Best order to see islands

Old Jan 6th, 2011, 01:09 PM
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Best order to see islands

Athens and mainland trip pretty much sorted. On June 19, 2011 we will head out to Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, ending in Crete before flying back to Athens for ON before flight home on July 7, 2011. The most efficient plan I've found is to fly round trip from Athens to Rhodes ( takes 1 hr. each way on Aegean) and then head out from Athens to Mykonos to Santorini to Crete via ferries and then either fly or ferry back to Athens from Crete. I'll have to check the ferry schedule from Athens to Myknonos to coordinate with our flight back to Athens from Rhodes. What do you think? Is there a better way? Thanks.

Order:
Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete.

Thought at first to do Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete but it's a pain to fly to Rhodes from Santorini (Aegean does it but goes back to Athens from Santorini first ) and the same problem getting to Crete from Rhodes (also goes back to Athens first).
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Old Jan 6th, 2011, 01:31 PM
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Sky Express http://www.skyexpress.gr/ has direct flights between Rhodes and Crete, so that would open up the possibility of Rhodes - Crete - Santorini - Mykonos or vice-versa. They are slow to publish their timetables, but should be operating the full summer schedule by mid-June. Sky Express is a small Crete-based airline, flying mainly 19 pax turboprops. They have a strict 12.5 kg baggage allowance, which you can see at the bottom of their Terms and Condtions page.
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Old Jan 6th, 2011, 03:49 PM
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I haven't checked the actual ferry or airline websites which you'd need to do for your particular dates but how about:

Athen - fly to Mykonos
Ferry to Santorini
Ferry to Rhodes
Ferry to Crete
Fly back to Athens

or the reverse:
Athens - fly to Crete
Ferry to Rhodes
Ferry to Santorini
Ferry to Mykonos
Fly back to Athens

If you catch the ferry to Santorini it does take longer but you have the chance to see the wonderful views of the island as the ferry draws near. You won't see this by plane and in a catamaran (twice as expensive as the ferry and twice as fast) you are inside so won't see much at all. Also if you have time on Rhodes, take a day trip to Symi. It's a beautiful island and very different from Rhodes.

Kay
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Old Jan 6th, 2011, 05:08 PM
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The ferry from Rhodes will arrive at Santorini after midnight, so the view will be illuminated by moonlight. The moon will be about 80% full on June 19. It should be beautiful.
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Old Jan 6th, 2011, 05:15 PM
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flying into Crete from Athens will be far better than flying into Mykonos. How long exactly will you be in Crete? There is a lot more to see in Crete than Mykonos and Santorini combined.

I hope you spend a lot of your time in Rhodes and Crete, as they have by far the most history of the Greek islands.

I really like Kayf's second route, almost makes me want to go now
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Old Jan 6th, 2011, 08:15 PM
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Our friends are from Crete and maintain a home in Chania. This is just the first of hopefully many other visits. Next visit we will have much more time to really soak in the Greek way of life as our friends spend 5 weeks or more at a time in Crete. Mykonos and Santorini are for down time after a hectic month in Egypt. Crete is for some local celebrations with our friends-wedding, christening. Unfortunately this time we only have 3 nights for Rhodes. Will be in Greece from June 8th until July 7th. We could give up our 8 night mainland trip to spend more time in the islands but I don't know if I want to do that. Next trip would be Crete and other islands. Think we could do it up well with 5 weeks just for Crete and whatever other island/islands we want to visit. Thanks for all the info. I will be checking airlines and ferry schedules to come up with an efficient way to schedule this part of our trip.
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Old Jan 6th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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What a great trip you're going to have chris34ny! How lucky for you to have friends who will be in Chania. If you could get a flight from Crete to Rhodes or visa versa that would be great. That way you could have two flights and two ferry rides. Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes. Or the opposite all make sense if your flights work out.

The great thing about Greece, whatever islands you choose, if you choose more time on the mainland, more on the island, it'll be an awesome vacation! Enjoy it and we look forward to hearing all about it.
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Old Jan 7th, 2011, 01:46 AM
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Checking ferry/airline connections before suggesting an itinerary is essential, as ones that look good on paper can sometimes turn out to be impractical. I wouldn't contemplate a ferry between Rhodes and Crete or vice-versa unless there were no other choice, as the journey times are too long (up to 12 hours), and arrival times inconvenient.

Flying from Athens to Rhodes and then Rhodes to Crete (Sky Express) avoids two very long ferry trips. The remaining ferry rides, Crete-Santorini, and Santorini-Mykonos are comparatively short. An itinerary of Athens-Rhodes-Crete-Santorini-Mykonos-Athens or vice-versa would flow naturally, take advantage of the most efficient means of transport, and avoid backtracking. Sky Express also has other inter-island flights that could give you additional options.
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Old Jan 7th, 2011, 12:51 PM
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On TA forum Litsa replied to a post and has me rethinking my original plan. Our flight from Cairo arrives Athens June 8 at 1:30 pm. There is an Aegean Air flight to Rhodes that leaves at 2:55 pm. Don't know if that's enough time to make the Rhodes flight? We'd return to Athens on June 11-pick up our rental car, do self drive 8 nights Nafplio, Olympia, Delphi, Kalambaka, back to Athens for 3 nights, fly or ferry to Mykonos for 3 nights, ferry to Santorini for 3 nights, ferry to Crete for 8 nights, and most likely fly to Athens last night airport hotel for next day early flight back home on July 7. The Aegean airfare to Rhodes is 100 euros cheaper if we do that leg of our trip first instead of June 18 as originally planned. What do you think?? I have to decide soon as need to make hotel reservations.
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Old Jan 7th, 2011, 01:36 PM
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As long as your flight from Cairo arrives on time, you should have no problem making the 2:55pm flight to Rhodes, but it will be a tight squeeze. I'm not sure I would pay two air fares (there and back) just for three nights on Rhodes, but it's your call.
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Old Jan 8th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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