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Advice on minimum days to spend on Milos, Santorini, and Rhodes

Some friends and I are going to Greece in early to mid-June. We'll be there for 14 full days and 2 half days (arrive & depart). On top of spending some time in Athens and Meteora/Delphi, these islands are the ones we'd really like to visit. We know that we won't get a full experience seeing as some people on travel forums spend at least a week per island, but we'd like to try our best to see as much as possible without being extremely rushed. We are going to rent a car on all 3 islands to save some time.

Could anyone recommend the minimum amount of days to spend on each island in the allotted time?

Posted by
5698 posts

Santorini- 3 nights. Make sure you visit ancient Akrotiri. This is my least favorite island or place in Greece due to crowds of tourists, cruise ship hordes, and non- Greeks in the hospitality services. The caldera view, however, is breathtaking.
Milos- I haven't been to Milos but it sounds like a very good choice for a more Greek experience.
Rhodes- it is a larger island so 3 nights. Go to Lindos too. It will be difficult to travel between two different island groups- Cyclades and Dodecanese(Rhodes).

Posted by
2416 posts

Yours is a VERY complicated trip, logistically!! I hope you have not booked a bunch of hotels on a nonrefundable basis, because you will have a challenge getting from place to place without backtracking to the airport.... unless you can rent a Magic Carpet, or can Walk on Water (neither has been known for millennia in that area). Wow. And still, you will be rushed. Let's discuss:

• Athens & Meteora/Delphi. These should go LAST. If you drive from Airport to Delphi, then Meteora, you'll be very rushed unless you allow at least 3 nites: Arrive at airport by noon - drive to Delphi by late afternoon, see museum; see ruins site next AM, then off to Meteora, see a monastery, stay nearby 2nd nite, see more next AM, then 5 hour drive back to Athens area, arrive ?6pm? 3rd night. Then 2 full days at least for Athens. That brings you down to FIVE+ days for 3 islands. Wooo. Either you cut out Meteora or 1 island.

• MILOS - SANTORINI- RHODES. As the old saying goes, "you can't get there from here." Until this year, Santorini was the Connector, with a 2x week 7 hr Blue Star ferry, midnight Santo - 7:30 Rhodes -- but that's phasing out, not available at all in june. The only ferry link that exists is MILOS to SANTORINI or vice versa.

No point in discussing lengths of island stays until you rethink # of destinations, and which. All are good so it's a win-win.

Posted by
2 posts

I do not plan on staying overnight in Delphi -- my goal is to see the ruins for a few hours as a pit-stop then head to Meteora, spend 2 nights there to do a full day hike/monastery visit, then maybe another monastery visit in the morning before heading back.

I'm not booking anything until I have an itinerary that won't waste a lot of travel time. Hell, I've been playing around with the ferry schedules all week. They have the midnight Santorini - Rhodes ferry in June, but only once a week. Basically, to be most efficient, it'll have to be Santorini -> Rhodes, or Milos -> Santorini.

If I decide to not backtrack, which one is better for a first-time visit? Milos or Rhodes?

Btw, I've also been looking at Aegina, Poros, and Hydra as a third, so let me know your thoughts on these.

Posted by
2416 posts

MILOS vs RHODES. You don't really have a choice. For your dates, Rhodes does not combine with Santorini via ferry. Take another look at the most reliable ferry website, gtp.gr -- first June sailing of that midnight BLUE STAR to Rhodes is June 14 -- and you say your trip ENDS then. Same in the other direction -- so that connection is definitely OUT, for your trip. If u want Santorini, u give up Rhodes. Now, Milos, It needs a car to get around but is great for beaches (22!) and has some neat ruins and a superb museum with a MUST-see video on Milesians & their mining ... also I love the half-round sail around rim of the isle (the boats line up in harbor nightly & you talk to captains & choose - we liked Catamaran much the best. Stay in Pollonia, lots of nice places right on beach (Adamas has nice restaurants & clubs but beach is ick).

SEQUENCE - I still think your trip may be quite overpacked ... you need to leave Athens till the end ... To do what you plan for Delphi-Meteora, you'll need to start early AM -- it's a 3.5 hour drive to Delphi ... then say 3 hours for site/Museum, then it's another 4.5 hours to get to a town near Meteora -- and a fair amount of both legs is mountain driving. Whew. I think your best bet would be to fly immediately upon arrival (I hope u are getting that Delta Nonstop from NY), to either Santorini OR Milos, whichever has any decent flights left. There's daily ferry service between the 2. Then I'd say, fly BACK to airport & do your Mountain thing. End with Athens and a saronic island.

SARONIC 3 - I personally find Hydra over-hyped particularly in RS book, mainly all about the harbor. Poros is a favorite among Greeks who go there every year, for them it's kinda like the Jersey Shore, get it? Aegina has a lot of interest, interesting port town, a stunning high-hill temple. If you go there don't take hydrofoil (closed-in, no view), take regular ferry (only1 hour! lots of Greeks commute to Athens) for GREAT deck-sit, view of whole Saronic bay, all the ships, yachts, sailboats. Here's a place on the best beach that friends liked: http://www.aeginagreece.com/aegina-island/directory/aegina-listing/aegina-island-spots/beaches/la-palma-marathonas NOTE: these 3 islands best from M-F since Athenians flood in on weekends.