my daughter is going to greece for her college graduation present. she and a girlfriend are staying a week, flying into athens. What are the best islands for the young crowd - adventuresome 22 year olds? Any suggestions on the ferries and which islands they might like best? Places to stay on a budget, but safe...and fun things to do? thanks, Kim for Alex
kim, With only a week, they will likely only have time for one or two islands. Are they planning to spend any time in Athens? For the "young crowd", you might have a look at Mykonos or Corfu. Santorini is also very unique and beautiful (and is an easy flight from Athens, so that would be quicker than by Ferry). You might find it helpful to have a look at Matt Barrett's excellent Greece Travel website to get some idea on the "character" of the various islands. Cheers!
If they plan to spend any time at all in Athens then they really only have enough time for one island. A minimum of half a day is lost for each island visited. If they travel by ferry they can lose most of one day. Santorini provides a diverse experience. There's a lot more to see and do there and there will be a lively international crowd of young people gathering in the main village of Fira for the nightlife, even in May. Flying is not expensive. Right now Aegean Airlines is offering some €70 tickets, one-way, all taxes included. Check their website.
When I was 23 my friend and I had a blast on Mykonos,, really fun, but that was years ago, I think its more expensive now..
Personally Athens was not our favorite city , we had been touring Europe for more then 2 months at that point, so had seen alot of cities, Athens was not very nice, rather struck us as just a big gritty city.. so we hightailed out of there after a two days.
I would also recommend Mykonos and Santorini. We were also in Athens, but found that a day to do the main sites was all we needed. We found the city itself to be not that impressive, and frankly, a little seedy. Santorini is beautiful. May is a good time, because it is before the main crowds get there. We did not stay on the island as we were on a cruise. The islands do tend to be a bit pricey.
I am in line with everyone else. Stay maybe one night in Athens at the beginning (get your bearings and rest from jet lag) then head to Mykonos, they can hit the beaches and dance all night in the clubs. Mykonos town is also neat, historic, and the ancient site of Delos is a short boat ride away. Hitting one more island would be nice, something a bit more laid back, it could be Santorini, but Naxos or Paros are easy choices from Mykonos as well. Head back to Athens, planning to spend most of a day and your last night or two there. That gives enough time to visit the Acropolis, the Museum, and the Plaka. If they wind up on Santorini, look into flying back, or at their age, an overnight ferry is still an adventure, and maybe another party or chance to meet people. Flying would require getting tickets ahead of time, for ferries, they could wait until they get there to buy tickets. WWW.ferries.gr will let you explore routes and times. As for making it affordable, look at "Lonely Planet" or "Let's Go" guides, they have a range of options, from Hostels to small hotels. Meals can be very economical, though they should find a good Taverna at least once and really splurge.