Thank you for taking the time to be so thorough and explaining your expertise...very helpful! Indeed, although we are all well traveled, this is an area completely out of what we've ever done and we're trying to fit in 3 different "likes" for the 3 different people involved.
Our actual itinerary included flying from Istanbul to Athens, touring Athens some, heading to Santorini for 3 nights, back to Athens and then making our way to Prague. Then the Patmos came into view so we were trying to figure out if we could - or even should - include that one island. It seemed simple to just head down to Kusadasi from Istanbul and then over to Patmos but, alas, the ferries seem to be way complicated!
I will check out Ikaria as this has not even been on the list and we are looking for something relaxing, the whitewashed/blue roofed houses, and nice beaches. Maybe Ikaria is our island!
I haven't checked into cruise lines actually; however, just clicking around quickly, I see there are some Greek cruise lines that offer some Athens tours, then off to the Islands - including Mykonos, Santorini AND Patmos - before heading back to Athens. Maybe this is worth looking into as they would travel by night, thus saving us some time that way? What do you think?
One more question that I'd like your input on is if it's worth "another 2 days" to head to Meteora. What has been your experience there?
Thanks so much!