The Ultimate Greek island-hopping tour

Mykonos + Santorini + Crete = the ultimate Greek holidays!

As we’re moving deeper into the summer and plenty of Greek ferry schedules for 2023 are available for you to check, it’s about time you 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.

Find all the information you need on how to organize your trip with Ferryhopper to Greece and discover all ferry routes 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 all year round, 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/cabin availability, vehicle transportation, 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. To travel to Mykonos, however, we recommend catching 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 10 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 and the evening, between 14:30 and 22:45.

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 2-2.5 hours while traveling by conventional ferry takes 4-4.5 hours.

The price of a standard economy seat for the Rafina - Mykonos ferry trip usually starts at €38. The final cost may vary depending on discounts, offers, seat type, car-deck space, and the 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, Cyclades, Greece

Scenic café right by the sea in Mykonos

Ferry from Mykonos to Santorini

The Mykonos - Santorini ferry route is rather popular in the summer months, with around 7 daily trips from morning to afternoon. The ferry companies that operate on the connection between Mykonos and Santorini are Seajets, Golden Star Ferries, Fast Ferries, and Minoan Lines.

The first ferry departs at 09:50 in the morning, while the last one leaves at around 19:00. 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 a bit more than 1.5 hours, while the longest lasts 2.5-3.5 hours.

The price of a standard ferry ticket can be up to €90. If you want to bring along your car, make sure to book a route that allows the transportation 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, Cyclades, Greece

Magnificent sea view from Santorini

Ferry from Santorini to Heraklion (Crete)

The ferry route between Santorini and Heraklion is available with up to 3-4 daily sailings and is operated by 4 companies: Seajets, Fast Ferries and Minoan Lines.

The ferry ride lasts less than 2 hours and a standard ferry ticket costs around €78 for high-speed ferries.

Keep in mind that Santorini to Crete ferries usually depart in the afternoon. Normally, the first ferry crossing from Santorini to Heraklion is at 14:55 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, Crete, Greece

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 up to 5 daily ferry crossings between Heraklion and Piraeus. The first ferry usually departs around 09:00 and arrives at the port of Piraeus (Athens) at 18:00, while the last ferry leaves the port of Heraklion (Crete) at 21:00 and reaches Piraeus at around 06:30 the following morning. The ferry ride normally lasts 9-9.5 hours.

The 4 ferry companies operating on this route are Minoan Lines, Anek Lines, Fast Ferries, and Blue Star Ferries.

Ferry tickets for this route start at around €36, though the final cost may vary depending on seasonality, offers and discounts. Ferries from Heraklion to Piraeus are large conventional vessels with car decks and plenty of cabins.

We strongly suggest booking a cabin for a comfortable return to Athens. As most ferries from Heraklion 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 island-hopping 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 with no hidden fees!

You can also check our Map of ferries for more ideas to plan your next Greek island-hopping journey 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!