I know very little about Greece...

Hi there!
I'm doing some research about going to Greece in August. My mom and I will be going to Europe for 10 days. 5 days in Italy, 5 days in Greece (give or take). I've been to Italy a few times before, but have never been to Greece and it is my mom's dream to go to to a "little island" in Greece. What is the best way to go about our travel plans? Should we take a ferry from Venice to Athens and save some money but "waste" 32 hours? Or should we fly from Italy to Greece? Then, when we arrive in Athens (we would probably only want to spend one day in Athens or part of a day in Athens), how do we get to a "little island"? Ferry? Airplane? Is it expensive? Which island should we visit? Mykonos? Paros? Santorini? I think my mom pictures herself kicking back and relaxing on the island, enjoying the scenery and reading a book after our whirlwind tour of Italy.

Any thoughts, suggestions, and tips are much appreciated!

Posted by Casey
6 posts

I would suggest flying from Italy to Athens and then flying to the island of your choice as well. The flights are not that expensive, especially when you factor in the time saved over taking a ferry. Santorini is probably the most popular Greek island. Mykonos is probably second and is the top for nightlife. If you wanted to do both, you could fly to one and ferry to the other (possibly stopping at Naxos in the middle of them). From Mykonos, you could also take a day trip to Delos (a major historical ruins site) if that interests you. You could then fly back to Athens from whichever island you finish.

Posted by Lee
Oregon
1835 posts

Island hopping requires time it seems you don't have, with only 5 days give or take for Greece. The best advice I can offer is for you to fly to Athens. In the long run I don't think you'll pay more for airfare than for transport by ferry when it has to include transportation to one of the east-coast ferry ports (Bari, Brindisi, Venice, Ancona) and possibly an overnight in a hotel, plus the time it takes to get from the Greek port of Patras or Igoumenitsa (on Greece's west coast) to Athens (on the east coast). There is no ferry from Italy all the way to Athens. And then what will you do, sit in a chair for 32 hours or book a cabin that costs a lot more? What's more valuable in this situation, your time or your money? Choose a Greek island with an airport. Choose one that you can make same-day connections to on either Aegean Airlines or Olympic Air. Both fly from Venice, Rome and Milan to Athens but both don't serve all Greek islands with airports as some airports are too small for the Aegean Airlines fleet. All the islands you've mentioned will be crazy-busy in August. There won't be any Greek island, in fact, that will feel kicked-back in August, so you might as well choose one that offers you the widest variety of things to see and do, and then try to find a location suited more for relaxation than for partying.

My all-time favorite Greek island is Santorini. Oia is by far the most beautiful village. It's the one that's used for most of the travel brochures you see for Greece, the ones with the photos of the blue-domed chapels. Yes, it's crazy-busy in August. Yes, it can be VERY expensive. But it doesn't have to be. Depending on what your nightly room budget is you can find lots to choose from.

Use the filter system at http://www.booking.com to search for affordable accomodations on whichever island interests you. Base your choice on location, but this means doing some more research. If you do choose Santorini let me know what that budget will be, in EURO, and I'll help you find someplace to stay.

Posted by Zoe
Toledo, Ohio, US
4420 posts

If you will be in Athens, the islands of Hydra or Aegina are probably closest.

Posted by tivey
9 posts

I have spent a week on the tiny island of Sifnos and it was the perfect "little Island" experience - Short ferry ride from the port at Athens. Rented scooters for about $15 a day to tour the whole island - I think its about 8 miles long x 4 miles wide. I am going back this year to visit the bigger more touristy Islands of Santorini and Mykonos but Sifnos was a perfect vacation.

Posted by Charlie
Honolulu/Seattle, HI/WA, USA
2015 posts

Do you have a copy of "RS Greece, etc. Guide Book" yet? If so, great. If not, I would suggest you get one ASAP as it is full of very useful information about Greece that I am using prior to going there May 24th for the first time.
That guide book can be ordered elsewhere on this web site if you do not have one.