Thoughts on this Greek Island itinerary

Dec 18th, 2012, 01:46 PM
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Thoughts on this Greek Island itinerary

Hi all

I am planning a 2 (and a bit) month trip to Europe and would like to have around 13 nights of this trip on the Greek Islands and a final 3 nights in Athens (from where I will fly back home to Melbourne Australia). I will be coming from the south west of Turkey (either from Kas or Fethiye, likely the latter) so will probably focus on the Cyclades islands or. The weeks are likely to be the first two weeks of October.

I am not interesting in partying though a vibrant town with some bars for a few drinks is a good thing.

My main interests would be relaxation, scenic walks/beaches and picturesque towns but this might be all a bit meaningless because that probably covers every island

I have read some information on various islands and here is my itinerary so far but obviously have not been able to read extensively on every island as there are just so many of them.

Ferry from Fethiye Turkey to Rhodes for 2 nights
Crete - 4 nights
Santorini - 3 nights
Naxos - 2 nights
Syros - 2 nights
Athens - 3 nights

Any thoughts on above itinerary? One that occurred to me was to perhaps spend 4 nights in Naxos and goto Syros on a daytrip (and possibly another island on a daytrip).

Also, given October is the start of low season (right?) is there any reliable site for ferry information for scheduling tips. I know that ferry timetables are probably not available yet but other information such as the fequency of ferries likely in low season between certain islands (eg Santorini to Naxos) would be very useful. If not, I guess its a good idea not to book hotels early due to the risk on having to change my plans to cater for the ferry situation.

PS: Before anyone saids it, yes I know seeing the Greek Islands is not seeing Greece My bro in law who is from the Pelopponese has been telling me off about this continually. I do intend to visit Greece properly, just not this time around.
Cdchi1 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2012, 03:47 PM
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I suggest you eliminate one island so you don't feel rushed.

You can go to and use their calendar function to backtrack to last October to take a look at what was available then, although you shouldn't expect the schedules to be the same next year. Santorini to Naxos is a daily ferry all year long.

Typically, schedules for next October won't be available until sometime during the summer months. Also, the ferry from Rhodes to Crete takes around 13 hours and it's only twice weekly, so you will have to plan that part of your trip carefully.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2012, 04:27 PM
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Thanks, yes I think I might stay on Naxos 4 nghts and just daytrip to Syros.

Good to hear the santorini to naxos ferry is daily (and hopefully will remain so). This article ( completely threw me as one way to read it is that there are only ferries on tues and wed in Oct, which did not correlate with what I'd seen on the bookng sites. Think its just badly worded.

Hmm Rhodes to Crete 13 hours and only twce weekly...I'll have to check the flight options instead then. I think theres two daily.
Cdchi1 is offline  
Dec 18th, 2012, 08:12 PM
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For flights check with Cyprus Air, Sky Express, Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 12:25 AM
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Santorini - Naxos is a daily Blue Star ferry all year round. It is part of the Piraeus - Santorini lifeline route which includes stops at Paros, Naxos, and Ios.

You won't be able to do a day trip from Naxos to Syros. Although there are daily ferries, routing means that they don't arrive on Syros until late afternoon or evening. In fact it would be easier to do a day trip from Syros to Naxos, because Syros is the home port for a couple of those ferries, which start their day there and return to Syros in the evening.

I agree with brotherleelove that you should eliminate one island, or possibly even two. Rhodes and Crete are the two largest islands on your list, and IMO deserve more than 2 and 4 nights respectively.
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 19th, 2012, 01:54 AM
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thanks again for the replies.

That's disappointing about Naxos ferries to Syros...ahh well can't have everything
Cdchi1 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 06:26 AM
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I would eliminate Crete - there's so much there it is hard to get a real feel for Crete, and perhaps replace it with Paros which is a nice contrast to Santorini and Naxos while also within easy reach of them both. While there is a lot to see on Rhodes, the old town for me was the highlight and 2 nights would give you a feel for that.
littlejane is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 12:19 PM
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Hmm someone else on another forum also suggested skipping Crete until I have more time to devote to it. I'll have to give that some thought. I might remove one night somewhere else and add it to Crete...5 nights would give me 4 full days, and a significant part of the arrival day if I fly in from Rhodes.

I'm a pretty good cyclist, so think I can see quite a bit of Crete that way...I assume you can hire bicycles in Crete.
Cdchi1 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 01:06 PM
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Crete is huge. It will take you a minimum of a week with a rental car just to barely scratch the surface. Save it for another trip.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 02:05 PM
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On the other hand, if you omit Naxos and Syros and add those 4 nights to Crete, that would give you a total of 8 nights on Crete. Then you could fly back to Athens from Santorini:
Rhodes - 2 nights
Crete - 8 nights
Santorini - 3 nights
Athens - 3 nights

Naxos is a lovely island, but it's too quiet for me in October.
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 19th, 2012, 02:31 PM
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If you decide to do Crete, take a night away from Santorini and add it to Crete. Stay in Chania on Crete.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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Because of the time you are traveling, you will find plenty to do in Crete if you dedicate more days there. The smaller islands will be quieter. I agree with others that your itinerary includes too many stops. Also, I'd recommend taking the short flight between Rhodes and Crete. Enjoy your trip!
parosblue is offline  
Dec 19th, 2012, 06:01 PM
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Thanks all...lots to digest and hard choices to be made.

However, I think I'm going to go with:

- Rhodes: 2 nights
- Crete: 5 nights (that gives me 4 full days, and large chunk of arrival day if I can get an early flight)
- Santorini: 3 nights (will completely veg out for one day here)
- Naxos 3 nights
- Athens 3 nights

I fully intend to go to Greece proper at some stage (probably next year) so if Crete blows me away, I'll just include more days there as part of that trip.

Thanks for the Chania base tip Happy.
Cdchi1 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 01:20 AM
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Hi fellow Australian (Shepparton). I went to the Greek Islands in 2010. Santorini, Naxos, Paros. I would reccommend Santorini & Naxoos. While in Naxos I took a day trip to Mykonos. If I get to go again I would do Santorini & Mykonos. I did like Naxos though. I used because most bookings had free cancellation (usally up to a few days before) so when I found something more suitable I just cancelled and rebooked.
Magsbags is offline  

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