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Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

Cork
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Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

Hi all,

I am looking to plan a last minute 2-3 week trip around the Greek islands in July and it would be great to get advice from people who have actually been there. There are so many islands and tours, it's all a bit confusing.

I am 28 and will be travelling by myself so am looking to see as much as possible but also meet people around my age on my travels. I love the sea, beaches, outdoor activities and trying new foods, so any recommendations on where to start, islands to definitely visit or avoid would be such a help to me. Also, I was wondering whether it would be easier to book a tour through a travel group like G Adventures or plan it out myself?

Thanks for your help.

A

1. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

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Removed on: 31 March 2014, 21:40
Hong Kong, China
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2. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

Hi Anna

Welcome to TA Greek forum.

Yes, plenty of us on here have been to the Greek islands many times! However, for us to be helpful, you need to do a bit more of your own research first. Read this sticky at the top of the Greek forum first:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189398-i192-k6367…

Particularly take account of "island groups".

Then I suggest you get a guide book that specialises in the Greek Islands and which helps explain the ferry routes (Thomas Cook's Greek Island Hopping is very useful - it categorises islands into types, so it is more easy to identify those that attract younger crowds & that aren't too expensive, for example.).

Pick one or two islands that you realluy like the look of, then you can come back here and ask more specific questions.

I'm afraid that #1 is making rookie mistakes - picking islands that are not easy to visit together. Zakinthos is not in the Aegean Sea, but on the other side of Greece. And Stalis is just one resort on the huge island of Crete that is virtually a country in its own right.

And rather than looking for hotels on line, you may prefer to go the "rooms" route. At ports on most islands, Greeks meet the ferries holding up signs offering rooms. This can be a great way to get cheaper accommodation (just check exactly where the rooms are, so they are not too far away from where you want to be, be it a beach or a village).

I think Ios may be a good starting point for you... but it really is up to you & you need to get reading asap!

Edited: 10 June 2013, 03:21
Warsaw, Poland
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3. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

I suggest you start with finding the island (or mainland airport) you can easily get to from Cork. That will determine where you can go next. Do not start picking islands at random or you will end up losing a lot of time and money to travel.

Cork
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4. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

Thank you all for your suggestions and advice. I have my guide book so will start digging through that and making my plan using your advice above as well.

If anyone has any other tips or hints to offer to save me a bit of reading time ;) that would be great.

Thanks again all

Birmingham, United...
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5. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

I don't know what airports you can fly to direct from where you live to give a starting point.

Easy starting points are airports like Athens ports(Piraeus/Rafina), Rhodes, Kos, Samos.

1) Athens(Piraeus/Rafina)

There are some basic ferry routes you can head along from west to east very approximately:

a) Piraeus > Kythnos > Serifos > Sifnos > Milos > Folegandros > Sikinos > Santorini.

b) Piraeus > Paros/Antiparos > Naxos > Ios > Santorini.

c) Piraeus > Paros > Naxos > Small Cyclades > Amorgos > Astypalaea.

d) Piraeus > Syros > Tinos > Mykonos.

e) Rafina > Andros > Tinos > Mykonos.

2) Rhodes/Kos/Samos.

In this case you just simply head up/down the line of islands which are approx:

Samos > Patmos > Lipsi > Leros > Kalimnos > Kos > Nisyros > Tilos > Symi > Rhodes.

My first island hopping was Paros > Naxos > Ios, decades ago and that is still a good starting point and the ferry route is just as easy now.

Newcomers frequently make the big mistake of choosing islands in widely divergent locations which may take days to connect rather than an hour on a ferry. Apologies to #1 but that's a splendid example of what not to choose, so Sadam M this post is for you as well.

On all islands you can find rooms for rent and small hotels, but bear in mind that late July is getting into hi-season and thus rooms more difficult to find and prices increase.

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6. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

Retired_Hippy - that was exactly my first trip also, and a long, long time ago it was, too. Perhaps we sat across from each other on one of those ferries!

Cork
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7. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

Thank you for giving some route examples. These are really helpful for planning my trip.

I can fly directly to Athens or Corfu from where I am but I think Athens is more convenient as a starting point.

Santorini is definitely one Island I want to include on my trip. If anyone could recommend any good places to eat there, that would great.

Thanks again all for your help. I'll be sure to do a big update after my trip.

8. Re: Advice for first trip island hopping in Greece

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