Greece: Mykonos, Ios, Santorini

Feb 16th, 2014, 08:23 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
Greece: Mykonos, Ios, Santorini

Hi everyone,

My boyfriend and I are visiting Europe this May/June and are planning to spend 9 nights on Greek Islands. We have decided on the islands of Mykonos, Ios, and Santorini but I am now facing the dilemma of how long to spend on each island. We are both young (19 and 20) and want to experience some nightlife but also nice beaches and scenery.

As of right now we have Mykonos booked for 3 nights (4 full days), Ios for 3 nights (3 full days), and Santorini for 3 nights (2 full days). I am worried we won't have enough time in Santorini and I am considering taking a night away from Mykonos or Ios. Any thoughts on the ideal time for us to spend on each island?? Also, any tips for activities and sights we shouldn't miss?

I'd appreciate any advice you could give as it is my first time visiting Greece!
caligirl93 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 08:39 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,187
Your plan sounds good. Santorini is known for it's views but not for it's beaches.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Feb 16th, 2014, 09:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 2,328
Santorini also has the less attractive nightlife compared to Ios and Mykonos. There are some clubs in Fira, but Mykonos followed by Ios are much more exciting.

It also depends on the month that you will be visiting with July and August being the busiest months of the season.

In May the nightlife won't be very exciting though.... and the water will be too cold for swimming.
clausar is online now  
Feb 16th, 2014, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
Your plan sucks.

First, you are not counting travel time. It is impossible to stay somewhere for 3 nights and have '4 full days' in that place. Ditto, 3 nights and 3 full days. Three nights and 2 full days is correct.

Every time you move including your arrival/departure day, you basically lose most at least of that day.

So If you arrive on Mykonos Day 1, that day is gone. Days 2 and 3 will be full days on the island IF you do not leave until Day 4. That's 2 full days, where do you see four?

On Day 4, if you move to Ios that day is more or less gone. It is not a day on either Mykonos OR Ios. Even if flying early morning, it's still not a full day on Ios. Days 5 and 6 are full days on Ios. Two, not three. On day 7 if you move to Santorini, that's another day NOT spent on either Ios or Santorini. A half day actaully available to do/see things on Santorini at best. Day 8 is a full day on Santorini. Day 9 is your departure day (unless there is a day 10 actually) or the day you get to your departure point if it is not Santorini.

Is there a Day 0 when you arrive in Athens and a day 10 when you depart from Athens for example that you haven't mentioned?

Next is what is a reasonable amount of time to spend in each place. That you allude to when you talk about trading a day from one to another. For my money, the minimum amount of time to spend anywhere is at least 4 nights/3 full days.

Each time you move you lose a day and do not spend it IN a place seeing/doing things. In travel as in many things, less is more. The less you move the more you see/do.

The common mistake is to pick some places first and then try to fit them into the time available. What that often results in and is the case with your plan is simply not spending enough time anywhere to really be worthwhile and wasting too much time 'in transit'.

My advice to you is to go to Mykonos (party central but the island does have other things to see do if you want to) and stay there. It's a vacation, not a marathon.
dulciusexasperis is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 11:09 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 2
I actually have accounted for travel time. We arrive in Mykonos at 6 in the morning on the first day, so yes, that does count as a vacation day. We also leave for Ios in the evening on the forth day, therefore, we have 3.75 days on Mykonos. We also leave for Santorini in the evening on the 7th day so 2.75 days on Ios (it is a 45 minute ferry ride to Santorini). We leave early in the morning on the 10th day and that is why I did not include that day in my description. Therefore, I am counting 2 full days in Santorini.
caligirl93 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 11:46 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,698
Your budget will go further on Santorini than on Mykonos and there's a lot more to see and do on Santorini. There are also a lot more options for accomodations. There is plenty of nightlife on Santorini between the beach resorts and the main village of Fira, and none of it is "less attractive" (strange choice of words). Swimming in the sea is not only possible in May but I've done it for years along with hundreds of other visitors. I suggest subtracting one day from Mykonos and adding it to Santorini.

Search for accomodations according to your needs and budget here by using the excellent filter system:
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 11:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,698
For the sake of comparison you can find videos of the various social "scenes", beachtime and nightlife, for Ios, Mykonos and Santorini on
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Feb 16th, 2014, 12:31 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Mykonos is famous for it's world class nightlife, if you are into the club scene.
Not only there are many great clubs and international DJ's playing but also regular beach parties on various beaches.

It is not a competition between islands, but being Greek and having spent many summers on all the 3 islands, i wouldn't compare the niht life of Mykonos to any other Greek island.

Yes Santorini has bars and clubs in Kamari and Perissa, but most of them are not up to the level of Mykonos, they are mostly for Northern European package tourists.

On Santorini the best clubs in my opinion are in Fira.

As for swimming during May, that is a personal thing, us Greeks find the water too cold, the average sea temperature for May is 19 C.

Brotherleelove2004, i apologize for my wording and my poor english, but please take into consideration that i have never learned english in my life, ( i was too busy learning german , italian and french) i managed to learn it by watching TV in Greece ( where films and serials are shown in their original language with Greek subtitles.)
clausar is online now  
Feb 17th, 2014, 10:10 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 1,086
Your plan still sucks in my opinion caligirl. Not enough time anywhere and time wasted moving from A to B. What for example will you do between being out of your room on Mykonos at noon and leaving the island in the evening? What clothes will you be wearing all day? You won't be going to the beach, returning for a shower, going out for dinner, returning to change for your flight to Ios. There is serious inconveniences in that. You could rent the room for another day of course and simply not sleep in it that 4th night.

I still suggest that with only 9 days you pick one or if you must two and leave it at that. I'd base which to pick on Clausar's comments.

It's your dime and your time but do bear in mind the two commonest mistakes that tourists make are packing too much and trying to see/do too much in too little time.
dulciusexasperis is offline  

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