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Samos in addition to Santorini and Milos?

Is it within reason to fly to Samos from Athens, spend three days there and then ferry over to the Cyclades for three days in Milos and then to Santorini for three days?
We have two weeks on the ground in Greece and fly home from Santorini.
We want to do a day trip to Ephesus and also spend a few days exploring Samos.
Milos is calling to me for many reasons and our flight is out of Santorini so we are going there for sure.

I know we can ferry from Milos to Santorini.
However -
I can't figure out a ferry connection between Samos and Milos - but think you can get there through Naxos. Is trying to add Samos in just pushing it with our time frame?
I've read the advice to stay within one island group due to ferry routes and realize my proposed itinerary does not comply!
All advice is appreciated!

Posted by
2876 posts

Dorrie, let's start with some maps: Here's an online one: Click to enlarge. Here's a ferry-network map:

You've already figured out that your wish list has widely-separated places ... and they are even less well-connected than the Route Map indicates. Not updated for many years, it shows a connection between Samos & Paros ... this service is no more. About 2x a week in high season, there is a ferry to Mykonos ... but not in time, I believe, to get another ferry that day. You will either have to fly, or spend precious time on ferries, or leave Samos for another trip. I also wanted to see Ephesus (+ Chios + Patmos) plus a couple of Cyclades isles -- but that was back when ferry links to Samos were better. You can do it by flying BACK to Athens, then taking a ferry to Milos, and then to Santorini at the end. It's a question of time vs. money... if you haven't got the time, u must spend the money, or change plans, alas.

Posted by
16883 posts

Aegean and other carriers also now fly from Athens to Izmir airport; there is a train from the airport to Selcuk. Then, you'd only have to go one way through Samos. Or, travel agencies on Samos appear to offer excursions to Ephesus, but don't show the details online. Remember that ferry schedules often use the different port town names: Vathi, Pythagorio, or Karlovasi are all on Samos.

Posted by
389 posts

I would do it, and just take flights back and forth: Athens-Samos, Samos-Athens, and Athens-Milos. Flights on Aegean and Olympic Air are generally pretty inexpensive and frequent.

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks for the great advice. I see that it would be a bit tricky getting from Samos to Milos via ferry, so am giving up on that.
Our other option is to hop on a three day cruise - Athens to Mykonos to Ephesus to Patmos to Crete to Santorini. We'd hop off in Santorini and take ferries to Milos for a few days, then back to Santorini where we fly home from. I know the cruises are really rushed with only short visits to each stop, but thinking that might be a decent way to see Ephesus and Gnossos and land us in Santorini with eight days remaining to relax and enjoy the islands. Sound crazy? The only down side is it would take one day off our already short time in Athens, leaving us only three days in Athens.
I'm hoping that getting between Milos and Santorini is at least reasonable via ferries.