The 10 closest islands to mainland Greece

A ferryboat to Thassos

Some Greek islands are so close to mainland that you can easily visit them during your holiday even for a day trip. They are also suitable for a full stay in case you are not willing to take long journey by ferry but for some reason you cannot reach them by airplane as well. And last but not least, the short travel time means cheaper ticket prices, both for cars and passengers. Let`s see which are the Greek islands you can reach within 1-hour ferry ride.

* Lefkada and Evia are not included here simply because you do not need a ferry to reach them - they are connected to mainland Greece via short bridges.

1. Poros

Part of the seafront with houses, boats and belfry at the hilltop

This island of the Argosaronic group is just 300 meters away from the small port of Galatas on mainland. The ferry trip lasts only 5-6 minutes and it takes both cars and passengers. Although there are beaches on the island, Poros is most preferred for a walk in the amphitheatrical built town, surrounded by pine and lemon trees.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 1 per adult and EUR 6 for a car.

2. Spetses

Horse taxi waiting for passengers from the ferry

This is another Argosaronic island which can be reached in just 10 minutes ferry ride from the port of Porto Heli. There are also water taxis and local boat services from the neighbor village of Kosta. Tourists are not allowed to take their cars on Spetses, only motorbikes and bikes.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 6.50 per adult.

3. Elafonisos

Beach with blue transparent water and people swimming

Small Elafonisos lies just off the coast of southeast Peloponnese. Ferries depart from the port of Pounta every 30-60 minutes and the trip takes not more than 15 minutes. Elafonisos is proud to have some of the best beaches all over Greece, as Simos usually takes the lead.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 2 per adult and EUR 12 for a medium-size car.

4. Hydra

Panoramic view of the port, the seafront and the town

You may be already bored of the Argosaronic islands but this one has fast access, too. The closest ports to Hydra are Ermioni and Metochi on the northeast coast of Peloponnese. The journey is 25 minutes from Ermioni and 20 minutes from Metochi. Remember that motor vehicles are completely forbidden on Hydra.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 8.50 per adult (from Ermioni) and EUR 6.50 per adult (from Metochi).

5. Ammouliani

Boat with flowers at the background of blue sea and parasols

Being the only inhabited islet around Halkidiki peninsula, Ammouliani is a popular tourist destination for a day trip or for a quiet holiday. It has only one village and plenty of shallow sandy beaches scattered all over the islet, accessible via dirt roads. The ferries run from the small port of Tripiti on Mount Athos, the ride last about 20 minutes and there are enough boats per day.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 2.50 per adult and EUR 10 for a medium-size car.

6. Thassos

Purple flowers at the background of blue sea with islet, parasola and sandy beach

There are two ports from which you can take a ferry to Thassos and for shorter journey you need to pick up Keramoti. The ride is approximately 35 minutes, ferries run every half an hour in high season and they carry both cars and passengers. Thassos is easy to explore and it has many beaches for everyone`s choice.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 5 per adult and EUR 20-25 for a car, depending on the vehicle length.

7. Corfu

Red-painted church and a square with Venetian-style buildings

The Venetian-influenced island of Corfu is also close to mainland Greece. The fastest way to get there is via ferries from Igoumenitsa to Lefkimmi (the second largest port of the island). The journey is approximately 45-50 minutes and ferries run frequently all day long. If you decide to travel to the main port of Corfu Town, keep in mind that the sea trip will last 30-40 minutes more.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 8 per adult and EUR 32 for a car.

8. Kea

Small tunnel and colorful houses built on a hill

Kea is one of the least touristic islands of the Cyclades. Unlike the rest islands of the group, its architecture is more typical for the North Aegean region and it lacks the cubical white buildings and blue-domed churches but it is a calm place for a holiday away from tourist crowds. Ferries depart from the port of Lavrio and the trip lasts 1 hour.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 13.50 per adult and EUR 35-45 for a car, depending on the vehicle length.

9. Zakynthos

Extraordinary blue sea and the beach with shipwreck seen from the cliffs

The trip to Zakynthos by ferry varies from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the company. The service is available from the port of Kyllini on northwest Peloponnese. You probably know Zakynthos from photos of its most famous beach - Navagio.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 13 per adult and EUR 38 for a car, depending on the ferry company.

10. Aegina

Church and small fishing boats at the seafront

According to the ferry type, the trip to Aegina takes from 40 minutes (passengers only) to 1 hour and 15 minutes (passengers and cars). This is the closest island to Piraues (if we do not consider Salamina which is not a touristic place at all), famous for the temple of Aphaia and other ruins of ancient times.

Approximate ferry prices: EUR 10-19 per adult (depending on the ferry type) and EUR 30 for a car.

Bonus 11: Monemvasia

Street leading to the central square

You may be surprised that the fortified town of Monemvasia is also located on an islet but due to its close proximity to mainland and the really short causeway it is never considered a real island. If you are staying in west Peloponnese, do not miss this historical place which deserves at least half a day for a walk in the narrow alleys and a rest in the cute little cafeterias and tavernas.

Read more about interesting places in Greece

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