Greek Islands--help

Jan 12th, 2004, 11:31 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 80
Greek Islands--help

We are planning a trip to Greece either early June or mid Sept. I have not yet been to greece so planning to spend 2 days in Athens then want to see the islands. Will have only 6 days total in Greece, what islands should we not miss? I hear Santorini is amazing.

Also--where do we take the ferry from Athens to the islands? How long is the travel time b/w Athens and the islands?

would appreciate feedback--thanks!
daisy88 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 12:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Hello daisy88,

first of all the Athens' ferry port is in Piraeus, 6 miles south of the city center.
Information about how to get there from the city you'll find in the Athens miniguide (click on destinations at
- and information on the ferries to each island you'll find in the miniguide Cyclades.

Having only six days alltogether you may want to take a look at domestic flights with Olympic Airways.

I'm sure you'll be told by others that six days is too short a time to do anything but Athens and Santorini - if that's the most important island to you.
How about doing a daytrip to Agina or booking one of the 3-islands-cruises (Agina, Hydra, Poros) for a day (about 75 EUR including lunch, says my guide book)? Then ferry to Santorini and fly back?

Kascha912 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 12:27 AM
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There are so many islands, and most are worth visiting for one reason or another. Santorini ("Thira" in Greek) is amazing, but the journey is the best part of a day or overnight. Ferries go from the port of Pireas which can be reached from Athena by metro. The main ferry operators for Santorini are and It's best to go to the islands first and leave Athena till your return, in case bad weather disrupts ferries and leaves you stranded on an island for a day. Nearer options are Aiyina which is pleasant island only an hour of so from Pireas or Idra ("Hydra") which is beautiful and can be done as a day trip or as an overnight stop.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 12:51 AM
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I am sorry but I have to disagree with the previous posters.If you have only 6 days ,you must avoid HYDRA.I am greek and i can say that there are at least 20 greek islands better than hydra.SANTORINI is the best of them in my opinion.
sakis is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 01:27 AM
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To get to Santorini by ferry you must bear in mind that this is a 8 to 10 hours trip from Pireas so flying might be a better option. You can do day trips from Santorini to another island such as Crete, Folegandros or Naxos if you want to get a bit of the ferry experience.

I also agree that you save the last two days for Athens.
miko is offline  
Jan 13th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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Santorini is amazing! We spent 3 weeks in Greece this past September and we flew to Santorini (mainly because I don't like boats). With only 6 days, definitely fly if you plan to go there, it was only a 15-minute flight. We spent 6 days on Santorini alone....and personally, I could have stayed longer - we just loved it!
MAS16 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 12:31 AM
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Thanks so much for your replies. So if I am staying 6 days in Greece, you mean it is better to just arrive in Athens, immediately get a connecting flight to Santorini (8 hr ferry ride to tiring)? Do I spend 3 days in Santorini then ferry to nearby islands--which ones (how long the ferry ride?), pls suggest which other islands i can stay overnight and which are possible as day trips--given the short time.

Also- is travelling to Greece in July a stupid idea with the Olympics and all? Or should I just wait for Sept?

daisy88 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 02:16 AM
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Yes, get a connecting flight to Santorini once you arrive in Athens, spend four to five days in Santorini (enough, in my opinion)and do day trips from Santorini to any of the close-by islands. Do a search on "flying dolphins" and you will get the approximate time between islands. My friends tell me it's about one hour and a half between Santorini and Crete, for example. The reason you may want to do Athens at the end is due to the possible delays of both ferries and flights. We were supposed to arrive back in Athens at 8:00 PM and it was 11:00 PM instead because of the high seas.

I would chose September over July for all possible reasons: costs, avoiding mass tourism, heat, etc. We went in July last year and walking on the narrow alleys of Santorini sometimes felt like peak times in a big city.
miko is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 09:21 AM
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Early June is the Perfect time to go to Santorini, but this year avoid July at all costs. September would be much better than July. The weather is lovely, not too hot, and it's not too crowded to enjoy. The beautiful village of Oia is the place to go. I agree that you should fly there from Athens when you first arrive, so as to not waste too much time on the long ferry ride. Then if you want to island hop you can catch a morning ferry to Naxos or Ios and have a look around and return on the afternoon ferry. Or, if you do choose to take the ferry to Santorini from Piraeus, you'll be making stops at different islands along the way so you can decide then if you want to return for a closer look. If you want to see Crete you'll have to take the afternoon ferry from Santorini and spend the night, then return in the morning.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 10:13 AM
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Many great inputs!

I just want to add that Santorini is absolutely magical. I wanted to get married there, but for the "family" had a fun wedding in my husband's hometown (Boulder, CO).
No, we did not honeymoon in Santorini either (went to Bora-Bora instead).

FINALLY, in 1999, we made it to Santorini. I just absolutely died and went to heaven!!!
(We also went back in 2002).

I agree with other Fodorites you should stay in Oia village (we've stayed at Esperas and Perivolas. Katikies is another great place but it was always booked).

Best time to go is October: no crowds!, you can walk the little winding streets without bumping into people.

At a cafe overlooking the caldera, we witnessed a Japanese couple's wedding.
I kept thinking: that's exactly what I had in mind!!
mistik321 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 11:25 AM
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mistik321 - We were married on Santorini at sunset - it was beautiful! Our ceremony was at Selene in Fira. Your honeymoon must have been fabulous! We would love to visit Bora Bora someday, what a dream vacation.
MAS16 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2004, 11:56 AM
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My husband and I had 10 days in Greece last September...We spent the first 2 in Athens..Took the high speed ferry to Santorini for 6 nights and then flew back to Athens for a couple more nights..It was awesome..We loved Santorini and are so glad that we spent our whole 6 nights instead of island hopping..
The high speed ferry was only 4 hours..It was called Hellas Flying Dolphins Highspeed 3..This way we got the excitement of arriving by ferry but leaving the island quickly..We booked everything from a company called Fantasy Travel in Athens..The trip was flawless.
TracyB is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 09:56 AM
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Good pick for Santorini. This is a must. We went to Athens(wonderful but asthmatics please bring inhalers),Napleon which was incredible, Mykonos( I could have skipped it) and Santorini (oh by goodnes..heaven on earth!) corrinth is nice too .
robbiegirl is offline  

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