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which island to go? best way to travel?

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My boyfriend and I are flying up to Athens from Melbourne, Australia. We arrive 19th August at around midday and are allowing around 10 days (maybe a bit more as we are flexible) to see Athens and some of the Greek Islands. I have heard wonderful things about Santorini but if anyone could provide any information about other islands we should see and how many we could see?

Ideally we don't want to be island hopping every day, but if an island is only day worthy we are happy to take a day trip. We are not into partying at all and would like the steer clear of all the "touristy" kind of areas and "party" islands. We like good food and shopping and relaxing by the beach.

Also in terns of travelling between islands and Athens what is the best form of transport? Plane.. boat? I've heard the ferries can be a bit temperamental and cancelling during rough weather, do you think this will be likely during late august?

Any advise would be great, we are using the lonely planet books as our bibles but would love to hear some local information :)

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