Independent Travel in Greece

Old May 20th, 1997, 04:19 PM
  #1  
Sandy
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Independent Travel in Greece

Does anyone have experience using the ferry system? I'm wondering how many islands I could cover in a 2-week vacation and stil have relaxing vacation. Would a cruise be more practical?
 
Old May 21st, 1997, 10:21 AM
  #2  
Lanny
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I did an 8 day 7 night cruise in the Greek Islands. The pluses include the fact you have a guaranteed bedroom, all meals, and transport to a variety of islands. The negatives are the fact your itinerary is set by someone else, and you usually have to buy a separate tour package for the shore portion of your trip to see the sights once you hit the island you are dropped at. Also, time on each of the islands is exasperatingly short. To give you an idea of available time, the ship I was on (an Epirotiki ship) only stayed at one island, Rhodes, for the whole "day". By day I mean the time between about 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. On other days the time ashore on an island was much less generous. Consider the fact we did Santorini in the morning and Crete in the afternoon and were under sail by 6 p.m. and you will realize just how little you get to see or do. You simply do not get a real chance to enjoy the wonderful archaelogical site on Santorini, plus the ambience of the fabulous villages on the island, as well as the excavation at Gnossos and the incredible museum at Herkalion if you attempt to "do" all these things between 8 and 4 in a single day! In fact, you will find the experience heartbreaking, especially when you realize you may never again get back that way again. As another example, one day we did three islands in a single day -- this grouping included Mykonos, which I had waited a lifetime to see! A cruise is an ideal way to sample a few islands if you really don't know what would interest you for a longer period and you know that in future you will go back to the area and spend more quality time in the places you found of most interest. It is not a way to get to know and enjoy any island. Having done one cruise I can assure you that on my next trip to Greece, planned for September 1998, my plans include lots of ferries -- from Piraeus Athens) to Kos, and the other islands I really want to return to and spend time on: Santorini and Crete. If I were you I would get all the literature I could get my hands on from Greek tourism offices and go through it carefully. Then pick three islands for the two week period you have planned and divide your time amongst them. (Some tours I have seen going from Canada actually have such an itinerary). Some advice from one who has been there: DO NOT miss either Santorini or Crete. You can probably live without Mykonos (over-priced, terribly trendy with the social set in Europe and consequently absent much of its past charm) especially since Santorini and the villages there are at least as pretty as Mykonos.
 
Old Jun 20th, 1997, 10:49 AM
  #3  
RONALD DOBRYDNIO
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YOU CAN TRAVEL FROM ISLAND TO ISLAND EASILY USING THE NUMEROUS OPTIONS FOR WATER TRAVEL IN GREECE. I WOULD SUGGEST YOU SET YOUR GENERAL ITINERARY THEN PLAY IT BY EAR AT EACH STOP. THE MICHELIN GUIDE TO GREECE IDENTIFIES SOME OF THE BEST ISLANDS. CORFU ON THE WEST COAST IS INTERESTING AND THE SANDY BEACHES ARE ON THE WEST SIDE OF THAT ISLAND. THE GREEK ISLANDS HAVE LOTS OF STONY BEACHES WHICH I FIND DISAGREEABLE BUT OTHERS SEEM TO HAVE NO PROBLEM.
 
Old Jul 7th, 1997, 12:17 PM
  #4  
jenn
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Hello! I backpacked thru europe 2 years ago. When I was in Greece I purchased a cruise package from a travel shop there which was somewhat like a Eurail Pass. The one I bought was one maybe 10 days and you had your choice of hopping on the ferries at your will. I am not sure if you can purchase these passes here. Also, the package I bought was supereconomy. I had to sleep on the deck if I took a ferry overnight. I'm not sure if you are going budget or looking for luxury. Good luck!!!!
 
Old Jul 8th, 1997, 11:15 AM
  #5  
Debbie Seris
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Don't do too many islands or you will get worn out. Pick two islands that have plenty to do. I highly recommend Santorini and Crete. In Santorini, stay in Oia. This view is breathtaking and great restaurants on the cliff. (Much more peaceful than Fira). If you prefer more action stay in Fira, but Oia is only 20 minutes away. Crete is such a big island you might needmore days to explore. Stay in Chania. Once you get back to Athens and you still have some time and energy you can always do an island close by like Hydra or Spetses (which are very charming and you can do in two days each).
 

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