Whether travelling with friends and family, or even planning your honeymoon, island hopping is the perfect way to combine sightseeing and relaxation. There are thousands of islands at your disposal, but there is only so much time available to visit them. Therefore, it is important to know which islands to pick. It is important to carefully plan your trip beforehand.
Travel agencies offer many options for tourists, combining popular islands with lesser known destinations, so you can enjoy all the amenities Greece has to offer in one attractive package. Whether you’re starting your adventure from Athens or the Peloponnese, there are many passenger boats and companies willing to take you to the island of your choice. Ferry routes can be very confusing, so it is important to contact a travel agency online to make all the necessary arrangements.
The busiest time of the year is between July and September, so it is crucial to get your ferry tickets in time. This also means that finding accommodation shouldn’t be left at the last minute, especially if you’re particular about where you want to stay. The popular destinations have a wide range of hotels to choose from, but tourists who are either on a budget or who are travelling to some of the smaller islands, also rely on renting a room from the locals.
Photo Credit: Mykonos, Greece by ilkerender, on Flickr
Mykonos and Santorini are some of the most popular destinations among tourists. While many prefer spending the day at the beach, there are also other ways to make the most of your holiday. Hiking is a common activity in Santorini, whereas the archaeological site of Delos is the main attraction when travelling to Mykonos. Getting to these two islands is easy once you’ve arrived to Athens.
Photo Credit: Crete, Greece by Gustaw jot, on Flickr
Crete is also a popular choice among tourists everywhere. While you can easily spend two or three days on all the other Greek islands, you will need at least a week to enjoy everything Crete has to offer. If you’ve planned a lengthy trip, then travelling to this island is a must, unless you are too far away. Besides its clean and inviting beaches, Crete also offers the possibility of visiting Minoan ruins, hiking, exploring caves and gorges, as well as relaxing in its many quiet villages.
Photo Credit: Rhodes, Greece 2010 by drdcuddy, on Flickr
Rhodes might not be as popular as the other islands, but many of my acquaintances have opted for this quiet retreat instead of the more fashionable options available. Located very close to Turkey, Rhodes is part of the Dodecanese Islands, and it is easy to reach, whether you’re starting your journey from Athens or any Turkish town nearby. Rhodes is an incredibly picturesque location, with a history that is closely tied to both Venice and Turkey, as shown by its striking architecture.
Photo Credit: Ionian Islands, Greece by Viscoptic, on Flickr
The Ionian Islands are far from Athens, but it is easy to get to them by travelling from the northwest part of Greece, or even from Italy or Albania. The island of Corfu is the most well-known, and it offers many sightseeing possibilities and clean beaches.
Photo Credit: Aegen sea by Physiowilly, on Flickr
The North Aegean Islands are situated right between Greece and Turkey, making them a popular destination for tourists who wish to escape the crowds in Santorini, Crete, and Mykonos. Travelling to these islands can be done via Thessaloniki, or the Turkish port of Kuşadasi (as many of my friends have). This is a great opportunity to relax by the sea and also visit archaeological sites.
Whether you’re travelling by ferry, or opting for a cruise, make sure you do your research and book everything in advance. If you’re planning a romantic getaway or a fun trip with your loved ones, island hopping in Greece is definitely a possibility you shouldn’t ignore.