I will be heading to Greece in about a week (have already been travelling through Europe for the last three months) and am trying to decipher all the info regarding travel around the islands. I have a few questions and was wondering if anyone could help:
1. At this time of year (early to mid October)is it necessary to make reservations for ferries between the islands or can I just purchase a day or two in advance?
2. Does anyone have any suggestions on ferry companies who provide reliable, good service at a decent price or any thoughts on companies to absolutely avoid?
3. What is the general rule in terms of luggage on ferries? Are you charged extra for large bags?
With that said, I have checked out the website www.ferries.gr but didn't find it exceptionally helpful as there is so much info it is somewhat overwhelming. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Based upon my expierience in northern Europe (same ferry companies)
1. No reservations, just walk up to the ticket booth before you want to leave. A single passenger on foot is no problem for a ferry. Check whether the ferry runs at all though.
2. Greek ferries have a bad reputation as being the worst in Europe, but they are still European ferries. So they cannot be all that bad! Just read the safety guidelines on board and check where the life-vests are, because often you have a choice of either going with this company and ship or not at all.
3. You might be charged extra for a bike, but your oversized and overloaded luggage trolley will go unnoticed. (Apart from it being a dead give-away of your nationality.)
I am more than sure that you won't face any problems at this time of the year.
1. You dont have to book a ticket in advance, since the Greeks are not on vacation in October. All you need is a walk in the Port of Peireus, where most of the Agencies are sited, and check on where you want to go, the timetables and the availiable routes at the day of ur preference !
2. All i can say is avoid the Shipping company named "Agoudimos Ferries". All others are good, some of them excellent. (High speed ferries type - usually these feeries do routes in Cyclades islands in order to minimise the time of the trip). But still it depends on where you want to go. For instance most of the shipping companies activate on Cyclades islands. North East Aegean sea islands (Lesvos, Chios, Limnos, etc.) have their own one named NEL LINES which is excellent or Hellenic Seaways (name of the ship:Mykonos) which is excellent too!
Crete use its own companies - MINOAN LINES and ANEK LINES, both are very very good.
So, it really depends on what you need.
3. As far as the luggage issue - don't worry, you are not going to travel by plane dear, it's just a ship .. can carry loads of luggage!
Wish you a nice ferry experience !
Thanks for the suggestions and helpful advice.