Greek Islands are one of the top itineraries among the Mediterranean cruises. If you want to behold postcard-perfect coasts, soak up the Med sun on some of the world's best beaches, explore ancient ruins, and go shopping in glittering European stores, such a cruise has all chances to become your dream vacation to remember!
Best time to cruise the Greek Islands
Normally, the cruise lines in the Med operate year-round, but winters are notorious for rough seas and generally unpleasant weather. This description applies to Greek Islands too. The best season for cruises in this area is April through October, with special conditions every month. April and October belong to the shoulder season; May to September is the high season; the most popular time, despite scorching 100 °F (38°C), is July and August. One of the most appealing months is still September, for fewer tourists, milder temperatures, and the grape harvest season on Santorini.
Greek Island cruise itineraries
Greek Isles only
If you're interested primarily in the Greek Islands, opt for Greece-only cruises, operated by smaller ships, niftier to navigate around the minute isles and ports that are not so easy to access. The main benefit of such cruises is that they take you to lesser-known heavenly spots, like Skiathos or Hydra. Besides, small ships make longer stops at these islands than traditional cruise ships, so you'll likely spend all day and overnight at some ports. All in all, you will hop between myriad fancy islands, offering a perfect beach holiday, with unique snorkeling, dining, shopping, and nightlife options. Greece-only cruises are mostly offered by Greek cruise lines, starting and finishing in Athens.
Greece & Turkey
Another itinerary features both Greek Islands and Turkish ports along the so-called Turquoise Coast. On these cruises, you will typically stop in such beautiful historical cities as Kusadasi and Bodrum, boasting ancient architecture similar to that of Greece. Some Greece and Turkey cruises sail a round trip from Athens, while others end in Istanbul.
Eastern Mediterranean is still the most common way to experience Greek isles on a cruise. Usually, this itinerary implies a longer vacation on large cruise ships, departing from Athens or Venice and calling on the mainstream islands, such as Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, Katakolo, and Corfu. Some of these cruises end in Istanbul, whereas others make their way to Israel. Since the Eastern Mediterranean itinerary is extremely popular, it's offered by local and European operators, as well as most of the US cruise lines.
When you decide on the cruise line and know your start and end ports, consider booking a stay before or after your voyage. Perhaps, you'd love to explore the city of Athens, Venice, or Istanbul, in addition to the cruise itinerary. Feel free to check the map below for available accommodations near the port cities.