y! I am trying to plan an itinerary for 7-10 days in may for two. We are looking for a relaxing trip that will take in beaches, Greek culture(food), and maybe biking or hiking. I am looking for websites hat help plan itineraries or ideas and where to go. We want to do a little Island hoping. The one island we know we want to go tonis santorni but are looking for one or two more to visit while there. And are planning on doing Athens for only the major destinations. Would like to spend most of the time on the islands. Also looking for recommendations on where to stay! For santorni and other islands. We are trying to be budget conscious! Thanks for all the help!
Please tell us what your maximum daily room budget will be, in EURO, as well as the area of Santorini you prefer. If you don't know the answers yet then before you go any further you need to figure it out. There are just too may possibilities otherwise and rooms go from €25-2000/night. You can understand why we need to know your budget and your location choice.
Assuming you will be spending at least 2-3 days in Athens, you barely have enough time to see Santorini and one other island. Subtract from that time the time returning to Athens. Ferries take about 5-8 hours so you'll lose almost all of another day there. Flights take 30 minutes. If a 2nd island is a 'must' I suggest either Naxos or Paros. Combined with Santorini you will have a nicely diverse experience of the islands.
You don't have enough time to do a whole lot of island hopping. I would suggest Athens and 1 other island. Lots to pick from including the travel-agents-touristy-heavy island of Santorini/Mykonos or the less touristed, more traditonal/Greek islands of Sifnos, Milos, Naxos, Amorgos, Astypalea, Tinos and a whole lot more.
For one of the best guides to Greece and the Greek Islands check out Matt's Greek Guide:
The two best guide books I have are the Blue Guide to the Aegean Island and Greek Island Hopping with the Blue Guide the better of the two.
Budget conscious is hard to come by on Santorini but the other islands I mentioned are for budget travelers, especially off-season.
If you can by pass Athens until your return home (at least one day, two is better) then go straight to an island.
You're going to love being on "your" island that you'll not want to spend less than three nights on any, in my opinion. It takes a lot of time to get to all of them and you can't just assume that because one island is near to another that you'll automatically find a handy and conveniently-timed ferry to go there. Scheduling ferries alone will serve to handcuff you in choosing islands. The most popular and touristed are Santorini and Mykonos. To be honest, those are the types of places that we like to visit way off-season. Regardless, they're popular for good reasons so while they come with more of a hassle, they're still great. But I'd leave it at that. All Greek islands are unforgettable for their own reasons. I would suggest that if you must visit Santorini that you counter that with something more humble and less predictable than Mykonos. Naxos, Paros, Tinos. You won't want to leave one just to get to another after a while. They're all great.