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Greek island hopping - where to start?

Brighton, England...
3 posts
Greek island hopping - where to start?


I'm travelling to Greece this August and wanted to do some island hopping for about 9/10 days (I suppose 3/4 islands with a few days on each!).

Where would people suggest flying into? We're thinking to avoid Athens and go for Rhodes / Mykonos at the moment just from looking at a map but really are very open to ideas and want to book flights very soon.

Any tips / advice much appreciated :)

Thanks so much


Level Contributor
438 posts
9 reviews
2 helpful votes
1. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?

Hi, pop down to your library and get as many guidebooks as you can find, e.g. greek island hoping , lonely planet, etc. I always do this then book out the best one(s) to take with me on the trip.

You first need to decide which group of islands you want to visit then work it from there. One trip, we stayed in Nidri and took boat trips out to Kefalonia,etc. Another time we flew to Rhodes then ferried to Chalki. There are well serviced routes operated by various ferry lines out of Rhodes to loads of other islands (Symi, Naxos, Paros) . ( Chalki has a very interesting history.)

Warsaw, Poland
Level Contributor
3,483 posts
2. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?

Just a little clarification - there are no ferries to Naxos or Paros at all from Rhodes. There are ferries to Syros and Santorini but not every day. As a general rule, try not to mix islands from different island groups. There are some exceptions to this, of course, but not that many.

Devizes, United...
Level Contributor
40,216 posts
338 reviews
808 helpful votes
3. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?

Hi there

is this 9-10 FULL days? If not, and you have to include a part day at either end for arrival and departure, at best you'll have is 7-8 days and unless you want to spend all the time you have on a ferry, packing and unpacking, then I'd be inclined to limit it to 2 islands, or 3 if you do have 9-10 full days. Bear in mind that every time you change location, you will use up the best part of a full day.

The Cyclades are the easiet island chain to get around, followed by the Dodecanese and the Ionians

Birmingham, United...
Level Contributor
14,225 posts
15 reviews
66 helpful votes
4. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?


1) Borrow from a library or buy 'Greek island Hopping' pub Thomas Cook for a guide to island hopping. It gives you ferry routes and some ideas.

2) Your initial idea does not match the time you have. You need much closer islands otherwise too much travelling time.

3) 2/3 islands is the maximum you can do in 9/10 days. Aside from looking at a map you need to measure distances and from the speed of ferries how long it takes. Ferries run on routes so you can't pick random islands.

4) You can use suitable island airports like Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Samos, Skiathos.

To use different airports in each direction you would need say Mykonos/Santorini, or Rhodes/Kos due to ferries/distance and your short time.

5) August is peak season which means booking accommodation and ferries. If possible go outside of peak season then it's easier as you can do it all 'on the fly'.

Washingon DC area
Level Contributor
2,045 posts
6 reviews
2 helpful votes
5. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?

I have to disagree with GB on this one. I think the easiest islands for "island hopping" within a short time frame are the Argo Saronic. You can get to Piraeus from the airport and catch one of the frequent ferries to Aegina. You can see a lot of what the island has to offer in two nights.

Then another quick ferry to Poros. Again, you can see the island in one day. You can spend a day going to Galatos, renting a car and touring Epidaurus and Mycenaea.

From there, it's an easy trip to Hydra. One or two nights there, depending on how much you like hiking, would be enough. It's a truly unique island with no cars and the architecture is different from the other islands in the group.

Next, on to Spetses. I've only been on a day trip, but a very nice island. One night will give you a good feel for it. Its beautiful pebble mosaic streets make it well worth a visit.

Each island is distinct from the other, but there isn't so much to see that you'll feel like you just did a drive by, and missed most of the highlights (like you would on Crete if you spent less than a couple months).

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Skopelos
Level Contributor
37,502 posts
39 reviews
97 helpful votes
6. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?

Hey and welcome 32katem:-) If you're looking to bypass Athens, then the Argo Saronic may not fit the bill for you.. although I did not know you can ferry easily between Aegina, Paros, Hydra and Spetses?;-) Assuming you don't have to go to the mainland at any point to get to another isle, something to consider, again, if Athens isn't definitive no-go to place and your travel style fits hitting 4 isles in 9-10 days;-)

IMO, the easiest isle group to move around in are the 3 isles in Sporades.. you can fly to Skiathos.. a 15 min ferry ride from there brings you to Skopelos' first port of call at Glossa.. another 15 min ferry ride from Skopelos Town and you're in Alonissos;-) With 9-10 days, 3 isles is more than enough to get the few days on each one to take in and enjoy;-) Of course, again, it's your prefs and style that rule;-) You can take a look at www.skopelosweb.gr/ www.alonissos.gr/ to get an idea.. you can fly in/out of Skiathos ..think it would take for a nice approx 10 day vaca;-) Happy planning.. and enJOY!

Bolton, United...
Level Contributor
516 posts
329 reviews
172 helpful votes
7. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?

my daughter is travelling to Zagreb, Albania, then plans Greek island hopping- over 5 weeks.Predominantly she'll be doing the islands but has no itinerary or fixed plans. I think it's a bit overwhelming as there's so many options/ islands . she goes in 2 weeks.

she will be on her own.

any suggestions for routes- she has, incidentally bought lots of books, this is just her Mother trying to help out!

thank you in appreciation

8. Re: Greek island hopping - where to start?

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