How to Get to the Islands of the Small Cyclades

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  • 18 Jan 2014

You’ve decided to explore some or all of the beautiful islands of the Small Cyclades: Iraklia, Schinoussa, Koufonissia, Donoussa – the four gems of the Aegean – that are part of the municipality of Naxos.  Here is a quick guide to assist you in planning your trip.

How to get to the islands of the Small Cyclades: Iraklia, Schinoussa, Koufonissia and Donoussa, from Naxos.

Some closer to Naxos than others, the islands of the Small Cyclades, each offer something a little different.  Of course, one thing they all share in common, are gorgeous beaches and a more relaxed, remote holiday experience. If you’re visiting Naxos, consider the option of visiting these tiny islands as well.

Here is a quick guide to assist you in planning your trip.

These four tiny islands, surrounding Naxos, are accessible only by sea with the exception of Koufonissia and Schinoussa that each also have a helipad.

* [Please note schedules/timetables are subject to change. Please contact your travel agent and/or the airline/sea transport line for the latest schedule information.]

Getting to Iraklia from Naxos

The closest island of the islands of the Small Cyclades to Naxos is Iraklia, the largest of the Small Cyclades.  You can get to Iraklia from Naxos via the daily local ferry line, the Express Skopelitis, every day except Sunday, with a travel time of approximately 1 1/2 hours.  In addition, the ferry line Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr)(coming from Piraeus) makes the stop at Iraklia (via Naxos) three times per week, with a travel time of about 1 hour (from Naxos).

Getting to Schinoussa from Naxos
Next stop on the local ferry lines from Naxos (after Iraklia) is Schinoussa.  The travel time with the local Express Skopelitis ferry from Naxos, available 6x a week, except Sundays, is about 1 hr and 50 minutes. The ferry line Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr) originating in Piraeus also makes the stop (after Iraklia) 3x per week , year-round, with a travel time of about 1 hour and 20 minutes (from Naxos.)

Getting to Koufonissia from Naxos
After Schinoussa, the local ferry, the Express Skopelitis, from Naxos stops at Koufonissia.  The travel time is about 2 hrs and 35 minutes and runs 6x per week, except Sundays, year-round. The ferry line Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr), originating from Piraeus also makes the stop to Koufonissia 3x per week, year-round, with a travel time of about 2 hrs (from Naxos). 

Note: In the peak season the hydrofoils Sea Jets and Hellenic Seaways, stop at Naxos and continue to Koufonissia (40-50 minutes from Naxos).

Getting to Donoussa from Naxos
Donoussa, the farthest of the islands of the Small Cyclades from Naxos, is accessible via the local ferry, the Express Skopelitis, 3x per week with a travel time of about 4 hours (from Naxos).  The ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr), originating in Piraeus stops at Donoussa via Naxos 2x per week in the off-peak season and 4x per week in the peak season and has a travel time of about 1 hour and 10 minutes (from Naxos).

Keep in mind that private companies on Naxos provide additional access/tours to these and other islands of the Cyclades.

Access to the isles of the Small Cyclades:*
* [Please note schedules/timetables are subject to change. Please contact your travel agent and/or the airline/sea transport line for the latest schedule information.]

Naxos to Iraklia

Year round
• Daily local ferry, Express Skopelitis (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes), daily, except Sundays
• Ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr) 3x per week (approximately 1 hour)

Naxos to Schinoussa

Year round
• Daily local ferry, Express Skopelitis (approximately 1hr 50 min.), daily, except Sundays
• Ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr), 3x per week (approximately 1 hour 20 minutes)

Naxos to Koufonissia
Year round
• Daily local ferry, Express Skopelitis (approximately 2 hrs 35 min.) daily, except Sundays
Off Peak
• Ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr) 3x per week (approximately 2 hrs)

In the peak season:
• Ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr) 3x per week (approximately 2 hrs)
• The hydrofoils operated by Sea Jets and Hellenic Seaways provide additional service (approximately 40-50 minutes)

Naxos to Donoussa
Year round
• Daily local ferry, Express Skopelitis, 3x per week (approximately 4 hours)
• Ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr),  3x per week (approximately 2 hours) and in the peak season 4x per week.

Information on ferry connections in between the islands of the Small Cyclades:

From Iraklia to Schinoussa:
Year round
• Daily local ferry, Express Skopelitis (approximately 10 minutes) daily, except Sundays
• Ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr),  3x per week (5 minutes)

From Schinoussa to Koufonissia:
• Daily local ferry, Express Skopelitis (approximately 35 minutes) daily, except Sundays
• Ferry line, Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.gr), 3x per week (30 minutes)

From Koufonissia to Donoussa:

• Daily local ferry, Express Skopelitis (approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes) 3x per week, except Sundays

For a general sea route timetable search click here:

For information on how to get to Naxos, click here: