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15 replies
Best Greek Islands
dbars
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Hey, I’m going to the Greek-Islands with a bunch of my girl-friends and we want to hit as many islands as possible. Mykonos and Santorini are definitely in.. but I was wondering if anyone could suggest any others? I am looking for something very scenic and full of beautiful landscapes (as opposed to just a partying island). Any responses would be greatly appreciated! Also, if you can suggest decent accommodations for the islands (we are 22 year old girls on a budget)
Thanks!!!

I am leaving from Toronto, Canada with $2500 for 17 days
Prague, Athens, Mýkonos, Páros, Thíra, Rome, Naples
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
luv_the_beach
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How long are you going to be in Greece?


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dbars
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I am planning for around 10 days Smile

I am leaving from Toronto, Canada with $2500 for 17 days
Prague, Athens, Mýkonos, Páros, Thíra, Rome, Naples
Requesting help with Transport, Hostels, Budget, Itinerary, Nightlife, Food, Sights
luv_the_beach
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Some suggestions for a third island to visit:

  • Syros (2 days) quiet and quaint but very lively (popular getaway for Greek mainland tourists), with beautiful architecture that’s unique from the rest of the Cycladic Islands for the most part. Great island to complement Mykonos and Santorini.
  • Rhodes (2-4 days) Dodecanese island with historical sites, big castle and medieval town, architecture, beaches, landscape, quaint towns. Another great way to complement Santorini and Mykonos. But avoid the town of Faliraki.
  • Crete (3-5 days) towns of Chania and Rethymno worth seeing, and great beaches, coast, landscape and historical sites. Again, good way to complement Mykonos and Santorini
  • Milos (2-3 days) coast and beaches are very scenic, another great way to complement Mykonos and Santorini.
  • Paros or Naxos (2 days for either) quintessential Cycladic Islands, but resemble Mykonos too much architecturally

Other possible itineraries:

  • Rhodes-Crete-Santorini
  • Santorini or Mykonos (2-3 days each), then Athens (3-4 days with daytrip to Delphi), then Zakynthos or Cephalonia (2-3 days)
  • Santorini-Athens (2 days)-Meteora-Corfu

(Meteora: valley dotted with tall rock formations some of which have medieval monastaries built on top. Corfu, Cephalonia, and Zakynthos: Ionian Islands with very scenic coasts and landscapes, and especially architecture on Corfu. Delphi: archaeological site not far from Athens located in extremely scenic setting, and near charming town of Arachova.)


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Canuck
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Hey Beach,

You seem to have a good grasp on Greece, and I could really use your opinion.

The Greece portion (8 nights) of my upcoming trip is as follows:

1) Fly into Athens (from Barcelona)
2) Athens
3) Sail to Santorini
4) Santorini
5) Santorini
6) Fly to Corfu
7) Corfu
8) Corfu
-Fly to Rome

We may even have 1 additional night now that we have decided to fly out of Greece to Rome, which would give us 9 nights in Greece in total.

Any suggestions on a 8 or 9 night Greece itinerary?

(And ideally, we’d like to spend at least 2+ days per city, rather than bouncing and travelling around too much)

Thanks! Smile

I am leaving from Vancouver and traveling for 40 days
Montreal, Nice, Interlaken, Munich, Venice, Monterosso al Mare, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Thíra, Barcelona, Mahon, Paris, Montreal
luv_the_beach
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Canuck,

I think this is a great itinerary given your time constraints. 2 full days in Santorini, and 2 full days in Corfu, you also give yourself an entire day for each commute. One full day in Athens is enough to relax between commutes; you can easily see much of the historic city center in a day, as most everything of interest is within a compact walkable area. When in Corfu, I suggest one day of exploring the countryside and coastline, and one day in Corfu Town. In Santorini, I suggest staying in the main town of Firá. Flying from Corfu to Rome will require a layover in Athens, but both flights are short (Corfu-Athens about 45 minutes, Athens-Rome about 75-90 minutes); add check-in, security, waiting at the gate, it’s still a pretty short commute, but you’ll need to dedicate all of Day 9 to this commute, just so you can travel with ease.


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Canuck
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Thanks Beach, good points…appreciated. Wink

So you suggest staying in Fira when in Santrini…
What about Corfu?
I hear that Corfu town is pretty tough to find accomodations in…

Also, besides Aegean & Olympic, are there any other budget airlines that you know of that fly in and around Greece?

I am leaving from Vancouver and traveling for 40 days
Montreal, Nice, Interlaken, Munich, Venice, Monterosso al Mare, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Thíra, Barcelona, Mahon, Paris, Montreal
finnegan
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Hydra:
No cars allowed. quiet. lots of good restaurants.

Skros:
Another sleepy island that’s off the beaten path – hence few tourists. Some of the best beaches in greece.

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list”

luv_the_beach
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Olympic and Aegean are the onnly carriers that fly between Corfu and Athens. But there’s a new airline www.athensairways.co… that flies between Athens and Santorini, in addition to OA and Aegean.

Corfu: check out the feature here on Eurotrip, where you can look for (I think even book) hostels or hotels. If you don’t find anything inside Corfu Town, you can cetainly make the effort to visit the town for one of your two full days.


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Canuck
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finnegan wrote:
Skros: Another sleepy island that’s off the beaten path – hence few tourists. Some of the best beaches in greece.

Thanks Finnegan, Skyros looks like a beautiful, low-key island.

I am really having trouble deciding on another Island to visit.
Will be staying in Athens for 2 nights, and Santorini for 3 nights.
Corfu is a bit out of the way, but would go if it was worth it…Skyros seems nice, as does Mykonos…
Looking for a balance of nice beaches and things to do. Want to have fun, but a CRAZY nightlife is not a priority.

Thoughts?

I am leaving from Vancouver and traveling for 40 days
Montreal, Nice, Interlaken, Munich, Venice, Monterosso al Mare, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Thíra, Barcelona, Mahon, Paris, Montreal
luv_the_beach
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Yes, Skyros is low-key and is an attractive island. Corfu is a good one for first-timers (to Greece), IMO, because it also has architectural/cultural interest, and seeing both the Aegean and Ionian sides of Greece is a nice idea. Neither island is easier than the other to get to. Skyros may be somewhat “centrally located” geographically, but it’s not a transportation hub, so it doesn’t benefit you time-wise in any way. Traveling to/from this island requires going through Athens, same as Corfu, so don’t go there to save time. Go there because you’re actually interested in Skyros.


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Canuck
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Thanks Beach.
I’ve been reading some of your posts in other threads regarding Greece, and have found them to be helpful as well.

Here is our plan:
-Fly into Athens, and spend 2 nights.
-Sail to _______, and spend 3 nights.
-Sail to Santorini, and spend 3 nights.
-Fly from Santorini to Rome.

As nice as Corfu and some of the other Ionian Islands sound, I don’t know that they will fit into our plans for Greece geographically. (We would like to do as little travelling as possible, avoiding LONG boat/bus rides, and unfortunately the flights between Santorini & Corfu are pretty expensive)

Of the other Aegean Islands, which would you say is the nicest to visit?

(This question is certainly open to anyone that may be able to help)

Please go into particulars if you like (ie. which has the nicest beaches, best architecture, most interesting culture, most things to do, etc)

Nice beaches will be a large factor to us when deciding which other island to visit, but with 3 nights, we’d like to be able to see/do other things as well.

Thanks in advance Wink

I am leaving from Vancouver and traveling for 40 days
Montreal, Nice, Interlaken, Munich, Venice, Monterosso al Mare, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Thíra, Barcelona, Mahon, Paris, Montreal
luv_the_beach
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Well, the bus from Athens to Corfu is overnight, if you’re stsill considering it, and I don’t think flying (ATH-CFU) is that expensive, but there are plenty islands in the Aegean to choose from, especially the suggestions I made above to dbars. If geography and time constraints are an issue, you want to stay within the southern Aegean Islands (which excludes Skyros), because they’re interconnected with ferries and flights, making a transit thorugh the mainland unecessary. I think Rhodes would be a perfect option for your trip. Crete and Syros are other options I recommend. Like Corfu, these three islands also have an architecture and culture element that is god for a first-time visitor, IMO. Crete and Rhodes also have many great beaches.


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Canuck
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Rhodes & Crete both look like they would be perfect for us to spend 3 nights or so (nice combination of attractive beaches and other cultural interests)

Rhodes seems more difficult to get to from Santorini though, fewer ferries, and a fairly long ride, where as Crete is only a 2 hour ferry trip…so unless theres a quick, cheap way to get to Rhodes from Santorini, Crete it likely is!

I’m going to pick your brain again (because it has been so helpful thus far) Wink
-Which area in Santorini & Crete would you suggest we stay?
-Any specific guestrooms/b&bs/hostels/hotels that you would reccomend?

I am leaving from Vancouver and traveling for 40 days
Montreal, Nice, Interlaken, Munich, Venice, Monterosso al Mare, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Thíra, Barcelona, Mahon, Paris, Montreal
luv_the_beach
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I think you’re worrying too much about the commutes. But that’s a breath of fresh air, since most “newbies” don’t take commutes into consideration. Smile

In your initial itinerary you gave yourself ample time to commute from one place to the next. 3 days in Rhodes is ideal, but you can do a lot in 2 full days, and while ferries between Rhodes and Santorini are not daily (they’re about every other day, according to www.bluestarferries….), you can coordinate your trip around this. It shouldn’t be a problem to do so, since Piraeus-Santorini and Piraeus-Rhodes ferries are daily.

But going back to your concern for centrally located places, the island of Syros, being the administrative capital of the Cyclades island chain, is well connected to the entire Cycladic Island chain, and is low-key like Skyros (the tourists that do visit are Greek mainlanders, not drunken Brits and Scandinavians), and the island’s main town is a delightful little city. Just keep in mind Syros is not known for beaches, so think of it as an island that complements Santoríni. (BTW don’t confuse Syros and Skyros)

Santoríni is small, but I suggest staying in Firá, the largest town on the island, unless you want the romantic atmosphere that Oía provides. As for Crete: Cil is our Crete guru, but I always suggest the western part of the island. Stay in the town of Chania, and make excursions to the various points of interest in western and central Crete, such as Rethymno, Arkadi, Knossos, Samarian Gorge, and the various beaches.

Some useful links:

Olympic and Aegean are the main air carriers, but there’s two budget carriers that you might want to look into: Athens-based www.athensairways.co… and Crete-based www.skyexpress.gr Sky Express connects Crete to various domestic destinations, but I also noticed that they offer direct flights between Rhodes and Santorini on the days of the week that Blue Star Ferries doesn’t operate between the two islands.


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Canuck
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luv_the_beach wrote:
I think you’re worrying too much about the commutes. But that’s a breath of fresh air, since most “newbies” don’t take commutes into consideration. Smile

luv_the_beach wrote:
Crete-based www.skyexpress.gr Sky Express connects Crete to various domestic destinations, but I also noticed that they offer direct flights between Rhodes and Santorini on the days of the week that Blue Star Ferries doesn’t operate between the two islands.

This suggestion is gold! Puts Rhodes right back into the picture as an option, the flights being daily, quick, and fairly reasonably priced…now all is to decide weather to visit Rhodes or Crete…hmmmmmm

I am leaving from Vancouver and traveling for 40 days
Montreal, Nice, Interlaken, Munich, Venice, Monterosso al Mare, Rome, Corfu, Athens, Thíra, Barcelona, Mahon, Paris, Montreal