Hello all. My husband and I are travelling to the Greek Islands for the first time in October. We would like to do 2 nights Athens, 3 nights Sifnos, 3 nights Naxos and 4 nights Santorini. We have chosen Sifnos in preference to Mykonos as we are not really party people! Can anyone advise on the best ferry to get from Athens to Sifnos, on 17 October, that is not going to take too many hours! And then does anyone know the best route to Naxos? I read on a previous post that a ferry from Sifnos to Ios for lunch, and then to Naxos might be best?
Instead of trying to get information from random posts. you need to study the best ferry schedule website - http://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp when you've spent time trying out various scenarios you will know how to re-order your island sequence. For example I presume y ou mean to stay 2 days in Athenas at the first, then leave for sifnos on Tuesday Oct 17. The schedule above shows there is NO ferry to Sifnos on any tuesday. Instead I think you need to spend only 1 day in Athens, then go to Sifnos on sunday the 15th... there re 2 ferries, at 7 AM and 11... there's a ferry on Monday but it makes many stops & is a slow ferry & takes too long.
From Sifnos in October there are daily ferries to Naxos, and also daily ferries onward to Santorini. Plan for a final day in Athens ... you might wnt to take 1 night off santonini, since it's really all about the view, and there's so much more to see in Athens anyway.
When looking at the schedule be aware that Cm means catamaran passenger-only... these are the smallest fast ferries (400 seats) and can get bumpy. "cc" means car carrying catamarans, much larger, more stable. CF means car ferry, the large conventional ferry. THe CF BLUE STAR to/from Naxos-Santorini is large but quite fast ... other conventional ferries (SF) tend to be old slow ferries that make many stops. and stince ou do not have unlimited time I would recommend the cc's instead. Going back from Santorini to the mainland will take 8-9 hours by ferry, and 45-50 minutes by aegean air. I usually advise the air, if you do not wish to spend an entire day on a ferry.
Thanks Janet, that is so helpful. We only arrive in Athens from Malta on Sunday evening (15/10) so can't take that ferry option. I have only chosen Sifnos as I read about how lovely it was, but perhaps I need to look at somewhere easier to get to? Can you suggest another island?
FIrst of all, S & P, you need to do more research than just randomly hopping around the forum threads and your smart-phone. That way you get a lot of "people say" or 'I have heard" which may not apply at all to you. You're in Australia, but as an English-speaking country, your libraries MUSt have a few travel guides. Have you ever looked at any? These would give you more solid info in an hour that many hours of just randomly web-browsing. And it would be more specific to your particular situation. Many websites just deal with "high season " (July-August) wher you're not even "shoulder season" but almost into off-season. Thus many conditions don't apply re crowds, what's open, transportation. With luck, weather should be pretty good. If you promise me to go to the library or bookstore (unless you are in, like, Alice SPrings), herewith a few tips:
• MYKONOS - party-worry is irrelevant outside of July-August, October. will be quiet, (even dull) tho still more expensive than all other islands but Santorini. Good beaches, but you don't say if these are important (hard to advise when u give no details of interests).
• SIFNOS - Yes its beautiful but in October, it might feel closed-down ... and getting to/from other islands may be challenging.
• ATHENS - Do not tackle Athens FIRST, when you are tired from long flights, and new to Greece ways. Recover on the islands, slower pace, get used to how Greeks do things... then you'll be energized to enjoy a modern vibrant big city, lively in Autumn.
• TRANSPORT & SEQUENCE - We "Vets" advise going first to farthest point then hopping back to Athens; you have to be there anyway before outbound flight & checking in/out wastes precious hours if you only hve 12 days. And consider a flight to the farthest point - flight to Santorini takes 55 mins vs. 9hours on ferry and off-season, not much difference in fares. My suggestion:
OCT 15 - Arr. evening. Stay at small B & B near airport (St Thomas or Peris Hotel). Next AM get to airport 6 am for 7 am flight to SANTORINI@ €78 (ferry would be €60).
OCT 16, 17, 18 - Santorini - stay in FIrostephani, easy walk to fira. Bus to Oia for sightseeing, but it will be dead in evenings.
OCT 18 (aft) or OCT 19 (am) - Ferry to NAXOS. Stay at St. George Beach adjacent to NAXOS TOWN, livelies place in Oct.
OCT 19-20-21-22 Enjoying NAXOS (rent car 1-2 days to explore entire island)
OCT 23 - ANTIPAROS - Take AM ferry to PAROS, and a small ferry to hop across to this darling small walkable island. Stay right in Port area (MIke's Place or Sunday Hotel) ... day-trip to PAROS' main town, Parikia.
OCT 25-26-27 -- Take ferry at 11 AM-3 PM to Mainland (Pireaus), and Green line Metro to your central ATH hotel. (beware of Metro pickpockets; if leery, take taxi @25€) 2 days sightseeing.