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First Time in Greece, 9 nights middle of August

First Time in Greece, 9 nights middle of August

Old Jul 21st, 2021, 09:39 AM
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First Time in Greece, 9 nights middle of August

Hey everyone!

I知 planning a trip to Greece with some 2 other friends next month for 9 nights. It値l be all of our first trips so I need some help with the timing on everywhere we were thinking of going. We want to spend most of our time in the islands, so we were planning on taking the ferry the morning after arriving to the islands and maybe spending a night or two in Athens before our outbound flight.

We have already booked round trip out of Athens (it was way cheaper than flying direct into the islands) arriving on the night of the 11th, and leaving at night on the 20th.

We were brainstorming which islands and I think Mykonos and Santorini were the most appealing but we池e definitely open to suggestions. How long on each island do you think we should spend? Should we use one island as a base and do day trips to the other ones? Should we fly to the islands or mainly use the ferry?

Much thanks!
lhenry is offline  
Old Jul 21st, 2021, 11:54 AM
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Are you spending the night in Athens? Make sure to leave plenty of time between arrival and when either a flight to the island or ferry is to depart. Especially true for the return, especially if you are coming from overseas as opposed to somewhere else in Europe.

I much prefer a ferry, preferably a slow one over the fast ones (where you have to sit inside) - although obviously the fast ones are 'faster'.

I think Mykonos is a Covid hot spot at the moment, and both Mykonos and Santorini are crowded and expensive compared to other islands. One option is Paros and Naxos, another option is Sifnos, Milos, Fologandros. The ferry routes are not really conducive to day trips. For example Fologandros to Milos, to Sifnos are an hour each but the schedules don't usually work to day trip. I think you can do a day trip from Sifnos to Serifos though. And certainly you can do two or three days in each and move on to the next. I've done a trip where I went from Santorini, to Naxos to Paros to Athens - 2-3 days in each. Another trip Santoroini to Fologandros to Milos to Sifnos with 2-3 days in each. You could consider flying to Santorini and then making your way back to Athens by ferry stopping off at different islands.

Here's one of my trip reports - Greek Island Trip Report: Santorini, Folegandros, Milos and Sifnos in July
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 12:00 PM
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Because of Covid this year might be different, but mid August is the busiest time on the Greek Islands, with August 15th a major public holiday. Suggest you get busy and book your hotel rooms. Mykonos and Santorini are very popular, some would say too touristy. Other islands in the Cyclades you might consider are Paros, Naxos and Syros, all which have good ferry connections from Mykonos and Santorini as well as Athens.
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 12:23 PM
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Isabel and I were posting at the same time, with much the same advice. Yes, Mykonos is a Covid hotspot at the moment, with an infection rate on the 21st of nearly 3,000 per 100,000. Santorini was also high, with a rate of 810. You can see the charts on the English language Keep Talking Greece website, but the charts are written in Greek.
I agree with Isabel that day trips to other islands aren’t really practical, despite the Cyclades islands spaced close together. Some traditional excursion boats have been cancelled because of Covid this year, but Iason is still running day trips from Ag Anna on Naxos to Koufonissi, and it’s always possible to take a day trip from Paros to Antiparos.
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Old Jul 21st, 2021, 10:02 PM
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In normal times, August on the islands is extremely busy and very hot. Whether it will be as busy this year I don't know but it will most certainly be hot. Take hats, sunscreen etc. Also book ahead your accommodation.

As mentioned above, day trips are not usually practical but we enjoyed a day trip by ferry from Rhodes to Symi. Both islands are great, Rhodes particularly is full of history. You can also visit Delos from Mykonos. We did a half day trip. Delos is uninhabited and interesting, though very little shade at the historic sites so be prepared.

We prefer the ferries to flying but it would save time if you flew into Athens, then flew out the same day to one of the islands. Make sure you allow enough time between the two flights. Post back here if that's what you intend and someone will know how many hours to recommend. You can do ferries after that, between islands. Double check ferry times once you are there, in case of changes.

I'd say allow three nights minimum on each island, that gives you two full days. Santorini has stunning views, Mykonos is incredibly picturesque (but as noted above not a good choice this year), Naxos is bigger and we enjoyed it. Folegandros is quiet and romantic, Hydra has no vehicles (donkeys or walk) so a bit different, didn't enjoy Milos that much. Crete has a lot to offer and is a large island so you could spend the whole trip there and move from town to town on the island. Check out Chania which is lovely. On our first trip we stayed on Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini which are all in the same ferry grouping. Greece is such a lovely place, enjoy your trip.

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Old Jul 24th, 2021, 08:17 AM
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GOOD luck on finding somewhere to stay!! You have chosen THE busiest week of the entire summer (Greece's 2nd biggest holiday of the entire year is Aug 15 & the week before & after this are super-busy because Greeks as well as foreign tourists rush to islands). I'd be surprised if you could get a flght to Santorini on y our arrival day, but fingers x'd -- y ou are VERY late in planning. If no flights, then try finding a flight to Naxos or Paros, which are the nearest to Santorini, then go to Santorini from whichever island.

I would suggest only 3 days Santorini -- and 5 days in your 2nd island. to return to Athens there IS a large BLUE STAR ferry leaving Santorini @ 3:30, Naxos @ about 6 pm, Paros about 7 pm, arriving Pireaus (the port for Athens) about midnight. You will need to book tickets ahead, as soon as u know where you'll be starting from.

Myknos is not a good choice because of Covid, because of €€€€ prices, and again, bad timing in busiest period.
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