Schedules, Prices & Tickets

Ferry to the Cyclades

Greek Tourism Awards - Silver Award

Find all the needed information regarding taking the ferry to the Cyclades as well as the characteristics of the islands based on their popularity.

The Cyclades are among the most talked about destinations in the world travel guides. From opulent islands for honeymooners to dots on the map for free spirits who want to get away from hectic everyday life and allow the peace of unspoiled nature to calm them down, there’s an island to meet the needs of every traveler!
Boarding a ferry to the Cyclades is the most preferred way of traveling since it offers cheaper and fixed-priced tickets and unstinting views of the seascape of the Aegean.


The ferry Blue Star Delos in Santorini island

Blue Star Ferries in Santorini

Via Plane


Six islands of the Cyclades boast airports: Santorini, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Milos and Syros.
However, only Santorini and Mykonos have international airports that can receive flights from abroad. The rest of the islands, on the other hand, host national airports and only receive domestic flights departing from the International Airport of Athens.
That, combined with the fact that plane tickets do not have fixed prices, makes the ferry to the Cyclades the most preferred way for holidaymakers to reach their destination.

Via Ferry


Ferries to the Cyclades depart from all three ports of Athens:

Ferries from Piraeus - the largest and main port of the Greek capital - reach most of the complex’s islands. Many routes operate all year round, yet itineraries are added during summer to serve the abundance of vacationers.
From Piraeus, individuals can board a ferry to the following islands of the Cyclades: Amorgos, Anafi, Donoussa, Folegandros, Ios, Iraklia, Kimolos, Koufonisia, Kythnos, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Schinoussa, Serifos, Sifnos, Sikinos, Syros, Tinos.

Ferries from Rafina reach some islands of the Cyclades, too, yet not as many as Piraeus since it is a significantly smaller port. Rafina lies the closest to the International Airport of Athens.
From Rafina, individuals can board a ferry to the following islands of the Cyclades: Andros, Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Tinos.

Ferries from Lavrion are limited as the port is quite small and remote. Nonetheless, routes to Kea depart exclusively from there.
From Lavrion, individuals can board a ferry to the following islands of the Cyclades: Andros, Folegandros, Ios, Kea, Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Naxos, Paros, Sikinos, Syros, Tinos.

We have compiled a list of the islands of the Cyclades sorted by popularity. Thus, you can find the destination that best suits your ideal holiday as you envisage it!

Santorini - Mykonos - Paros - Naxos

The list couldn't start any other way! These four islands are not only renowned destinations of the Cyclades but in the whole of Greece.
Thanks to their fame, millions of people choose them for their holidays, with most travelers paying a visit in July and August. As a result, accommodations get fully booked and prices are increased. During the same period, ferry routes to these islands are frequent and depart daily. Visitors planning to visit one (or more) of these islands in the summer are advised to book their accommodation and tickets at least 3 months in advance.
Get on a ferry to the Cyclades and here goes!


The sunset from Oia, the famous village of Santorini

Sunset from Oia village in Santorini

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 125 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 7.5 hours: 7.5 hours
Number 1 and a dream trip for thousands is no other than the magnificent Santorini. The romantic sunset from the top of Caldera overlooking the famous (and still active!) volcano is an experience of a lifetime, with many couples choosing the island for their wedding or honeymoon. Volcanic eruptions have created spectacular beaches with colorful scenery as well as fertile soil that allows vines to thrive and produce unique-to-taste wines. The hotels and restaurants are top-notch in terms of facilities and services, making Santorini the most luxurious destination in the country.
The island is located in the southern part of the Cyclades. Its port (Athinios) has frequent connections with many islands of the complex and Crete during the summer, being the perfect starting point for island hopping!
Suggested excursion: Thirassia
Frequent ferry connections: Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Heraklion
Popular ferry routes: Athens to Santorini - Mykonos to Santorini


Little Venice in the town of Mykonos

Little Venice in Mykonos

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 86 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 3.5 hours
The successor to the throne, with millions of visitors every year, is (of course) Mykonos. The Greek Ibiza, as they call it, is intertwined with good mood and partying until morning. But beyond its liveliness, people prefer the island of the winds for its beautiful sandy beaches with blue waters and its picturesque main town, with Little Venice and windmills being the island’s trademarks. Finally, it has been a haven for the LGBTQ+ community for many years.
Mykonos is located in the northern part of the Cyclades, very close to other popular destinations. Its port (Tourlos) receives dozens of ships every day during the summer months, filled with passengers who want to discover the enticing island or other destinations in the Aegean.
Suggested excursion: Delos
Frequent ferry connections: Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Syros
Popular ferry routes: Athens to Mykonos - Santorini to Mykonos


The picturesque village of Naoussa in Paros

The picturesque village of Naoussa in Paros

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 87 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 4 hours
In the spirit of fun, the beautiful Paros is the main alternative for party animals and youngsters, as the area of Naoussa numerous bars and clubs where visitors can party all night long in its picturesque alleys. Except for the nightlife, however, the island offers enchanting sandy beaches with crystal clear waters and excellent accommodations while the seaside fish taverns serving the catch of the day could also be considered one of the island’s attractions!
Paros is located in the center of the Cyclades, allowing visitors easy access to several other islands from its main port (Parikia)! In addition, people can embark on a ferry from the port of Pounda to reach the neighboring Antiparos.
Suggested excursion: Antiparos
Frequent ferry connections: Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos, Ios
Popular ferry routes: Athens to Paros - Santorini to Paros - Mykonos to Paros


The long sandy beach of Plaka in Naxos

The beach of Plaka in Naxos

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 95 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 4.5 hours
Last but definitely not least is the most multi-faceted island of the Cyclades - Naxos! Possessing transparent waters, long coasts, verdant valleys, picturesque mountain villages, an abundance of points of interest and palatable local cuisine, the complex’s largest island can deservedly be considered the all-inclusive pearl of the Aegean! Attracting a variety of different types of travelers thanks to its many features, Naxos is a favorite choice of families, budget/single travelers, watersports enthusiasts and naturists.
Sitting in the heart of the Cyclades, Naxos makes island-hopping a breeze!
Suggested excursion: Koufonisia
Frequent ferry connections: Paros, Santorini, Mykonos, Amorgos
Popular ferry routes: Athens to Naxos - Mykonos to Naxos - Santorini to Naxos


Milos - Ios - Antiparos - Amorgos - Syros - Koufonisia

Next in line are the popular destinations. In this category belong the islands which have earned a place in the hearts of many visitors, hosting hundreds of thousands of people every summer. Although their appeal is great, they are not as crowded and do not offer as many activities/tours as the aforementioned celebrity islands.
Again, July and August are the months with the most demand resulting in higher prices and hotels being fully booked. Ferry itineraries are frequent and depart daily from Athens during summer. Holidaymakers planning to visit any of these islands should make sure to book their accommodation and tickets more than 2 months prior to their arrival.


The picturesque seaside village of Klima in Milos

The fishermen's village of Klima in Milos

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 81 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 6.5 hours
Milos is endowed with unique geomorphology due to its volcanic activity. Some of the island's musts are inextricably linked to it, including the lunar Sarakiniko Beach and Kleftiko rock complex. Other attractions that are striking but are parts of the more recent past include the colored syrmata (traditional houses) and the mines. The island is particularly favored by couples thanks to its magical landscape and the tranquillity it offers despite the crowds it hosts.
Milos is located in the southwestern part of the Cyclades. Its port (Adamas) is well-connected with other islands of the Cyclades, while a small ferry from Pollonia can take visitors to the adjacent island of Kimolos.
Suggested excursion: Kimolos
Frequent ferry connections: Serifos, Sifnos


The windmills of the village of Chora in Ios

Chora village in Ios

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 107 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 4 hours
Vacationing in Ios comes with two things - lots of fun and impressive Cycladic scenery. The island is world-famous for its lively nightlife, with an array of bars and clubs keeping the frolic alive until the early morning hours. It boasts several organized beaches, equipped with parasols, sunbeds and watersports facilities. Greek youth considers a visit to Ios a must at least one time during your late teens or 20s, with bookings skyrocketing from late June onwards.
Ios sits in a very convenient location; more particularly, it is located above Santorini and below Paros, Naxos, and the small Cyclades. The island’s port is connected to many other islands of the Cyclades during summer.
Suggested excursion: Santorini
Frequent ferry connections: Santorini, Paros, Naxos


The main village of Antiparos

Chora village in Antiparos

Distance from Paros: 1 nautical mile - Average Trip duration: 7 minutes (Pounda) / 30 minutes (Parikia)
Next is Antiparos. The island boasts beguiling beaches, natural beauty and picturesque villages. Its proximity to Paros and the frequent ferry routes between the two is the reason behind Antiparos’ appeal to people. Nevertheless, despite the considerable amount of accommodations and establishments, staying in Antiparos guarantees carefree holidays.
Reaching the island from Athens or any other island besides Paros is impossible. From Paros, guests can choose between two locations in order to embark on a ferry to Antiparos - Parikia Port or Pounda Port. From Parikia, the crossing lasts around 30 minutes and the vessels can only carry passengers. On the other hand, starting from Pounda allows individuals to take their vehicles to Antiparos. The crossing is faster, too, lasting less than 10 minutes.


The chapel and rocky beach of Agia Anna in Amorgos

Agia Anna in Amorgos

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 128 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 7 hours
Noted thanks to the Le Grand Bleu movie, Amorgos is an ideal destination for lovers of hiking, diving, exploring and, overall, the alternative way of vacationing. The pristine landscape, transparent waters and picturesque main town atop a hill along with the delicious local food, tranquil atmosphere, hospitable inhabitants and low-to-average prices are the main reasons why the island has gained numerous avid visitors over the last decades! Accommodation options comprise mostly rooms to let and a few hotels. Amorgos is located in the eastern part of the Cyclades and lies the closest to the Dodecanese islands. Visitors can travel to many other islands of the Aegean from both ports of Amorgos (Katapola and Aegiali) during the high season.
Suggested excursion: Donoussa
Frequent ferry connections: Naxos, Paros


The neighbourhood of Vaporia in Syros town

Vaporia in Syros

Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 69 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 3 hours
The island that hosts the capital of the Cyclades is considered the most elegant of the island group. The cosmopolitan Syros bewitches its guests with its eye-catching buildings, captivating beaches, engaging events and tasty treats. Ermoupoli, its main town and capital of the island group, sits on the hills that surround the port, fascinating all visitors with its jaw-dropping architecture, even though it is more reminiscent of Venice than the typical Cycladic island.
The well-known beaches are easily accessed and organized, and many offer watersport activities. Syros is located in the southern part of the Cyclades, allowing visitors to travel fast to the neighboring islands, like Mykonos, Andros and Tinos.
Frequent ferry connections: Mykonos, Tinos


The arid and rocky landscape of Koufonisia


Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 112 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 8 hours
One could say we saved the best for last. The heavenly Koufonisia, a member of the Small Cyclades (a small island complex between Naxos and Amorgos), is mainly praised for its unadulterated, sandy beaches with radiant teal waters. Koufonisia is actually two islands - Ano (Upper) Koufonisi and Kato (Lower) Koufonisi. Only Upper Koufonisi is inhabited and boasts some accommodations, restaurants and bars. It is a favorite destination among holidaymakers who hanker for serenity in a setting of natural charm.
The high demand combined with the limited accommodation makes it necessary to book your tickets and stay at your earliest convenience!
Koufonisia is located southeast of Naxos. In contrast to the rest of the Small Cyclades, it is not difficult to reach them since ferry departures from Piraeus to Koufonisia are daily during the summer season.
Suggested excursion: Schinoussa
Frequent ferry connections: Naxos, Paros, Amorgos


Andros - Sifnos - Kea - Folegandros - Tinos - Serifos - Kythnos

This group includes the islands that are suitable for milder holidays. Those are characterized by a moderate number of visitors, a few nightlife options and lovely, neat accommodations. Moreover, most of their beaches are non-equipped and the settlements maintain the traditional way of life to a large extent.
Usually, ferry routes to these islands, even if daily, are not plentiful. Island-hopping is not always easily achievable, yet there are some options for anyone who plans on including more than one island in their holiday schedule.
Despite not hosting an abundance of travelers, vacationers should anticipate their stay and transfer. July and August are the busiest months, so booking your tickets and accommodation 2 months in advance is recommended - better safe than sorry!

The alleys in the Chora of Folegandros




Distance from Athens (Rafina): 36 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 1.5 hours
Andros is the northernmost island of the Cyclades and the second closest to Athens. Its geomorphology is quite different from that of the rest of the Cyclades, with numerous verdant landscapes and gurgling springs making the island stand out! The scenery is completed by charming beaches with clear waters.
Suggested excursion: Tinos
Frequent ferry connections: Mykonos, Tinos



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 76 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 4 hours
Sifnos is revered for the culinary wonders coming out of the locals’ kitchens, as well as for its pottery, which is a major part of the island’s tradition. The picturesque settlements, marvelous hiking routes, enchanting beaches and lively bars are also capable of stealing your heart!
Suggested excursion: Serifos
Frequent ferry connections: Milos, Serifos



Distance from Athens (Lavrion): 13 nautical miles - Average Trip duration 1 hour
Kea (or Tzia) is the closest Cycladic island to Athens. Its proximity to Attica (an hour away from Lavrion in particular) makes it a common getaway destination for Greeks, mainly on the weekends of summer months. The island boasts lusher vegetation than the average Cycladic island and hiking paths, making it ideal for nature enthusiasts.
Suggested excursion: Kythnos
Frequent ferry connections: Kythnos



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 102 nautical miles - Average Trip duration 6.5 hours
Folegandros is an island of wild beauty that has not undergone severe changes due to tourism. It has preserved its traditional architecture and virgin landscape, while locals are very hospitable people always ready to help you, inform you, and/or treat you to a homemade delicacy.
Suggested excursion: Sikinos
Frequent ferry connections: Santorini, Milos, Ios



Distance from Athens (Rafina): 62 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 3 hours
Tinos, despite being so captivating, is still a hidden gem of the Aegean. It is well-known that the island houses the largest religious center in Greece and welcomes thousands of pilgrims wanting to ask the Virgin Mary for help or thank her. Except for its religious importance, Tinos is full of stunning beaches and picturesque villages.
Suggested excursion: Mykonos
Frequent ferry connections: Mykonos, Andros



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 64 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 3 hours
Similarly to Folegandros, Serifos is a typical island of the Cyclades. Quaint settlements showcasing the Cycladic architecture and golden beaches are hosted in a setting of wild beauty. Tourist development is mild, therefore it has held its character intact, constituting the perfect option for a peaceful break away from the hordes of tourists.
Suggested excursion: Sifnos
Frequent ferry connections: Milos, Sifnos



Distance from Athens (Lavrion): 25 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 2 hours
Lastly, in Kythnos, visitors can select from around 100 beaches for swimming or sunbathing, avail themselves of the regional thermal springs and explore the bare hills hiding scattered chapels and taste the flavorful, locally-cultivated products. The island’s ambiance is more than relaxed, ideal for people who yearn to unwind.
Suggested excursion: Kea
Frequent ferry connections: Kea


Donoussa - Iraklia - Schinoussa - Anafi - Kimolos - Sikinos

The last category includes the remote islands. By “remote”, we do not refer to the islands situated at a greater distance from mainland Greece but those rarely reached by ferry routes, even during the high season. Accommodation options and local establishments are limited as compared to the rest of the Cyclades - a reasonable effect due to the definite number of visitors.
The islands’ landscape is pristine, the atmosphere is tranquil and the villages are untouched by time; in other words, perfect settings for individuals who crave an oasis of calm.
In most cases, direct routes from the ports of Athens are available, yet limited. Due to the limited number of itineraries but mainly accommodations, you need to make your reservation much earlier than on the other island categories. In particular, the safest thing to do is to settle your stay 6-8 months before your vacation.

Donoussa, Iraklia and Schinoussa are all members of the archipelago located between Naxos and Amorgos called the Small Cyclades. A ferry named Express Skopelitis operates the route Amorgos-Donoussa-Koufonissia-Schinoussa-Iraklia-Naxos and back every day during the high season.

Two villagers on a donkey in Schoinoussa




Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 114 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 7 hours
Donoussa is the northernmost of the archipelago. The island is a spellbinder, boasting captivating beaches with turquoise waters. Cedar trees on some areas of the island transfuse an impressive natural sight, with their aroma making the atmosphere even more unique. The few traditional taverns serving local mezedes are a must-try.



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 108 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 6.5 hours
Iraklia is the westernmost of the island chain. It has two settlements, standing out for their traditional Cycladic architecture. The island’s beaches are praised for their marvelous seabed, making Iraklia an excellent destination for snorkeling lovers.



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 110 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 7 hours
Located adjacent to Koufonisia, Schinoussa is an area of 9 sq. km hosting two villages, sandy beaches and green hills. Fresh fish and produce are always available on the island, with visitors being able to taste the palatable local delicacies in one of the small traditional taverns.



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 140 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 10 hours
Anafi is known among nature lovers for hosting the second-largest monolith in the Mediterranean. Off the beaten track, the island features exceptional beaches with emerald waters and enthralling hiking paths. Also, gazing at the fairy-tale sunset from Kalamos Rock or a terrace of a local establishment is an unparalleled experience.



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 80 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 6 hours
Kimolos is a lovely island next to Milos. Volcanic like its neighbor, Kimolos owes its name to one of its minerals, chalk (kimolia in Greek). The island is known for its charming coves, wonderful beaches and transparent azure waters as well as its authentic Cycladic beauty, featuring a picturesque main town, paved alleys and hospitable locals.
In summer, there is a daily ferry sailing from Kimolos to Milos (Pollonia) and vice versa.



Distance from Athens (Piraeus): 103 nautical miles - Average Trip duration: 7 hours
Finally, Sikinos is the Cycladic queen of simplicity. The island does its best to preserve the traditional architecture and way of living as well as the natural charm of its landscape, not allowing tourism to alter the scenery. Owning cerulean waters and charming hiking paths, it is ideal for reconnecting with nature and achieving utter relaxation and revitalization.



The island complex owes its name to the circle formed by its members around the sacred island of Delos. The common characteristics that make the 33 islands fascinate visitors are the mesmerizing beaches with glimmering waters, the picturesque architecture that features whitewashed houses and blue shutters, the hospitable people and traditional way of life, and the delicious local delicacies.

Welcoming millions of Greek and foreign tourists every summer, the Cyclades have what it takes to satisfy the needs of each and every traveler. From the luxurious 5-star hotels of Santorini and the all-night live parties at the Super Paradise of Mykonos to the neat studios in Sikinos and the wild beaches of Kythnos, there is a perfect island for everyone!

The two ways to access the islands are by ferry and plane. However, taking the ferry to the Cyclades comes with numerous advantages in addition to the fixed ticket prices: high frequency of itineraries, luggage transport without extra charge(*), car/motorcycle transport and a wide view of the seascape of the Aegean!
(*) up to 40 kgs or 0.5 cubic meters



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