Greece is an amazing place to visit and one of the most popular travel destinations in the world. The sunny weather, beautiful beaches and the numerous islands dotting the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea makes this country an ideal destination for summer holidays.
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If you're travelling to Greece by ferry then the international options comprise of a number of routes sailing across the Adriatic Sea from Italy. Depending on time of year you can travel from the North (Venice), Central (Ancona) or South of Italy (Bari & Brindisi) to the ports of Patras and Igoumenitsa on the Greek mainland and the island of Corfu.
The shortest crossings sail from Brindisi and Bari whilst travelling from the North of Italy will take longer. Most of the crossings operate daily with frequency increasing in the summer season. You can also sail directly from Italy to the popular islands of Zakynthos and Sami on Kefalonia.
The Greek islands are the most visited part of Greece offering to visitors medieval structures, ancient monuments, fabulous beaches and picturesque villages. One of the best ways of getting around them is of course by ferry. There are numerous city ports offering connections out to the various island groups.
The main hub for sea travel is the port of Piraeus (Athens) and from here you can reach over 50 destinations with hundreds of crossings operating daily. In the peak season Piraeus is one of the world's busiest passenger ferry ports.
In the region of Attica there are also ports of Rafina and Lavrio from where you can sail to most of the islands in the Cyclades group. Other key domestic departure ports in this region include Thessaloniki in Central Macedonia which connects you with the Sporades and other North Aegean islands.
Lesser used ports on the Greek mainland include Volos, Kavala and Kyllini.
Volos is a coastal city situated midway on the Greek mainland and from there you can take ferries to Sporades islands - an archipelago along the east coast of Greece.
Kavala is the city in northern Greece from where you can take ferries to Aegean islands, Cyclades islands and Dodecanese islands.
From Kyllini port, which is situated on the Ionian Sea, there are several ferry connections to Ionian islands (Ithaka, Zakynthos, Poros and Sami - Kefalonia).
Greece's largest island, Crete, at the foot of Greece doesn't have any international ferry connections however there are numerous daily crossings from Piraeus sailing to Heraklion and Chania. Crete also has ferry connections with the Cyclades and Dodecanese islands.
There are more than 75 ferry destinations in Greece spread across hundreds of routes. Depending on the duration of your crossing, the ships used can range from luxurious cruise style ships on the longer crossings to small passenger jets on the island hopping services.
Many tourists arrive to Athens airport and continue their travel to the popular Greek holiday destinations by ferry. Athens has three different ports that serve ferries to the Greek islands: Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio.
Piraeus is the main port of Athens (situated withing the Athens urban area) and from there you can take ferry connections to the Aegean islands, Cyclades islands, Saronic islands, Dodecanese islands and Crete. Piraeus can be easily reached from Athens by all means of transport.
The port of Rafina, which is situated some 30 km from the Athens, is the second largest port of Athens. This port is the closest port to the Athens airport and serves itineraries to Cyclades islands (Andros, Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini, Tinos) and Crete (Heraklion).
Lavrio is located on the southern part of Athens and its port serves ferries to few Cyclades islands, Kavala and Eastern-Aegean island of Limnos.