Best Way to see Greek Islands?

Old Apr 16th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Best Way to see Greek Islands?

Hi, My husband and I are planning a trip to te Greek islands this summer/fall. We are debating over taking a cruise? Although it would be convenient since we wouldn't have to pay for flights connections, I feel the stopping time at the islands is too short. Sometimes it is only a few hours.

How long to do need on islands such as Santorini and Mykonos? Is it better to fly out to Athens and then take a ferry. That way we can stay on the islands at night, rather get back on the Cruise liner.

What do most people do? PLease advise. thanks!
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 01:22 PM
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It's totally up to what you want out of your trip, how much time you have and how you like to travel. Flying into Athens then flying on to Santorini or Mykonos is a good idea, then you can take the ferry to any of several different islands in the area and enjoy that experience. You can also take the ferry from Athens/Piraeus to Mykonos or Santorini. If you want to experience the full effect of the approach to Santorini by boat this is the way to go. The ferries are large and comfortable, and the Hellas Flying Dolphins are twice as fast as the car ferries.

Taking a cruise ship limits you to so little time at each stop you won't really have a chance to relax and enjoy these wonderful islands. By far, most people travel independently of the cruises. It's easy, fun and inexpensive, but because of the summer rush in August combined with the Olympics you might want to alter your plans to start your vacation after the first of September, when the Games are finished and many people have gone back home. Before that there will be chaos in Athens and the islands are always busy until the end of August anyway.
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 01:24 PM
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The cheapest flights from Athens out to the islands will be on Aegean Airlines, and you can purchase e-tickets online, which makes it very convenient.

http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/index.asp
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 04:38 PM
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Most people, virtually all, use the ferries to travel thru the islands. At least a few days on each island is necessary to relax and absorb the ambience. As has been said it is best to avoid August particularly this year for obvious reasons.
 
Old Apr 16th, 2004, 08:58 PM
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How long per island depends on how long you have in total. Many people from the UK would go for a short break to just one island for a week (or two). Which island depends on your interests - beach, culture, etc. Having said all that - Santorini 4 days, min; Mykonos less.

imho, the only way to travel the Greek Islands is by ferry.
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Old Apr 16th, 2004, 10:09 PM
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I agree with Alice..how long you spend depends on total time you want to indulge. If you have only a short time and want to see several of the "major" places a cruise might be better for you; if you have more time then doing so by ferry or air might be better.
I'm sorry there is no "best" way that fits everyone despite what some have said...it is circumstantial.
You may have already answered your own question since you've obviously already decided that a cruise wouldn't give you enough time in each place..guess that depends on how much time you think you need. But at this point I think you might start planning on doing it on your own and not on a cruise given your present mindset.
 
Old Apr 17th, 2004, 03:12 AM
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A few years ago in Greece we flew from Athens to Mykonos (30 min flight) then by catamaran to Naxos then catamaran to Santorini then flew back to Athens (30 mins). This suited us as we had a taste of the boat travel between islands but didn't spend hours and hours on the long journeys, the flights were quick and easy. I would say 3 days minimum on each island. We bumped into a friend on Santorini who was on a cruise and he only had 2 hours on the island. We had 4 days and still didn't see everything we wanted to.
BTW, catamarans are roughly twice the cost of ferries and twice as fast.
Kay
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Old Apr 17th, 2004, 03:15 AM
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I should have made it clearer, we had 4 days each on Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini. Also, the island of Delos is well worth the visit, a short ferry ride from Mykonos.
Kay
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 01:12 PM
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Hello hawaiihoneymoon:

Congratulations!

I will share with you what we did.

Our wedding was MAJOR and became a full time job so I got professional help with our 6 week honeymoon to Greece...

In between wedding stuff I read Fodors, Frommers, Eyewitness, DK BOOKS and as many magazine articles on Greece as I could.

From that I selected the following Greek destinations: Athens, Santorini, Crete, Kykonos, Corfu, The Peleoponnese(sp),Mykonos, Skiathos and Hydra, Paros and some other small-day trip islands.

I specified that I wanted no less than 3 nights at each place and that I wanted 4 nights in Mykonos which I also wanted in the middle of our honeymoon.

I also specified that I wanted 5 nights in The Peleoponnese.
I wanted moderate to some splurge hotels.

We had a FABULOUS Honeymoon with all that we wanted and more. We did fly in between the Islands which was not that expensive...we were not sure about the seas being rough or not and we were able to use our travel time in different ways by flying. We had a few ferries and the waters were just fine.

Our hotels were EXCELLENT...actually we had what would be the equal to a B&B in some places.

Being a newlywed in Greece is next to being a star. We were greeted by whole families, baskets of fruits, cheeses, bread and wine throughout our stay.

My darling hubby surprised me and added two more weeks so that we could spend time in Turkey!

I will gladly give you specific details should you wish but at a minimum I implore you to read a little about the Islands and select a few that YOU want to visit.

A friend of ours raged about Mykonos and after my research I said sure...my DH absolutely did not like Myk. It is one big party like in the SF Castro, P-Town on the Cape or Ibiza in SPain.
I LOVED it and have been back with my wild girlfriends.

Other places people said oh, stay 7 days and so on...well, everybody travels so differently and many will say...Oh, you are doing too much...You are going to be tired after the weding and on and on...the plane ride is LONG so,do YOUR thing!

Our itinery was said to be too much by some...some, who had never even been and who have still not gone...be careful and only listen to those who know you, love you and care about you and your husband to be.

Again, Congratulations and Happy Planning!

For additional honeymoon and wedding support go to tietheknot.com if you want.

Oaktown Traveler
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Old Apr 18th, 2004, 01:18 PM
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sorry...kykonos is my typing mistake.
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 09:57 AM
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Hi - thank you everyone for all your responses! I think there is some confusion about this being our honeymoon - we actually already are married went to hawaii (maui and Oahu) for our honeymoon - hence the username. This is our summer trip we are planning for this year. Anyway - from the sounds of it, a cruise is definitely OUT. I am not to fond of sitting in a ship all day not being able to explore. And only to find, that when we do get out - it is only for a few hours. We are both the type of people that would love to explore and absorb our surroundings - rather than have a simple excursion of a few hours.

My next question then is - how much are the ferry trips to Mykonos and Santorini. And how long do they typically take?

Also, what are some "MUST DO's" while on the 2 islands?
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Old Apr 21st, 2004, 10:22 AM
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I don't know the current fares from Athens/Piraeus to Santorini and Mykonos, but here's a link to the Hellas Flying Dolphin website that shows the fares and timetables between the two as well as to other islands on the same route:

http://www.greekislands.gr/hfd/

The Flying Dolphins are much faster than the car ferries, about twice as fast.

Santorini has 2 archaeological sites, and they're definitely worth the effort (especially Akrotiri). Fira is great for shopping, Kamari Beach great for the beach, and Oia for the sunsets. Stay along the rim of the caldera for the most spectacular views. There are a couple of wineries for winetasting.
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