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which island to go? best way to travel?

Old Apr 21st, 2014, 06:31 PM
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which island to go? best way to travel?

Hi,

My boyfriend and I are flying up to Athens from Melbourne, Australia. We arrive 19th August at around midday and are allowing around 10 days (maybe a bit more as we are flexible) to see Athens and some of the Greek Islands. I have heard wonderful things about Santorini but if anyone could provide any information about other islands we should see and how many we could see?

Ideally we don't want to be island hopping every day, but if an island is only day worthy we are happy to take a day trip. We are not into partying at all and would like the steer clear of all the "touristy" kind of areas and "party" islands. We like good food and shopping and relaxing by the beach.

Also in terns of travelling between islands and Athens what is the best form of transport? Plane.. boat? I've heard the ferries can be a bit temperamental and cancelling during rough weather, do you think this will be likely during late august?

Any advise would be great, we are using the lonely planet books as our bibles but would love to hear some local information
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Old Apr 21st, 2014, 06:33 PM
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Also do you think we would be able to get to an island after getting off a plane at Athens at midday? or spend a few days in Athens first then travel to the islands later?
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Old Apr 21st, 2014, 07:31 PM
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Santorini is lovely but it's also one of the most touristy. Be careful where you stay or you'll be surrounded by cruise passengers every time you set foot out of your hotel. We stayed in Thira which we enjoyed and had a fantastic view, but if we returned we wouldn't stay there again. We caught the ferry there and flew back. The ferry was a major waste of time and we wouldn't do it again.

Yes, you should be able to fly to santorini or another island the same day you arrive, depending on the flight schedule then. You could also catch a ferry to a closer island.

Whatever you decide to do make sure you are already back in Athens on the departure day.
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Old Apr 21st, 2014, 08:01 PM
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Santorini is one of the most visited islands for a reason as you will learn if you go there. Another is Mykonos; cruise ships routinely call at both of these islands and Mykonos is also a destination for many Europeans. The "partying" probably depends on where on any island you might plan to stay.

Frankly, I would not spend more than three days in Athens itself. Have you even considered seeing some of the other so-called "classical" sites in Greece such as Corinth, Delphi, Olympia, Naphlion, etc.?

The islands and Athens are great but there's so much more to see and do.
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Old Apr 25th, 2014, 04:02 AM
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I agree 2-3 days in Athens is long enough to see the sights. I recommend staying in Thira on Santorini Island, Mykonos and Naxos. I would fly to Santorini/Mykonos from Ahtens airport for 3 nights each island, then 3 nights Athens. If you go to Athens last you will have less chance of missing your flight home.
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Old Apr 25th, 2014, 05:32 AM
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Consider Santorini + Naxos, which are only about 2½ hours apart by Blue Star ferry. Blue Star Delos is one of the largest ferries in the Greek fleet, and utterly reliable. I like Mykonos, but wouldn't go there in August when it is very crowded.
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Old Apr 29th, 2014, 08:41 PM
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Thankyou so much for your advice! At this stage we are looking at skipping Athens and just doing Santorini and another island. We have 38 days of Europe including flights to and from Australia. We are fitting in Cyclades Islands, Rome, Amalfi, French Rivera, Barcelona, San Sebastian and Paris all in this time. So in working out time in each place we had to cut out and Athens was cut off. So we only have about 7-8 days in Greece all together. We would like to stay on one island from the night of the 19th August to the 22nd and then Santorini from the night of the 22nd to the 25th then fly Santorini - Athens and Athens to Rome all on the 26th. Do you think this is a bad idea? We are still trying to decide on another island before Santorini. We first thought Naxos, But then Paros looked lovely especially in the Naoussa area. But I just recently found a great hotel in Ios which looks beautiful and though maybe there? I havent really looked into Mykonos but might be too touristy?? Any info about the islands would help.

Thankyou so much
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Old Apr 30th, 2014, 12:32 AM
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Hmmm have you thought about what you'll do if for some reason your flight from samtorini to Athens is cancelled? I'd take a night from santorini so I could be in Athens the night before the flight.

You are spending lots of time by the sea which is fine, however you may find some of the beaches disappointing compared to our Australian beaches. Be prepared for some small, pebbly beaches.
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Old Apr 30th, 2014, 02:32 AM
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yes, i have thought about the flight being cancelled.. does this happen often though?? but I will consider it.

I understand that the beaches are different to Australian beaches, but definitely not disappointing as it is a whole new experience! Sometimes same same is more disappointing then different. Looking forward to black sand and small pebble beaches.
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