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14 days in Greece-Need help with itinerary & best way to get to each place.

My husband & I are going in July we'll start in Athens for 3 nights then off to Mykonos for 2 nights. What will be the best way to get there that will not take too long or be too expensive?
We leave Mykonos on the 25th. Not sure if we should go to Naxos for 2 nights. Any other suggestions??? Or will this be a good destination on the way to Santorini?
On the 27th we'll be in Santorini for 4 nights.
On the way back to Athens we thought of spending two nights in either Milos or Hydra. Suggestions???
Last day we'll be back in Athens before heading home the following day.
Does this sound like a reasonable itinerary? What would be the quickest way to get from island to island? Should I book everything in advance before getting there? and if so, How?
Need all the help I could get.

Thanks in advance Greece experts!!!

Posted by
3135 posts

Ferry schedules:

Flying From Athens to Mykonos or Santorini: Aegean Airlines, Ryan Air

Posted by
3363 posts

You need to look at a Greece map carefully. Milos involves backtracking ... and is not on the same ferry routes. You may or may not even be able to find a ferry from Naxos to Mylos. Hydra is not connected with any of the above... you would need to return first to Pireaus and then go to Hydra. BTW, 2 nights is really not enough time to spend on any island because it will take you the better part of a day getting there, and again, more than half a day getting to the next island. YOu'd be better off skipping Hydra and spending 4 nights in Naxos. We can help you better if you do some of your own homework first.... for example reading about Hydra and seeing what it would offer that you are interested in. We can help you choose between 2 islands you've researched, but we cannot give you complete info and backgrounding on every destination. That's why a guidebook is a big help (free at your library).

Posted by
212 posts

That doesn't sound possible; too much moving from place to place instead of being there.

Trust me, there is no incorrect answer for which Greek Island to visit. Less is more. We never spend less than three nights (even then, rarely that few) on any island.

Sounds like you have Santorini booked?

My biggest advice here would to not make your first three days Athens. Instead, consider making Athens your last stop. By continuing on to one of the islands you'll save a lot of time venturing from Athens airport to center of town and then to the ferry port or back to the airport later.

Can you make changes?

If so, I would get a cheap flight to either Mykonos or Santorini and start from there and then visit the other via Naxos. 10 or 11 nights would be fine for those but I bet you find you'll end up wishing you added to Naxos and subtracted from Santorini.

First look into some flights but you'll ferry from island-to-island which means you'll have to learn when the ferries operate, which is another bit of research you can do on the internet. Greek ferry schedules are notorious for putting out their schedules late but it's nearly April so ....

Posted by
106 posts


From Santorini, you can basically visit all of the Cyclades islands. Some choices would be Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Anafi. Naxos is about 2 hours by ferry from Santorini and about 1 hour by a speedboat. Naxos is also the best island option to use as your base for island hopping since it is in the middle and closer to most of the other islands around. Milos has amazing beaches, more than 70 (!!!) I've spend a week there didn't manage to see them all... Usually Milos is combined with Kimolos, Serifos and Sifnos for island hopping.

I do recommend taking the Hellenic Seaways Ferries, check their site ,they have plenty of offers to get you around the islands. I've used a Greek island pass with them last summer. You could also check the Blue Star Ferries. They both have special packages, look thoroughly before you book. I've used both companies and the ferries are enormous, safe, and comfortable. Never gotten sea seek on the conventional ferry. Yesterday a friend of mine was looking to find a ticket to Amorgos and the price was 30 euros higher than the regular! Still haven't figured out where he found that crazy price. Anyway, check each company's website, you can also find other sites to book online your ferry tickets but make sure you get the best price. Since you want to do island hopping you have to save some money so as to able to do more around the islands ;)

Posted by
4 posts

Hi Annie,
Thank you so much for your reply. We've been doing our home work online & talking to friends that have been there. It looks like our itinerary is pretty doable since we are doing a circle and ending up in Athens nothing is out of the way. We plan to take the early morning Fast Ferries which should be 2 hours or so. I found giving me the time schedule which most probably change somewhat from now to then. I heard during the summer which is high season they increase the frequency of departures. I probably will wait until May & book the tickets online. I didn't know they offered deals, I will have to look into that.
Our last decision is wether to make a 2 day stop in Milos on our way back to Athens from Santorini. It's on the way so it might be nice to explore.
By the way, what is your suggestion for getting to Plaka, Athens from the airport? We are light packers & wont have much luggage & are quick on our feet. :)
Thanks for taking the time truly appreciate it!!!

Posted by
4 posts

@janet from Philly,

When we decided on the Greek Islands first thing we did was get the Rick Steve's book since we've used him for many of our destinations numerous times with great success. Thank you RICK!!!

We also have Greek friends that return almost every year & have given us much advice on the islands. We have chosen our itinerary by using all of the above references & with online research, it seems very doable as long as we're on the fast speed early morning ferry. Our trip will be a clock wise direction starting from Athens all islands connecting easily by ferry.

Maybe my itinerary seems too exhausting to you as you must be as old as the Liberty Bell. A library?! Amazon.

Posted by
1229 posts

I think Janet recommended the library because you can get guidebooks for free. Why pay for them when they are free. Also, RS' Greece guidebook is not good for any of the islands but Santorini, and even there its thin.

Are you going for 14 full days (not including arrival/departure)? And planning to stay in 5 places. Sure this is possible, but it depends on your goal. It will take about ½ day to travel between places, and thats if you fly from and back to Athens (fast ferries from Naxos take a few hours to Athens. I don't know about Milos-Athens. And I don't know if there are flights from Milos...). So losing ½ day every time you move, and visiting each place for 2-3 days seems like a quick fly-over experience. As you say, you're light on your feet; so are we, but thats still a lot. Why not fly into Athens and rather than leave the airport, depart for one of the islands (saves the time of going into Athens twice), and then spend more days in Athens at the end? Maybe skip Milos and go to Naxos for 4 nights, so you'd have Mykonos, Naxos, Santorini, Athens. Or reduce your time in Athens and add Milos (depends what you want to do in Athens for 4 days; i.e. if you need 4 days). Hydra is on another route and so adds even more time, so I wouldn't do that. In short, what do you want to do in each place + ½ day traveling; this will help tell you how much time will best serve you in each place

Posted by
3363 posts

BeValdi, I am glad you got Rick steves' guidebook because it's excellent on Athens (step-by-step DIY for Acropolis & major museums), and also good on Peloponnese, which his guided tours cover. However, it's almost useless for the islands... he only covers Hydra because he recommends it as a day-trip or short stay for his tour-goers... he hasn't been on other islands for almost 15 years (and seems to like turkey better than Greek Isles); his Verrry old video on Santorini was back in days of Drachma (1999?).

As for recommending the library, I am not a cobwebbed Old Fogey, I myself have 2 long shelves of greece Guides (many of them obtained thru Amazon) and histories (besides having done graduate work at U of Penn in Classical Studies) ... but I advised going to the library just because so many newcomers on forums like this seem willing to spend over $10,000 on a Greece trip, but seem unwilling to spend $8-10 on a used guidebook! Others limit their research to pretty photos they can call up on their phones.... or else they feel that forum contributors will take over the chore of planning their entire trip... this is not you of course. My feeling was that the library at least will give an overview for the purchase-averse newcomer, and then perhaps he/she will be motivated to buy a guide that's relevant to their trip.

As for my ability to cover ground swiftly (despite my years), I've managed to make 12 trips to Greece since '99 ... 9 of them with 3-4 newcomer friends along, so I know what the priorities of first-timers are. I also manage, in a typical 16 day trip, to stay on least 4 islands on each trip, plus enough time in athens to cover all the main highlights. That's because I've learned, through both research and experience, what works in transport and accommodations and sightseeing, and what doesn't. I have numerous friends in Greece, including archeologists who let me into fenced-off "digs", and other locals who, like me, are or have been Destination Experts on Trip Advisor for a number of years.