Europe is bursting with dynamic coastlines and historic port towns – from the volcanic island of Ischia in Italy to the stunning Greek harbors twinkling throughout the Aegean sea. Traveling by ferry and hydrofoil is one of the most exciting ways to discover new destinations in Europe and the UK. If you’re looking to avoid air-travel, don’t want to worry about baggage restrictions or you’re looking for comfort, then ferries are cheap, frequent and accessible. Many ferries have on-board dining, bars and cafes, lounge areas, cabins, ocean views and several decks to take in the fresh sea air. They run in the day and overnight so are ideal when traveling with a big group or with family.
Omio has teamed up with some of the top ferry and hydrofoil operators in Europe to cover more than 700 ferry routes in Italy, Spain, Greece, Scandinavia and the UK. With Omio, you’ll be able to compare ferries with trains, buses and flights and find the most convenient option for your next trip. Omio makes booking ferry tickets hassle-free; just jump on board and enjoy a smooth journey across the sea.
A hydrofoil is simply another term for a smaller ferry, ideal for quick high-speed crossings between islands. Hydrofoils get their name from the wing-like hydrofoil (or foil) fin which lifts the boat’s hull off the water as it increases speed. The fin is designed to help reduce drag without using more power, making journeys much quicker. There are tons of hydrofoil routes across Europe, so read on to find out more.
Major ferry routes operate across Italy, Spain, Greece, Scandinavia and the UK, including Venice to Croatia, Dublin to Holyhead and Athens to Rhodes. Whether you want to drift over the Adriatic from Venice to Croatia, or you’re looking to visit Wales with a trip across the Irish Sea, Omio has gathered some of its most popular ferry routes across Europe so you can plan your trip quickly and easily.
|Departure from||Route||Frequency||Cheapest price from||Operated by|
|UK||Ferry Holyhead – Dublin||4 ferries a day||Stena Line|
|UK||Ferry Birkenhead – Belfast||1 ferry a day||Stena Line|
|UK||Ferry Harwich – Hoek van Holland||4 ferries a day||Stena Line|
|Italy||Ferry Civitavecchia – Olbia||1 ferry a day||Tirrenia, Grimaldi|
|Italy||Ferry Naples – Island of Capri||10 ferries a day||NLG, SNAV|
|Italy||Ferry Naples – Island of Ischia||14 ferries a day||SNAV|
|Greece||Ferry Santorini – Mykonos||5 ferries a day||Seajets, Golden Star|
|Greece||Ferry Igoumenitsa – Corfu||5 ferries a day||Kerkyra, Anek Superfast.|
|Greece||Ferry Athens – Rhodes||2 ferries a day||Blue Star, Aegeon Pelagos|
|Spain||Ferry Ibiza – La Savina||27 ferries a day||Mediterranea Pitiusa, Balearia, Aquabus Ferry Boats|
|Spain||Ferry Lanzarote – Gran Canaria||1 ferry a day||Trasmediterránea S. A,. Naviera Armas S. A., Fred Olsen|
|Spain||Ferry Barcelona – Ibiza||4 ferries a day||Trasmediterránea S. A,. Balearia, Gnv|
|Sweden||Ferry Stockholm – Helsinki||1 ferry||Tallink|
|Denmark||Ferry Copenhagen - Oslo||1 ferry a day||DFDS|
|Ireland||Ferry Rosslare - Pembroke||2 ferries a day||Stena Line|
|Ireland||Ferry Belfast – Liverpool||2 ferries a day||Stena Line|
The UK has a long history of shipping and maritime travel, with its famous seaports offering cheap and easy journeys between the UK and mainland Europe. Well-known and popular port cities are Liverpool, Dover, Harwich and Holyhead, whilst popular destinations include France, Ireland and Holland. The Omio app covers the most popular routes from the UK, including: Dover to Calais (France), Dover to Dunkirk (France), Liverpool to Dublin, Holyhead to Dublin, and Harwich to Hoek van Holland (the Hook of Holland).
One of the most iconic sights aboard a ferry from the UK is to view the white cliffs of Dover from the English Channel. It’s a short boat ride from Dover to Calais in France where you'll have immediate access to the rest of mainland Europe. Ferries from the UK are well-equipped, run regular services and are a comfortable way of traveling to and from the UK. Take the short trip from Holyhead in Wales across the Irish Sea to Dublin. Visiting the Beatles’ stomping ground in Liverpool before heading to Ireland. Popular ferry providers from the UK are Stena Line and DFDS. Book now with Omio to get the best deals for your ferry holiday!
Italian ports welcome a huge number of holidaymakers and commuters making their journey from national ports to small coastal harbors and islands off the Italian mainland. Some of the most popular ports in Italy include Venice, Naples and Amalfi with cheap and regular ferries operated by Tirennia, GNV, Grimaldi, SNAV, Anek Superfast, Alilauro, Travelmar, Fast Ferries, NLG and Positano Jet.
The most popular routes in Italy can be anything between 45 minutes long on a Ferry, from Ferry Naples to Capri, or over 13 hours if you choose the overnight ferry from Ferry Civitavecchia to Cagliari. Other popular routes among locals and tourists include Ferry Palermo to Cagliari, Ferry Naples to Sorrento and Ferry Naples to Ponza.
Ferries also travel from Ferry Italy to Croatia, with the popular route across the Adriatic sea between Venice and Porec.
The Gulf of Naples is an area noted for its breath-taking scenery. Stretching 9 miles wide, it includes the islands of Ischia, Procida and Capri which are only a short distance from the historic city of Naples on the coast. The Gulf of Naples is one of the busiest areas of marine traffic in Italy, with ferries taking passengers across to the Amalfi coast.
The Amalfi coast boasts beautiful beaches, crystal clear sea and picturesque villages perched along cliff edges. Popular destinations include: Positano, Ponza, Ventotene, Casamicciola, Forio, Sorrento, Minori, Maiori and Cetara, all of which are easy to reach by boat. Travelers also enjoy local wines and fresh fish dishes in this part of Italy.
There are two main hydrofoil and ferry companies operating around the Gulf of Naples. SNAV and Travelmar. No matter where you want to go in the Gulf of Naples or the Amalfi coast, you can compare services on Omio and choose the connection that is best for your trip. Click on the links to discover new destinations, departure times, offers, onboard services and other useful tips for planning your vacation.
Nestled in the middle of the Mediterranean, Sardinia is Italy’s largest island and a short ferry ride from the mainland If you fancy a sea-journey over to the Costa Smerelda (Emerald Coast), there are direct routes to Sardinia’s main port towns of Alghero, Olbia, Albau and Porto Torres. There is also a direct ferry between Corisca and Sardinia, from the port of Bonifacio to Paulau (on Sardinia’s northern coast).
The island of Sicily is the largest in the Mediterranean and home to a rich culture of art and architecture, blending ancient traditions from Greece, Spain and North Africa. Famed for its local wine and world-famous food (think cannoli and Scillian lemons), the island of Sicily has plenty to offer, and is served by multiple ferry routes from across Italy.
The Sicilian ports are Palermo, Messina and Catania. The main routes from mainland Italy to Sicicly include: Ferry Naples to Palermo, Ferry Livorno to Palermo, Naples to Messina, Calabria to Messina and Ferry Genoa to Palermo. Popular routes are served by GNV, Grimaldi and Tirrenia.
Tuscany! Famous for the dramatic Apennine mountains and its capital city, Florence, home to Boticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus’ and Michaelangelo’s ‘David’. Its ports may be less famous, but they are a great way to access this stunning part of Italy. Tuscany’s ports are Livorno, Piombino and Orbettelo, with popular routes from Piombino to the island of Elba, Orbotello to the island of Giglio, Livorno to Palermo. Follow the links for more information on prices and journey times.
There’s no better way to travel in Greece than by ferry. Ferries in Greece offer the chance to hop between the breath-taking Greeks islands, some of which are only accessible by boat. There are three ports in the capital city Athens: Piraeus, Lavrio and Rafina. They offer multiple journeys to the Ionian islands, the Dodecanese, North Aegean, Soranic islands, the Cyclades, the Sporades and to Crete. If your vacation is taking you to the north of Greece, you will also find ferries departing from the port of Thessaloniki.
There are multiple ferry operators running routes throughout Greece. These include: Grimaldi, SNAV, Golden Star Ferries, Anek Superfast, Seajets and Fast Ferries. Smaller, local ferry operators also run routes which are available to book on Omio. Read on to discover all about the Greek islands, including popular routes, ferry operators and timetables.
The Ionian islands are a group of 7 islands to the west of mainland Greece in the Ionian sea. This is a popular island group for holidaymakers, which include the islands of Zakynothos, Ithaca, Corfu, Paxos and Kephalonia.
The two main ports on mainland Greece to the Ionion islands are Patras and Igoumenitsa. There are daily ferries from Igoumenitsa to Corfu with Kerkyra Lines and Kerkyra Seaways.
The Dodecanese islands can be found in the southern Aegean sea and are formed of 15 larger islands and around 150 smaller ones. Their location on the southern-western coast of Turkey and to the southeast of Greece means these islands lay at an important cultural cross-roads throughout antiquity. They are famed for their medieval churches, Byzantine art and Ottoman influences. Among the most popular islands for visitors are Rhodes, Kos, Patmos, Kalymnos and Leros with daily crossing to each from Piraeus (Athens). Blue Star Ferries serve the routes to the Dodacenese and offer weekly crossings to some of the smaller islands.
The North Aegean islands are scattered across the re the most northerly of the Greek islands and can be found in the north-eastern Aegean sea. The islands are spread widely and include Ikaria, Limnos, Lesbos, Samos, Thassos, Fournoi and Chios said to be the birthplace of the poet Homer. Blue Star Ferries and Seajets operates routes to these islands.
Located off the north-east tip of the Peloponnese and the Attica peninsula. These islands are the closest Greek islands to Athens making them an ideal place for a day trip or weekend escape from the city.
There are multiple, daily departures between the port of Piraeus in Athens and the islands of Aegina, Hydra, Poros, Agistri, and Spetses.The main ferry operators are Anes Ferries and Blue Star Ferries. You can read more about the Saronic Gulf on our online magazine, The Window Seat.
Located in the heart of the Aegean sea, these islands are famed for their blue-domed churches and tiny cobbled streets. The Cyclades include the most popular Greek island-destinations of Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, Paros, Naxos and Milos. During the summer seasons, there are multiple crossings to the large Cycladic islands from the ports of Rafina and Piraeus in Athens.. Weekly ferries are available to some of the smaller islands. These routes are operated by Blue Star Ferries, Fast Ferries and Seajets.
The Sporades are a group of scattered islands in the north-eastern Aegean sea and south of Mount Pelion. The four largest islands are Skyiathos, Skopelos, Alonissos and Skyros, while the smallest islands are uninhabited. The quickest ferry routes to the Sporades depart from the port of Volos, in the Thessaly region which is half-way up the country between the city of Athens and Thessaloniki. The port of Volos serves daily to Skyiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos. In the summer months, there are also ferry routes from Thessaloniki (the second largest city on mainland Greece) to the Sporades. Ferries are operated by Seajets, Blue Star Ferries and Anes Ferries.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands. Like all the Greek islands, it boasts stunning beaches and coastlines, but also offers the possibility to hike in the lush wilderness of the Samariá Gorge, and take in the bustling, metropolitan delights of its its capital city Heraklion.
Crete has three main ports: Heraklion, Sitia and Chania. The ferry routes departing from Athens are operated by Blue Star Ferries and Anek Superfast. The journey duration is around 9 hours, with many scheduled to run overnight so that you arrive fresh in the morning. The Omio app allows you to compare journeys, find cheap tickets and book online, quickly and easily.
The main sea ports in Spain are in Barcelona, Cadiz, Huelva and Tarifa, each offering ferries to stunning coastal cities, as well as routes between the Spanish islands in the Canaries and the Balearics. Among the most popular routes for holidaymakers and locals run from Barcelona to Alcúdia, Tarifa to Ceuta, Cadiz to Gran Canaria, Barcelona to Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife to Gran Canaria..
Fancy hopping between islands to visit the sparkling beaches of the Canary islands? Simply hop on a ferry and enjoy the ride. Hydrofoils and ferries in Spain offer a great opportunity to visit the islands and coastal towns with ease and comfort. Ferries in Spain run multiple routes through various operators including Grimladi, GNV, Balearia, Fred Olsen and TrasmedGLE. It’s simple to book with the Omio app. You’ll find the cheapest tickets, up-to-date timetables and quickest routes all in one place.
Scandinavia, consists of the historically and culturally linked “Scandia” countries Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Iceland, as well as the Faroe Islands, Greenland, and Åland. Ferries between these countries offer a unique view of the spectacular landscapes which are celebrated by the locals and tourists alike. The main ports are Helsinki and Turku in Finland; Stockholm, Varberg, Kristianstad and Gothenburgh in Sweden; and Grenaa and Frederikshavn in Denmark.
There is no better way to appreciate the beauty and history of Scandanivia than by boat. You can visit the fjords, steep-cut valleys shaped by ancient glaciers, or explore the ancient port city of Gothenburg. Popular ferry routes between Scandinavian countries include: Ferry routes in Scandinavia are operated by DFDS, Stena Line and Viking Line. Ferry Friederikshavn to Gothenburg, Ferry Stockholm to Paldilski, and Grenaa to Varberg.
The island of Ireland is just a stone’s throw away from the UK with ferry routes going into the ports of Dublin, Rosslare, Belfast and Larne. Among the most popular routes to Northern Ireland are from the Scottish town of Ferry Cairnryan to Belfast, and Ferry Cairnryan to Larne. Other routes to the Republic of Ireland include Ferry Liverpool to Dublin, Ferry Holyhead to Dublin and Ferry Fishguard to Rosslare. It’s also possible to take a direct ferry from France and Ireland between Cherbourg and Rosslare.
Whether you’re eager to explore the city of Belfast where the HMS Titanic was built, or keen to hear some Irish music in Dublin’s famous Temple Bar, there’s no better introduction to Ireland than through its rugged coastlines. Ferries to Ireland are served by Stena Line which operate routes from England, Scotland, Wales and France. Using the Omio app you can book tickets, compare prices and timetables to find the best ferry journey to Ireland.
Omio has teamed up with some of the top ferry and hydrofoil operators in Europe to cover more than 700 ferry routes. Ferry and hydrofoil operators vary in size, from smaller regional operators to larger vessels which travel internationally. Omio works with ferry partners in Italy, Spain, Greece, Scandinavia, Ireland and the UK to bring you the best options for journeys, tickets, and up-to-date timetables.
The best way to secure a cheap ferry ticket is to book early. With Omio, you’ll be able to compare ferries with trains, buses and flights and find the most convenient option for your next trip. Bear in mind, that in some places ferries operate seasonally and offer more frequent services during the summer months. You can check the latest timetables and schedules using the Omio app. Omio makes booking ferry tickets hassle-free; just jump on board and enjoy a smooth journey across the sea.