Travel SOS: What is the best way to travel the Greek islands?

Susan is travelling to Greece and wants to know whether to fly or ferry-hop.

What is the best way to travel the Greek islands?

Susan is travelling to Greece and wants to know whether she is better off ferry-hopping or flying between islands.


Q. Susan
My husband and I are travelling to Greece in August and hope to visit Athens for three or four days and then visit some of the islands, but we are undecided as to whether we are better off flying or catching ferries. We are only in Greece for two weeks in total. What would you advise?

A. The Greek islands are serviced by air, high-speed catamarans, ferries and hydrofoils. The ferries are the slowest way to travel between the islands, but also the cheapest. They are a relaxing way to travel between the islands, with airline-style seats inside, open-air deck space and cabins for overnight trips.

The high-speed ferries and catamarans are quick, comfortable and a popular way to get to islands such as Mykonos and Santorini.

Though fast, the hydrofoils are often the first affected by weather delays and can be a bit noisy and bumpy.

Without knowing exactly which islands you want to visit, it is a bit difficult to advise you on the best way to travel between islands. However, a good plan of attack is to spend your first three or four days in Athens, as you have already outlined and then fly to the furthest of the islands that you would like to visit and make your way back to Athens via some of the other islands by ferry.

For help with planning your itinerary, head to the Greek Tourism website, where you’ll find current ferry schedules, together with destination and accommodation guides.

Have you visited the Greek islands? Which ones would you recommend for Susan?



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    9th Mar 2019
    Flying to farthest island is the ideal way, followed by seajets. I'd recommend Santorini 4 nights, Paros 3 Naxos 2 Mykonos 3 . All are connected by seajets in a line back to Athens with current timetables available now. Two full days in Athens is plenty to see the centre.
    9th Mar 2019
    Ferries are ok but because you have to stay somewhere the trip will be expensive. Take a cruise instead. We did one through a Greek company called Go Tours. We had a stop EVERY day on our week long cruise. We were well fed and it was superb value. Why would anyone take a ferry?
    One thing to get used to though. Greeks have very few manners and do not believe in queuing. They'll routinely go to the front of a queue and push in. I almost came to blows with a few on the cruise ship and whilst boarding a bus. Just cannot comprehend how a civilisation of that age can be so ignorant.
    Take the cruise! Unbelievable.
    9th Mar 2019
    Take the one day three Island tour from Athens as a starter while in Athens. Ferries are great but check your dates as they are unreliable in the offseason.

    Unlike MICK I've always found the Greek people really hospitable and very kind. English is taught as a second language. Remember too that something like 85% of Greeks are Tertiary educated so treat people exactly as you would here.

    A cruise is great but you'll arrive everywhere with hundreds of others.You will get to see different Islands though and maybe also a bit of Turkey.

    To really get the feel you need to stay a night or two on say three islands before flying back into Athens or even Istanbul for the home flight.

    My favourites are Patmos and Rhodes and Crete. I've not found accommodation nor food expensive. Mykonos and Santorini are popular party islands.

    I haven't been since their financial collapse so that might have changed things.

    Julians advice is great. I love Athens though and there is nothing nicer than a few days to really explore. Don't miss the statue in the centre of the Gardens. It's divine with birds and insects from all over the city coming to drink.
    9th Mar 2019
    We caught high speed ferries to Mykonos and Santorini and they were great, affordable and ran on time. At the end of our holiday we flew back from Santorini to Athens but with all the waiting around the small crowded airport and plane delay not that much time saved. As well as Athens, I would recommend a couple of days in Delphi if you want to see the countryside
    10th Mar 2019
    Yes Delphi is fabulous. I've stayed there a couple of times. One night we were rewarded by a meteor shower while sitting enjoying the evening looking down towards the coast. It was a divine experience. I've never tried flying out from the islands so thanks for this advice.
    9th Mar 2019
    Spent a mth in Athens near the city centre this was chrismas 2017 must admit it was a bit coldstayed in airbnb accommodation & used the metro to get around & did day trips by bus to different historical sites loved the history of the place guess I was lucky Mick never a problem with greek hospitality,best place to visit in my opinion was Crete spent a month there too fantastic history very hot(july 2017)again great hospitality,found it was a bit expensive to visit Santorini.I think wherever you go thre maybe a hiccup or two but you are on holidays go with the flow.Have a good trip
    9th Mar 2019
    Go to Greece and Greek Islands but it is very busy in August/September and hot ,scrambling around ancient ruins!We had a tour around Greece-excellent-then another tour by ferry to Mykonos for 3 days and ferry to Santorini for 3 days before flying back to Athens. Staying 3 days in each place was great as one day not enough.

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