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Greek Islands

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1. Posted by gardenia (Budding Member 25 posts) 1y

Hi,

I honestly don't know which islands to visit or where to begin except to fly into Athens.
Is it easier to buy a flexi saver for the boats in the Uk or organising something through the internet or when i arrive.
I have always wanted to visit Santorini, but i like the idea of small places also.
I enjoy backpacking, couchsurfing and getting to know the people in the places i visit. I am not interested in resorts or partying hard.
I want to relax, enjoy the food and want to see some lovely beaches and just chill as well as do some hiking and travel about.
I would like to go end of may, early june. I can take from 2-3 weeks to do this
Advice and tips would be fantastic
Thanking you Gardenia :-)

2. Posted by Sandy34 (Inactive 10 posts) 1y

I love to read others views and it's really nice to listen your views. Thanks..!!!!

3. Posted by mariha2912 (Budding Member 68 posts) 1y

I think answer lyes on what type of traveler you are and what you feel comfortable with...

Some people simply show up and play it by ear without much preparation whatsoever.

Other people want to have an itinerary and all transport and accomodation nailed down before hand...

Personaly I think that an approach somewhere in between is the most convenient for most people.

I prefer doing lots of homework, read a couple of guidebooks, lurk into a few travelers forums/seek assistance on specific queries there, read other online resources, then form some basic ideas. HAve a plan A and a plan B and a plan C on mind, then be willing to scrach everything and go with the flow. Flexibility is important.

End of May/Early June is a great time to go with no need to prebook anything. I would book a couple of nights in Athens and take it from there.

PS: It is fun that people think Santorini is a "large" place and they want to add "smaller" places. Santorini is a tiny island, 90.69 km2 (35 sq mi) .

4. Posted by gardenia (Budding Member 25 posts) 1y

hi,

thankyou for your comments i appreciate what you have said. I am a go with the flow type person but still like to at least have accomodation booked for few nights then go from there

:-)

5. Posted by mariha2912 (Budding Member 68 posts) 1y

You are welcome!

Not sure what kind of accomondation you are after, hostels for example are not so common in Greece, but rooms to let owners and even hotels owners will often wait by the ports and offer accomodation and a ride to their place for you to have a look. It is wise to have an idea of where exactly on an island you want to be based and ask them to spot their place on a map before you go, so you'll not end up in an unconvenient location... but in general it easy to find a room as you go. Usually near ports there are small local travel agents or tourist offices too.
hostelworld is a handy site to get an idea on rates and what's available, and most importantly check booking com too-large thing in Greece with a variety of accomndation, as with all of Europe.

6. Posted by reid.beth (First Time Poster 1 posts) 1y

I researched Greece and the islands in planning a cheap return trip from Israel via Istanbul. For the economic crisis, all trains in Greece have been cancelled but there are some buses. The ferries still run but it is hard to chain several islands together--you almost always have to return to Athens or your port of departure, then take a different ferry to a different island. This almost doubles the cost of the ferries [having to pay for a return trip instead of an onward trip.

I finally decided to skip Greece because of the cost and hassel. But Greece was not my main target on this trip. Since it is yours, the cost and destination of ferries [you get them free or discounted with Eurail pass] may dictate which islands you visit. Good luck Sounds like a lovely trip. I'll be taking a similar one maybe next year.

7. Posted by mariha2912 (Budding Member 68 posts) 1y

The key element when planning a trip on Greek Islands, is not to assume that just because you'd like to follow X route or Z and Y islands look near by on the map, ferries will be available. Although not 100% accurate, I stronly suggest to first time visitors to have a look on Thomas Cook Island Hopping guidebook. You'll get an idea of main ferry lines, groupls of islands and how ferry system works. As far as ferry schedules are officialy announced, you'll find them on gtp.gr . Websites such as openseas.gr are usefull too, because you can put past dates and see what was available last year. No guarandees for next summer of course, but some major routes have been the same for many years.

Trains connnecting Greece to other countries have been canceled, this is true. But trains within Greece are almost the same as they were before economic crisis. Bus system is much more extended, but you have to realise bus routes are set up to serve local population, not the odd visitor.This mean you may have to change buses or go to an intermidiate destination to connect dots. ;)

[ Edit: Edited on 08-Apr-2013, at 02:54 by mariha2912 ]