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Athens > Santorini > Amorgos > Naxos > Athens: which order?

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Jun 26th, 2013, 10:51 AM
  #1
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Athens > Santorini > Amorgos > Naxos > Athens: which order?

I've researched locations, distances, ferries, planes, etc. and haven't yet come up with what I'm after. Essentially, I'm just trying to sort–based on ease of travel, airport v. ferry, etc.–whether we should start or end with Santorini. Right now, this is how I'm proposing we island hop:
Athens > Santorini > Amorgos > Naxos > Athens

We're flying in from NYC, so I thought another flight (versus getting on a ferry in Athens) would be the best best). Would be grateful for any insight.

Thank you!
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Jun 26th, 2013, 11:33 AM
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I would fly directly to Santorini upon arrival in Athens. When are you travelling? Until early September there is a sea jet most days directly to Amorgos (Katapola) from Santorini. One day a week (Sundays) Express Skopelitis goes from Santorini to Amorgos, but I'm not sure how late in the season it runs that schedule. Other than that, you would have to go from Santorini to Naxos and catch Express Skopelitis or Blue Star to Amorgos from there.

Another option would be to wait in Athens for the 5:30 pm Blue Star from Piraeus, which stops at both Naxos and Amorgos, but it arrives on the latter at the ungodly hour of 1 or 2 am. Either way, I wouldn't save Amorgos for last. My order would be exactly as you stated: Athens > Santorini > Amorgos > Naxos > Athens.
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Jun 26th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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Thanks so much! I'm actually planning for this time next year–nuts, I know; crazy job.

I think we will likely fly from Athens to Santorini (again, hoping it's just easier to hang in the airport). Re: the Santorini > Amorgos run, how long would the Sea Jet take? Any advice on how best to easily book ferry tickets? I expect mid-June through.

Below are potential f days. I fear adding another island will render us travel-weary, not relaxed, and bordering on being the Ugly Americans. Plus, I want a day or so in Athens to sniff around. We like to settle in and explore a bit when we travel. Any thoughts?

SANTORINI
Arrive: Friday, June 14
Leave for Amorgos: Monday, June 17

AMORGOS
Arrive: Monday, June 17
Leave for Naxos: Sunday, June 23

NAXOS
Arrive: Sunday June 23
Leave for Athens:Friday June 28
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Jun 26th, 2013, 01:57 PM
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The sea jet from Santorini to Amorgos takes only 1 hour (you can check this year's timetable on www.gtp.gr). Next year may be different, though, as Sea Jets Consortium is prone to change its schedule. The traditional way to get to Amorgos is from Naxos on the 2 pm Express Skopelitis, or late in the evening on Blue Star, but that will take most of the day in travel.

With two weeks for the islands I think three is about right. If you do wish to see another, there are day trips from Naxos to Delos and Mykonos, a half day on each. Delos is an uninhabited island with a spectacular archaeological site, well worth seeing if you have a chance. Check out my Delos photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/heimdal...7627791957268/.

Athens is worth more than a day, IMO. I've been there several times, and still have much yet to see.
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Jun 26th, 2013, 03:29 PM
  #5
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Thanks so much (again)! Agree on seeing more of Athens, but I don't want to leave a big, hot city and spend a week in another big, hot city–more of Athens will have to wait until another trip.

And fantastic photos–thanks for sharing.
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Aug 13th, 2013, 08:04 AM
  #6
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If you're game, have a couple more questions:

I always book my own travel–save for French Polynesia, where using an agent was recommend for the inter-island hops. But the ferry system in Greece has me a little hesitant. Would you recommend using an agent for ferry/flights?

Also, I was thinking of flying from Naxos to Athens. Any insight on that? I think we would prefer it to a full-day ferry ride.

Thank you!

SANTORINI (fly to Thira from Athens)
Arrive: Friday, June 14
Leave for Amorgos: Monday, June 17

AMORGOS (ferry from Thira to Amorgos)
Arrive: Monday, June 17
Leave for Naxos: Sunday, June 23

NAXOS (ferry from Amorgos to Naxos)
Arrive: Sunday June 23
Leave for Athens:Friday June 28 <--Flight?
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Aug 13th, 2013, 10:04 AM
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If you are talking about June 2014 you've got your days of the week wrong. June 14th is a Saturday, etc.

There is no need to use an agent for booking ferries and flights in Greece. At any rate, no one, including the agents, will know the summer 2014 timetables until sometime next spring. You itinerary looks fine as long as Sea Jets Consortium, the company that operates catamarans between Santorini and Amorgos has the same route next year. If not, you may have to go from Santorini to Naxos and transfer to another ferry to Amorgos from there, as I wrote in my first reply.

The flights between Naxos and Athens take only about 35 minutes, so it's a timesaver over the ferry. Naxos has a short runway, and Olympic Air provides flights on 37 pax Dash 8-100 turboprops. They are a very safe aircraft and I enjoy flying on them. That said, with ferries you just hop on and hop off with no check in or wait for luggage, and Piraeus is closer to central Athens than the airport. If there is an Hellenic Seaways highspeed running that day it takes only 4 hours, which is not much longer than the overall time it would take to check in at Naxos and arrive in central Athens.

Now my advice to you is: don't be in a rush to plan the trip to the very last detail. Book your Santorini flight and hotel when you can, but for Amorgos and Naxos you have plenty of time. In fact, many island hotels don't take summer bookings until after the New Year. Some don't even answer their emails in the autumn after the hotel closes for the winter. You have a workable itinerary, and you can even wait until arriving in Greece to book the ferries.
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Aug 14th, 2013, 05:19 AM
  #8
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Thanks so much. And I did realize the dates were off; good catch!

One question–any intel on how best to book the Athens>>Santorini flight? Meaning, is Olympic Air the standard/best carrier, any tips on transferring from an international flight to a domestic, etc.?

And thank you for the reminder to not over-plan and allow some spontaneity
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Aug 14th, 2013, 05:53 AM
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Currently there are two airlines flying from Athens to Santorini: http://en.aegeanair.com and https://www.olympicair.com/en. One is as good as the other, so just look for the flight that best fits your arrival in Athens — 2-3 hours layover is ideal. If you sign up for their online newsletters you will get emails alerting you of seat sales. Another contributor, brotherleelove, follows the sales closer than me, so he may be able to tell you when they are most likely to occur for your June trip.

Transferring from international to domestic flights at Athens Airport is a breeze. There is only one terminal, and it's fairly small by international standards. Arrivals is on the lower level, and as you walk to the escalators to the Departures level you will pass by several ATMs where you can buy some euros. If you are flying into Athens from the US or from outside the Schengen zone you will pass through passport control, which is usually fairly quick. When you've picked up your luggage you simply walk through the customs green door (unless you have something to declare) and there is no waiting.

Departures is on the second level, and that's where you go to check in for the Santorini flight. If you print out your boarding passes before leaving home all you have to do is leave your bags at a special drop off point where they will be tagged. There are many shops and cafes on the Departures level. Security is at the individual gates, so if you are carrying any liquids you will have to put them in your checked luggage before leaving them at the drop off point. Inside the security check will be a small kiosk where you can buy drinks and snacks.
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Aug 14th, 2013, 08:36 AM
  #10
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PERFECT! It's having those little details that takes the stress out of travel. Thank you!
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