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Syros, Paros Sifnos Athens

We are visiting Greece for the first time in October. We are looking for quieter islands where we can hike, take cooking classes and enjoy a more local culture. We arrive from California on Sept 30 and would immediately travel to Syros and spend 5 nights. We’ll definitely want to relax and recover from jet lag for a couple of days. Then we would take a ferry over to Paros and stay 5 nights. From there we would take the ferry to Sifnos 5 nights. From there we will ferry to Athens and stay 3 nights. Does this seem doable? Our flight arrives at 2:50 PM. We probably will get to Piraeus and stay there overnight before taking an early ferry to Syros.
Are these 3 islands too similar to each other? Your suggestions for alternatives and for lodging will be appreciated.

Posted by
1958 posts

Syros, Paros and Sifnos are very different islands from a landscape and atmosphere point of view. It can be a good choice but there are many other possible combinations.

In case you would not have noticed it in your research, Syros is the administrative capital of the Cyclades Islands, in Syros you will not see the whitewashed villages, churches with blue domme or the typical windmills as in Paros and Sifnos, but rather neoclassical architecture and a more urban side in the capital Hermoupoli.

When it comes to island hopping the important thing is to choose well -connected islands. There can also be a better visit sequence than another, especially outside summer season when the ferries are less frequent.
In your selection, Sifnos can be difficult to reach from Paros, especially from October.

So, before talking about the islands, it is the travel part in ferries and logistics that must be prepared (sorry, but it is the only way of "Island Hopping" when you have a limited stay)

According to the schedules currently published, arriving at 2:30 p.m. on September 30 and provided that your flight is on time, you could take the Blue Star Naxos for Paros at 5.30 p.m. (Arrival 9:45 p.m. in Paros), or the Blue Star 2 to Syros at 6:00 p.m. (arrival at 9:45 p.m. in Syros).

See the departures from Piraeus this day:

From the airport you can go to the port of Piraeus by Express Bus (X96, € 5.50), by metro (line 3 blue, € 9) or by taxi (around € 60)
Allow about 1 hour journey.

Otherwise stay one night at the port and take a ferry the next morning.

The first problem you are going to have is that if you stay 5 nights in Syros, it will make you leave Syros for Paros on Saturday October 5, and it is the only day when there is only one ferry , and quite late.

See here:

Also see the Paros → Sifnos timetables here:

Change the dates if necessary.

Posted by
57 posts

We liked the relaxed vibe of Naxos. Amorgos is also quiet and beautiful (and great for hiking), but farther afoot in the Cyclades. We adored Milos and wish we had more time there!