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Greek Isles ferry website?

Old Oct 27th, 2006, 04:16 PM
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Greek Isles ferry website?

Is there one ferry company that travels to all the islands? I'm looking for a website where I can check the ferry schedule to various greek islands.

Thank you!
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Old Oct 27th, 2006, 08:46 PM
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http://www.gtp.gr is the most comprehensive website for this purpose, but be advised that the timetables are only published about a month in advance.

Here are some links to a couple of the individual ferry companies and a "master" list. There are a LOT of these companies.

http://www.ferries.gr/hfd/

http://www.bluestarferries.com/ENGLISH/defaultmain.htm

http://www.greekferries.gr/

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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 08:29 AM
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Add to that list:

http://www.hellenicseaways.gr/index.asp?a_id=209

No ferry company travels to all the islands.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 08:56 AM
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Thank you! So what do you do when you're initally planning your vacation? In regards to figuring out what island to do first, second, third and last? You can plan on a ferry from one island to the next, but if it stops running your pretty much stuck... Has anyone else had this dilemma?
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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Planning a Greek Island hopping vacation is a matter of deciding which islands you want to see, and then working out a practical itinerary. The islands are scattered throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas in groups such as the Cyclades, Dodecanese, Sporades, etc.

For the average holiday it is best to stick with one island group, and pick islands on the same ferry route whenever possible, or you may have to backtrack to Piraeus.

Don't worry about the ferries stopping - the islands depend upon them for food and supplies throughout the year. The ferries aren't just for tourists, they are vital links to the mainland. Occasionally weather or industrial action briefly prevents the ferries from sailing, but that is seldom for more than a day or two. That is why most people recommend you save Athens for the end of your trip, just in case.

The Cyclades are easy to reach by ferry from Pireaus, but other island groups, such as Dodecanese, are best reached by air, unless you are on a budget and don't mind a long ferry ride. Most of the main islands in the Cyclades have airports as well, and many people prefer a 45 min flight to a 4 hr ferry.

One of the best ways to learn about ferries is to pick up a copy of Greek Island Hopping, an annual guide by Thomas Cook Publishing. It has a lot of info to help you choose your island, but is especially good for its explanation of the ferry routes and types of ships that sail on them. When you've studied it, then you can go to the websites mentioned above for specific timetables. Booking in advance is seldom necessary though, except in the high season and around certain Greek national holidays.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 01:30 PM
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Thank you Heimdall, you've answered a lot of my questions. I'll definitely get the Greek island hopping book and start with that.

I know from reading other posts that picking an island group is much easier, however my husband really wants to go to Rhodes, so we'll probably have to fly there. I'd much rather do a 45 min flight than a 5 hour ferry ride. We returned from Croatia 3 weeks ago and did a 4 hour ferry ride. I didn't like it!

Thanks again!
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 01:55 PM
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If you haven't already had a look, go to http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/ and check for cheap flights from Athens>Rhodes>Athens, then from Athens to whichever island you'd like to see next. If you do choose something in the Cyclades group you can fly to Mykonos or Santorini on Aegean and to Mykonos, Santorini, Paros and Naxos on Olympic Airways. Olympic is more expensive but covers more territory. http://www.olympicairlines.com/
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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A ferry to Rhodes would be a lot longer than four hours, so you will definitely want to fly. There are many other interesting islands in the Dodecanese, and you could have a wonderful trip by sticking to that group alone. My first trip to the Greek Islands was Kos and Nissiros, and I guess that's what got me hooked. Have fun planning.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:10 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Here is our tentative itinerary...

Athens - 2 days (last)
Naxos - 4 days
Antiparos - 2 days (kayaking)
Rhodes - 4 days

I can either add Karpathos for 2 days or add more time to Antiparos or another island. We're planning on 2 weeks.

We're kind of all over, so you can see why I have a lot of questions! This will also be our first vacation to Greece.

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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:19 PM
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We never use travel agents but did in Greece because of the ferry schedules being released so late. It was then up to them to rearrange the hotels if needed to adjust to the ferry schedules.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:26 PM
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Okay, nothing wrong with that.

Naxos and Paros (for Antiparos) both have airports served by Olympic but not Aegean. You could fly to Naxos, then take the highspeed ferry (30 min) to Paros, then another 30 min ferry to Antiparos. From there, fly back to Athens from Paros, then on to Rhodes as brotherleelove suggests.

There are three daily flights to/from Paros, but only one to/from Naxos. The planes flying into Paros are small STOLs, and can only take about 20 passengers on the return to Athens due to weight restrictions (short runway). Seats on the Paros-Athens flights fill up fast, so you should try to book your tickets as soon as Olympic releases the summer schedule next March. Tip: the morning flight from Paros to Athens leaves at 0730 in the summer, and the first ferry from Antiparos leaves at 0700, so don't book that one.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:40 PM
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BTW, those of us who fly Olympic are sitting on the edge of our seats wondering what is going to happen with the airline. The EU has ordered it to pay back subsidies it received from the Greek government, and no one knows for sure if there will even be an Olympic Airlines next summer. My guess is, it will still be around after restructuring or a takeover.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Wow! Thank you for all the great information and tips. It's been very helpful!

Let's just hope that nothing serious happens to Olympic! Living in Minneapolis, we hear about all the trouble Northwest has been in and they are still around.
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Old Oct 28th, 2006, 04:33 PM
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Let's all take up a collection and buy Olympic! We couldn't do any worse, and we'd be eligible for residence status as a business operator! Free flights for everyone!
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 01:49 AM
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Brotherleelove, I'll drink to that!

Dixieland, my family live in Eau Claire, WI, and I sometimes take the NWA flight from Gatwick to MSP, so share your concern. My last two trips home were with Icelandair, though.
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 05:28 AM
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On longer journeys such as those to Crete or Rhodes, most of the ferries sail overnight. This will actually waste less time than flying. From Pireas to Rodos, for example, you can sail in the evening with Blue Star Ferries and get to Rodos first thing the next morning. The ships generally have a good choice of cabins (all with bathrooms).
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 05:40 AM
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Geoff offers another alternative, which has the added bonus of saving a night's accommodation cost. That would work very well if you arrive at Athens in the afternoon, and wish to go straight on to Rodos (Rhodes).

When I travel to Greece from the UK, I do more or less the same thing with an overnight flight to Athens, then the early flight to Paros. I arrive on Antiparos just as the cafes are opening for breakfast, with the whole day ahead of me.

You have lots of choices when planning a trip to the Greek Islands. What works best for one destination may not be the best solution for another.
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 12:10 PM
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The feeling in Greece is that our government will not let Olympic stop. As someone who use them many many times in my life my feelings have changed. They were good but bad now.

Yesterday I fly back to the island with Olympic on there ATR42. Disgusting condition of aircraft inside and bad for visitors having these as first sight of Greece. They should have shame. But, they now have no money and it will not be improved.

In a few days all flights to Mykonos drop to two a day. One Olympic and one Aegean. I think only Aegean will have passengers as even local people change their preference.

thanos
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Old Oct 29th, 2006, 11:52 PM
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Thanos, I hope you are right about the Greek government not letting Olympic stop, but it's support of the airline is what the EU has ruled against in the first place. Now Olympic must pay back the subsidies, and doesn't have the capital to do so.

It looks to me like the best hope for Olympic is buyout or restructuring, but either way they will have to do some cost-cutting to survive. Olympic serves a lot of small destinations that other airlines won't touch, and that alone makes it worth saving, but I fear some of the less profitable runs will get the chop.

Thanos, is the reduction in flights to Mykonos just Olympic going to its winter schedule, or will that be a permanent decrease? They reduce their flights to Paros during winter from three to two, but then revert back to three in the spring.
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Old Oct 30th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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hello heimdall

It is just the winter service again. Both airlines will return to many more flights in late spring through summer and auturm.

I agree with you that Olympic do fly to islands others may not do. It is a very big problem.

I am sorry to criticise them as I grow up mostly only knowing Olympic but they must change or die. Cost cutting is begin already and this past 6 months staff refuse to work many times hoping it will make company stop reductions but there actions will not help the airline.

I know the EEC ruling as we all do here but our government is now playing games against EEC. I think only to delay Olympics fall.

I agree, I think like you that a buyout may be only answer but they have tried I think three times now to do this but not once has it happened. There were high hopes when British Airways was involved a few years ago but they lose their interest also.

You know, when I fly it is usually to Athens with our baby for hospital treatment. The Olympic crew are very kind to us and help alwyas. They don't have many smiles sometimes but they care for people and kindness when shown does not always have to come with a smile. It is those peoples I feel sorry for as they do not know day by day what will happen to their job.

thanos
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