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Island Hopping Question

Washingon DC area
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Island Hopping Question

I'm planning a trip to the Cyclades in May. After playing around with the openseas ferry schedules from last year it looks like I could do a Naxos>Sikinos>Folegandros>Sifnos>Serifos>Kythnos itinerary.

I like to see most of the major sites, go on a decent hike or two, and rent a scooter to get around the island. I don't spend much time on the beach. I've found 4 nights in Paros to be enough and 6 in Naxos. A month wasn't enough for Crete (just too much to see there), 3 weren't enough for Milos (didn't have a day to do the boat trip or get over to Kimolos). Two were enough for Santorini - could have enjoyed another couple days, but didn't feel like I was missing anything I had to see.

Any thoughts on how much time I should allot to those islands?

Birmingham, United...
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1. Re: Island Hopping Question

Hi,

I don't find 4 nights in Paros enough time and I've been many times before but there you go. 4 nights on Antiparos maybe.

Sikinos 3 days, Folegandros 4 days, Sifnos 4 days, Serifos 3 days, Kythnos 2 days but in reality I have missed the latter island entirely most times as it's perhaps the least attractive of the bunch and not a lot see.

Washingon DC area
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2. Re: Island Hopping Question

Thanks - from what little I've read about Kythnos, maybe it would be better to substitute Ios. I'm thinking that in mid-May I won't feel as out of place as I would in the middle of summer.

Harbin, China
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3. Re: Island Hopping Question

Hi,

There may not be a lot to see on Kythnos but there are wonderful coastal hikes, some of the best in Greece, in my opinion.

Lindesnes...
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for Southern Norway, Cyclades
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4. Re: Island Hopping Question

You have obviously read a lot of the different islands, and have an opinion of what to do on each, and you have an idea of the ferry routes. Then the rest is easy. Start on your first island. Go into a ticket office and ask for the ferry schedules for the rest of the week. Stay as long as you like, and what best suits the ferries, before you go the next island. In May you dont have to book anything in advance, not ferries, not accomodation. You may end up with visiting an island more or less than planned, but what is the problem as long as you enjoy yourself.

Washingon DC area
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5. Re: Island Hopping Question

Thanks again - I do have a flexible travel style so I was just looking for a sense of how much time to allot to that part of the trip. Those islands aren't covered extensively in the guide books, so I haven't been able to get a real good idea of what to expect. The time I don't spend there, I'll probably spend on Crete and Naxos.

If anyone has any specific recommendations about things to see on any of those islands, I'd very much appreciate them.

Lindesnes...
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for Southern Norway, Cyclades
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6. Re: Island Hopping Question

My style is also flexible, and I normally allot 3 nights to each island as a start. This is also how long we planned our stay in Sikinos, Folegandros and Sifnos. We ended up with a couple of more days in Sikinos, not because the activities were so great, but because it was so welcoming and relaxing. Folegandros was ok, but my three days were enough for me. We had a nice round-island boat trip, but May is probably a bit early for this. On Sifnos I could have spent more time, but ferries limited me. On Paros I have never spent more than two nights, but Naxos I keep on coming back to several times a year. I guess it depends on which one you fall in love with. Last year my wife and I spent a month driving around Crete. I would highly recommend the eastern part, Ierapetra and Sitia being two great bases. Not to forget the mountain areas which are great.

If you want to go for some hikes on the Cycladic islands , I highly recommend the SKAI-maps. Look at www.terrainmaps.gr and you may download some samples. They are in different scales (Naxos 1:40 000 , Sikinos 1:15 000), have all the paths and also some information of the islands. They are sold on the web or at the book-shop at Athens airport arrival hall. The maps are also available for Crete now.

Washingon DC area
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7. Re: Island Hopping Question

I know what you're talking about regarding your visit to Sikinos. A few years ago I stopped off in Patmos, planning to spend 2 nights before heading down to Kalymnos. Ended up spending 5 nights there and never made it farther south (a friend who'd been to Patmos as part of a cruise incredulously asked me how I could possibly spend 5 nights on Patmos).

My visit to Crete is to fill in some blanks left after last year's month long visit. Didn't have time to visit Spilalonga, didn't get to the northwest part of the island and missed out on a couple villages that sounded interesting. I'll be spending Greek Easter in Chania then heading over to Ag Nik for a few days. I want to get down to Ierapetra where I met a restaurant owner who, as a 10 year old, had worked at the bar in which I'd spent every night on a visit 40 years ago. I found a picture of his old boss so I'd like to get it to him. I was really disappointed to see how Ierapetra had changed - from a small, dusty little fishing village to a real town. The beach where I'd pitched my tent for 4 weeks was now taken over by bars and restaurants.

I agree about Sitia; fortunately, it hasn't changed that much and is an ideal base for the east part of the island.

And I'll be heading back to Naxos for the third time in 3 years because it just seems like the "perfect" Greek Island. And to take in as many concerts at the Kastro as I can.

8. Re: Island Hopping Question

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