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what island is best

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South Africa
posts: 52
reviews: 3
what island is best


This is my 2nd trip to Greece. Last year I went to Paros, Santorini and a day only in Naxos. I loved Paros so much. I loved Santorini, but was only there 2 days. I am going again now in June 2011 and would like to see different islands, I am not into too much of a commerical island ie Mykonos etc. Please can you advise some islands that are not too touristy (if those exist). Any idea as to what Skiathos or Skopelos is like?

Please help.



Devizes, United...
posts: 39,282
reviews: 309
1. Re: what island is best

Hi there

You could consider a couple of islands in the Dodecanese chain, or the Ionians, or as you have already mentioned, Skopelos or Skiathos which are in the Sporades chain, I'm sure Litsa will call in and give you great advice for those latter two islands but if you want to consider some others, just post again.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Skopelos
posts: 32,514
reviews: 32
2. Re: what island is best

Hey and welcome Ashley:-) Since you posted in Piraeus forum..am assuming here that you're looking to board a vessel and head out somewhere from there?! Unfortunately, the Sporades isles you're interested in don't have ferry service out of Athens area..Your options involve either a flight to Skiathos..once daily on www.olympicair.com/ taking about 30 min..or a bus/ferry combo.. www.alkyontravel.com/ located at Kanningos Square (off Omonia Square) offer comfy coaches to get to Aghios Konstantinos on the the mailand to hook up w/the ferries..total trip time takes approx 4-5 hours depending on traffic..and where you'll be disembarking;-)

Having said that, take a look at www.skopeloweb.gr/ Not easy to get to..but well worth the effort which keeps it less touristy/commercial..lush green isle..fabulous waters..wonderful food and great locals! All 3 isles to include Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos are easy to do on day trips as well..Alonissos is home to the Marine Park..google for some fascniating info..Skiathos will be about the busiest in Season having the airport;-) You won't go wrong here...Happy Planning..and EnjOY!

Edited: 11:53 am, February 04, 2011
Birmingham, United...
posts: 10,044
reviews: 16
3. Re: what island is best


I'm not sure whether you are seriously considering those 2 islands, you missed the less touristy of the Cyclades it would appear the last time, returning there is an option with 20 or so islands to hit.

North Sporades:

Best sand beaches:

Skiathos, Skyros.

Best pebble beaches:

Skopelos, Alonissos.

Best nightlife:


Least touristy > Most touristy:

Skyros, Alonissos, Skopelos, Skiathos.

Best Choras:

Skyros, Skopelos, Skiathos, Alonissos.

Best British pubs:


Best archeological sights:


The popularity bit is distorted by Brits and some European countries because they have direct flights to Skiathos, it's a standard package tourist destination in the UK, and Skiathos is enormously popular primarily for beaches and the attractive but undoubtably touristy main town. Not particularly on merit just that people won't get on a ferry to go anywhere else to another island with not so good beaches. Skopelos and Alonissos have a significant luvvy following, and dedicated island hoppers head for Skyros as the best of the bunch.

Overall though the North Sporades islands are lacking in variety compared with the Cyclades and Dodecanese groups of islands which have significant archeological remains lying around on islands like Delos, Milos, Naxos, Rhodes, Kos.

Last year I stayed on all those 4 Sporades in 3½ weeks, So that is a very brief comparison of the basics.

So given a reasonable time I would start with either the bus & ferry combo or flight Athens to Skyros and then the ferry to Alonissos/Skopelos(2x a week) and then from Skopelos/Skiathos back to Athens, again ferry/bus or flight from Skiathos.

The 'Achilleas' ferry only connects the last 3 islands with Skyros during June - Sept so that's a bit limiting, but apart from that give it a try, whilst that ferry is still connecting Skyros with the others, still seems to be Tues/Sat for this year.

Athens, Greece
posts: 573
4. Re: what island is best

you could try spetses

it is only 2 hours from pireus on a flying dolphin

spetses is not at all commercial, it has virtually no foreign tourists these days

it is very greek if you know what i mean

it is a beautifull island where many wealthy athenians have 2nd homes. the only time it is busy is in august when the old harbour is full of yachts and the athenians go there for their holidays.

june will be fantastic there, great weather but not too hot.

you should give it a try

London, United...
posts: 6
5. Re: what island is best

thanks for such a detailed reply

South Africa
posts: 52
reviews: 3
6. Re: what island is best

Hi there - thank you for your great help. Besides going to Skopelos and Skiathos, where or what island is a lot closer to Athens and that is not a nightmare to travel too.

I found Paros delightful to be honest, but its so far from Athens via Ferry.

South Africa
posts: 52
reviews: 3
7. Re: what island is best

Hi thank you for such a detailed wonderful view. You mentioned that there are 20 islands that I missed near paros. Which ones are these? I know Naxos, Anti Paros & tell me Folegandros is that worth going to?

My problem is I land on the 7th June at 6.30pm and need to depart out of Athens at 7pm on the 15th June. So where can I go to from Athens at that time that is accessible, either by plane or ferry?

thanks again, I appreciate your help


posts: 6,121
reviews: 3
8. Re: what island is best

Caritas -- the kind of island you love so much ... something like Paros ... is not available in a short ferry ride. Paros is 4 hours. ALL islands are accessible by ferry. Many are also accessible by plane. It all depends on what you want to spend, in terms of time and Money. You need to do some research to understand what is do-able.

Here is a Map. explorecrete.com/crete-maps/images/greece.gif

Here is Map of the islands with showing the major ferry routes: greeceathensaegeaninfo.com/ferry-info-greece…

Here is a list of "standard" ferry sailings from Piraeus (not at all complete of course!) www.greekislandhopping.com/Home/Homefr.htm

For Flights, look at this website, which shows both Olympic & Aegean flights:


Landing at 6:30 at night, you are too late for almost all ferries and planes. U might consider staying nearby at a budget hotel like this one, which provides a free shuttle from the airport -- http://www.perishotelapt.gr/ and catching a 5:30 or 6:30 am flight to an island -- these flights also often at bargain rates if you buy now, online. Of course, u still must do the ferry ride back ... unless you also fly back.

Fact is, you just will not get an island paradise with the "calendar views", which is also just 1 hour from Athens. You can compromise, go to Spetses or Aegina or Poros, nearer-by. But you yourself need to research and choose, not just ask us to nominate and describe one island after another until you say "that's the one!" There are at least 50 islands of any size, and we all have lives too. I've given you some links to start with ... a good guidebook also will help ... I recommend HK's "Eyewitness: the Greek Isles" for a very good visual overview of each island's highlights.

If you don't have a guidebook, here is a good brief online overview of many isles, by a youngish Greek schoolmaster: http://www.greek-islands.us/ Happy hunting!

South Africa
posts: 52
reviews: 3
9. Re: what island is best

Hi Could you give advice as to how to get to Spetses? It sounds lovely there. I had a look and it looks stunning. What would be the best and easiest way to get to Spetses?

Thank you for your advice.

Ashley (Caritas).

Athens, Greece
posts: 573
10. Re: what island is best

to get to spetses you catch the flying dophin or the flying cat from pireus. it takes between 2 and 2.5 hours depending on stops. cost of ticket is 35 euros each way.

it is a beautifull island but hardly any foreign tourists these days. even in july it is fairly quiet. there are some fantastic tavernas and restaurants. there are no cars on the island (bar the odd 3 wheeler or taxi) it is mopeds and horse and carriages for taxis. or you can rent a bicycle.

if you want to visit a 'greek' island (ie very few foreign visitors) then give spetses a try. you will not regret it.

i was there 2 weeks ago and the weather was fantastic. i went with friends hiking through the mountains and forests everyday.

do try it