Athens’ main ports were packed on Saturday as hundreds of holidaymakers made their late escape to the islands, ahead of the Greek Orthodox holiday of the ?Dormition of the Mother of God? (‘Kimisis tis Theotokou’), on August 15.

On Friday, Twenty-five ships left from Piraeus, 18 from the port of Rafina and seven from Lavrio to the islands of the Saronic Gulf, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese and Crete.

Ferry companies said few tickets are left for last-minute travellers.

The Dormition of Virgin Mary coincides this year with the Roman Catholic Feast of the Assumption of Mary. The Dormition and the Assumption are different names for the same event, although the beliefs bear some differences.