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Which Islands to see and in what order?

Good Afternoon from rainy Seattle! My wife and I are planning a 3 week trip to Greece roughly from May 1-21 and are trying to decide a few things; which Islands to visit and in which order. The plan is to arrive in Athens, spend a night or two there (we've been before) then spend about 10 nights on Crete and visit two more Islands for about 3 nights each. I know ferry schedules can be unreliable and long boat rides are not a favorite so that is a consideration. We are open to flying if that makes more sense.

We've been to Santorini and my wife has been to Mykanos so we will skip those. We are considering Paros, Corfu, Milos, Hydra, Kythera and open to other suggestions. We are a young and adventuresome mid 60's couple, foodies, enjoy boutique family run hotels, local culture, festivals etc. Any insight to the travel order, restaurants, hotels, sights etc will be very much appreciated. Thank you, Rich

Posted by
1484 posts

I don't want to discourage you, but May may still be rainy on the northern islands. Crete is a good choice. Stick to the south.

Posted by
1874 posts

First of all, note that this year the Greek Easter is celebrated in the first week of May (Monday May 6 is Easter Monday)

This should be taken into consideration if you want to go to the islands. Many Greeks travel by ferries or flights during this week. There are school holidays from the end of April to May 11, and many shops will be closed on Sunday May 5 and Monday May 6 (even in tourist areas)

You are talking about islands that are located in several regions.
Corfu is in the Ionian Islands (not accessible by ferry from Athens).
Milos and Paros in the Cyclades Islands, Hydra in the Saronic Islands. Kythira is administratively part of the Ionian Islands without being connected by ferry to them.

There are almost no flights between the islands. To go from one island to another you will need to take a ferry, provided there are ferries that connect these islands.

So it's a little difficult to advise you without knowing what made you select these particular islands. Or would it just be a list cited at random among the at least 150 Greek islands that can be visited?

And I don't know what Barkinpark means by northern islands, you didn't mentioned any islands in the northern Aegean Sea.

Posted by
2986 posts

Hydra is best if you’re not leaving the mainland. Corfu is closer to Albania not Greece. If you can take an overnight direct ferry and rent a cabin to sleep in from Heraklio to Rhodes do that.

Posted by
210 posts

Well, since you mention one of my favorites, Kythera, I have a suggestion.

See the real Greece by getting in a car upon arrival and going directly to the Peloponnese. Eventually, finding your way to the south it's a short ferry from Neapoli.

Meanwhile, you will have an almost endless amount of options for magnificent places to stay with all the history, charm, beauty, etc. as anywhere else in Greece without having to get out those more-distant islands. You will still have water on four sides, just a tiny isthmus connecting the peninsula to the mainland.

I mean, just off the top of my head you'll get Nafplio, Corinth, Monemvassia, Mystras, Sparta, Gythio, Methoni, Pilos, Olympia, all of the Mani Peninsula.

Easy as can be to return to the airport, drop the car and waltz into the terminal.

Posted by
27261 posts

Check weather stats for Corfu before committing to a trip there in May. It could be fine--especially these days--but it's cooler and wetter than the Aegean islands.

I haven't been to Hydra, but I agree that it's normally recommended for people making really quick trips to Greece who want to see an island but don't have time to go very far. That doesn't apply to you.