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Package tour or independent travel

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Cheshire, UK
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Package tour or independent travel

I'm wanting to visit Skopelos later this summer and wondered whether it would be better to book a package holiday or to do it independently.

I prefer booking my holidays independently and have heard one of the problems with package holidays is that the transfers can often take a long time due to lots of hanging around (eg. waiting for other flights to come in or being transferred very early).

The flight should be fairly easy to book independently. Is it easy to get to the ferry port in Skiathos and onto a ferry independently, without too much hanging around (assuming the flight arrives at a reasonable time).

Birmingham, United...
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1. Re: Package tour or independent travel

It is quite straightforward to do it independently, I have been to those islands 4 or 5 times over a couple of decades. Skiathos/Skopelos/Alonissos have about 4 ferries per day, Skyros is problematical on ferries but now and again there is one.

I simply walk from the airport to Skiathos the ferry port (20 mins) buy my ticket for Alonissos or Skopelos and just get on the catamaran it is as easy as that.

There may be a couple of hours wait maybe but that is not a problem, just relax. It is just as easy to do 3 islands on the one trip.

The package tour operators use the same ferries so it's no advantage.

Sheffield, United...
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2. Re: Package tour or independent travel

We are doing the 'independent' holiday to Skopelos this June after previous visits with tour operator. Feel confident about it because, as mentioned, its a short hop to the ferry port from Skiathos airport, and its a small port so no problems getting lost or on the wrong ferry etc.!

Some of the tour operators have pulled out of Skopelos or, finished, like Laskarina, so there is plenty of choice for the independent traveller.

Only problem you may have is the flight - we booked early in the year because there Just remember to reconfirm your return flight in case of strikes, hold ups etc. Many of the people we met on Skopelos were return visitors, only too pleased to help or pass on advice. Enjoy your trip.

St Albans
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3. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Would not recommend walking! The taxis are cheap and mostly airconditioned. They are also quick which can be an advantage if the ferry is due. The driver will happily drop you right outside the ferry office. Sometimes there is a wait but it is nice to sit with a beer and watch the world go by. Believe me Skopelos is worth the wait!

If you are looking for somewhere to stay I can highly recommend Pension Sotos on the harbour front.

Sheffield, United...
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4. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Quick update having just returned from Skopelos. No problems on arrival - plane touched down Skiathos 4-40pm, left airport 5-20pm.

Arrived port 5-25 pm. We knew a ferry left at 5-40pm for Skopelos- bought our tickets(after first going to wrong ticket office - Hellenic runs the flying dolphins and Jet Ferries, the other office sells tickets for SAOS and G & A ferries) only 100 yards apart though. Arrived on Skopelos at 6-30pm. Great !

However, coming back on a Friday its a bit trickier. There are two early morning dolphins but these are booked up at least a week in advance by tour operators and frequent visitors who know the ropes !! As our flight was not until late afternoon we did not want to return so early. There was another (large) ferry at 2-30pm but that was cutting it a bit fine. Then we found that there were two ferries out of Glossa to Skiathos - 1100 and 1300 hours. We asked the car hire people if we could take the car up there ( about 40 mins drive from Skopelos Town) and they sent someone with us to bring the car back - no charge. We just booked our tickets a couple of days in advance (plenty of room on these big car ferries). One other word of advice - getting a taxi to Skiathos airport from the port taxi rank was not easy so dont leave yourself short of time. We were lucky as a taxi dropped a fare off as we left the port gates- other taxis were speeding past the queue and people were getting panicky. Good luck and enjoy your trip.

St Albans
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5. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Hi Chrissi,

Yes, it is worth noting that Fridays have always been the busiest day for transfers as this is the day that most charter flights arrive from the UK.

Always worth buying tickets in advance for this day.

You haven't mentioned much about your holiday, how was your accommodation? Did you have a great time? I understand that the temperature has been soaring into the 40's, hope you had air con.!

We are going out in 4 weeks, a new experience for us as we normally go end May so is going to be much busier. We are also traveling via Thessaloniki and Volos which is going to be quite an experience as we normally travel charter to Skiathos. I am wondering is there anyone out there that can give some advice about the best way to get from Thessaloniki airport to the main bus station where we intend to get the coach to Volos?

Sheffield, United...
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6. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Hi - thanks for your comments - yes we did have a great holiday. We stayed at the delsol - we could see the ferries come in from our balcony and yet it was so quiet during the day and the night. There were music bars just opening up but the noise didnt seem to travel.

We went from 8-22 June. The week before we went they had 2 days rain and one day cold (their words!)- everyone had a blanket on their beds when we arrived. We took good weather with us -and it started at about 24 degrees when we arrived and gradually crept up until the last 3 days it was hitting high 30s - bit much for us. They have had the driest winter for years and everyone is on fire watch- not just us getting funny weather then ?

Our apartment only got sun on the windows late afternoon so only needed to put the air con on for a couple of hours the last 3 days.

Skopelos just as we remembered it from 3 years ago and we will be going back.

Longer review posted Monday. Have a great time.

St Albans
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7. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Good to hear that the Del Sol is open again after last years devastating events. Had Sophie managed to get the poolside bar and restaurant open?

Sheffield, United...
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8. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Hi - no the pool bar & restaurant remain closed. However, you are free to take your own food and drink up to the pool, use the fridge up there etc. We did not mind this at all, the back gate is locked now so it was often quiet up there. Some of the 'regulars' missed having meals on site, but it really did not affect our enjoyment of the holiday. Sophie is coping Ok but it is early days and I cannot see the restaurant opening this year.

merseyside
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9. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Hi there

Can anybody tell me what happened at the Del Sol? I was looking forward to popping in there, having read previous reviews and looking at their website. We are going in August.

Sheffield, United...
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10. Re: Package tour or independent travel

Hi Greekfreak - sadly Takis died following an accident end of last year. As mentioned Sophie has closed the restaurant and pool bar for this year at least. Regards.