With the fast paced world that we live in, we tend to ignore the beauty of taking things slow. After all, it is said that travel is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. Being in Greece though, travel is both about the journey and the destination! The destination? Athens. The journey? Either a less than an hour flight or an 8-hour ferry trip across the Aegean Sea? Needless to say, we chose the latter!

The essence of traveling to Greece aside from exploring the mainland is being able to experience sailing the Aegean Sea and seeing the famous and countless Greek Islands. And one of the best and cheapest ways to do so is by taking a ferry ride, which to put it into simple terms, is more or less like a cruise as it stops on some islands to drop off and pick passengers along the way. As for us, we chose the ferry line by Blue Star to bring us from Santorini to Athens – our ferry was the BLUE STAR DELOS.

www.arencejean.com001-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

The queue to towards Blue Star Delos (background) at the Athenios Port in Santorini. It takes quite a while to board the ferry considering the number of passengers and vehicles it accommodates but it is quite organized and everything gets smooth once you’re inside. The ferries being late is to be expected.

As I said, going by ferry is cheaper than taking the plane – only 45 Euros per person for a comfortable Numbered Aircraft Type Seat. If you want cheaper ones or more expensive ones, there are also other classes to choose from ranging from economy to cabin classes. However, I believe the Numbered Aircraft Type Seat is sufficient and  very comfortable for an 8 hours sail. It’s more comfortable than an actual aircraft seat actually!

*Just make sure to choose your seat numbers if you want to be seated beside your travel companions! Jill and I had seat numbers rows apart! Luckily, the ferry didn’t get full so not all seats were taken and we were able to seat beside each other as I believe no one bought those beside mine (or they were kind enough to let us be and sat in a different seat).

Comfy Seating!!!

Comfy Seating!!!

Another advantage is that there are more departure times to choose from rather than a plane ride to and from Santorini which, the last time we checked, only had one schedule per day and is very early in the morning. And would you rather have a vague view of the skies from your plane window or a closer view of the sea and the islands that you pass by in the ferry? One of the main reasons that we opted for a ferry ride are the spectacular views and scenery that you get to see along the way as a bonus!

www.arencejean.com003-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

We had a window seat which offered us an awesome view of the sea and the islands!

Jill and I decided to take an hour nap after Blue Star Delos left Santorini and when we were rested enough, we decided to explore the ferry which was quite huge (it was a RO-RO)! The Blue Star Delos amenities had everything you might need on your journey, it’s like a small mall: it had its own food court with a number of restaurants/fast foods to choose from, coffee shop, a travel shop and very clean washrooms! The front deck though is not open but comfortable cafe like seat are provided to let you enjoy the view in the front. Before I forget to mention, the whole ferry is air-conditioned!

www.arencejean.com004-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Jill beside the travel shop

www.arencejean.com026-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

The cafe-like seating in the front part of the ferry

Searching for a place to smoke, we found ourselves in what is now our most favorite part of the ferry and where we enjoyed our ferry ride from Santorini to Athens the most: the REAR DECK! The very spacious rear deck is perfect for those who want to feel the breeze and enjoy the views out in the open! And we can smoke freely, something we definitely won’t be able to do if we were on a plane!!!

www.arencejean.com005-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Selfie time with the waves and the ferry trail!

www.arencejean.com007-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Enjoying the coffee that we brought from Santorini in our ever-reliable thermos flask! Didn’t expect that Blue Star Delos had its own coffee shop and we didn’t want to risk being caffeine-free for the whole journey LOL! Plus it was cheaper!

www.arencejean.com008-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

With views like this, would you choose a plane over a ferry???

www.arencejean.com009-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Amazing blues of the sky and the sea!

The open rear deck had numerous seats as well so it felt like you were in a moving coffee shop where you let time pass with awesome scenery to match! It was here that we stayed for the rest of our journey (which was still around 6 hours more at this point)! It’s a bummer though that the top deck wasn’t open for passengers. We can only imagine how cool it would be up there!

www.arencejean.com006-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Ah life!!!

A few hours on the journey, we arrived at the first stop of Blue Star Delos on its way to Athens: the Cycladic Island of NAXOS. The island of Naxos is the largest among the islands that make up the Cyclades Group of Islands.

www.arencejean.com010-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

The entrance and ruins of Apollo’s Temple in Naxos in full view (see the islet in the background?) as Blue Star Delos prepares to dock at the island’s port.

One the fun parts of every port of call of our ferry trip is when the crew starts to lower and prepare the passenger and vehicle ramps as we start to approach each island!

www.arencejean.com011-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

People flock to the rear deck every time the ferry docks to see what’s happening and to have a closer look of the islands

Naxos by itself it an interesting Greek Island since it was the centre of Archaic Cycladic Culture. It is widely connected to Greek Mythology as well, being believed to be where the young Zeus (the most powerful Greek God) was raised, the nuptial isle of Dionysius (the Greek God of Wine), the place where Theseus (a Greek Mythology Hero) abandoned Princess Ariadne after he killed the Minotaur in the Labyrinth, and many more! Definitely on our list of places to go to in Greece the next time we travel there!

www.arencejean.com012-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

The Island of Naxos

www.arencejean.com013-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

People boarding Blue Star Delos – it’s quite nice to people watch while on board the ferry. There was even an ambulance who picked up one of the passengers who I believe was sick as he was loaded on a stretcher.

www.arencejean.com014-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Good Bye for now Naxos!

As I’ve reiterating, the views we got to see along the way was the main reason why we chose a longer ferry ride to Athens over a faster but boring plane ride to Greece’s capital! Here are more of those scenery as we make our way to the next port of call:

www.arencejean.com015-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

More islets along the way!

www.arencejean.com016-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Clouds that dramatically form a misty like blanket on the distant mountains

www.arencejean.com017-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

A lonely white lighthouse perched on a rocky cliff – apologies for the resolution. I was taking pictures of our whole ferry ride using only my phone

www.arencejean.com018-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

The Greek Flag waving proudly as we pass by majestic islands

www.arencejean.com019-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

There were numerous occasions when the views turned from awesome to simply magical. Most of our journey was cloudy but each time the sun peeped from the clouds, it turned each view into something surreal like this one!

Still 160 kilometers away from Piraeus Port which is the main port of Athens, we make our second a final stop along the way: the island of PAROS. The island of Paros is in a way, different from Naxos, by the fact that the white washed buildings are more spread out and seems more mountainous although it is actually a single mountain with rolling slopes. The shoreline is less imposing but more calm and felt more laid-back.

www.arencejean.com020-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Docking at the port of Paros. Paros is where we get the term “Parian” Marble

www.arencejean.com021-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

The beautiful stretch of shoreline is the most charming aspect of Paros for me as we saw it from the deck of Blue Star Delos

Renowned for its marble, Paros is now more famous as a tourist destination. It is worth noting that before the modern country of Greece was formed, Paros was actually outside Greek rule for more than 600 years as it was conquered at first by the Venetians and then by the Ottoman Turks.

www.arencejean.com022-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Yachts and sailboats moored at the small harbor of Paros

www.arencejean.com023-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Farewell for now Paros!

www.arencejean.com024-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Wispy clouds over Paros as we departed

www.arencejean.com025-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

It was almost sundown when we left Paros and we still had hours ahead of us before reaching Athens. See the faint light of the moon on the upper left hand side of the photo.

After sundown, there was nothing much to see aside from the lights in the islands we passed-by but the cold breeze kept us entertained. Feeling a bit hungry, Jill and I went straight to the food court of Blue Star Delos. Ever since we arrived in Greece 4days ago, we haven’t had a try of Greek Fastfood! That said, we decided to try out the country’s biggest fast food chain, GOODY’s.

www.arencejean.com027-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Queuing at Goody’s

Reasonably priced, with the selection and quality of food you’d expect from a fast food chain, I decided to have their extreme burger while Jill had my fried as she wasn’t as hungry as I was.

www.arencejean.com028-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

Goody’s Menu Board

www.arencejean.com029-20160702Greek Island Cruise Paros Naxos Blue Star Delos

And then back to our rear deck seats! Burger anyone?

We arrived in Piraeus Port in Athens at almost 12 midnight. 8 hours came by so fast most probably because we enjoyed the trip a lot. The driver who was to pick us up at the port was kinda late that we almost grabbed a cab but good thing we saw each other before we did LOL! All in all, our choice of taking a ferry ride instead of a plane ride was very much worth it and given the chance, we’ll do it once again! For us, our ferry trip from Santorini to Athens is one of the best highlights of our trip to Greece and most probably, it would be yours too!

FOR THE REST OF OUR GREECE BLOG SERIES,click on the links below:

On the Way to Santorini

Our Accomodation in a Traditional Guest House in Santorini

Exploring the Town of Fira Part 1

Exploring the Town of Fira Part 2

Exploring the Town of Fira Part 3

Best Location to View the Sunset in Fira

Akrotiri – believed to be the Lost City of Atlantis

Oia Santorini and The World’s Most Beautiful Sunset

Where to Eat and What to Eat in Santorini

_____________________________________________________________

*I would love to stay connected with you guys! Follow us on:

Facebook www.facebook.com/aworldoftravelandpossibilities

Instagram: arencejean

or at Twitter: ArenceJeanTravel