Tips for Taking Domestic Flights in Greece

In this article, I want to share with you my travel tips for flying in Greece. This covers which airlines fly in Greece, why you need to be careful of baggage allowances, and other essential insights to taking domestic flights within Greece.

 tips about domestic flights in greece

Traveling around Greece by plane

When someone mentions traveling around Greece, the first thing that comes to mind is island hopping by ferry. The ferries aren’t the only way to get around Greece though, as there is also a good network of internal flights you can use to get from A to B in Greece.

Flying within Greece offers some interesting advantages over ferry travel. The primary benefit is the significant time saving, as most Greek domestic flights take less than an hour. This is particularly useful if say you arrive at Athens International Airport and want to get straight out to one of the islands.

Assuming you leave enough time between flight connections, and the schedules work out for you, it’s way quicker and easier than taking a ferry.

Generally speaking, I recommend checking for flight schedules on Skyscanner, and then booking directly with the airlines where the prices are normally cheaper.

But, I’m probably getting ahead of myself here. This article isn’t about the pros and cons of flying within Greece, but rather about sharing some travel tips to make your internal flight in Greece go more smoothly.

1. Know Your Greek Airlines

It’s probably best to start with which airlines fly within Greece. There’s two main carriers which are Olympic Air and Sky Express.

You might read that Aegean fly within Greece. A fun fact is Aegean and Olympic Air are the same company. Within Greece they are branded as Olympic Air, and for international flights they are branded as Aegean. At least that’s the way I understand it!

In addition to the two Greek home-grown airlines, Ryanair and a smattering of other budget airlines may offer limited internal routes within Greece.

In my experience Sky Express tend to offer the least expensive flights, and also have better baggage allowances, which brings me on to my next tip…

2. Check Your Baggage Allowances When Flying In Greece

The days of taking a carry on and checked luggage for free on a flight are well behind us. Nowadays, these are considered extras that we have to pay for – Not like it was 20 years ago!

This would be fine, but each airline has their own baggage rules, and in some cases, their own luggage sizes as well.

I can’t stress this enough. Check, double check, and triple check that whatever luggage add-on you buy for your Greek internal flights is good enough for you. On popular connections, for example Santorini to Athens flights, you can expect your check in and carry on baggage to be weighed and measured. 

I’ve seen people have to repack, pay an expensive upgrade fee, and even be turned away because they either miscalculated their baggage weight and size, or thought they could get away with bending the rules. Don’t be like them. I’m sure it would leave a sour taste about your Greek vacation!

3. Get A Window Seat

One of the best things about flying to or from a Greek island, is that you tend to fly over lots of other Greek islands!

I recently (writing this in July 2024!) took a flight from Naxos to Athens, and the view of the islands were amazing. Highly recommended, even if you might have to pay a little extra to guarantee a window seat.

4. Get Used To Propeller Planes

Did you know that most of the planes flying domestically within Greece are propeller planes? This is due to the size of the airports. It can be quite a novel experience flying on a plane like that – see photo below!

Olympic Air propeller plane getting ready to leave Naxos in Greece

By the way, in days with very strong winds (and the Meltemi Winds are a yearly phenomenon in Greece), flights can be delayed or cancelled in the same way that ferries can be. As such, I recommend that you don’t plan to fly home internationally on the same day as you fly out of an island. If possible, make a day or two in Athens the last part of your itinerary.

5. Take An Early Flight If You Can

Many of the domestic flights in Greece are shuttle services, meaning that they fly from A to B and then B to A. A hypothetical example could be the flight connecting Athens to Milos. A plane might make the same journey 4 or 5 times in a day.

This means that if a delay happens on the first or second flight, it has a knock on effect for the remaining flights of the day. By taking the earliest flight you can, you minimise the possibility of being delayed when flying in Greece internally.

6. Greek Regional Airports Can Be Tiny

It’s important to know that while most of the international airports are of a good size, the domestic airports can be very small with minimal facilities.

naxos airport taxis

Take Naxos for example. The waiting area sits about 30 people, there’s one tiny shop, and arriving passenger will collect their luggage from outside the building on a conveyor belt. Naxos airport is due to be expanded or rebuilt, but at the moment, it looks a little like a shed!

This can effect how you might want to get to and from the airport, as transportation might be limited. To book airport taxis in Greece I recommend using Welcome Pickups

Also read: Greek Island Airports

7. Planes Rarely Fly Between Greek Islands

While flying can be a good way to travel around Greece, there’s not that many flight connections between Greek islands. A good example of this is Santorini and Mykonos.

These are two of the most popular destinations in Greece, and are often included on a 7 day Greek itinerary. However, there are no flights between Santorini and Mykonos.

Most people take the ferry between Santorini and Mykonos and vice versa. If you are totally averse to taking a ferry in Greece, then your only flight option would be to use Athens as a hub, and fly Santorini to Athens, and then fly Athens to Mykonos.

In fact, using Athens as a hub like this can be useful when traveling around Greece, especially when you might want to visit more than one island chain. Flying Zakynthos (Ionian Islands) to Athens and on to Mykonos (Cyclades Islands) is one such idea.

8. Book Flights As Far In Advance As You Can

Greece is only increasing in popularity year after year as a vacation destination. Flights can and do sell out, especially in the peak season month of August. Even if they don’t sell out, last minute ticket prices are astronomical!

Getting flight tickets a good deal of time in advance will most likely save you a lot of money. If you can choose when to travel, go outside the peak season. 

Do you have any travel tips for flying within Greece you’d like to add? leave a comment below!

You might also want to read:

Dave Briggs: Writer at Dave’s Travel Pages creating Greece travel guides, Greece travel planning tipsDave Briggs

Dave is a travel writer who's been living in Greece for the last ten years. In addition to these tips on taking flights within Greece, he's written hundreds of Greece travel guides and insights here on Dave’s Travel Pages. 

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