Sea view in the Cyclades

The Ultimate Greek island hopping tour

Combine Mykonos, Santorini & Crete for the ultimate Greek holidays

Summer is here and most of the Greek ferry schedules for 2021 are announced in order to start planning your Greek vacation. A very popular Greek island hopping ferry combination that many travelers choose is the Mykonos - Santorini - Crete.

Find all the information you need on how to organize your trip and 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 and many travelers visit them from all over the world. Organizing an island-hopping tour around these destinations is an excellent way to meet the core of the Greek summer vacation, ideal for for couples, families, students or senior travellers. 

Ferry operators are well aware of this fact and serve multiple ferry routes to these islands all year round - especially in the summer.

Here are some suggestions on this unique island-hopping itinerary in Greece that will help you visit these three destinations consecutively.

How to book the "Unicorn" island-hopping itinerary

On Ferryhopper you can organize your Greek island hopping holidays in just a few steps! Our fare search engine has all updated and real-time data regarding ferry schedules for these islands in 2021. You can continue below and find detailed information on how to book ferry tickets for the trip Mykonos - Santorini - Crete.

Selecting your island-hopping ferries

Using the island hopping functionality of Ferryhopper, you can include 4 different trips in one go. All you need to do is select the “Island Hopping” option in our search form, add your destinations & dates, and “Search”. (see the image below)

In a couple of seconds, all the available ferry connections between your selected locations will appear. Each and every ferry route includes information on the durations, departure/arrival times, intermediate stops, seat availability and prices. Quick and easy, right? Let’s go through the options for each part of the journey.

Ferryhopper island hopping functionality

4 ferry routes - 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, located near the city center, a fact that makes it easily accessible. However, if you are traveling to Mykonos, you should better catch a ferry that departs from Rafina. There are many more itineraries from Rafina to Mykonos, and also the ferry trip itself is shorter. Moreover, if you plan to take a taxi from Athens International Airport to the port, getting to Rafina is faster and cheaper.

During the summer period, there are at least 5-6 different ferries departing from Rafina to Mykonos, every day. The ferry companies that serve this connection are SeaJets, Golden Star Ferries and Fast Ferries.

Most ferries depart early in the morning, between 7:00 and 8:00. However, there are some ferry routes scheduled in the afternoon, between 15:00 and 19:00, depending on the days of the week. The duration of the ferry trip from Rafina to Mykonos depends on the vessel type and the ferry company. The shortest trip with the speedboat lasts 2 hours and 20 minutes, while the journey of the crossing with the conventional ferry lasts around 4.5 hours.

The ferry ticket price for a standard economy seat for the Rafina - Mykonos trips starts at €29. Keep in mind that costs may vary, based on discounts, offers, seat type, garage space, and of course, ferry company.

Our tip: The port of Rafina is rather busy during the summer season, especially in the morning. We suggest you arrive at the port at least 1 hour before your ferry’s departure. The Rafina port has some shops and cafes nearby, to spend some time while waiting.

Useful link: Make sure you have read this amazing guide of Mykonos by Matt Barrett

Cafe in Mykonos

Enjoy your meal or drink by the sea in Mykonos

Ferry from Mykonos to Santorini

The ferry route Mykonos - Santorini is extremely popular and there are over 6 daily trips, evenly spread from morning to afternoon. For 2021, the ferry companies that operate this connection between Mykonos and Santorini are Seajets, Golden Star Ferries and Minoan Lines. 

The first ferry departs at 08:45 in the morning, while the last one is around noon. The duration of the ferry ride depends on the ferry company, the vessel and the intermediate stops. The shortest crossing lasts 1 hour and 40 minutes, while the longest is around 3.5 hours.

The prices for this route range between €58 and €67, as the connection is usually served by high-speed vessels. Keep in mind that most speedboats don’t transport vehicles, so be sure to select the appropriate crossing. 

Our tip: Nightlife in Mykonos is very vibrant and is worth spending some time drinking a cocktail at one of the various parties. No worries, you don’t need to rush on your way to the port. Choose an option that leaves later, say the 13:55 Seajets route for example. This will bring you into Santorini at 16:30, with plenty of time to check in to your hotel, and enjoy the world-famous sunset!

Another tip: Most passengers are too anxious to disembark, and head to the exit doors 10-15 minutes before arrival. You have no reason to do so. The view of Santorini from a ferry entering Caldera is truly amazing and you should really not miss it. Grab your luggage and wait at the outer deck for the ferry to dock before heading towards the exit. You will still have plenty of time to disembark.

Useful link: Once again, add the guide of Santorini by Matt Barrett to your "must-read" list.

sea view in Santorini

Admire the magnificent sea view in Santorini

Ferry from Santorini to Heraklio (Crete)

In 2021, the ferry connection between Santorini and Heraklion is served by up to 3 daily sailings. The ferry operators that run these routes from the Cyclades to Crete are Seajets, Golden Star Ferries and Minoan Lines.  

The ferry ride lasts around 1 hour and 50 minutes, regardless of the company. There are no significant differences in the prices as well. A ferry ticket for a standard economy seat costs between €65 and €69, depending on the operator. Keep in mind, that most vessels have garage spaces for your vehicle. 

Moreover, ferries usually depart in the afternoon. The earliest crossing from Santorini to Heraklion is at 15:30 and the latest at 17:00. You will be arriving at the port of Heraklion early in the evening, with plenty of time ahead for you to leave your luggage at the hotel and enjoy a nice walk around the city.

Our tip: If you are hungry after your trip you should really taste the amazing food of Crete. Don’t forget to try out the legendary souvlaki of Heraklion.

Useful link: To learn more about Heraklion & Crete, you should not miss Matt Barrett's guide to Crete

Venetian fortress in Heraklion

Visit the impressive Venetian fortress of Heraklion

Ferry from Heraklio to Athens

Getting back to Athens can be “hard”, but Ferryhopper is here to make it easier to you, ferry-wise. Even though we've embarked upon this trip with Rafina as the starting point, your return will definitely be in Piraeus, since this is the only connection port between Athens and Crete.

Two ferries run this route on a daily basis, both departing around 21:00 and reaching Piraeus, early in the next morning, at 06:00 or 06:30. The ferry companies serving this route for 2021 are Minoan Lines, and ANEK Lines or Blue Star Ferries depending on the day.

The ferry tickets for this crossing cost around €70 for an economy seat. The good thing is that ferries from Heraklion to Piraeus are huge conventional vessels, with a lot of cabins and garage space. Nice, clean, and comfortable cabins of up to 4 beds. We strongly suggest that you book a cabin for your return back to Athens, in order to have a more convenient trip!

First of all, you will probably be exhausted after having completed a full and exciting Greek island hopping cruise in almost half of the Aegean. Second, the trip is performed during the night, and you won’t want to spend your night wandering around the ferry, trying to find a nice place to rest. Book yourself a cabin and enjoy your sleep.

Our tip: Avoid last-minute bookings. These ferries might be huge, but things can get pretty crowded as well, especially during late August.

Gook to know: You can book an electronic ferry pass for most of your Greek island hopping experience. That means that some ferry operators issue e-tickets with which boarding the ferry is done with online check-in.

Booking your Greek island-hopping holidays

Here is what your Ferryhopper selection will look like: 4 different ferries and companies, 4 different trips including 5 ports, combined into a single booking! Trips like this one, are the reason why we created Ferryhopper in the first place.

Mykonos-Santorini-Crete island hopping

Plan 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 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 from Athens. 

Now, you can have all the ferry info and your booking on your mobile phone with the Ferryhopper App! You can find more details about our application on the respective blog post.