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Greece Islands

I have just started planing a trip to Greece in the fall. I only plan to be in Athens for a couple of days,and then will go to the islands. What would be the best 3 island choices. I would also like to know the best way to island hop. I do not want to fly between island, but my husband does get sea sick. I was reading something about a fast boat between island, and I thought maybe he could tolerate that. If anyone has any info on the islands and the best way to travel between them, I would really appreciate the info.

Thanks,
Bonnie

Posted by
2866 posts

Highspeed ferries are not avaiable between all islands so first you need to decide on which islands you want to visit before you can know what's available. For the sake of comfort and short travel time I suggest you stick to islands all in the same group. Do some Google research. Get a copy of T. Cook's "Greek Island Hopping" so you can make an intelligent choice based on what appeals to you, not what appeals to someone else. We have no way of knowing what you define as "best". Also be advised that if the seas are rough the smaller highspeed ferries become a lot more unstable than the large car ferries. They can bob in the water like a cork. Seasickness on a car ferry is very unusual because of their stability, and the newer ships of the Blue Star fleet have port and starboard stabilizer engines that make the ride even smoother.

Flying between most islands usually means a return to Athens for a plane change, which increases the cost significantly. There are very few island-to-island flights. Check the websites for Aegean Airlines, Athens Airways and Olympic Air for your flight options.

Posted by
1814 posts

There's more to Greece than the islands; if your husband gets seasick, you might want to fly to just one island (maybe Rhodes or Santorini) and then fly back to Athens and spend the rest of your time on the mainland. You could visit Delphi and Meteora, or travel to the Peloponnese, to Napflio and Ancient Olympia.

Another good Greece resource for you is Matt Barrett's website, http://www.greektravel.com.

Posted by
5367 posts

You do not mention the time period or season you will be there, but the best times for the islands are May thru September, and for three islands plus Athens, plan for 1.5 to 2 weeks.

To Lee's point, find islands along the same ferry route, and ideally no more than 3 or four hours by ferry. Do not discount planes for a long hop, something that would be 6 hours or more by ferry, since most ferries are utilitarian transport, not cruise ships or yachts.

As for types of ferries, the fast ferries can be very smooth and short duration...but with a little chop or wind, can be twice as worse as anything. It is really just a toss up. Your best bet as mentioned is to keep the hops short, but we found the slow boats or the large Cats to be just fine.

Posted by
116 posts

As others have noted, get a good guidebook and get some basic knowledge of the territory--and also being more specific about your travel dates, interests, etc. makes it easier for people here on the Helpline to assist. There is a big difference in Greek island hopping as the months move along in the fall. In September everything is still full of life and transportation connections are easy, but things start dropping off after that. I would recommend Rhodes, Santorini, and Crete. These islands will still have some energy and decent transportation links as the others drift into hibernation.

Posted by
174 posts

For goodness' sake, get Bonine for your husband. I have gotten airsick all my life, but with Bonine (which is chewable and lasts 12 hours) I don't. It doesn't even make you sleepy. I agree that the mainland is full of things to see that you don't want to miss—Delphi, Thessaloniki, Olympia, etc. Don't miss the Archaeological Museum in Athens. But islands are great for unwinding at the end of a visit. You might look into the Sporades Islands in the northern Aegean: Skiathos, Skopelos, etc. They are gorgeous and much less dry and touristy.
Katharine

Posted by
17 posts

Good questions, but the other posters are correct. You really need to do some research first because the ferrys don't connect every island...and take a good look at a map of the Islands. Some are very far apart. Greece is fantastic and there is so much to see and do! On our recent trip last fall, we spent nights in Athens; 5 in Crete & 5 in Santorini. I wish we could have stayed longer in all those places!! We flew everywhere, except we took a high speed ferry from Crete to Santorini. It was windy & the water was extremely rough. (Thankfully we took bonnine.)

Posted by
5 posts

My favorite island is Crete, but that is pretty far from Athens. I am going in a couple of weeks and will take the night boat going there but fly back.