Greek Islands...Is this too much???

Nov 5th, 2006, 01:22 AM
  #1  
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Greek Islands...Is this too much???

We'll arrive Athens early April 2007. After 5 nights in Athens we want to catch ferry to Sifnos, then on to Milos. From Milos to Santorini. We hope to fly from Santorini to Rhodes. After a few days in Rhodes catch ferry to Kos and then overnight ferry back to Athens. Maybe one night in Athens before catching bus to Patras and ferry to Corfu. We have approx a month to fill.
harcourt is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 11:17 AM
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Why, I always ask, do people start with a huge block of time in Athens?? Why not leave that to the end (to provide a time cushion in case of delays). ALSO (a big factor) you will appreciate the ancient & modern sites of Athens MUCH more after some immersion in Greek life & history.

An Aside: you do know you can't fly direct from Santorini to Rhodes don't you. YOu have to fly back to Athens & out again.

Also, don't you want to maximize warmth and even (maybe) sunbathing? My thought for you would pretty much reverse your itinerary. Examples:

WHy not start with Rhodes?? IT's the warmest sunniest island that time of year. Maybe 1 night in Athens first, maybe. You can do that overnight ferry thing ... ferries go at 4 to 6 pm, get to Rhodes next am. Take a cabin or shared cabin on Blue Star ferry(NOT the GA line).

You want Kos? it's a party island but probably dead in April.

I suggest you get those cheapo (19E+tax = 35E) Aegean tix back to Athens, then Agean again out to Santorini. You can ferry Santorini to Milos, then ferry to Sifnos and ditto back to athens.

Exact dates on ferries would depend on schedules which won't be available til Feburary. But Aegean Air will book now, and those 19E fares are too good to miss - you need some flights to make your ambitious schedule. Good luck!

A
travelerjan is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 11:50 AM
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Well, the OP was coming from New Zealand, so presumedly they want to recover from jetlag in Athens before continuing on to the islands. If you're an active sightseer, it's better to be in a city while getting over jetlag. If you're just going to lay on the beach, anywhere is good, but the beach might be a little cold that time of year. More time in Athens pushes the islands more into the better weather period.

I'm not clear where they will be returning from, but agree if ferrying into Athens for a return flight, a cushion of a day or two is advisable.

Finally to the OP, you will probably be arriving around the time of Easter (April 8). This may affect your travel plans but would be really fun also.
Mimar is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 12:23 PM
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Have you looked into the possibility of an over-night ferry between Santorini and Rhodes? It's been 15 years since I was on one, but we took one from Paros to Rhodes. We had a first class cabin that was less expensive than paying for a hotel room for the night. I'm not sure what ferries (if any) would be available, but it would be an interesting option. Of course, ferries operate based on weather. Just one more thing to consider.

I like to fly into Athens, either fly out a few hours later or spend the night, and then pad the trip at the end for a couple of nights in case of transportation problems from the islands.
luvtotravel is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 12:56 PM
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luvtotravel, I think ferry service has diminished since 15 years ago... off-season i do not believe there is any ferry between Santorini and Rhodes.

In my post I did suggest one night in Athens just to flake out--even from USA it's a long drag. I just didn't think the 5 days was optimal scheduling.
travelerjan is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 01:00 PM
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Hi Harcourt,

You cover more distance than I would personally want.

1. Check out www.gtp.gr for ferry schedules. The schedules wont be out until about 2 months before you travel, but I can say from my own research that ferries between Sifnos, Milos and Santorini were tricky enough that I cancelled my original plans to try the same sort of route.

I was trying to visualize how your trip would work - I came up with something like this...is this sort of what you had in mind??

5 nights in Athens
1 travel day to Sifnos
3 days in Sifnos
0.5 travel day to Milos
3 days in Milos
1 travel day to Santorini
4 days in Santorini
1 travel day to Rhodes
5 days in Rhodes
0.5 travel day to Kos
3 days on Kos
1 travel day to Athens
1 night in Athens
1 travel day to Corfu
5 days on Corfu

I always plan for the worst and assume travel days wont be as smooth as I would like, so I set them aside when I am working out the number of days here and there (consider, packing, unpacking, find the hotel, the transportation etc, etc).

Fly out of Corfu? You may want to leave all of Athens for the end if you are flying out of Athens.

Personally, three days per island seems a bit tight. I easily whittled away 10 days on Corfu and didn't do everything I wanted to. I think a minimum of 4 days/island is ideal, but then I don't like to feel rushed.

I would perhaps skip that transfer night in Athens and just arrange to hop off the ferry and book it for Corfu if that is your end goal.

I found 3 days in Athens plenty myself. So I would likely steal a day or two from there and flesh out your time on the islands.

Just some ideas,

Good Travels,

Murphy
murphy89 is offline  
Nov 5th, 2006, 01:07 PM
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Oh yes, I concur with Mimar as well - Easter may muck up your plans. I ended up marooned in Athens because I couldn't get a bus out of town.

Personally, I didn't find Easter in Athens particularly interesting. I understand that it can be really great in small towns as most Greeks head home for this major holiday.

Have your hotels and transportation firmly booked and confirmed around this time.

Cheers,

Murphy
murphy89 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 07:41 PM
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Thank you very much for all your good advice. We have decided to alter our itinerary a little taking into consideration your advice. Our arrival date of the 14th April remains and our 5 nights in Athens remains. We are coming from New Zealand and figure we'll be pretty tired and want some chill out time as well as time to explore the city and surrounds.
Time wise we have no tight schedule and when leaving Greece will be heading to Croatia and Italy.

Our revised tentative itinerary looks a little like this and I would be happy for opinions.

We'll take an overnight Ferry with cabin to the Island of KOS Where we'll stay 4 nights. From there we'll catch ferry onto Rhodes. We want warm weather with lots of sun hopefully. So starting furtherest south and working our way back hopefully we'll get some.

We'd like to stay 5 nights on Rhodes maybe even more. I believe you can fly from Rhodes to Santorini on SkyExpress an airline from Crete. This being the case we'll fly to SANTORINI and stay in Oia for 3 nights. But once again maybe longer depending on Ferry connection to Milos. I have been told there is one a week.
After 4 nights in Milos a ferry to Sifnos for another 4 nights and then back to Pireaus where we will skip Athens mainly and head straight to Patras for the overnight ferry to CORFU.
After 5 nights in CORFU we'll take a ferry to Bari and then another to Dubrovnik. Seems like a lot of ferry riding but also appears the easiest way of getting to south Croatia where we'll head north to Venice and begin the Italy part of our trip. Overall we're looking at spending up to 4 months in Greece, Croatia and Italy.
We are basically backpacking all this and would be very interested to hear back your views. Thanks ever so much Karen
harcourt is offline  
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