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Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

quebec
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Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

We are a family of 4 with 2 teens and the first time to Greece. I found a package deal from 260euros per person for 7 nights to Mykonos, paros and santorini from travel agency in greece. it also includes the transfers to all islands in 2 star hotels. Could we do better on our own. That means 1040euros for 7 nights or about 150euros per night. Is that reasonable? How expensive are transfers by ferry to these islands. i seem to have a hard time finding prices. We are pretty adventurous and love to do things on our own, but without the language, are we heading for trouble. We are also considering going to Turkey while we are on that side of the world. What are your thoughts and the cheapest way of doing things. We love people and culture, a bit of sights and of course eating and drinking wine.

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

When will you be travelling? Does 'transfers on all isles' mean ferry tickets as well or just 'pick-up/drop-off transfer' at ports upon arrival and departure? The * ratings can be a bit deceptive but would be leary of 2* as that could means a room w/possibly shared facilities? Have you checked that? What about the actual hotels used...2 double rooms or a quad for all 4 of you? What is the name of the Travel agency in Greece you are thinking of using? With some more info am sure you'll get more accurate reccommendations/advice :) Enjoy!

Oregon
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2. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

37+ euro/night per person sounds very good to me considering transfers are included, but without knowing the quality of the rooms it's a bit of a shot in the dark. I will say that if your Greek travel agency is either Fantasy Travel or Dolphin-Hellas you will most likely not be disappointed, as they are the two that seem to get the most foreign business and consistently high reviews for reliability. If it's not one of these two you might want to contact them for a price comparison.

Approximate ferry prices (on the highspeed cat):

Santorini>Mykonos-28 Euro

Santorini>Paros-25 Euro

Paros>Mykonos-14 Euro

Prices on the slower car ferries for the same routes will be approximately half of the above rates.

Athens>Mykonos (car ferry)-28 Euro

Athens>Santorini (car ferry)-30 Euro

It's possible to catch a ferry to Samos from Mykonos or Paros, although not every day, and from there you're just a short ferry ride from Kusadasi, Turkey, which is the port closest to Ephesus, if that interests you. I highly recommend Turkey.

Birmingham, United...
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3. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

Yes, you can do better on your own. For that standard of accomodation the daily accomodation costs+ferry per person is about 25 euro per day (180 euro per week, 720 euros total). This would be in say, June or September.

This is an average taken from an island hopping trip to 8 islands in June/July, in the Dodecanese islands, using a mix of fast/slow ferries.

260 euros per person from a Greek travel agent sounds about right (they have to make a profit....).

All Greeks in tourist services, accomodation owners and ferry agents etc, will have an excellent understanding of English. The islands you are going to are very much on the tourist trail. You will have no problem in arranging your accomodation, buying ferry tickets, etc on arrival, outside of hi-season which is mid July-August.

For ferry prices just look up any old journey of a similar length on the BlueStar ferries website.

Turkey is very worthwhile, needs a lot of travelling around to get the best out of it, but not tacked on to a Greek island trip.

idaho
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4. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

just curious, which agency did you try. we had great luck with one on our first trip, mykonos, paros, naxos, santorini, and crete, but this year we didn't get nearly what we paid for and couldn't get them to respond.Felt like we were taken.

We went to Turkey this year, landed in Istanbul, went down the Turkish coast, and to Samos, Patmos, and Symi and flew to Athens to end the trip. enjoy

New Jersey
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5. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

I've found that by booking on my own, thru the owners net site, I got a better room and a 10% discount. The owners sometimes keep their better rooms for their inter-net costermers while contracting their other rooms to tour mgrs. If you gom this way ask if this is so as I can only vouch for the one hotel that I used.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

INSX2 is making a great point....the agencies usually collect at least the 10% in commission from the property so if you call directly they (and ask for a 'better' rate) usually pass on the same to you as they'd be paying it out anyway :) Never hurts to call them directly and ask :) Enjoy all!

Oregon
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7. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

I have read, however, from previous posters that sometimes Fantasy Travel and Dolphin-Hellas have been able to get better rates than were posted on the hotels' own websites. I suppose it all just depends on the hotel involved.

quebec
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8. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

The quote I received was through Dolphin-Hellas which was recommended on this site. As well we will be travelling around June 25th for 2 weeks as soon as the kids are out of school. Would it make sense to reserve ahead of time or reserve when we get there and island hop? We will probably land and leave from Athens, but perhaps we may go to Paris or another european destination for a couple of days, whichever flight is cheapest from Montreal across the Atlantic and then get to Greece from there. Any suggestions as to which 2 countries are easily and cheaply served. (For example, last year, we flew to London and got a cheap flight to Barcelona on easy jet for 146 Euros for 4 of us. )

Thanks I appreciate everyone's input, this is very helpful?

Oregon
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9. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

I'm not sure I understand your questions clearly. First, are you thinking of abandoning the Dolphin-Hellas package? If yes, you can still find lots of available rooms on whichever islands you choose to visit. They will not be full in June, although the more popular ones praised on internet sites like this one might be. There are locals who meet the ferries with rooms to offer, and there are also businesses at or very near the ports that will be able to find you a room. You can also just head to the village of your choice (assuming you've done some research) and look around for yourselves. And if you have some idea where you'd like to stay before you arrive you can call ahead to see if there are rooms available, using an OTE phone card and one of the OTE public phones. The cards are available at any market or magazine kiosk, and probably at the airport as well. They cost a few euros depending on how much time you want to buy. Santorini's island code is 22860, Paros is 22840, Mykonos is 22890. Slide the card into the phone, wait for the dial tone, dial the island code and then the hotel phone number. Area code for Athens is 210.

As far as alternative cities, Aegean Airlines services Rome, Milan, Bologna, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich and Bucharest, giving you a lot of choices. They also have very inexpensive flights to the islands from Athens.

http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/

Germanwings flies to Athens from several major German cities. They are very inexpensive.

http://www.germanwings.com/index.en.shtml

Kamloops, BC...
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10. Re: Are package deals cheaper or on your own to Myk-Paro-Santor?

meesa-

Do not be afraid of traveling without speaking Greek. The Greeks are about as hospitable as people can be, and they are aware that their language is a difficult one. You will seldom be far from someone who speaks English, so don't let that stop you from going off on your own.