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Greek Island Hopping - Ionian vs Aegean. Which islands to combine and why!

Greek Island Hopping - Ionian vs Aegean. Which islands to combine and why!

Old Nov 6th, 2017, 04:53 AM
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Greek Island Hopping - Ionian vs Aegean. Which islands to combine and why!

Hello everyone!

I am practically in love with Greece, especially with the Greek Islands. I do like the mainland as well, but since summer is the most convenient time for me to visit this earthly paradise, I usually choose to see the islands. Until now I would choose the island of my preference and spend there a week or so. In between, I'd try a daily cruise to see some other destination close by or some of the remote beaches that can be reached only by boat. I've tried Greek Island Hopping twice until now and I was wondering about the experiences that other visitors (or even locals) had!

So, let's discuss a bit about:

1) Which Greek Islands can be better combined when you choose to try Greek Island Hopping?
2) Are there any special circumstances that make you choose the Aegean Sea over the Ionian (or vice versa) ? Convince us otherwise
3) Which Greek Island would you choose as your base for your Greek Island Hopping experience?
4) Must see destinations on the itinerary that you suggest...
5) Savvy tips for an affordable vacation, since you'll want to see and do plenty in so little time.

Looking forward to your answers. I am enthused to plan next year's holidays. I've seen most of the Cyclades and I would gladly visit many of the islands for a second and third time. Talking about the Greek Islands brings back beautiful memories...

p.s. The Greek Islands I love most are Santorini, Paros, Crete, Amorgos, Lefkada, Skiathos, Chios, Lesvos. Not looking for something fancy, just the best way to combine as much as I can in one visit!
anniesweetiepie82 is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2017, 06:27 AM
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1) There are many possible combinations in the Cyclades and Dodecanese, something for everyone's taste. It's not always possible to go directly from island A to B, so you need to look at the ferry routes to see what works best. This ferry map will give you an idea: https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f2/f5...b2553e8ed8.jpg

2) Island hopping by ferry is easier in the Aegean Sea, because it has the most ferries. In the Ionian sometimes you have to go back to the mainland and take a bus to get from one island to another.

3) I wouldn't choose any one island as a base, which would mean backtracking each day. It's better to plan a linear route from one island to another. Spend at least 3 nights on each island.

4 & 5) Best to read a guidebook when you've narrowed down your choices.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2017, 08:14 AM
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I agree with the above poster. It's a lot easier to combine islands in the Aegean rather than the Ionian Sea.

Still you may find something like Corfu you can combine with Paxos, a more laid back island giving you a nice combination of touristy and non-touristy islands. Obviously when you go makes a difference in tourism level.
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Old Nov 6th, 2017, 01:19 PM
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Hi,
1) Some areas are easier than others due to distances, frequencies of ferries etc.
2) You just choose an area. The flights available from your country maybe a factor.
3) Bases don't work, apart from a few small exceptions e.g. Mykonos Delos, Paros Antiparos. You have to get organised on island hopping and stay on each island in turn.
4) None, again you just choose an area and do the islands in turn. Just about every island is a good choice. Must see is in the eye of the beholder, to others a must miss.
5) You need plenty of time to island hop, I take a minimum of 3 weeks. I use basic Rooms for Rent and small hotels available on all islands.

It does not sound to me like you have stayed on 'most' of the Cyclades. I have stayed on 23 Cyclades islands(1 is Dodecanese but it's easier from the Cyclades), that's all except Kea. Most several times.

The Ionion group that you have mentioned really needs to include the mainland as you need to do that to get from Corfu to the Southern islands in the group. There are now a few Corfu Kefalonia flights. It took me over 4 weeks to go from Ithaki right up to Paxos then Corfu.

The tourist business on the larger Ionion islands is direct charter flights, and package holidays, very few of those people do any island hopping. In my 4 weeks just 2 other island hoppers on a ferry or indeed intercity buses up the mainland.
Retsina is offline  
Old Nov 7th, 2017, 06:29 AM
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We have done two sailing trips in the Ionians and would highly recommend it!

You can see our pics from summer 2015 and 2016 here:

https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

https://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]

We used this company both times: https://www.activityholidaysgreece.com/

Enjoy!
jamikins is offline  
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