are large conventional vessels with garage spaces and plenty of cabins.

We strongly suggest that you book a cabin for a comfortable return to Athens. As most ferries to Piraeus travel at night, you can sit back and relax after your Greek island-hopping in the Aegean Sea.

Tip: as this route gets rather busy in the high season, we recommend planning your trip well in advance.

Booking your Greek island-hopping holidays

Below you can see what your Ferryhopper selection looks like: 4 different ferries and companies, 4 different trips including 5 ports, all combined into a single booking! So, are you on board for an exciting island hopping by ferry in Greece this summer?

Preview of Mykonos-Santorini-Crete island-hopping tour

Preview of the Mykonos - Santorini - Crete island-hopping experience

We are constantly updating our booking engine with all the latest data to make the booking flow process as simple and convenient as possible. Find all ferry schedules, compare prices, and book your ferry tickets, without extra fees!

You can also check our Map of ferries for more ideas to plan your next Greek island-hopping gateway from Athens.

Tip: you can now find all ferry information and your booking details on your mobile phone with the Ferryhopper App! Check-in online, get your e-ticket, and check the location of your ferry live on the day of your trip!

Book your ferry tickets