Ports In Greece: Cruise To Greece & The Greek Islands

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Cruise to Greece & the Greek Islands this summer with this ports in Greece guide. We’ve listed all the Greek ports and what to see while you are there.

Greece Travel Blog_Cruise Ports In Greece

Cruising through Greece offers a truly Mediterranean experience. With traditional towns, ancient sites, and breathtaking ocean views, Greece has something for every traveler.

If you are planning a cruise, here is a list of the main cruise ports in Greece, along with key information for an unforgettable journey.

Map Of The Ports In Greece

Athens Cruise Port – Port of Piraeus

Port of Piraeus Athens, Greece - Ports In Greece

Welcome to the vivacious Port of Piraeus, the maritime gateway to the timeless city of Athens!

Imagine stepping off your cruise and being instantaneously enveloped by a vibrant blend of antiquity and modernity.

Piraeus seamlessly balances the bustle of a working port with a laid-back, welcoming vibe that travelers adore. As you explore, you’ll discover the intertwining of contemporary life with ancient history that makes Athens perpetually fascinating.

Not far away in the heart of Athens, is the iconic Acropolis, which awaits to be explored. But let’s not sideline Piraeus itself!

Meander along the Marina Zeas, where leisure boats gently bob alongside lively eateries, offering a taste (quite literally) of Greece’s splendid culinary scene. Whether you opt for a relaxing day by the sea in Piraeus or venture into the mythical allure of Athens, your time here promises a hearty blend of adventure, relaxation, and a satisfying dash of cultural exploration. So, keep your senses alert, for every corner turned promises new, undiscovered treasures in this charismatic port!

The vibrant capital is where ancient and modern thrive together. With its interesting archeological sites, lively atmosphere, and incredible culinary scene, a cruise stop in Athens is a treat for the senses.

How far is the Port of Piraeus from Athens?

Cruises dock in Athens’ main port, Piraeus, and it is just a thirty-minute drive from the city center. From there, you can easily find taxis or public transport to take you downtown.

Port of Piraeus fun fact

This is the largest of the ports in Greece; the Port of Piraeus is one of the top 50 ports in the world and is the second largest in the Mediterranean.

Key sights in Athens

Archaeological Sites In Greece - Parthenon on Acropolis, Athens, Greece

One of the Greek ports that offers the most to see – one day won’t be enough in Athens, but get started with seeing these sights;

  • Visit the Ancient Acropolis, including the Theatre of Dionysus, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and the Acropolis Museum
  • Explore the Ancient Agora and the Roman Agora
  • See the Temple of Zeus
  • Climb Filopappos Hill
  • Wander through the neighborhoods of Plaka and Anafiotika

Santorini Cruise Port – Old Port of Fira

Ports in Greece - Amazing evening view of Fira, caldera, volcano of Santorini

A showstopper destination, Santorini is the highlight of any trip to Greece. This volcanic island is famed for its white-tipped cliffs, blue-dome churches, and magical sunsets.

As neither of Santorini’s two ports, Athinios Port and the Old Port of Fira (Gialos), are large enough for cruise ships, cruises rely on tenders (small passenger boats) to take passengers to land. Most passengers will alight at the Old Port of Fira unless booked on tour.

Step off your vessel and into a postcard-perfect scene at the Old Port of Fira, Santorini! This isn’t just a pit stop; it’s a dive into a world where white-washed buildings cuddle up against the vibrant blue of the Aegean.

The port, while compact and oft-bustling with travelers, smoothly handles the inflow with an organized, laid-back vibe that’s quintessentially Greek.

How far is the Fira from the Old Port of Fira?

Once you reach the Old Port of Fira, a cable car will take you to the island’s main town, Fira. If you are feeling adventurous, you may walk the 587 steps – but whatever you do, please do not take one of the cruel donkey rides to the top.

Fira town itself—a genuine jewel with its narrow lanes, tiny shops, and panoramic vistas that may just steal your breath away. Savor a leisurely coffee at a cliff-side cafe, where the views are the perfect companion to the rich Greek brew.

Nearby, the archaeological site of Akrotiri whispers ancient tales while various boat tours beckon for a spin around the caldera, allowing you to embrace the majestic views from a fresh perspective. Fira effortlessly blends the vibrancy of island life with the tranquility that comes from being surrounded by the endless blue sea. Navigating through Santorini offers both the sweet, simple pleasures of relaxation and the electrifying thrill of exploration in every step, sip, and sight!

Key sights in Santorini

Cruising The Balkans - Greece -

One of the more popular ports in Greece, there is much to see while in Santorini:

  • Stroll through Fira, and admire the stunning view of the caldera
  • Visit one of Santorini’s vineyards
  • Explore Oia and Ammoudi Bay
  • Take a private cruise to the volcanic islands Nea Kalmeni and Palia Kameni, including a stop at the hot springs

Mykonos Cruise Port – New Port of Tourlos

Ports In Greece - Cruise in front of the island of Mykonos

Ahoy, welcome to the effervescent New Port of Tourlos in Mykonos! With its beautiful juxtaposition of glamour and simplicity, this port provides not just a doorway but a wide, inviting gateway to the enchanting island of Mykonos.

The minute your feet touch the ground, you’re welcomed by a vista of sparkling waters and gleaming white structures, with a buzz of excitement perpetually in the air.

Tourlos, while efficiently serving larger cruise ships, maintains a charming, unassuming demeanor. A quick, breezy jaunt takes you to Mykonos Town, where narrow, winding streets, lively squares, and the iconic windmills await your exploration. 

The exuberant island of Mykonos is synonymous with beautiful beaches, high-end gastronomy, and unparalleled nightlife. A cruise around Greece wouldn’t be complete without a stop at this cosmopolitan island.

How far is the port of Tourlos from the main town in Mykonos (Chora)?

Cruise ships dock at Mykonos’ new port, Tourlos. The port is around a thirty-minute drive to the main town, Chora. For those who prefer to travel by water, there is also a “sea bus” which connects the port to Chora.

Key sights in Mykonos

Mykonos To Crete - Crete To Mykonos Guide
Mykonos, Greece
  • Explore Chora’s boutiques and art galleries
  • Visit the Church of Parapotiani and the Archaeological, Maritime, and Folklore Museums
  • Enjoy a drink at the famous Little Venice (Alefkandra)
  • Take a boat trip to a UNESCO world heritage site – the island of Delos
  • Relax at one of Mykonos’ beautiful beaches (Ornos, Agios Ioannis, Platis Gialos, Paradise Beach)

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Port of Katakolon – Katakolon Cruise Port

The delightful Port of Katakolon, perched on the Ionian Sea, serves up a casual Greek escape with a side of historical intrigue. This cozy little port, while a peaceful haven of cafés and small shops, is also your gateway to the ancient Olympic grounds at Olympia—just a short drive away!

Bask in the clear waters of its beaches, mingle with local fisherfolk, or perhaps let the nearby vineyards tempt your palate with their offerings. Katakolon masterfully mixes relaxed coastal vibes with a sprinkle of exploratory zest, making it a must-visit spot on your Grecian journey.

And remember: let your camera capture those vibrant views, and your culinary curiosity savor the local flavors!

Kefalonia Cruise Port – Argostoli

Beautiful view of Myrtos Bay and beach on Kefalonia island

Welcome to the heartwarming embrace of Kefalonia, with the cruise port in Argostoli leading you into a world where serene beauty meets Greek hospitality.

The port, modest yet infused with a laid-back vibrancy, instantly allows travelers to slip into the rhythmic ease of island life.

A stroll along the Argostoli waterfront might gift you a glimpse of the local loggerhead turtles while the nearby cafes invite you to linger over a koulouri and Greek coffee. Venturing into the island unveils quaint villages, mesmerizing beaches, and whispers of myths and legends amidst the ruins and natural landscapes.

A stunning Ionian island, made famous by the movie Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, is a beautiful stop on a cruise through Greece. With truly turquoise waters, lively towns, and beautiful scenery, a day in Kefalonia will stay with you forever.

How to get from the cruise port to town?

Cruise ships dock at the island’s main town, Argostoli. You can visit the island’s sights by tour or taxi from Argostoli.

Key sights in Kefalonia

Assos village - Kefalonia island Guide, Greece

Kefalonia seaport in Greece is a beauty; begin with exploring;

  • Explore the fascinating natural wonders of Drogarati Cave and Melissani Lake
  • Visit the incredible Myrtos Beach
  • Take a trip to the cute harbor towns of Asos and Fiskardo

Patmos Cruise Port – Port Of Skala

Petra Beach - Patmos Island Greece

A warm breeze and the soft murmur of waves welcome you to the Port of Skala, Patmos. Beyond being a mere arrival point, Skala effortlessly blends quaint charm with a dose of vibrant life. Cobblestone streets, whitewashed buildings, and blue-domed churches intermingle with welcoming tavernas, where the scent of souvlaki gently wafts in the air.

Just a brief venture away lies the Cave of the Apocalypse, whispering ancient tales of St. John, and a monastery that offers both spiritual and panoramic vistas. Skala: a portal not just to Patmos but to a deeply rich, historical adventure cloaked in a casual, island vibe.

The traditional Cycladic island of Patmos is a peaceful cruise stop. The perfect place to unwind and enjoy a day of charming Greek island life, Patmos offers untouched nature and relaxing beaches.

How to get from the cruise port to town?

Given the small size of Patmos Port, passengers reach the port of Skala by tenders. The main town, Chora, is a few miles away up a steep hill.

Key sights in Patmos

One of the quieter Greek ports, but with much to see, check out;

Rhodes Cruise Port – Old Town Port 

Ports in Greece - Cruise ship in Rhodes port, Greece

Rhodes, where the azure of the sea and the medieval architecture blend into a mesmerizing dance! The Old Town Port is your gateway to a realm where history and leisure coexist splendidly. Embark on a journey through the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, where the Knights of St. John once tread, and explore the imposing Palace of the Grand Master.

Alternatively, take a leisurely saunter along the vibrant harbor, with its pulsating cafés and shops, allowing the gentle sea breeze to narrate tales of ancient mariners and timeless voyages.

The medieval island of Rhodes is rich in history and makes a great cruise stop. With Greek, Roman, and Ottoman influences, there is so much to see on this interesting island.

How to get from the cruise port to town?

Cruise ships dock at the old town port, meaning you can reach the main town center in just a few minutes walk. There is a dedicated terminal for cruise ship passengers, with a tourist information desk and shops.

Key sights in Rhodes

Best Beaches In Rhodes - Anthony Quinn Beach

This seaport in Greece offers cruise ship guests much to explore;

  • Tour the Medieval City, including the Grand Master’s Palace, the Street of the Knights, the Ottoman and Jewish Quarters, and Sokratous Street
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Modern Greek Art
  • Explore the archaeological sites of Lindos and Kameiros
  • Spend the day at one of Rhodes’s famous beaches, Kalithea, Falirake, or Elli Beach

Heraklion Cruise Port – Port Of Iraklion

Greek Ports - Heraklion. Sea port at sunrise.

Step into the spirited buzz of Heraklion, Crete’s vibrant capital, right from its cruise port! Your feet are now on the lands of Minos, where mythology and history entwine, leading your steps perhaps towards the enigmatic Knossos Palace, only a short drive away.

In the city, stroll along the 16th-century Venetian fortress walls, then perhaps allow yourself to be lured into a local taverna by the alluring aroma of moussaka. Heraklion invites you to weave between eras, from ancient tales to contemporary comforts, creating a tapestry of memories that blend the richly historic with the tantalizingly modern.

Located on the largest Greek island, Crete, the capital city of Heraklion has plenty on offer. Enclosed by a Venetian wall, the city boasts many museums and galleries, historical sightseeing, and an abundant culinary scene.

How to get from the cruise port to town?

Cruise ships dock at the port, and from there, you can take a fifteen-minute walk along the seafront to the old town and Venetian harbor.

Key sights in Heraklion

Archaeological Sites In Greece - Knossos Palace
Knossos Palace

What this Greek port offers travelers to see and do;

  • Visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos
  • Explore the open-air market from Lion Square along Odos 1866
  • Stroll around the Koules Venetian Fortress
  • Immerse yourself in history at the Archaeological Museum

Here is some information you may want to know about cruise ports in Greece;

What is the best time to take a cruise to Greece?

The high season in Greece is July and August; at this time, destinations are busy with Greek and foreign tourists. The shoulder season months of April, May, early June, late September, and October are perfect times to take a cruise through Greece; destinations are marginally quieter, and the weather is cooler.

Can you take a cruise to Greece in the off-season?

It is possible to cruise to Greece during the off-season. Given its mild climate and fewer tourists, you’ll have a great time cruising Greece in the winter months.

Which cruise companies service Greece?

Some of the most popular cruise lines that service Greece include Azamara, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Lines, and MSC Cruises.

We hope we have made cruising to Greece & the Greek Islands easier this summer with our ports in Greece guide. Now that you know all the Greek ports and what to see while you are there, you must book your cruise!

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