LivingTravelGreek island jump by hydrofoil

Greek island jump by hydrofoil

Before the arrival of hydrofoils leaping into the choppy waters of the Aegean, traveling between the islands was a time-consuming and stomach-churning experience. But now these modern boats reduce travel time and (usually!) Provide a smooth ride.

The hydrofoil lines depart from the port of Zea, part of Piraeus near Athens, and Raphia / Rafina, a short trip from Athens. Remember that hydrofoils and catamarans do not run in late fall or winter.

In general, the pace of life in Greece is languid, with few people, other than the occasional taxi driver, pressing the clock. However, hydrofoils are exceptions. These fast boats leave quickly, and on two occasions that I experimented, a little earlier than planned. Please arrive at least 30 minutes in advance and make reservations in advance when possible. In case of bad weather, hydrofoils can be canceled. The rough ride I mentioned here was the last ship allowed to ride that day – the hydrofoil lines try to keep their reputation for smooth ride intact, but when Poseidon gets frisky, what do you do?

If you are traveling to Greece with luggage, the hydrofoils are minimally welcoming. Expect to handle your own bags. Crowded trips mean packed luggage around every corner, another danger if the trip is a bit rough.

For those prone to motion sickness, keep in mind that these trips are not always smooth as glass, at least on the smallest hydrofoils. Rough water will make itself felt. You may want to avoid sitting in the forward cabin of the ship on the old yellow Ceres ships, particularly in late spring, early fall, and when there are storms in the area. Stay inside the wide flat rear cabin.

The outside areas of the hydrofoil are very tempting if you have a photo or video camera, but once the boat reaches full speed you may be at risk if you are outside. Even when the water is relatively calm, the wind can be surprisingly strong. I spent a cold half hour outside because I didn’t think I would be able to get back into the cockpit with one hand, and if I let go of my camera, the wind or bumps caused by high waves that day will surely crush it on the steel sides of the ship. I finally jumped through the open door when someone came out, and my camera and I survived when the ship launched and almost fell into the open hold.

The reward for these efforts is the smooth and powerful sensation of flying over water, like a mythical semi-divine character. The nickname “Flying Dolphin” is well earned.

The larger airboats offer amenities like full bars and ‘in-flight’ movies. On a trip from Rafina to Mykonos, the film was a film called “The Big Blue”, which included many scenes of hydrofoil trips. It was surreal looking at the television monitor, seeing the water speeding, then looking out the windows next to the monitor and seeing the water speeding itself. Fantasy. Reality. Greece always seems to combine the two perfectly.

Hydrofoils are fun and efficient ways to maximize your time in Greece and spend your time on the enchanting islands, not on the deck of a slow ferry. With competition from hydrofoils, ferries have gotten better and faster than they used to be, but nothing can match hydrofoils unless you completely leave the water and take to the air for your trip.

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