May island ferry travel

Old Dec 28th, 2005, 02:55 PM
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May island ferry travel

Thanks to the informative conversations here I've done my homework and have a good idea of what we want to see and do. I am stuck on ferry transport, and hope someone knows the answer.

We will arrive in Athens May 7 depart May 20.
We would like to fly directly to Santorini the day we arrive in Athens. Spend 5-6 days and take the ferry to Naxos or Paros for 3 days and then ferry to Athens.

However, the travel agent recommends taking the ferry TO the islands and fly back because there may be a problem at that time of year going from Santorini to another island by ferry. Is that right? Sounds like the ferry only goes in one direction... stops at islands, ends at Santorini and from there to Athens?

I understand the importance of getting to Athens in plenty of time before our plane home.. to allow for bad weather, and changing ferry schedules. We can leave 4 days at the end for Athens shopping and touring.
I am just frustrated at having to go through the Athens airport 3 times using his suggested route.

Also, any advice about car rentals, parking, visiting wineries etc by car?
Fishshe is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2005, 03:18 PM
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The main operators to Thira/Santorini are Blue Star Ferries (www.bluestarferries.com) and Hellenic Seaways (www.hellenicseaways.gr). Neither will have schedules for next May yet, but the ships normally call at Paros and Naxos en route to and from Santorini, and I can't see why this is likely to change. Where is this travel agent who's given dubious advice?
GeoffHamer is offline  
Old Dec 28th, 2005, 03:35 PM
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The info came from a highly recommended Greek agency. He was talking about connecting between Mykonos and Santorini... perhaps the ferry concern only applies to that. We aren't much interested in nightlife etc. so we would change to Naxos or Paros which sound more appealing. We especially want to avoid hitting Athens twice... so little time so much to see ~
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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 05:14 PM
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The only direct connection between Mykonos and Santorini is the Hellenic Seaways Express Catamaran, and in May that schedule will be set for 5 days/ week (both directions), at least that's the way it's been in the past. There are daily car/passenger ferries from Piraeus that stop at Paros, Naxos, Ios and Santorini. You can also take a ferry from Paros to Mykonos and pick up another ferry either back to Piraeus or to Rafina (and then a bus to Athens). Have no fear, you will be able to get back to Athens one way or another. Also if you're in a jam you can catch a plane to Athens from Mykonos, Santorini, Paros or Naxos.

If you're going to try do it by ferry, it's always a good idea to give yourself an extra day at the end in case of delays or breakdowns. Perhaps that's the reason for the suggestion to fly back instead of taking the ferry. Personally, I'd fly both ways.
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Old Dec 28th, 2005, 06:29 PM
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Your travel agent does not seem to be well informed. Connections from Santorini to Paros or Naxos are around 2x/day in May. Connections to Mykonos are less frequent but there are a number of alternatives, a direct ferry/cat a few times a week or go to Paros and change there, also there is a small ferry sometimes from Naoussa (Paros) to Mykonos.
It would be useful to take the ferry to Santorini, the reason is you will get a look at Paros and Naxos on the way and the approach to the port of Santorini is more scenic than the flight to the airport.
BlueStar ferries have surprisingly published their ferry schedules up to October 2006
Retsina is offline  
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