Greek Islands

Old Dec 28th, 2008, 07:08 PM
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Greek Islands

Hello,

We are just wondering if a cruise is the best way to see the Greek Islands and we would really appreciate any opinions.

Thank you!
HalSusan is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2008, 07:28 PM
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A cruise is a good way to see the Greek islands if you have limited time, want to see a number of islands, and don't mind having just a few hours on each. On many if not most islands, you won't have time to see more than the port town, one major sight, or hit the beach. No time to explore on your own or to get a more comprehensive view of what an island has to offer.

The truly best way to see the islands is to go on your own and spend three days or more on each of a few islands (definitely more on Crete), depending on how long you have. Then you will have time to get the feel of each, to enjoy the leisurely evenings in a taverna, and to see a wider range of sights - and have time for the beach as well.

If putting this together on your own seems daunting, you can always use a reputable travel agency in Athens to put together an individual "cruise" - you take the ferry, but they have a driver meet the ferry and deliver you to your hotel, and then pick you up from the hotel and deliver you to the ferry when it's time to move on.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 07:34 PM
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I'm in the process of planning a trip to the Greek Islands as well. And in my honest opinion, the best way to see the Greek Islands is to fly into Athens then either hop a flight on Aegean Airlines/Olympic Airlines OR take a ferry down to the first island you want to visit. Then from there just use the ferry system to travel between the other islands you wish to visit. Of course you want to check how frequently ferries run between the specific islands you want to visit. Which islands are at the top of your list to see? This will make answering the question easier.

All in all, seeing the islands this way gives you more flexibility to choose how many days you want to spend on each. On cruises there is less flexibility to do what you want.
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Old Dec 28th, 2008, 09:27 PM
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Hal & Susan, the advice given you is sound. We can advise you best if you are a bit more specific -- how many days are you planning to spend (not counting travel days to/from Greece), do you have any special interests (i.e., beaches, ruins, villages, night life, shopping, cuisine etc). What's your age range/activity level. VERY importantly, what month do you plan to travel? And what's your budget (aside from RT tickets).

With some more info, we can be more helpful. For instance, if you have just 10 days, it's good to think about just going to TWO islands, enjoying them, and ending your trip with 3 days in Athens. If you have 15-16 days you can be a lot more ambitious.

If you want flexibility but feel daunted at making arrangements yourself, you can have the best of both worlds: decide on your island choices, and have a reliable Greece- based agency book hotels, ferries, car rentals and even transfers from ferry or airport to hotels ... costs more of course than doing it all yourself, but less than many a "cookie-cutter" tour and a LOT more fun!

Let us know what your interests & priorities are and we can help.
travelerjan is online now  
Old Dec 28th, 2008, 11:44 PM
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i couldnt do a tour unless i were single
OH refuses and i dont like an tours unless theyre just day trips

so much bustling and rushing!
the greek isles are easy to organise
everyone speaks english and there is a bunch of different accommodation online
know the areas you want to stay in and away you go
cheaper too!
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 04:16 AM
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Right now I am booked on a cruise that is going from Istanbul to Athens - stopping at several of the Greek Islands - it is on Oceania Nautica - it is IMO pricey. I keep waffling that maybe I just want to go on my own.

Sorry now I am going to "highjack" the thread a bit. So Travelerjan - for a two week trip - what about Santorini OR Mykonos and then Crete? I like a combination of sunning and sightseeing - want to be based where day trips are easy - either by bus (on Crete?) or by ferry day trips. I do not want to rent a car or moped! I like hotels to be around 150E per night - and we are thinking of going in May or early June. Comments? suggestions as to whether to chose Santorini or Mykonos? where to stay on Crete?

HalSusan - you might want to look at the Oceania cruise - it has alot going for it. Celebrity Solstice, I think, also had an itinerary I liked but the Oceania one includes Istanbul which is on my places I want to see list.
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Old Dec 29th, 2008, 11:40 AM
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sueC -- you say you are "Booked" on a cruise but are waffling ... if you change your mind can you get a refund?

Also, are you going as a single? First you say "I want to go on my own" and then you say "we". I've traveled with people and on my own, and in may-june (off season in Greece) you readily strike up acquaintanceships on ferries, day trips, on the beach and in cafes -- without being STUCK with people as u often are on cruises.

As for hotel rates, except for Santorini/Mykonos it is HARD to spend $150 per night on most islands ... and in almost all major islands you can see a lot without renting a car, if you plan well. If you choose Santorini, there's a way to do Mykonos via day trip from another island... E-mail me for details.
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