Greek Island Hopping

If your dream is to grab a ferry and hop from one island to another, from one paradise to the other, then I think Greek islands are what you are looking for!

Here, you won’t only find a complete guide for Greek island hopping, but we recommend specific routes based on your main interests.

Feel free to leave your own experiences or suggestions in the comment section.

The more ideas, the better for everybody!

Here are the topics that we will cover in this post

  • Starting points for the Greek Island hopping.
  • Specific Greek Island hopping recommendations

But before starting, let’s begin with some necessary information:

  • Unfortunately, there are no ferry passes for Greece. Therefore, you will need to book ferry tickets for each leg of every itinerary, and there is no discount for return tickets or multiple-stop tickets. There are many ferry booking platforms, but the best one is Ferryscanner. It supports multiple destinations, which makes it ideal for island hopping!
  • The only pass that gives some discount on Greek islands is the Interrail Greek Islands Pass. Have a look. It might suit you.
  • If you select some of the famous islands like Santorini and Mykonos, you have to book many months in advance. Don’t forget that, otherwise you will be disappointed.
  • If you are looking for activities on the islands, I use the GetYourGuide platform, which has a variety of experiences.
  • The best website for booking a hotel in Greece is Nowadays, apartments are also included in, which I find easier and more reliable.
  • My recommendation is—if you can—to fly into and out of Greece from different airports to save yourself time and money. The Greek islands with the most flights are Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Crete (both Heraklion and Chania airports), Rhodes, Kos, Zante, Kefalonia, and Corfu.
  • Affordable Greek Island Hopping: Ferry tickets in Greece are not as cheap as they used to be. So, I think it would be better to make fewer stops (2 – 3 islands) and explore them rather than visit more without really enjoying them.
  • Greek Island Hopping & Honeymoon: There are so many choices when it comes to honeymoons. Check out some of our recommendations here!

Starting points for the Greek Island hopping.

There are some main starting points for island hopping

  1. Athens (We will explain more analytical below)
  2. Thessaloniki (Arriving at Thessaloniki airport, you can reach Volos Port and Keramoti Port quite easily.)
  3. Volos (It’s between Thessaloniki and Athens, and Volos also has its own airport—although not so well connected. It’s the key port for the Sporades islands! ).
  4. Patras (Its main port can connect you with some of the Ionian islands)
  5. Igoumenitsa (Ideal connection with Corfu)

The main island-hopping area in Greece is the Aegean Sea and secondly the Ionian Sea.

In total, there are five main areas that we will focus on.

  • Saronic Gulf islands
  • Cyclades
  • Dodecanese
  • Sporades island
  • The Ionian Islands or Eptanisa (in Greek)

1. Athens has three different ports. Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio.

Piraeus: It is the largest port in Greece and one of the largest in Europe. It is well connected by rail and overground. Most islands are linked to Piraeus, so it should be your first choice.

Rafina: The journey to Mykonos and Andros from Rafina port is quite fast, but the connection to this harbour is only by car or coach. You can visit islands like Mykonos, Andros, Naxos, Tinos, Syros, and a lot more. Here is a timetable for the coaches from Athens to Rafina port.

Lavrio: It is a little bit further from Athens, but it is a less crowded port and ideal for saving time if you want to visit specific islands, like Kea (Tzia), Kythnos, Syros, etc.

Our initial starting point for Greek island hopping in the Aegean would be Piraeus, and later we will check if you can mix the things even more. I will explain later.


Greek Island hopping recommendations

Saronic Gulf Islands

Saronic Gulf islands are very close to Athens, which is ideal if you have limited time in Athens and want to get a quick taste of the Greek Islands. Aigina and Agkistri are the closest islands to Athens.

Aigina isn’t as picturesque as the other Greek islands, but it is easy to visit and has a lot to see (like the fantastic Temple of Aphaea).

Hydra is, in my opinion, the most picturesque island in the Saronic Gulf, but it can get busy.

Spetses Island is larger and quite lively. Cars are not allowed in Hydra, and their use is limited in Spetses! Personally, between Hydra and Spetses, I prefer Spetses, but this is just me! You can find our mini travel guide about Spetses Island here!

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Poros is a bit different from the other islands, with more options. You can get there by car through the Peloponnese and pass small boats.

Saronic Gulf islands are well connected, and getting from one island to the other is quite easy.

Daily trips from Athens


Here you can find the iconic white houses with blue-coloured windows (or at least at most of Cyclades islands!). You have more combinations to choose from, which is awesome but it can create a headache from the wide range of islands.

We will recommend some of our favourite routes, but then you can create your own ones!

Just be creative and ask us in the comment section below.

The Route of Diamonds: Athens – Mykonos – Paros – Naxos – Santorini.

With this route, you can visit four of the most beautiful islands in Greece and the world!

Mykonos (find our dedicated post here!) is famous for its fantastic nightlife and beaches. Lately, it has become quite trendy, so it gets quickly crowded and expensive. Find our list of the best places to stay in Mykonos here.

Mykonos Island Hopping Greece

Paros is my favourite choice as it offers options for all ages, families, and young couples. I have gathered all the necessary information in the posts below!

Paros island! A complete guide to this beautiful island!

Best beaches in Paros!

Best Hotels on Paros!

Best areas to stay on Paros!

Mini guide on hiking in Paros!

Naoussa Paros island

Naxos has beautiful beaches and excellent food, and it is quite significant to keep you intrigued and interested.

You can find our travel guide here and the best hotels in Naxos here!

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Now, about Santorini, I don’t think that I have to tell you much, as it is impressive! You can find here our dedicated travel posts about Santorini island.

Secret Greece travel startups

Of course, you can add some more islands, like a day trip from Mykonos to Delos, which belongs to the incredible list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Greece, or even Tinos, a magnificent island under the radar of massive tourism. We frequently visit Tinos, and here you can find our complete travel guide about this wonderful island.

You can also remove one island from the route, for example, Naxos.

Finally, you can also check out Milos Island (and its neighbour Kimolos), which has fantastic beaches and great energy!

As I mentioned above, it totally depends on your preference, budget, and time.

The Underrated Route: Kythnos – Serifos – Sifnos  

Kythnos is relatively close to Athens. 1.40′ from Lavrio port and around 3 hours from Piraeus. It is small with great hiking routes and still quite traditional.

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Serifos is one of my favourite islands, and I cannot be objective as I have spent some summers there working locally.

It is quite wild, with fantastic beaches and picturesque Chora village.

Island Hopping in Greece
Serifos island

Sifnos has probably the best food in the Cyclades and many small churches.

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The route of Small Islands: Donousa, Koufonisia, Schoinousa, Iraklia

These four islands are called Mikres (=Small) the Cyclades, and they are unique and have kept their traditional character.

Of the four, Koufonisia has become quite popular in recent years (find our detailed travel guide here and our list of the best places to stay on this beautiful island!).

The other three aren’t under the massive tourism radar yet.

Donousa has been getting more popular lately, but I think it has maintained its character and authenticity. I spent 2 weeks there, and I totally enjoyed it. You can find my experience and my travel guide about Donousa here!

Karnagio restaraunt in Koufonisi
Koufonisia Island
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They are quite small, so don’t expect big hotels and resorts. These are for travelers that prefer wilder and quiet places and experiences.

The Hiking Route: Naxos – Amorgos

Both islands provide beautiful trails, but I think Amorgos is one of the two best islands in the Aegean for hiking. In case you are wondering, the other is Andros.

Amorgos is an island with wild beauty and with one of the most beautiful traditional central villages (Chora).

Amorgos island
Amorgos Island


Kos – Kalymnos – Leros – Patmos

I like this route as it begins from one famous and busy island and goes through some more hidden islands in the Aegean.

Kos is one of the most touristic islands in Greece, and it has big resorts and sandy beaches.

You can spend a couple of days there and then visit Kalymnos, one of the best climbing destinations in Europe! Except for climbing, there are routes for hiking and some great one-day trips to close small islands.

The next stop can be Leros is one of the most underrated islands. It is quite small, and it has kept its character. Its Italian influence has given the island a wonderful personality.

Leros island Hidden Greece

The last and probably best is Patmos. It is an amazing island with a rich religious history, great beaches, and beautiful architecture.

Rhodes – Symi – Nisiros – Tilos

Rhodes is very famous for its fantastic history and beaches! You can find our post about the best things to do in Rhodes island and we also selected the best hotels in Rhodes here!

But I want to focus on the other smaller islands, like Symi. This picturesque island will provide you with remote beaches, great food, and unique moments. Discover more about this island on our travel guide here and check our recommendations for the best accommodation!

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Nysiros is another island (the other is Santorini) quite wild, and it has an active volcano (but not erupting).

Tilos is one of the small islands where you just become one with the locals, and it has kept its traditional character. You can check our mini-guide here and our recommendation about the best places to stay!

Saint Antonios Tilos island greece


The Green Route: Skiathos – Skopelos – Alonissos

You can start your Greek island hopping from Volos or Agios Konstantinos port. If you are in the Volos area, you can explore some of the best beaches in the Pelion area. Learn more about this amazing area on our special mini travel guide about Pelion and our list of the best hotels and apartments in the area.

All three islands are green with great nature and amazing beaches.

Skiathos is a vibrant island with beautiful beaches and very interesting nightlife! Here is our travel guide about the island and where to stay!

Skopelos was featured in the Hollywood movie Mama Mia, and Alonissos has an incredible Marine Park.

Skopelos Greek Island Hopping
Skopelos Island


In this part of the Mediterranean, there is no single starting point for Greek island hopping. It can be from Igoumenitsa, or you can fly to any of the biggest islands (like Corfu) and start from there!

Corfu – Paxoi – Lefkada – Kefalonia – Ithaca

This route is not as straightforward as it sounds. 

Paxos Greek Island Hopping
Paxos island

You can visit Paxos, which has some of the most amazing beaches in Corfu, by boat from New Port – “Kamelia Lines”.

You have two options if you want to add Lefkada and Kefalonia to your itinerary.

You can take the plane from Corfu to Kefalonia (unfortunately through Athens).

Alternatively, if you are in Paxos, you can go to Igoumenitsa port on the mainland. From there, you can take the bus to Lefkada and another bus to Nydri.

From Lefkada, you can use Ionian Sea Ferries to arrive at Fiskardo Kefalonia. This sounds a bit complicated. Apologies for that!

Do you have any question about the Greek Island Hopping?

Don’t hesitate to ask us or leave us a comment below!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a small fee when booking a hotel. It costs you nothing extra but helps keep my site running. 

165 thoughts on “Greek Island Hopping”

  1. Hello 👋 and thank you for all your fantastic information re Greece. My husband & I will be in Costa Navarino in June this year and thinking of hiring a car and driving to Nafpilo for one night and then head to Athens airport. I have been looking at ferry times etc and think it may be easier to fly to an island rather than catch a ferry from Athens. We are looking at visiting Santorini, Milos, Mykonos and either Paros or Naxos. My husband does not want to not hop around to too many islands as he would prefer to spend more quality time on an island. What island would you fly into and what route would you recommend to see these islands? Happy to drop one island if need be, we will have about 1 week to see the islands before we head back to Athens and fly back to Australia. Thank you ☺️

    • Hi Yvette. You are welcome!

      So, given your time constraints and preferences, I agree that is is referable on focusing on fewer islands to ensure you can enjoy a more relaxed and in-depth experience. Each island you’ve mentioned — Santorini, Milos, Mykonos, Paros, and Naxos — has its unique charm and attractions, but since your husband prefers to limit the hopping around, I recommend the 2 below itineraries.

      1) Santorini and Paros/Naxos
      Fly into Santorini: It’s a popular option with direct flights from Athens. Santorini has become suoer touristic so I would stay for 2 days just to get an idea, see the caldera and iconic pistursque houses hanging from the cliffs. And then I would go to either Paros or Naxos. This is my personal preference as Mykonos is lovely but also has become more upper class and quite prestegious. So, it is totally up to you!
      Paros/Naxos are both centrally located, making travel between them relatively easy, but they offer different experiences. Paros is known for its traditional villages, beautiful beaches, and lively nightlife, while Naxos is a bit more laid-back, with stunning landscapes, ancient ruins, and longer stretches of sandy beaches. The ferry from Milos to either island takes about 3-4 hours or 2 if you get the speed ferry.

      2) Milos and Paros/Naxos
      Fly into Milos, which is known for its incredible beaches and lunar landscapes! Here I would spend more days that first choice, namely 3-4 Spend exploring its natural beauty, including the unique Sarakiniko Beach and the quaint fishing villages. Then I would get a ferry to Paros or Naxos.

      Let me know if you need anything else Yvette!

  2. Hi Dimitris,

    Thanks for this useful information on Greek island hopping! My partner and I are hoping to travel to Greece in June this year for approx 10 days – we both love beaches and swimming, so were hoping we could we could plan a relaxing holiday around this. Based on our research, we would like to visit Corfu, Kefalonia, Lefkada, Paxos (maybe) and then Athens for the last few days. Please could we get your thoughts on this and the best way to structure our itinerary? Thanks in advance for your help!

    • Hi Aisha

      Hope you have a fantastic time in Greece!

      The only issue is that those islands are not very well connected as anyone would expect, but let me recommend a nice itinerary!

      So, you can spend 3 days in Corfu, visiting the famous beaches like Paleokastritsa and Glyfada. Explore Corfu Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, with its Venetian architecture and the Old Fortress! It is really lovely!

      From Corfu get the ferry to to Paxos. This is a much smaller island that offers a more laid-back atmosphere. The absolutly star here are the beaches! You will find some amazing crystal-clear waters of beaches like Voutoumi! Do not forget to explore the charming villages of Gaios, Lakka, and Loggos.

      Next stop, Lefkada. Now it gets a little bit complicated!
      If you are in Paxos then you can go to Igoumenitsa port on the mainland. Then, from there, you can get the bus or rent a car to Lefkada
      Lefkada is connected to the mainland by a bridge, making it easily accessible. Lefkada boasts some of the best beaches in Greece, such as Porto Katsiki and Egremni. If time is limited, select one or two beaches to explore.

      Kefalonia. From Lefkada you can get the local ferry boat from Vasiliki, in Lefkada to Fiskardo in Kefalonia.
      Kefalonia is really big so in 2 days you might need to focus on visting specific areas, like Myrtos Beach, one of Greece’s most photographed beaches, Melissani Cave, and the village of Fiscardo. Or there guide tours that visit in one day Kefalonia from Lefkada.

      Let me know if you need more help!

  3. Hi Dimitris,
    We are 4 mature ladies mid 50’s heading to Greece for 2 weeks early June. We are looking to visit maybe 3 islands , flying from dublin but not wanting to fly in to Athens …Mykonos is defo on the list ..any recommendations would be great …


    • Hi Martina,

      Flying directly to Mykonos, I think it can be a good choice, especially if you are interested mainly in island beauty! So, for a two-week trip to Greece , you have several appealing options that combine well with Mykonos. I do not know exactly your preferences, so I would make a more generic recommendation!

      Here are three islands that complement Mykonos nicely, along with a suggested itinerary:

      1) Fly into Mykonosand stay 3-4 days. Mykonos is of course famous for its vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches like Psarou and Paraga, and the iconic windmills in Mykonos Town! Don’t miss exploring the charming alleys of Mykonos Town and enjoying a sunset dinner in Little Venice. Note, it can get really crowded!
      2) Santorini! Take a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, which usually takes about 2-3 hours. Stay there 2-3 days just to see the dramatic views, stunning sunsets, and unique architecture. Visit Oia for the iconic blue-domed churches, take a wine tour to taste the island’s unique volcanic wines, and enjoy a boat tour of the caldera!
      3) I would recommend to spend the majority of your days on Naxos and/or Paros
      I think both island offers a nice balance compared to the bustling Mykonos and touristy Santorini.

      Naxos. As the largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos offers stunning beaches like Agios Prokopios and Plaka, impressive ancient ruins, and mountain villages.
      Paros is known for its traditional villages, beautiful beaches, and active nightlife in Naousa and Parikia. Paros offers a good mix of relaxation and cultural experiences, with excellent opportunities for water sports.

      From both islands you can get day cruises to Mikres Cyclades. These are 4 small islands, Schoinousa, Koufonisia, Iraklia and Donousa, which offer a more off the touristic path with amazing beaches!

      Let me know if you need anything else Martina! Enjoy your holidays!

  4. Hello Secret Greece!
    I’m overwhelmed with decision making! Hopefully you can help! We are a family of four (2 boys 10 and 7) traveling in April to Athens. We want to do about three or four days of islands. We are not big on the major tourism super crowded places like Santorini. Can you give me a suggestion that’s family friendly, not over crowded if we were to only make it to two islands?

    • Hi Amanda. Apologies for the delay! I know what do you mean about all the information that you might read and the decision that you have to take!

      So, for a family trip to the Greek islands in April, which is slightly before the peak tourist season starts, the reduced crowds offer an ideal opportunity for a more relaxed and enjoyable visit. You can go two 2 different directions. One to Cyclades and on to Argosaronikos islands.

      In both cases many restaruants and cafes might be close during to the early of the season.

      For Cyclades, I would say Paros island would be an excellent choice. It is known for its traditional villages and beautiful beaches
      The island has a relaxed atmosphere, with beaches like Golden Beach offering watersports that might appeal to your boys. The charming town of Naoussa, with its white-washed houses and narrow lanes, offers a safe and inviting environment for families to explore. Paros also serves as a good base for a day trip to the smaller island of Antiparos, which is just a short ferry ride away and offers quiet beaches and a laid-back vibe.

      For Argosaronikos, I would recommend Spetses, as it offers a unique blend of elegance, history, and natural beauty, making it an attractive destination for families. Much of Spetses is free from car traffic, creating a safer and more peaceful environment for families. You can explore the island on foot, by bike, or with horse-drawn carriages, which can be a fun experience for kids.

      Note that the weather in April in Athens and the islands can be unpredicted. Normally is quite nice and relatively warm, but not warm enought to go to the beach and swim! At least, I have never done that!

      Let me know if you need anything else!

  5. Hi Dimitiri,

    What an amazing site!!
    We are 3 couples in our fifties and are looking to visit Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu , Delos and Rhodes ..if possible ,flying in from Toronto, mid sept 2024.. We love to learn and explore the history of the country along with local cuisine. Do you have any suggestions?..


    • Hi Katia,

      Sorry of the delayed response!
      I think your planned trip with all these destiantions are quite ambitious as it covers different parts of Greece and you will need to fly to some of these islands!

      So, if you begin your adventure in Athens, then I think you shoudl dedicate 2-3 days to explore monumental sites like the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, and the National Archaeological Museum, and also tasting the delicious traditional Greek cuisine in the Plaka district, with a local twist in the tavernas of Psiri and Koukaki.
      Next, Mykonos would need around 2 days minimum. I think you might enjoy the vibrant nightlife, the iconic windmills, and the Archaeological Museum await, alongside a day trip to Delos, a treasure trove of ancient ruins.
      Next stop, Santorini, 2-3 days, where you will enjoy for surethe breathtaking sunsets, white-washed buildings, and unique volcanic beaches, with historical explorations in Akrotiri and gastronomic delights, including indigenous wine tours.

      Spend 2-3 days at least in Corfu for 2-3 days, where do not forget to visit the Venetian fortresses, the UNESCO-listed old town, and try also the local cuisine that mirrors its Venetian influence, highlighting dishes like pastitsada and sofrito.

      Conclude your journey in Rhodes for 3 days and visit of course the Medieval Old Town, the Palace of the Grand Master, and ancient Lindos offer a historical finale, alongside beach relaxation and traditional Greek meals with Asia Minor influences.

      As I said above, to navigate the geographical spread efficiently, consider domestic flights, especially to Corfu and Rhodes, with ferries between Mykonos and Santorini, and ensure bookings are secured well in advance.
      I am super confident Katia that you all have a great time!

      Let me know if you need anything else!

  6. WOW! So impressed with your knowledge and recommendations. My husband and I plan to checkoff my bucket list item of traveling to Greece to celebrate my military retirement, teaching retirement and my 50th birthday. My hope is to plan a two week trip in September 2024. We love beaches, food, night life, tourist attractions, etc. Do you recommend going through a travel agent? Costco Travel offers: Greece package- Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete, Athens (10 days) that includes airfare, airport/ferry transfers, and hotels. Or is it better for me to plan everything on my own with us staying at an Air BnB/VRBO vs. hotels? Or do you recommend a travel agent? Do you feel 2 days is enough at each island? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Marjorie and apologies for the late response!

      Initially, I would like to day congratulations on your retirements and your 50th birthday! I hope planning a trip to Greece to celebrate such significant milestones would be a fantastic choice!
      Now whether to book through a travel agent, use Costco Travel, or plan the trip yourself depends on several factors, including your preferences for flexibility, convenience, and the type of experiences you wish to have.

      I have never used Costco or a travel agent as I plan my itinerary my self. But I would recognise the conveniency of getting travel packages and the support that you will have.
      So, if you just need sth easy and without hustle then you can go treavel agencies and get some offers.

      If you prefer flexibiltiy, customization then I think you could plan your own trip!

      Now about the duration of Stay. While two days on each island can give you a taste of what each destination offers, it might feel rushed, especially considering travel time between islands. If possible, consider extending your stay to at least 3 days per island to truly relax and immerse yourself in the local culture, beaches, and attractions without feeling hurried.

      Ultimately, the decision should align with your comfort level, budget, and how you envision your dream trip to Greece unfolding.
      I am pretty convinced that whichever option you choose, your trip to Greece sounds like it will be a fantastic adventure filled with beautiful memories!

      Enjoy Marjorie and let me know if you need any further help!


  7. Hi Dimitris!

    Wow, I’m impressed! Thank you for this blog:)

    We’re planning on spending a month in Greece in June and have been to Santorini, Mykonos, Paros before but don’t mind going back if they’re along the route.

    My questions:

    1. Can you suggest the order for which to see these islands? Naxos, Amorgos, Mykonos, Delos, Tinos, Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Zakynthos.

    Also, we don’t mind flying between islands if it’s an option.

    2. Is a month enough to see all these? How many days do you suggest per island?

    3. How do I find ferry routes between each island?

    4. How are the seas during this time if we were to rent a boat? And by boat, we have not done this before so not sure what type of boat is possible. I easily get seasick though but curious to see the islands from this perspective.

    Thank you so much:)

    • Hi Joanna,

      Thanks for the positive remarks!

      So, before replying your questions let me highlight that I miss some information about what do you like on holidays and if you are person that likes relaxing or sports or sightseeing etc. But I will do my best and give you some answers!
      Let’s start!

      1. There are quite few ways to navigate through these islands. You can play with your desired destinations on the ferry website. I will let you know my favorite below. So, one itinerary could be Tinos, Mykonos, Delos (day trip), Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Amorgos. But you can change that. Zakynthos is a different story as it is at the west side of Greece and it is not connected by ferry with the other mentioned islands. If you insist on including Zakynthos on the itinerary you can switch the sequence of the 2 last islands, which means after Naxos you can go firstly to Amorgos and then in Santorini, where you can get a flight through Athens to Zakynthos.
      2.As I said I don’t know exactly your preferences about how long do you prefer to stay on island.
      On average I would say that a month would be more than enough.
      Tinos(3-5 days), Mykonos(3-4 days), Delos (day trip), Paros(3-5), Naxos(3-6), Santorini(2-4), Amorgos (3-5).
      3. There are many web platforms with the ferry routes, prices and booking systems. I personally use Ferryscanner where you can also select multiple islands and plan your island hopping route.
      4. About the weather, as you understand this can be quite unpredictable. This year for example June was quite rainy compared to June 2022, where it was hot and sunny. Usually there are can be some strong winds (Mykonos and Tinos are considered very windy islands) but generally it is not considered a windy month and I expect some days to be calm and good for sailing or to do daily trips by boat. About the boat options the easiest is to choose some boat trips that every island has. For example you can check the weather (or ask the locals!) and when it will be a calm day you can go by boat on daily trips or visiting beaches that you can approach by road. For example, from Naxos you can go on daily trips to some smaller islands like Koufonisia, Schoinousa etc. Getyourguide is an international platform with things to do per islands and it includes boat trips. But you can always ask directly for boat trips on the islands that you will visit. June is not a crowded month so you will always find places for such trips.

      Lastly, allow me to recommend in case you want to avoid going to same islands like Mykonos, Paros and Naxos and instead look for new ones! If you like small and quite islands then Koufonisia (fantastic beaches) and Schoinousa might be good choices. If you prefer bigger islands then Milos (+Kimolos) will be an excellent choice. And lastly Serifos is very nice with great beaches and nice main village!

      I am here if you have any other question!



  8. Good day Dimitri,
    Wow! Your website is so insightful with many wonderful ideas. We are a couple from South Africa considering Greek Island hopping in May 2024. I believe this is shoulder season so hoping to miss the busiest time. We would like to stay in one base and do day trips to a few island from there. We enjoy a town where we can come “home” to, have dinner and every other day, hop on a ferry and explore a nearby island. We plan on about 7 – 10 days traveling to and from Athens. I would say if we can explore 4 islands and one nice one as a base, that would be sufficient. Any suggestions to a good base island with 4 islands relatively close with easy ferry rides for day trips, it would be so appreciated.
    Wishing you well from Cape Town!!

    • Hi Michelle! Many greeting to beautiful and far away Cape town! I hope one day to visit this place!

      So, there are some candidates for your “home” island. It could be either Paros or Naxos.
      From Paros/Naxos you can visit or daily trips/cruises Naxos, Antiparos Mykonos, Koufonisia, Schoinousa, Iraklia and even Santorini!
      Both are great islands. Paros is a little bit smaller with nice villages like Paroikia and Naousa and Naxos has beautiful main town and many mountianous beautiful villages.

      If you need any other advice just let me know!


      • Hello, I just read your blog and it is really interesting! Myself and my husband plus our three teenagers would like to island-hop around the Greek islands next summer 2024, probably in July. The Cyclades might be best. I like your idea of flying into one airport and out of another to maximise the visit. We would be flying from Dublin. Is accommodation for 5 people difficult to find and would we have to book ferries and accommodation in advance?

        • Hi Gillian,

          Island-hopping around the Greek islands, especially in the Cyclades, is a fantastic idea! Here’s some advice and information to help you plan:

          Initially you can start from Mykonos, as it has and an international airport and I think you can find direct flights from Dublin to Mykonos. You can end your island hopping in Santorini, which also has an international airport, and you can fly back to Dublin directly. Of course it can be vice versa!

          About accomodation, given that you’re traveling with three teenagers, it might be worthwhile to consider renting a villa or an apartment, which could give you more space and potentially some kitchen facilities. My personal recommendation is to book your accomodation early 6-8 months beforehand with possible cancellation policy.

          About ferries, July is quite busy tourist season in the Cyclades. Personally I never had issues with ferry tickets in July but you can always book your ferry tickets in advance just to be on the safe side. The ferry schedules for summer 2024 might not be out until late 2023 or early 2024. Websites like Ferryscanner can be used to check schedules and book tickets.

          Let me know if you need anything else!


  9. Oh, this is a gem of a blog! I’ve glanced over some information here already. I’m currently planning a trip with family (no kids) and the starting point will be Thessaloniki. I was thinking to take the ferry as follows:

    Thessaloniki >> ferry to Skiathos (and visit Skopelos and Alonnisos on a day trip) >> ferry to Mykonos and Syros >> ferry to Athens. But I am not quite sure if there are ferries from Skiathos to either Mykonos or Syros at all?? Would that mean that we need to add a stop in Piraeus? Would it then make more sense to stay in Athens and then take a ferry from Piraeus to Mykonos & Syros, and fly back from Mykonos (instead of flying back from Athens)?

    Thank you

    • Hi Nel!

      Indeed it sounds a nice plan and I think that you will have fun and get to know different islands and vibes.

      The only issue is the one that you also mentioned yourself. Unfortunetely, there is no connection from Skiathos to Cyclades islands or even Piraeus.
      So, one solution would be to remove Skiathos from your itinerary and fly from Thessaloniki directly to Athens or directly to Mykonos! If you fly from Thessaloniki to Mykonos directly, then you can go to Syros and then go by ferry to Athens and fly from there to your hometown.
      Second solution is to include Skiathos as planned and then take the ferry to Volos or Agios Konstantinos port and then by car/bus to Athens or fly from Skiathos to Athens. In that case, as you will pass through Athens and you could see all the sightseeing, you can explore the option to fly directly from Mykonos to your hometown.

      Hope I was clear! If you need anything else or have a question, just let me know!


  10. Hi! First of all, thank you for all the wonderful and helpful information. My family and I are planning a trip next year (early June). These are the islands that have caught my attention the most so far: Milos, Santorini, Crete, Zakynthos; however, I’m not sure how to navigate around those minimizing traveling time. Also, not sure if that’s too much for a 2 week trip (including Athens)? Can I squeeze in another island or remove one? This will be our first time in Greece.
    Thank you!

    • Thank you Amy for the nice words!

      The islands that you chose are indeed beautiful and worth a visit. But I am afraid that Zante is on the different area of Greece quite away for the other 3. So, you can still visit Zakynthos, but you will need to get a flight and fly through Athens. Therefprr, I would personally remove or replace Zakynthos.

      For a two-week trip to Greece, you might start with 2-3 days in Athens, immersing yourself in iconic sites like the Acropolis. Then take the ferry to Milos and allocate at least 3 days to appreciate its unique beaches and charming villages. From Milos, go to Santorini, where you can spend spend about 3 days exploring picturesque towns like Oia and Fira. From Santorini ferry will take you to Crete, where you can spend 5-6 days exploring highlights such as Chania, the Knossos Palace, and renowned beaches.

      If you feel that you will need another island to replace Zakynthos then at the beginning of your journey, before visiting Milos you can stop to either Paros or Naxos!

      Let me know if you need anything else! Happy to help!



  11. Hi there Secret Greece

    We are currently in Athens and we just did the Virgin Voyages cruise from Athens – Athens via Santorini, Rhodes, Bodrum & Mykonos and we are going on another cruise next week to Croatia with Virign as well.,.. But in the mean time we want to go an explore an island or 2 and then catch the ferry back to the Ship this Sunday.

    We have heard that Milos is amazing.. We need some time out and relax a little before doing this next cruise without travelling too far. So a nice beach front setting with great food and locals who like Australians haha!

    What would you suggest or recommend? We have nothing booked but plan to leave Athens tomorrow (Wednesday 8th August and be back to port on Sunday 13th August refreshed and ready for our next sailing.

    • Hi Sharon,

      Hope you had a great time on your cruise!

      Milos is indeed very beautiful, but this period of time it would very very crowded as many Greek islands! Not sure if you could find any available rooms in Milos, but you can check the villages of Paliochori, Pollonia and Pachaina (quite windy sometimes). I checked some hotels that I know but there were all fully booked!
      A daily trip to Kimolos is also recommended!

      Paros is also nice and you could find some nice hotels in Naousa village (very cosmopolitan&crowded. Check Avant Mar Paros) or Piso Livadi (Check Ragoussis House – quite basic but clean) or Ampelas (A quiter village. Check hotel PAROCKS Luxury Hotel & Spa ).

      Let me know if you need anything else.


  12. Hi

    Such a helpful site, we are planning some island hopping next year 2024, 14 nights, we’ve already visited, Crete, Zante, Corfu, Rhodes and Skiathos so will be trying to avoid those if possible, the plan is to have a couple of days in Athens to see the main sights then to Hydra for a couple of days just not sure where to go from there and whether to just stick to one other island or could we squeeze in another 2? just don’t want to spend more time travelling than actually seeing the island(s). any advise would be great. Thanks

    • Hi Wendy!

      Perhaps you already know that if you want to go to Hydra, you can only visit the islands of Argosaronikos, which is Agkistri, Aigina, Spetses and Poros. If you want to visit Cyclades, you have to return to Piraeus and then take another ferry.

      Therefore you can start your 14-day trip with two days in Athens exploring historical sites like the Acropolis and Ancient Agora. Then, take a ferry to Hydra, where you’ll spend two days enjoying its charming car-free old town and picturesque monasteries. Afterward, embark on a direct ferry to Aegina to spend three days immersing in the local culture, visiting the ancient Temple of Aphaia, and indulging in local pistachios. Follow this with a ferry to Spetses where you can relax on the beaches, bike around the island, or explore the spiritual Zoodochos Pigi Monastery over three days. I included 3 islands as all of them are quite small but you can always skip one if you want. Finally, return to Athens for the last days for additional sightseeing, shopping, or relaxing in spots like the National Garden or the vibrant Plaka district.

      If you want to visit any island from Cyclades, with the distinctive white houses and blue windows, you have to retun to Piraeus. From there the choices are many! You can visit 1-2 island from Paros, Naxos, Mykonos and Santorini, which are the obvious choices. If you want a less famous island, you can add any of Serifos, Tinos and Sifnos!

      Let me know if you need any more help!


  13. Hi !
    We are planning a family trip with 5 & 2 yr old to corfu and add another island .
    Any recommended itinerary as I found it a bit complicated to travel to cephalonia from corfu or Athens .
    A also open to suggestions if there are nicer islands to explore with kids
    Thanks ,

    • Hi Dahlia,

      You are right! Going from Corfu to Kefalonia isn’t so straightforward as anyone would expect. I am sure you have already checked that there 1 direct route 3 times per week but it lasts 9 hours which is quite long time!

      From Corfu, you can also take a ferry to:

      Paxos. The trip takes about 2 hours. Paxos is much smaller and quieter than Corfu, with stunning turquoise waters and pebbled beaches. The pace of life is slower, which can be ideal for a family with young children.

      Lefkada. But the can take up to 6 hours!

      Finally, there is always the choice of flights, where you can go to many different islands through Athens!

      Let me know if you need anything else.



  14. Hi Dimitri, I understand why you are so popular with great advice!

    We are currently in beautiful Lesvos but would like to explore other islands – island hopping to Crete in August. We have approx 12 days from 6/8/23. We would like to skip Santorini, Rhodes and Mykonos if possible.

    Any suggestions would be terrific!


    • Hi Robby,

      Thank you for the compliment!

      So if I understand clear, you want a recommendation about a possible itinerary from Lesbos to Crete in 12 days, right?

      So, my suggestion would be:
      Take a ferry to Chios, which is famous for its charming medieval villages and of course the unique mastic trees. Continue to Samos, which is renowned for its excellent wine and nice beaches. From there, journey further south to Patmos, a smaller island, where you can find the Cave of the Apocalypse that John of Patmos (St. John the Theologian) is said to have written the Book of Revelations.

      Next, take the ferry to Kos, where you can visit the nice beaches and the fascinating ancient ruins. Kos is quite tourist, so you can skip it if it is not what you are looking for. From Kos go to Symi (Nisyros and Tilos can be interesting destiantiosn as well). Symi is has a super picturesque main village and nice crystal waters. From Symi go to Karpathos and then finally, reach Crete!

      It is a very tight route, so you can skip any island that you think it doesn’t match your preferances! Or add more islands and extend the timeframe!

      Let me know if you have any other question.



  15. This is so helpful!!!

    We are planning on going late March/ early April 2024 with another couple. Most of my research has been around the route of diamonds, but could we squeeze in Milos??

    Right now the plan is to visit Athens for a few days at the beginning/ end of the trip and island hopping for most of the trip. Should we replace Mykonos with Milos? or maybe just spend 1 day in Mykonos? any advice is welcome!

    • Hi Samantha,

      Hope you are well! Cannot reply to you with cerntainty as I don’t know what exactly do you like and your preferences!

      Mykonos is very nice island indeed, with beautiful beaches and very cosmopolitan, but also quite expensive and during summer very crowded.

      If you want to remove one island and add Milos, you can of course do that removing possibly Naxos.

      Note that the period that you mention, it would be a little bit cold in the islands and also many bars/resaraunts will be closed as it is off season.

      Let me know if you need any help!


  16. Hi Dimitris,

    This is a fantastic website full of excellent advice.

    We are planning our trip to Greece in July for approximately 10 days, as a family of four (11 and 12 yrs).

    As we are currently based in Turkey for a few months, we are planning to travel from either Fethiye or Bodrum, and maybe return to Turkey or fly out of Athens. This will be our first experience in Greece, my wife would like to visit several islands with Santorini top of the list (2 nights). Looking for the best beaches, and to experience local culture and with some easy exploring for the boys.

    Which islands would you recommend for us to visit?
    Thank you kindly

    • Hello hello!

      Thank you for the nice words!

      Your plan sounds like a fantastic family trip! Here are a few suggestions for your island-hopping adventure:

      So, since Santorini is already on your list, I won’t skip it!
      Then you can add Mykonos, which is known for nightlife and beaches. A nice addition would be a visit to the UNESCO-protected island of Delos.

      Moreover Naxos and Paros would some other great options.

      Finally Crete is my last recommendation.

      You can ferry from Turkey to Rhodes, then go to Crete, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, and Mykonos in that order. Consider flight options from Rhodes or Crete to Athens to save travel time!

      Let me know if you need anything else.



      • Hi Dimitris

        Amazing page, if I had 90 days and wanted to visit as many islands as possible, starting in Corfu ending in Rhodes.
        What would you suggest.
        I definately want to go to kefalonia, zante, create, mykynos, skiathos and as many others in between.
        What would be the best route to take



  17. So much information, I love it! It does make our decision making even hard now 🙂 My wife and I are visiting in summer. We are flying in and out of Athens. We are planning on island hopping to Paros, Antiparos, Naxos, and Milos. How would you suggest we visit them all and in what order. We can do approximately 4 +/- days at each island.

    • Hi Chris,

      That sounds like a great plan! The 4 islands you mentioned are all part of the Cyclades group, making them relatively easy to visit in one trip.

      You can also check on ferryscanner portal and try different potential routes!

      My recommendation would be:

      Athens to Paros/Antiparos. Take a 4-hour ferry from Athens to Paros, known for its beaches and traditional villages. Then it is a short 30-minute ferry to Antiparos!

      You can return to Paros and take a 1-hour ferry to Naxos, famous for its beaches, villages, and ancient ruins!

      Next destination would be Milos!Explore the stunning beaches and coastal landscapes. Finally take the ferry back to Athens (around 4-5 hours)!

      Let me know if you need any help!


  18. Hi Dimitris,

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this, it is truly helpful.

    I wanted some general advice on a good route from Athens to Fethiye (turkey) where we start a sailing week in late August this year.

    We are a couple with 7 nights and a small to midrange budget and want to explore the culture, nightlife, and beaches. What would be a good itinerary?

    Thank you so much for your time

    • Hi Jade,

      Nice plan! I hope you will have an amazing time.

      So, my recommendation would be the below:

      Start your trip in Athens and try to visit historical sites like the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, and the Parthenon etc. Then from Athens, take a ferry to the beautiful island of Santorini, which will take take around 5 hours. Spend 1-2 days and try some of the local wine!
      From Santorini, fly to Rhodes, another beautiful Greek island that’s closer to Turkey. Stay 1 day to Rhodes town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a perfect mixture of historical sights, abundant nightlife, and beautiful beaches!

      Take a ferry from Rhodes to Marmaris in Turkey. The journey should take less than an hour.  From Marmaris, I think there is bus to Fethiye, your final destination. It’s about a 1.5-hour drive. 

      Enjoy your trip!



  19. Hi there, I have to say that this is a really helpful blog! I have enjoyed reading through the posts and responses and they have truly informed the planning of my upcoming trip.

    My girlfriend and I are flying into Santorini later in the summer. We have not yet finalised the rest of the holiday but we plan to island hop around the cyclades for at least 3 weeks. We have already booked Santorini for 5 days.

    Aside from that, we are pretty set on Naxos and Paros perhaps for 5 nights each as well (factoring in day trips to Koufonisia, Iraklia from Naxos – and antiparos from Paros!).

    We feel it makes sense to finish in Mykonos as there are flights home. However, we might just limit ourselves to 2 nights or so there due to the expense and business etc.

    That leaves potential for another island between Paros and Mykonos. Based on the blog some options are Sifnos, Serifos, Kithnos or Milos. I was also wondering whether Syros was a good option as we haven’t seen a huge amount written about it.

    I suppose what I’m asking is what do you think of the plans and if you would have a strong opinion for one of the above options. While we do like to eat and drink out, we are big swimmers and could do with knowing which island(s) have the absolute best beaches.

    Many thanks!

    • Hello hello!

      Thank you for your nice words!

      Based on your preferences for swimming and beautiful beaches, Milos might be an excellent choice. Milos has over 70 beaches, some easily accessible and others that require a bit of an adventurous spirit to reach! Of course Sarakiniko Beach, with its moon-like landscape, is a must-visit. Others like Papafragas, Tsigrado, and Firiplaka are also highly recommendeded!

      In contrast, Syros is an excellent choice if you’re interested in Greek culture and histor. The beaches here are nice but perhaps not as spectacular as some other Cycladic islands. However, the island capital, Ermoupoli, is a historic town with neoclassical buildings, including the stunning Apollo Theater and City Hall. The town of Ano Syros, with its medieval streets, is another highlight!!

      Sifnos is known for its beautiful villages, monasteries, and the great food. It has – I think – better beaches than Syros like Platis Gialos and Vathi but again nothing spectacular!

      Serifos has a wild beauty with some beautiful beaches like Psili Ammos, Agios Sostis, and Livadakia. It’s another good option if you prefer quieter, less touristy islands.

      I would also add Tino on your choices as it really close to Mykonos. It also has fantastic mountainous and traditional villages, great hiking paths and amazing food! The beaches are also very nice but take into account that it is a windy island and some days you might not be able to go to any beach.

      To be frank you can’t really go wrong with any of these choices, so it mostly comes down to what kind of experience you’re looking for. Milos and Tinos would probably be my top picks given your interests and their unique offerings.

      Enjoy your trip!



  20. This page (and the comments!) alone has been so helpful! Thank you!

    In late Sept to early Oct my I will be flying in and out of Athens with 9 full days to enjoy in between. Considering we will likely fly vs ferry from Athens to our 1st island as soon as we arrive, and also back to Athens for 2 days after our last, what order would you suggest for the following itinerary that optimizes travel time:
    Athens, Santorini (2 nights max), Milos, Paros (or Naxos), back to Athens

    (Can’t decide between Paros and Naxos but they seem interchangeable for this question of which order)

    Thank you!

    • Hi Michelle!

      You are going at the end of the season and I think you will avoid all the crowds and that it will be lovely!

      So, now regrding the itinerary, I think you suggestion is great!

      Alternatively, you can fly from Athens to Milos and then Santorini and Paros. Both routes are quite similar. So, it depends on your preference and on finding convenient flight times.

      About Naxos and Paros, you are right. There are very close and many ferries passes from island so their connections are quite good!

      Let me know if you need anything else Michelle!


  21. My partner and I are looking at spending 2-3 weeks island hopping this August – we’re a couple in our mid-late twenties and are looking for a mix of everything – we really want to visit Santorini – what route would recommend?

    • Hi Conor,

      I am not sure what to recommend as I have no information about what you specifically like or your budget etc.

      So, other than Santorini, Mykonos is beautful island with an excellent nightlife, but on the expensive side.
      Paros is more diverse island that can fit different tastes and groups. From Paros you can always visit Antiparos a small island with vivid energy and good nightlife!
      Then Naxos is a good choice, quite similar to Paros, but larger and with more mountainous villages and more families.
      Then you can always add one extra island out of the the most famous.

      Like Serifos or Sifnos or Folegandros or Tinos. As you can see. There are many choices!

      Let me know if you need anything else.



  22. I’m sure you have heard…or read…this a thousand times, but traveling to Greece has been a life long dream of mine. I had hoped to for my 50th birthday last year, but alas that did not happen. However, I am going to make it happen next year, 2024. I am thinking I will take 7 days either the last half of April to the first part of May or sometime in September. I am leaning more toward the end of April, but I was curious if you had a recommendation on the best time to avoid crowds but still have nice enough weather?

    Also, as I said I can really only afford to be gone for about 7 days due to the scarcity of vacation time. Yes…I am from the USA…please do not hold that against me…lol. Every time I start looking into making this trip happen, I get overwhelmed with all I would like to do. There is just so much to see and experience in this area. Maybe you could offer some suggestions? I am not about crowds, but I would like to at least have a night or two experiencing the nightlife…maybe on Santorini or Mykonos? I love the outdoors, so scenic views and iconic vistas are a must. And I love trying new foods, I hear Paros is a good place to go for a foodie like myself. I would prefer a more laid back travel mode, then hectically rushing around trying to see and experience everything, but not having the time to enjoy it. Other than Athens, I’d rather do and experience life like the locals and not get hung up in tourist traps.

    I think I almost have to fly into Athens, in order to save money on airfare from the USA to Greece, but beyond that…I am not sure. Currently, I have a couple of mock itineraries, just trying to play with the logistics. One option I’m looking at is flying into Athens and doing a few touristy things there, then heading to Mykonos, then Paros, Santorini…then maybe Kos? Kos, might be pushing things though. Then back to Athens to fly home

    Second one I am playing with is flying into Athens, touristy things there, then Zakinthos, then onto Kefalonia, then maybe either Lefkada or Corfu, then from either one of those onto the monasteries at Meteora. Then back to Athens to fly home.

    How crazy is all of that? I am going to start researching ferries and travel times to see if I can make those work and see a lot, but not be so rushed as to not enjoy the journey.

    Or, I am open to suggestions/recommendations if you have any.

    • Hi Mike,

      Many apologies for the late reply! I have started many times to write to you but something happened and I never completed my reply!

      So, firstly, happy fifties even for last year! Hope you make the trip on 2024 and I am sure you will have a great time!

      Secondly, I understand that it might be difficult but if you could dedicate more days to Greece it would be much better for you. Spending more days you will enjoy the trip and feel the place and not only just see different sites.

      Thirdly, the weather in Greece around that time (end of April/beginning of May) isn’t great and it volatiles a lot. This year at the beginning of May, we had a lot of rains. But who knows next year! So, September might be a safer choice regarding the weather conditions.

      Now, I would be more inclined to you to recommend Cyclades complex. It is very picturesque with beautiful landscape.

      Kos, I agree with you, it might be a stretch. So, personally I might remove it from the itinerary. Therefore, visiting Athens, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini I think it would be great.

      About the 2nd itinerary that you mentioned, it is also nice. But take into account that Corfu, kefalonia and Zante are not easily connected for some bizzare reason! But Meteora is a magnificent choice as I think it is the 2nd – out of this world -place in Greece (the first is ….Santorini)

      You could also visit Athens, Skiathos, Skopelos and Delphi site. This would be another choice.

      But wherever you choose, I am sure you will have a great time!

      If you need anything else, just let me know!


  23. Hi Secret Greece,

    I’m considering exploring the Greek islands for the first time in September (2023) with a friend. We’re not big party people, and are interested in exploring the nature of the islands (hikes, swims etc.) We’re thinking of being away for 2 weeks and are both students so are a bit financially restricted. Is there a route you would recommend for us, or any tips/ specific places you think we should consider? Not really sure where to start and have found this page really useful.

    Thank you! 🙂

    • Hi Isabella,

      Hope you well!

      So, one possible route that I am thinking would be:

      Athens – Naxos – Amorgos – Paros or Sifnos

      Athens (2 days): Since Athens has a major international airport, it is a convenient starting point for your trip and go around!

      Naxos (3-4 days):Naxos has beautiful beaches, picturesque villages, and opportunities for hiking and exploring. Some highlights include Mount Zeus (the highest peak in the Cyclades), the Temple of Apollo, and the village of Apiranthos. I have written a detailed travel guide, you can have a look!

      Amorgos (3-4 days): Amorgos may not have sandy beaches but it has amazing crystal waters, hiking trails, and scenic landscapes. Don’t miss the Monastery of Hozoviotissa and eEnjoy the laid-back atmosphere of the island!

      Paros or Sifnos (3-4 days):Paros offers plenty of opportunities for hiking, swimming, and exploring.
      Sifnos, a beautiful island that offers a mix of sandy beaches (nice but not the best), picturesque villages, and hiking opportunities. You can explore the medieval village of Kastro, visit the photogenic Monastery of Chrissopigi, or relax on Platys Gialos Beach!

      Let me kknow if you need any further help!


  24. One more thing, I am keen on planning this trip sometime b/w 1st to 15th July because of my partner’s birthday but happy to advance it by a week to last week of June if you suggest that’s a better option.

    • Hello hello,

      Thank you for the super nice words! It means a lot to me! And apologies for the delay!

      So, let’s start from the beginning!

      Regarding Pelion. It is good idea and you could combine Pelion with Skiathos and Skopelos island. But even both islands and Pelion are great they are not so picturesque as the ones in Cyclades with the whitewashed houses.

      So, maybe you can focus on Cyclades islands. Starting point can be Athens. You can spend there 2 days, just to see the main things like Acropolis, Ancient Agora, Herodion, Monastiraki area etc.

      Then the difficult part of what to choose begins!

      Milos I think it is a good fit of what you are looking for.

      Also, I would choose either Naxos or Paros. Not both probably. I am a big fan of Paros, but I would recommend Naxos island for you. It is larger island which means you don’t feel how really crowded the island is. And it can be very crowded! It has also large sandy beaches close to Naxos main town. So, you can pick a nice hotel next to a beach!

      Finally, If you want to visit Santorini then go for it! It will be really full. Really crowded! But, it is the first time in Greece, so I think it makes sense to visit even for one day one of the most popular islands in the world! But be prepared for the crowds!

      I could recommend another island as well but you do not have so many days so I think it is better not to be change island everyday. It can be really exhuasting and at the end you will not enjoy much!

      To sum up, you can visit 3 islands (including Santorini for one day). Therefore, if you have for example 8 days, you can dedicate 4 in Naxos, 3 in Milos and 1 Santorini. But as you have a 3 year old, the transportations might be more difficult. So you can also pick one island, i.e.Naxos and make some daily trips to Koufonisia and Paros.

      There are really many different choices and you can get lost quite easily to which one should you pick as you also mention.
      My advice is not to be so picky about the islands. Just plan an easy set up and an easy travel flow for you and the family based on your time and how do you want to enjoy holidays. And go for it! I am sure you will have a great time!

      I am here if you need anything else!


  25. Hi Dimitris,
    This page is Gold!!! Having gone through all your previous responses to other readers, I can’t appreciate your thoughtfulness enough.
    And clearly I am ‘trying to plan’ a trip myself which is what brought me to your site. So, despite having read though your post and responses, I still am super confused about making the right choice- everything sounds so wonderful that I don’t know what to pick!

    Here are some details:
    – I am planning to take this trip in early/ mid July with my partner and our 3 year old, for 8-10 days.
    – We will fly in from London and this will be my fist visit to Greece. As much as I want to check the boxes and visit Santorini and Mykonos, I am desperately trying to avoid crowds- which I understand might not be so easy in July? Nevertheless, here is what I am seeking :
    – Relax at the beaches
    – Get to experience the local culture and not be limited to overtly touristy spots

    We plan to land in Athens and spend a day or two there (?). For the rest of the days I was considering Pelion region but not sure if that’s ideal of a relaxing holiday and as a first visit to Greece.
    So here I am seekimg your advice. Do you think Milos/ Náxos/ Paro will be a good idea and possibly Santorini for a day (because, FOMO! ) ?
    Any route you personally recommend? I am fairly flexible and not fixated on any specific location.

    Please pardon my rather long note and Thank you so so much in advance.

    P.S: like I said, I might sound super confused.

  26. Hello!
    I’m looking for some ‘fill in the blanks’ itinerary :).????
    I wanna go to the Greek island in mid September for 2 weeks.
    I’ve already been a few times and have seen Athens and all the major islands.
    I’m thinking Milos, Naxos and Symi but need other suggestions?
    I also don’t mind revisiting any of the major islands on the itinerary.
    I’m well travelled solo. Not looking to party. I just wanna go see things that are a ‘must see’ or gem that I missed 🙂

    • Hi Goldie,

      Happy to help if I can!

      I saw that you chose some Cyclades islands and then one in Dodecanese, which might create an issue as there is no connection between Naxos and Symi.

      Now, I do not know what you are exactly looking for in a island. Are you a beach lover or do you like sightseeing etc.

      There are various different options for you.

      Koufonisia might be a good addition on the route. It is very small with maginificent beaches!

      Sifnos is another choice. It pistursque with excellent food but not with the greatest beaches to be frank.

      Tinos is my last suggestion from Cyclades complex. Beautiful and traditional villages, amazing trekking routes, nice beaches and great food!!

      And I will add one more island from Dodecanese complex which is Patmos. An island great vibe, things to see and a beautiful main town!

      If you need any other information, just let me know!



  27. Hello there!

    It was a true gem to find your blog! Thanks so much for sharing about your advice and experience!

    I am planning a honeymoon trip for my husband and I to visit Greece for the first time. We are avid travellers and usually love finding the “road less traveled” sort of spots. Quiet, romantic, serene, peaceful.With that i like to take my time getting to know a place so for our first visit to greece i only want to island hop to 2 islands max so that we can spend quality time in both places during our 12 day stay.

    Options I am thinking of:

    Milos> Sifnos
    Corfu> Paxos

    Do you have a recommendation over one rather than the other?

    Many thanks!
    Ilsa Marie

    • Hi Ilsa Marie.

      Thank you for your nice words!!

      Hmmm, totally different choices between these 2! Both are excellent choices!

      The 1st choice, has Milos which is considered ideal for couples and romantic moments with stunning beaches! Sifnos on the other hand is very pictursque with beautiful villages, churces and amazing food. But Sifnos doesn’t have the most amazing beaches.

      Now the 2nd choice includes Corfu, which is super nice and well developed but some areas are a little bit more touristy, depending of course on the period that you will visit the island. Paxos on the other hand is a real gem with amazing beaches and really wondersful crystal waters. If you have Netflix you can watch the Greek series ”Maetro in blue” which is shot mainly in Paxos and Corfu(a little bit!)

      To sum up, it comes to your personal preference and also on other factors like how easy is for you to go to those islands, hotel availability etc. I might prefer slightly Milos and Sifnos. But only slightly!!

      I would recommend to select my your instict and I am sure that you will have a great time wherever you go!

      Let me know if you need anything else!

      Kind regards,


  28. Hi my dear, thank you so much for the amazing information and your kindness always. I have a question please. I have never visited the islands and will land in Athens on the 27th of May. I need to be in turkey on the 2nd of July, I guess flying or taking the boat from one of the islands. I would like to stay the first day in Athens and then visit an island on my journey to turkey. I am interested in the most beautiful sand and prestine beach there is with clear water along with a quite and beautiful environment please. I would also welcome your input on how to reach turkey (maybe Margaret?) . Thanks again and kindest regards

    • Hi Eric,

      You are welcome.

      I have some questions. If I understood right you want to fly or take a ferry so you will reach Turkey on 02 July? So, you will have more than 1 month Iin Greece from 27 May till 2nd July, right? And to which part of Turkey do you need to go? Turkey is a vast place.



  29. Hi we are looking to travel from UK > Mykonos.
    Then hopping Mykonos > Naxos > Ios > Santorini.
    Fly home Santorini > UK

    We are thinking 2 nights Mykonos and Naxos and 3 nights Santorini and Ios. What is transport like on each island? Is it best to stay in hotels near to the port? Does this sound like a realistic 10 day trip? Any advice much appreciated

    • Hi Catlin,

      Hope you will have a great time!

      10 days for 4 islands might see an overstrech but it depends on your personal preference!
      For example I would remove one island but I understand that you come to Greece and you want to see as much as you can!

      Of course, the best option is to stay on the main villages on those islands as there they will be more things to do and from there the bus routes/taxis begin their route.

      If you have any specific query, just let me know!



  30. Hello,
    Thank you for your very informative page. I am planning on doing 3 weeks solo travelling in Greece this August (only time I can go unfortunately). I will be starting in Crete (landing in Heraklion) and planning to stay there for a week. Then I would like to island hop my way back to Athens. I’d like to spend around 10 days island hopping. Are there any lesser known islands which you would recommend seeing? Also, out of Santorini and Mykonos, which one would you go visit? If you have a recommended route from Crete to Athens that would be great.
    Thanks very much
    Julie 🙂

    • Hi Julie,

      Apologies for the delayed response!

      So, from Crete there is a direct route to Santorini.

      Heraklion – Santorini – Mykonos is a good route with direct ferries. But if you want to add an island an easy choice would be Naxos or Paros or Ios. But these are quite touristy islands.

      If you want a lesser known island then Koufonisia would be a choice but this island is very small and between 10-20 August it would be really crowded!. There are also more islands lesser known, but then the route begins to be more difficult and will need to choose indirect ferry route. Some possible options would be Schinousa, Anafi (from Santorini) or Tinos.

      Let me know if you have any other question Julie.

      Have a great time!


  31. Hi, me and my friend are looking to go away for the first 2 weeks in August island hopping around the Cyclades.
    A potential route we were thinking was
    Athens – > Paros – > Naxos -> Milos – > santorini – > Andros – > Athens.

    Do you think this would work and if so how long do you recommend staying in each place?

    Thanks so much in advance !

    • Hi Emma,

      This is a question that the answer depends on various factors, like your budget, your preferences, if you like small and hidden islands or prefer the more famous ones, if ou like partying or sightseeing, if you are going to rent car or use public transport etc.

      Also, here let me highlight that August is the most busy month in Greece so everything will be packed and m0re expensive that usual!

      Personally I would choose less islands, but this is just me!! Therefore, I would stay 3 days in Paros, 3 Naxos, 3 Milos, 2-3 santorini and 2 Mykonos. But this recommendation is based on my preference as I am not so sure about yours!

      Let me know if you need anything else. Happy to help!



  32. Hello!
    My sister and I will be planning island hopping in mid July traveling on a budget. Currently thinking of Crete, Paros, and Naxos. I have read some poor reviews of the ferries, getting cancelled often and difficult to travel with luggage. What are your recommendations with booking these and with overnight ferries? Thank you!

    • Hi Natasha,

      To be frank, I cannot guarantee that you won’t have any issue with ferries! Noone can actually! Especially, mid July is very busy month, so if any ferry have any technical issue which then this can affects athe timetable.

      Saying that I would add on the other side that July isn’t so windy as August which means – in theory- that it is less possible a ferry route to be delayed too much due to wind.

      Now, travelling with luggage on ferries, I would say it depends on the luggages. If you have large suitcase then this means that you have to leave your luggage unattendant on a dedicated place on the ferries. Noone has stolen my luggage before, but I just mention this fact.

      Finally, I rarely select overnight ferries as it can be quite expensive and I am not resting so good, but many other people do that. You can select a cabin, which in some case you can share with others or select a double cabin room, so you can use it with your sister. Whatever fits you better!

      Let me know if you have any other question.



  33. Hi,
    We have 16 nights to visit the Greek Islands in September and are thinking of the below itinerary. What are your thoughts on the below number of nights on each island and the sequence? We don’t want to be packing and unpacking a million times and would like to send enough time on each island to really enjoy the culture. I’m really open to suggestions. Thanks Donna
    • 4 nights Crete
    • 3 nights Santorini
    • 4 nights Milos
    • 3 nights Paros
    • 2 nights Mykonos

    • Hi Donna,

      Hope you will have a great time! 

      So, I assume when you mentioned Crete you mean Heraklion, right? Because mainly this port has a direct connection to Santorini. Although let me know that Chania is more picturesquel than Heraklion, but you will find beautiful places to visit that are closer to Heraklion.

      Generally, the route that you have selected is quite nice. There is a direct connection by ferries based on the specific sequence. And also I like the fact that you leave Mykonos the last as the latest in the season you visit this island less crowded it will be.

      Now if you don’t like to pack and unpack all the time, then I might exclude one island. Either Paros or Milos.

      But even if you leave the route as it is it sounds nice!


  34. Hi there, we are coming to the Greek Islands from 1st May for 11 nights. I’ve planned to fly from Athens to an island but can’t decide on which island. We were looking for relaxing, beaches and hiking/activities. We aren’t up for partying as my wife is pregnant. I was originally thinking Milos- Santorini and Paros but I’ve heard at the start of May, it may not be great to visit the beaches as they are still cold. So I’m wondering if some other islands are better? How long should we spend in each? Any advice would be great!

    • Hi Kate,

      All the best to the new life that is coming!

      To be frank the weather at the beginning of May may not be warm enough for swimming. And this applies for the majority of Aegean islands.

      The area that I would expect to be warmer would be Crete and especially south Crete, Rhodes and Kos. But this is just an estimation. And if you can swim at that period, would this depend also on the personal preference of how cold the sea feels for each person.

      The islands that you mentioned are nice and you will find some other activities (hiking, some sightseeing etc) to do in case it is cold, especially in Paros and Santorini. Th

      Hope it helps.

      Let me know if you need anything else!


  35. Hi there! your blog is so great and very interesting and useful.
    We live in the UK My sister in law is flying to London from Argentina and has one request..beaches! My husband her brother hates beaches and likes to sight see. My son (11 is ok with both) as am I . We are hoping to fly from London into Athens Monday 26th June 2023 and fly out 8th July. Not much time.. I know.
    I was thinking the route Athens to Santorini to Naxos to Paros back to Athens. Not enough time for Mykonos. I decided Santorini first as I thought this get busiest. So better to see this at the end of June at the start of our trip. Then Naxos to Paros back to Athens. We dont really want busy bars, nightlife. Prefer traditional restaurants. nice views and sunsets. Plus happy to stay in cheaper places (as long as obviously clean and safe)A more authentic experience tbh. I was wondering should we actually just leave out Santorinini. Swap it for Mykonos. I’ve seen insta videos where it is insta v relaity and queues everywhere!! everyone just wanting that cool photo.
    If you dont think that route is ok then which route would you recommend?
    Any help very greatly received
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Claire,

      Thank you for the nice words!

      I totally get your hesitation about Santorini! Santorini is one of its kind, very special, due to the unique landscape! But the videos that you have seen with insta vs reality are 100% true!

      Generally, the period that you will go to the Greek islands is the beginining of a busy and touristy period.

      But, both in Paros and Naxos you can find places with fewer tourists. In Santorini this is not easy at least if you want to do the main to do things.

      So, it is a matter of choice! You can just visit Santorini for 1-2 days, just to get the feeling of island and then go to Santorini.

      Mykonos on the other hand gets also very busy so I don’t think it would a much better solution than Santorini in terms of crowd!

      For me, Paros and Naxos are quite nice choices and you can add Santorini for 1-2 days or make some daily trips to other islands like Antiparos, or Koufonisia etc.

      If you need anything else, just let me know!


  36. Hi
    Thank you for all this information – great site.
    Can you please help a fifty plus year old couple as to where might be good for us. We have never island hopped before but love Greece. We like picturesque areas and good food/wine! It will be July when we go so would like to try and find quieter islands if possible although know it’s a busier time. We are thinking 10 days away.

    • Hi Duncan,

      Thank you for the lovely words!

      So, there are plenty of choices! Ι can recommend many islands that fit your preferences, but I would suggest these 2 as more appropiate ones.

      One good choice is Sifnos. It has picturesque villages like Artemonas or Kastro etc, lovely churces and beautiful mansion houses. Also, Sifnos is the hometown of Nikólaos Tselementés, one of the most influential cookery writers and chef of modern Greece (from early 20th century), which has affected the whole island and there you will taste some nice traditional Greek cuisine!The only small minus of the island is that it doesn’t have the best beaches in Greece, but they are good enough.

      Another island is Tinos. This is a bigger island, but with amazing, traditional villages and one the best places in Aegean for hiking or trekking! The food there is just amazing as you will find excellenet little taverns inside small villages and squares with plane trees! There, you will find also great beaches. You can find more about the island on my travel guides! Τhere is also a great winery that you can visit. More information here.

      So, these are my suggestions, but if you need any clarification or any other help, just let me know!

      Kind regards,


  37. Hey,

    Your guide is great! I do have a question though, if you can help.

    We are visiting with our parents, for 6 nights – in end of May 2023. Since we are with parents, who are a bit old, we don’t want to move too much with luggage, and prefer one spot as base which we are thinking Athens since our flights are to and from Athens. But we would like to spend few days visiting beautiful islands. I figured that Santorini and Mykonos definitely need night stays on the island.
    So we were thinking to explore as several different one-day trips from Athens on different islands by ferries. Preference would be beautiful views like in Mykonos or Santorini, less crowded and scenic beaches.
    Do you have recommendations on islands that we can do day trip from Athens ? if so, any suggestions on how to plan that ?

    Looking forward to hear your suggestions !

    Thanks again 😀

    • Hi Arpita,

      I appreciate your kind word!

      Santorini and Mykonos are indeed 2 of the most famous islands in Greece and the end of May is a good period to visit them as they won’t be super busy!

      Now for daily trips, let me highlight that there are not islands, so close to Athens that are similar to Mykonos or Santorini.

      For daily trips Hydra, Spetses, Aigina and Agkistri migh be some options.

      Hydra is the most picturesque of them and then Spetses is also beautiful. Both can be visited by speed boats(they are called ”dolphins”) from Piraeus. Both are excellent just to walk around, admiring the views and the beautiful old mansions.Don’t expect though, the best of beaches.
      Now, another choice is Agkistri as it is super close to Piraeus and it has nice beaches! It is not so picturesque as Spetses and Hydra.

      Aegina is another option, not because is so beautiful but because it is easier to visit it as it has very good connections!
      Finally, Tzia or Kea is a place that is close to Athens and it has nice beaches and a atmosphere that can relate a little bit to Cyclades. Please note that the port is not Piraeus, but is is Lavrio.

      Note that these islands get quite busy during weekends as many Athenians visit them.

      Please don’t hesitate to ask me if you have any question!

      Enjoy your trip!


  38. Hi Dimitri,

    We are looking to take our son with us to Greece, he will be 18 months at the time of travelling.
    We will be flying from the UK.
    We have previously island hopped around Croatia as a couple before becoming a family and our favourite places were the less touristy ones. We love finding local restaurants and seeing pretty sights, we would like to take our son to some nice beaches and possibly some other family sight seeing activities.
    We are happy to stay in hotels or air bnbs.
    Do you recommend a route for us travelling with a small child, we would fly from the UK and travel for 2 weeks.
    Looking forward to visiting Greece.
    Many Thanks,

  39. A further thought. If we wished to take in Crete and Rhodes before going to Lefkas for the last week in June, that might work? Do you have any thoughts on travel connections. Thanks.

    • Hi Gary,

      Hope you are well!

      May and June are quite good months for holidays in Greece as many places are not so crowded yet! So, it is a good choice!

      Aktio/Preveza airport is the closest to Lefkas. I am not sure about the travel connections as they change quite frequently every year, but generally I know that Aktio/Preveza airport has connections to Sitia (Crete), Corfu, Zante, Kythira and Kefalonia. You can check also the airport of Ioannina which has more connections with Crete, Athens and Rhodes, but it more far away from Lefkas , around 90 km.

      Now about the options that you have are quite few.

      If you want to stay on the west side of Grece, close to Lefkas, you can try the closest islands of Corfu, Paxos, Zante and Kefalonia. Zante and Corfu are quite touristy but during May it wouldn’t be so crowded. Paxos has amazing beaches and waters. Kefalonia has a mix of beaches and mountainous and nice fishing villages like Fiskardo and Assos. Ithaca is also a choice, not so touristy. The only issue with these islands are that the connectiosn between them are not always starightforward. And if you are going sailing you might visit some of them anyway.

      If you try a different route as you suggested, then Rhodes – Symi or Crete it would be quite nice but it might take longer to reach Lefkas.
      Cyclades is also a nice choice and islands with airports, like Paros, Naxos and you can try daily trips to Koufonisia, Antiparos etc.

      Let me know if you need anything else Gary. Happy to help!



  40. Really helpful blog. My wife and I are hoping to spend May and June this year exploring a few of the islands. We plan to stay in Lefkas for two weeks in June and spend last week sailing out of there with relatives before flying home. What route would you suggest for May and first week in June, before arriving in Lefkada? We like good beaches, food, ancient history and not too busy.
    Many thanks.

  41. Hi, Four years ago we went island hopping with another family of 5 (both families had 3 children in primary school). We flew from London to Santorini & then Island hopped after a few days to Paros for a couple of nights then to Naxos for a 6 days & then Mykanos for a few hours to catch a flight back to London. It was great. We would like something similar (over two weeks in August) but we will now have teenagers! And another family with 2 more teenage boys! (14 people altogether). We just want great beaches & a couple of places to visit & good local food. We don’t want ferry journies longer than 3 hours ideally and to fly into one island & out of another – hence Sardinia to Mykanos worked well. Any thoughts, please? Rhodes – Symi – Tilos – Kos? Skiathos – Skopelos – Alonissas -? Many thanks for any help.

    • Hi Dina!

      Hoep you are well.

      Hmmm, it’s seems that you did a great island hopping in Cyclades 4 years ago.

      Now the 2 routes that you recommend are quite nice and I would recommend them as well.

      1) Skiathos – Skopelos – Alonissos
      Skiathos is the most touristy island form the 3 of them with splendid beaches and crystal waters and a vivid main town.
      Skopelos is quieter with a lof of greenery and fantastic beaches.
      Alonissos is even quieter with a marine park fantastic waters.
      I find this route an easier route, as the islands are quite small and it won’t be too fussy to wander around

      2) Rhodes – Symi – Tilos – Kos. On this route I might exclude Tilos as it might be more diffcult for teenagers to adjust to this small and quiet place.
      Rhodes (especially) is very large island with many things to do and Kos is very touristic. Symi is just lovely and picturesque.
      This route might be busier with two larger islands to go around and you will have more things to do.

      To sum up, I believe the 1st route is easier it terms of moving around but the 2nd has more things to do.

      Let me know if you need anything else.


  42. Hi! Thank you for the super informative site, I really appreciate it! I am in a bit of a conundrum in that I have 12 days to spend in the islands and don’t know what would be best for my family – with kids ages 16 and 12. I am pretty set on going to Milos (likely for 4 days) for the relaxing/wind down part of our vacation, but am looking at either Crete or Naxos for the remaining 8. I am having such a hard time deciding between Crete and Naxos… so, my questions are:
    – is it possible to go to both Crete and Naxos in 8 days and do either of them justice?
    – what would you recommend for a family with teens that like variety of activities – hiking, beach, ruins, walking through the stereotypical small greek villages?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi John.

      Thank you for the nice words!

      So, I agree. Tough decision. 8 days might sound like a lot in Naxos, but I think Naxos has quite different activities for kids that age. They can do water sports, hike, enjoy the beach, and visit archaeological sites. And you can even make daily trips to islands like Paros (super close) or Koufonisia etc.

      Crete, on the other hand, is huge, and you should concentrate on certain regions in order not to move around constantly. For the first-timers in Crete, I would recommend the Chania region as it is fantastic, but also you will be in a car driving around, which I don’t know if is sth that you want on your vacation. Naxos has a direct connection with Heraklion, and Rethymno, but not Chania, so you have to drive from Heraklion or Rethymno to Chania.

      To sum up, I might stay in Naxos and do some daily excursions to other islands. Or if you are ok with driving around and exploring new places, then Crete would be a nice option. But personally, I wouldn’t do both islands, as you moving from one island to another with children might sound more complicated than expected.

      Hope it helps!

      Let me know what you decided!


  43. Hi

    We are looking to visit in September 2023 for 14/16 nights I have a wish of placoid like to see Athens Santorini Mykonos Skopolos is this doable and what is the best way to go about booking and when to book. I’m open to all options but don’t want to not have enough time at each island so need to factor in few nights at each one thanks

  44. Hi Dimitris,
    So glad that I stumbled across Secret Greece. I’m planning a weeks holiday in September this year and have decided on Rhodes and Symi on your recommendation. Which resort on Rhodes would you recommend? Idealy I would like to be well-connected to return to Rhodes for the airport/ferry as I’d prefer not to hire a car on the island.
    Thanks for your help,

    • Hi Sarah,

      Sorry for the delayed response.

      If you want to have an easy access to the airport then the old twon of Rhodes can be your choice.

      For not having a car, Lindos also might be a good choice, as it has easy access to beaches and plenty of bars and restaurants and of course a magnificent town. But it very far away from the airport (there is ataxi tha costs around 80 euros one way.)

      If you are looking for specific hotels then you can look my specific page Best hotels in Rhodes

      Let me know if you need anything else!



  45. Hi guys mine might be a stupid question but…
    I was planning to visit Kasos from Rhodes and by ferry it would take more than 5hrs…. By plane much less… apparently there’s no direct flight from RHO however sky express does fly to Karpathos and then continues to Kasos (25 mins turnaround)… now… on their website they allow you to get both tickets together, so as my trip ends at Kasos, will I stay on the plane in Karpathos? Does anyone try this before?

    • Hi Luca,

      I haven’t done it myself, but I think if you select the flight in sky express website, it shows you if for both legs you are going to fly with the same aircraft or not.

      Have a try and let us know if you can!

      Note that you are going to try one of the shortest flights in the world (Karpathos – Kasos!)


  46. Hello! Firstly, thank you for such a fabulous informative website!
    I am hoping to visit Greece at Easter next year (beginning of April 2023) for two weeks with my family and would really appreciate your advice.
    We would like to fly into Athens from the UK (as my daughter is desperate to visit there!) and then visit a number of islands, and are happy to fly home from a different airport.
    We will have two weeks in total and would like to go to peaceful family friendly places (my children are 11 and 12), not the big touristy islands, to experience beautiful beaches, history, food and tradition. We will be doing it on a tight budget so any advice and suggestions will be very gratefully received!
    Thank you, Jane

    • Hi Jane,

      Thank you for the nice words!

      You might already know, but bear in mind that the Greek orthodox easter is on 16/04/23, which means that during those days Greeks go for holidays and everything will be much more expensive. Many islands have some traditions that they celebrate during orthodox easter.

      Note also that beginning of April is quite early in the season and most of the shops on the islands aren’t open yet and the weather isn’t great usually. Normally it is quite cold to swim, unless you like to swim in cold temperatures!

      Now, regarding you question. I will recommend sth opposite than you are asking. Sorry for that!

      I would recommend bigger and more touristy islands as on the small ones, most of restaurants will be closed. So, you can select islands like Paros and Naxos. They also have airports so you can fly from Athens to them. Also, Syros might be choice. It doesn’t have great beaches (you might not need them as it will be quite cold), but it has a beautiful city on the port and they combine the celebrations of catholic and orthodox easter as a big part of the island has catholic inhabitants.

      Let me know if you need anything else.


      • Thank you so much Dimitris, that’s really helpful. I’m excited to get planning our visit! Many thanks for your advice.

  47. Hi, I am islanding hopping soon in the cyclades. And I was wondering if you had to book ferries way in advance? I am leaving next week. Should I book my whole ferry itinerary for the whole trip in one go or wait until I get there? What do people usually do for this time in June ?
    Thanks, Rosie.

    • Hi Rosie,

      No, in general you don’t need to book any ferries in June.

      Just bear in mind that the weekend from 10-13 is a long weekend in Greece (Monday is a bank holiday), so the ferries on Friday and Monday would be quite full. But other than that I think it would be fine.

      Let me know if you need anything else.



  48. I guess what I’m really asking is what islands are best to go to to island hop for say a day or 2 days at a time and see the most we can?

    • Hi Marissa,

      It sounds like a nice plan! You can start with Athens and then Mykonos, Santorini and Milos sound like a great choices. You can add 1 or islands but probably not more as you might not enjoy if you day by day change islands.

      Now the choices are many!

      Naxos and Paros can be definetely be nice choices as they both provide terrific water sports options.

      Also,If you are visiting Greece on June or September then you add Ios island (i tend to avoid this). Finally, for wind surfing and surfing then Tinos can be a good choice, where you can find amazing food, many hiking trails and nice beaches



  49. Hi! If we want to spend most of our time In the water sailing around different beaches etc what island would you recommend doing that where we can get the most out of this experience.. being able to see as much as possible. We are about to book and finalize details of the trip. We are going for 12 days leaving to Rome on day 12. Generally the plan was flying to Athens and spending a day there and then going to Mykonos and Santorini but I also would like to go to Milos and a lot of the other islands that you recommended in the thread. We really just want to spend the time island hoping but not sure what islands to go to for the best experience for the 12 days. Really hoping to go on a boat tour and travel around and swim, snorkel most of the time. Can you see multiple islands this way?

  50. Hi! Thanks for the great site! So, my family (wife, two teenage daughters) are on a Greek island cruise in July. We end in Athens, and then have 4 nights before heading back to Los Angeles. What island would you recommend for us for four nights? We want to relax and have a local experience. Good food, beaches, chill vibe. We’re thinking about Hydra, Spetses, Corfu, Naxos, or Crete. Any recommendations or suggestions? Thank you!!

    • Also, ideally we’d like to stay on just one island for those four nights, and not have to pack up and head to another hotel/AirBnB. Thanks again for the great advice!

      • Hi Sanjay,

        You are welcome! I think Hydra doesn’t have so nice beaches and Crete is quite large and you might not get the island feeling in 4 days. For Corfu you will need to get a plane and I think it would better to find an island closer to Athens that you can approach by ferry.

        Spetses is a good choice as it has an easy access from Athenas, it has a nice vibe and good beaches (not amazing, but good)

        Naxos would be my choice as it is an island that has many activities, great sandy, long beaches and a picturesque villages.

        And Paros of course is another good choice!

        Let me know if you need anything else!


  51. My friend and I are going to spend about a week this June in Greece! As of now, we were looking into Athens, Paros, Milos, and Santorini. However, I was wondering if you suggested doing either Paros or Milos over the other, and visiting a less touristy island. I was hoping to at least go somewhere that has cliffs down to the beaches, and also a place with the small town feel in the city where you might actually run into locals. Santorini we are going simply as a bucket list location! Is there a different island you suggest, or do you think the three of Paros, Milos, and Santorini would be okay. And which route would you suggest?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Sydney,

      I think your schedule for first time in Greece is great!!

      Now, I do understand that you might add or remove one destination but I am not sure what exactly you are looking for! Sorry about that!

      Amorgos is wild with a touch of a more traditional characteristicd and it is not so touristy. But it not so ideal connected with the other islands that you want to visit

      Also, Kimolos which is very close to Milos is an alternative if you are looking for something with great beaches and not so touristy with local characteristics. The only issue with KImolos is that the hotels and rooms are not many so it is difficult some times to book accomodation.

      You can always play with different combinations of islands on Ferryscanner.

      Also, my personal recommendation would be first Santorini and then Milos and Paros. Note, that in Paros you can visit Antiparos island which beautiful, small and very close to Paros, but you can go to many places and beaches walking!

      Let me know if you need anything else!



  52. Hi there!

    My partner and I are planning to visit some Greek islands for around 7-10 days during the first 2 weeks of October this year. We are looking for a historical vacation; hoping to visit the main must-see attractions while maybe hitting up a beach or two in between. We were looking specifically at Rhodes, Kos and surrounding islands, but would like to start in Athens, if possible. I’ve been trying to do my own research, but I was wondering if you might know the best way to traverse this route, or have suggestions for a route that would give a similar experience (we were also interested in islands such as Zante and Hydra)!

    Thank you for any and all suggestions 🙂

    • Hi Sierrah,

      I totally understand your desire to visit as much as you can, but my advice would be that you cannot combine everything as you might not enjoying your holidays! So, pick up an area of destination and try to create your ideal itinerary!

      For example, if you prefer to visits Rhodes or Kos you can fly there and then bypassing by ferry some islands and to reach Athens. It is quite a long time with ferry but it will give you the opportunity to visit some great islands!

      One possible route could be Kos- Nisyros- Astypalaia – Naxos and then you should definitely visit Delos island, with an amazing archaeological site and final destination would Piraeus.

      Or you can arrive by flight directly at international aiport of Rhodes, check the amazing sites of medieval city of Rhodes and Lindos and then fly to Athens.

      Another option would be to visit directly Athens for 2-3 days and make some daily trips to Hydra and to Delphi or Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns. If you want a quick escape from Athens to nice beaches, then might be a chocie, or Kythnos or Serifos!!

      The options are various!

      If you want anything else, or anything more specific, just let me know!



      • Hi Dimitris,

        Thank you so much for your response!! I think the best course of action for us would be to fly directly to Kos or Rhodes and work our way back up to Athens by ferry, where we would fly back home.

        I agree that we don’t want to try to squeeze in too much, so I was thinking we would look into stopping at 1-2 additional islands between Rhodes/Kos and Athens, preferring to stray away from Santorini and Mykonos.

        We are really interested in your suggested route of Kos-Nisyros-Astypalaia-Naxos-Piraeus, and were wondering if you had similar route you may suggest, or another with Rhodes as a starting point? Additionally, are there any must-see experiences/sights you would suggest for these locations?

        Thank you again for everything! 🙂

        • Hi Sierrah,

          You are welcome!

          You can try other routes of course! There are many options! You can check with ferryscanner and check if there is a direct connection between the desired islands.

          One more possible route could be Rhodes – Leros- Patmos- Piraeus.



  53. Hello!

    Wow the advice you are offering is so helpful, thank you so much!

    I was hoping you. could help me with some ideas please?

    My 1st and only trip to Greece was 2 years ago was and visited: Kos>Kalynmos>Telendos>Paros>Naxos.
    We made sure there was an airport at the first and last stop and the rest was island hopping inbetween!

    We really enjoyed island hopping, beautiful beach swims, casual cafe’s and beach restaurants, and some smarter restaurants and warm water.

    There were places with a few tourists, but not to many, and we were able to explore beautiful beaches that were not very populated at all! We hired a car an explored together – we loved it!

    We are not interested in visiting Mykonos or Santorini and would like a similar adventure we had before, but new ideas for Greek islands and plan to visit end of June for 10days, are you able to provide some ideas please?

    Thank you!!! 🙂

    • Hi Megan,

      I am glad that you had a great time in Greece! And I find quite clever that you arrived at one island and you flew from another! It is something that I also recommend!

      Now the options are many! You can do the route Milos – Ios – Koufonisia and you can fly back again from Naxos (which is next to Koufonisia)
      Or fly to Rhodes then Symi – Nisyros – Astypalaia.

      Another possibility is to go to Sporades islands. Namely, fly to skiathos which is quite touristy, but then you can visit Skopelos and Alonissos that have excellent beaches and amazing waters!

      Let me know if you need anything else Megan. Happy to help!



  54. Hi, what are you thoughts on a mainland trip to Athens, Delphi, Meteora, Kalambaka & Santorini for the first time in Greece?

    Or should we keep it simple and do Athens, Mykonos and Santorini?

    • Hi Kyra,

      It totally depends on your preference! Both routes are excellent and you will enjoy them!

      Meteora is a superb place, very unique and it has the – out of this world – characteristic. Delphi also is special as it has hundreds of years of history.

      On the other hand, Mykonos is a wonderful island with beautiful beaches and a cosmopolitan atmoshere!

      So, it totally depends on what you prefer on your holidays!

      Sorry if I didn’t help you a lot, but if you have any other question, just let me know!



  55. Hey,

    I have loved reading all of this blog, it’s so helpful and made me so excited. I am thinking of going in September with my boyfriend, our plan is Athens>Mykonos>Paros>Naxos>Santorini

    Do you recommend that we book our ferry’s & accommodation in advance or just book our return flight and wing it? I have an idea on the ferry times etc, I am worried if we book everything in advance and there’s a storm/ workers on strike it will throw everything off.

    If you could advise from your experience what you would recommend I would really appreciate it!! Thank you

    • Hi Courtney,

      This year is a little bit strange as they say that the visitors in Greece might catch a new high, as the numbers in tourists are back after 2 years!

      Also, booking or not is sometimes personal preference, as for me I usually prefer to book in advance.

      Saying that I would ask you if you are going to visit Greece at the beginning of September or at the end. If it is the beginning, then I would recommend booking your accommodation especially for Santorini and Mykonos. If you are afraid of unexpected events, you can always look for hotels with cancellation. And you don’t need to book ferries.

      Hope it helps!



      • Hi Dimitris

        Thanks so much for getting back to me! We are thinking of going at the start of September. I think your advice sounds perfect, book our return flights and accommodation ( maybe ones where we with cancellation just incase) and then buy our ferry tickets on the day. Do the ferry’s change much in price booking on the day/ booking in advance? Also are they often full and we would have to wait etc.

        I really appreciate you help.

        Thank you!

        • Hi Courtney,

          You are welcome!

          The ferry prices usually do not change. The only case to increase the prices are when the economy seats are full, so then you might need to book a “a class”.

          Also, the case that you might have issues with ferry bookings are Friday or Sundays when Athenians book tickets for weekend breaks. But still as the period is after summer, I don’t think you will have any issues.

          Finally, the car tickets can be taken, but this concerns you only if you get your car with you on the ferry, which I think it is not a case for you.



  56. Hello – I am a solo traveler planning a trip in late October and would like to visit 2 islands, as I’m only going for 9 days and don’t want to rush. I’m interested in a more quiet and relaxed atmosphere, opportunities for possible day trips on the water to surrounding islands, and delicious Greek food (I’ve been to Sifnos and loved it). I know that I’ll be going during the off season, so I would like to visit islands that aren’t shut down for the winter and will have the ferries running from Athens. I would also be interested in a sailboat cruise from Athens to multiple islands, but not sure what my options would be as a solo traveler in October. Thank you in advance for the advice!

    • Hi Kerri,

      If you are going at the beginning of October you won’t have many issues on the islands as quite few of the shops/restaurants will be open!

      Now, regarding the two islands that you would like to explore. Tinos can be the one of them. Tinos is beautiful and it would have a relaxed atmosphere for sure and it is outside the usual tourist traps. It has amazing food and great beaches! Especially the mainland villages are just marvellous. Tinos has many hiking trails, which some of them passes through picturesque villages and lovely squares! Note that the main town that probably you would stay isn’t the most quaint in Cyclades, but still has its wonderful corners! Also, take into account that Tinos can get quite windy.

      Now about the 2nd island. This is trickier. Ios can be a good choice and relatively calm during October. Amorgos is a more risky choice, as it has great villages, great paths, great waters but not sandy beaches!! Also, it is quite wild, rough and still quite traditional.

      Let me know if you have any questions!


  57. Hi!

    Me and my boyfriend, in our mid-20s, are planning on spending one week/ten days in Greece this July. We want to stay in Athen for a couple of days, and the rest of the time on maybe two islands. We want to visit unique places with a lot of charm, beautiful nature, and a local feeling. We want to have a relaxing and romantic holiday while exploring new places and their culture, history, and nature through hiking, snorkeling, etc. Do you have any recommendations about which islands and cities we should visit? I have been to Patmos, Lesbos, and Samos as a child, and he has been to Crete as a child, but we don’t remember much.


    • Hi Thora!

      Hmmm. that is a tough call as there are many choices!

      I will recommend 2 different island groups. One would be Sporades. You can fly there from Athens, otherwise you can go by car and ferry which can be more time consuming. Skiathos is more vivid with more nightlife, great beaches and beautiful nature. Skopelos is similar but bigger and more quiet with more villages that you can explore and great nature and beaches!

      But if you prefer checking some whitewashed houses with blue windoes that you may have seen in photos, then I think Cyclades might be a good option. You can get a ferry from Piraues (preferably) or Rafina and visit some of the many islands in the middle of Aegean.

      The choices here are many. I will name only a few. The easy cjoices would be the 2 most famous Greek islands, Santorini and Mykonos. There are different, as Santorini is considered more romantic with the out of this world landscape and the volcano views and Mykonos more cosmopolitan with great nightlife and beaches.

      But you can choose some different. Milos is considered quite romantic and quite laid-back island. It has fantastic beaches, and you can do snorkelling and hiking (less options).

      Then from Milos, you have different options, but you can try one of Paros or Naxos, which are quite popular and are very beatiful.
      Or you can try something different like Sifnos, which is lovely island with amazing food and nice small villages, but not the best beaches in the world!!

      Note that you can fly to Milos as it has an airport and return by ferry, stopping to the island that you prefer!

      Let me know if you need anything else.


  58. Hi! Me and my friend are traveling to Athens the first week of August and are planning on exploring as much of the greek islands as possible while we are there. We are only staying for a week and are wondering which islands we should visit. We are aiming for a very active holiday with hopefully some hiking and some paddling. Which islands would you recommend us to visit?

    • Hi Jenny,

      In theory, if you have one week on a Greek island, you can change an island every day! But I don’t recommend it to be frank, as you won’t enjoy it much!

      So, I will say Paros should be one of the islands as it has some nice hiking options and many water sports options like Golden Beach, Santa Maria and Monastiri. Naxos has similar characteristics but note that it is larger and more mountainous than Paros.

      Then, I would also suggest Tinos island which has many great paths that pass through beautiful and picturesque villages.

      Finally, Kithnos is a good choice as it is close to Athens with options for paddling and hiking. And it also has nice beaches and beautiful villages. I just recommend it lastly, as it is not so famous and you might prefer to visit more well-known islands. Let me know if you need more information or anything else!


      • Thank you so much for your response. I have looked a bit more into it and I love your suggestions! We will definitely visit both Paros and Tinos, and I think we will prioritize to visit Kithnos as well as it looks magical.

        Thanks again, I really appreciate it!


  59. Hi there,

    Thanks for your amazing website. I am revisiting the Cyclades Islands for the first time in 35 years on 7 June for 10 days and would love your opinion. I want to spend a two or three days in Athens (sites of historical interest) and visit two Islands for three or four days each. It’s my first holiday as a singleton. I loved the Cyclades Islands and have been meaning to return for years. I particularly loved the villages and the food. I also enjoy sea swimming (not pools) and hiking. I love Greek food but am not looking for anything too fancy and also simple accommodation.

    Even though I am not looking for night life I really want to revisit Ios where I was first time round. I appreciate that it has probably changed a lot and that it is particularly recommended for youth and night life (both of which are in my past!) but would like to see it again.

    Have you any recommendations for an older person on Ios – either where to stay/visit and also what to do? Secondly what Island would you recommend me to go after Ios? I like the idea of somewhere quieter and less touristy but ideally I want to be able to get there direct from Ios.

    Thanks so much.


    • Hi Rachel,

      That is so nice of you to revisit places you have been to years ago!

      There are several things that you can do in Ios. Firstly, you will explore the Chora, which is beautiful with the typical whitewashed houses and of course the windmills. Also, you can visit the archaeological museum and the Skarkos archaeological site. Moreover, visit PaleoKastro, a remote place on a hill, where the remains of a castle, built at the end of the 14th century with magnificent views, can be found!
      Furthermore, not sure if you like it, but you can hike as Ios has some interesting routes. You can check Ios Paths, Pay also a visit to the lighthouse, which is located close
      to the Koumpara peninsula!
      And finally, you should visit the magnificent beaches Mylopotas, Manganari, Ag.Theodoti, Pathi etc.

      You have some terrific options to visit from Ios, like Santorini, Paros, and Naxos, which are some of the most famous islands in Greece. But you can also check Syros and Tinos! Syros is the capital of the Cyclades with a beautiful city Ermoupolis and Tinos has magnificent hiking trails and fantastic food!

      I hope you will have a great time!

      Let me know if you need anything else, Rachel!


  60. Hey

    My friend and I (early 30s) want to island hope from Kastelorizo all the way to Athens this summer (August). Which islands you’d recommend we stop to explore along the way? ( 2 – 3 weeks to play with). My friend would like beaches and I historical sites.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Wow! What a plan! I am really jealous right now Francisco!

      As I have mentioned before August is really a high season, so you have to expect everything to be a little more expensive and quite crowded! But, you will have a great time! I truly believe that!

      So, I don’t know if you like smaller or larger islands or if you prefer more developed islands over underdeveloped ones, but here is what I recommend!

      Kastelorizo – Rhodes – Amorgos – Koufonisia – Naxos – Paros – Delos (I will explain)- Athens


      KastelorizoRhodes – SymiKosSantorini – NaxosDelosAthens

      Rhodes. Is a large island but t has beautiful beaches and great historical sites, like the old town of Rhodes and Lindos etc.

      Amorgos. It has none of what you are looking for as it doesn’t have amazing beaches or archaeological sites. But it is wild, with great traditional villages and great hiking trails! And it is a way to move to the next destination which is Koufonisia.
      Koufonisia. A small island with 4 amazing beaches, that you can walk or bike everywhere!

      Naxos. It has lovely, long, sandy beaches, really nice mountainous villages and you can do a wide range of activities! It is quite large though.

      Paros. It has also many great beaches, lovely beaches and great nightlife, especially in Naousa and Parikia. It has also some archaeological interest.

      Delos is not an island that you can stay there as it is an archaeological site and it is designated as a Unesco World Heritage site. I put this island on this list as I think it is a great site for those that love history! On this island, you can go very easily through Mykonos. Not sure if Mykonos is to your taste, but it is considered one of the most famous Greek islands in the world. You can visit Delos through Paros and Naxos through local tours.

      Santorini is the most famous Greek island, with not great beaches, but a magical landscape and a lot of history!

      Kos This island is very touristy but still it has a great history as it is the birthplace of Hippocrates, the so-called father of medicine!

      Symi. It is a really picturesque island with a fabulous main village and great, crystal waters.

      So, there are my recommendation Francisco. Don’t hesitate to ask me whatever you need to know!


    • Hi Frankie,

      The short answer is that the order that you are writing in your comment is valid and it makes totally sense!

      Now, you could also go first to the most remote island of the 3 of them, which is Milos and then get closer to Athens to Paros and Mykonos, but I don’t think it will make a lot of difference!

      Let me know if you need anything else!


  61. Hi there!

    My fellow female friend and I (both 20) are hoping to do 2 weeks of island hopping in August as we’re both free then. We are trying to decide on islands. We’re thinking of starting in Athens for a couple nights as a family member lives there and then going island hopping. We’re quite adventurous and want to have fun but also want to relax on the beach. We like the sound of Milos, Ios, Santorini , Naxos, Paros – if you had to choose 4 out of these 5 islands what would you recommend for us (we’d also be on a budget but are both working the rest of summer) – thank you so much for your blog it’s amazing!

    • Hi Frankie!

      Firstly, thank you for the nice words!

      And secondly, island-hopping on Greek islands is always a good idea!

      Now saying that I just want to highlight that August is the peak of the season and everything will be overcrowded and more expensive than other months. But I don’t want to discourage you!

      You should organise the trip very well before and pre-book all the hotels. All the islands that you mentioned are super nice and each has a different style!
      Milos is considered a more romantic island and many couples prefer it but it doesn’t mean that there is no nightlife etc. It means that it is not a party island, but an island with beautiful and unique beaches!
      Ios on the other side is a party island where many young people around Europe choose it. But it has also nice beaches and a great vibe!
      Naxos and Paros are similar, as it gathers visitors of all ages and you can do many different activities there, from water sports to hiking etc. Naxos is much bigger and Paros has a little bit more intense nightlife, especially in Naousa where at the picturesque harbour there are many nice bars! Both have good bus connections so you can go around without renting a car. But in August both will be very crowded!
      Now, Santorini is a place that during pre covid era you should have pre-booked it 6-9 months before as it is one of the most famous islands in the world and it gets really really busy! But Santorini is Santorini. The landscape is I think something special and unique.

      Ι don’t know your preferences so I hesitate to recommend specific islands! Generally, I prefer Milos to Ios but I would think that in your case Ios might be a better choice. But again, don’t listen only to me!!!

      If you need anything else, just let me know. I am here to help if I can!



  62. Hi hubby and I are wanting to go island hopping over 3 weeks next year. Literally the most adventurous we’ve ever been and didn’t even know where to start. We love Greece and usually head to Kalamaki, Zante but feel like a bit of an adventure after the pandemic. I’m looking at the Cyclades because I fancy a couple of days in Mykonos and Santorini but am open to any and all ideas and this.

    • Hi Jen,

      Hope you are well!

      Zante is nice, but also Cyclades are great and very picturesque! The only issue is that you have many options!!

      I don’t know your preferences, ie if you prefer your holidays to have great nightlife, or activities, or food etc. I will try to analyse some islands in a few words, but feel free to ask more!

      Mykonos and Santorini are nice choices, but both islands are quite overcrowded during July and August, so you might want to pick another date or pre book everything at least 6-9 months earlier.

      Then, you have the below choices:

      Paros. Beautiful island with many small villages for exploration, (Naousa village is a beauty!) great and many beaches and good nightlife with nice bars and few clubs.

      Naxos. Another beautiful island, with a long, sandy beaches, many water sports, great mountainous villages, but quite large.

      Then, there are other islands less famous and not so developed like the aboves, like

      Serifos: Small island. with a beautiful main village and lovely beaches. Not many things to do though there.

      Sifnos. It has some of the best and most picturesque villages and amazing food. It has not the best beaches though!

      Then. Koufonisi is a great choice. As it has amazing beaches and it is so small that you can walk around it!

      I could keep on listing more islands, but you can check those and ask me if you need anything else!

      Hope it helps!



  63. Hi,
    I was wanting to do a greek trip for about 2 weeks and just wanted to see if you think the current itinerary is feasible?
    Athens 3 nights
    Mykonos 2 nights
    Santorini 3 nights
    Skopelos 4 nights
    We have a potential extra 2 nights to spend anywhere above or another island!

    • Hi Brianna,

      Hopefully, you will have a great time!

      Now about the plan. The days I believe are well allocated as I think you can get an idea from the places that you are going to visit. But to be frank, I am not sure about Skopelos. Skopelos belongs to the Sporades complex and there is no easy connection between Santorini and Sporades islands. Not sure how you plan to move from Santorini to Skopelos, but it is not easy.

      My first thought would be to stay in the Cyclades area and check some other islands there.

      There are many choices. Naxos would be one of them and you can also add Koufonisi island (small with amazing beaches)for 2 days. Another obvious choice would be Paros island, where you can visit Antiparos island on a daily trip or Sifnos island for 2 days.

      But also another choice would be Folegandros island, where it might not has amazing beaches but it has a picturesque main village and you can enjoy there, romantic dinners and walking by dusk.

      In case you decide on visiting Skopelos, then, of course, Skiathos or Alonissos might be good choices!

      If you need any other information, just let me know. I am here to help as much as I can!



  64. Hi!

    I’m looking to go Greek Island hopping as a solo female traveller (20s) for a month between mid June – Mid July. I love being active and hiking sounds great but I also want to make sure I experience the Greek culture and have some downtime on the beautiful beaches. Do you have any recommendations on the safest islands and those that suit my needs?

    This guide and your whole website have been fantastically helpful already!!

    Thanks x

    • Hi Sophia,

      It sounds like a lovely plan and I think you will have a great time. July becomes quite crowded in some island so if you could start from beginning June to beginning of July -I belive – it would be even better.

      Now about the destinations. There is a wide range of options! I would focus on Cyclades, where you will enjoy little villages with white houses and blue windows.

      I will suggest some destinations but this is quite rough recommendation, as I don’t know your preference or your budget etc!

      So, I will start with 2 safe choices. One is Paros. Paros has become quite touristy lately, but I think if you visit at the beginning or mid June it would be ideal. It has picturesque villages, great beaches and also many different option for activities, like water sports, hiking etc. And also there are places, where nightlife is quite nice in case you want also to enjoy some nice bars and cocktails.

      Then, Naxos could be a nice choice. Bear in my mind that is a large island but there is a good bus connection. It has great mainland with traditional villages and great culture. For example, in Apeiranthos village you can visit 4-5 different museums and learn more about tradition and history. Of course the beaches are great, long and sandy.

      Now, Folegandros and Amorgos are two islands with great hiking routes and nice villages. They might not have the best beaches in Greece but I think you feel the Greek culture (especially in Amorgos.)

      And last, Serifos might be a good choice. Nice island, with a great main village which has incredible view, beautiful beaches and also lovely hiking routes.

      And I will cheat a little bit and I also recommend two more islands that I personally love, Koufonisia and Donousa. Koufonisia might be a no for July as it becomes very crowded, but it has amazing beaches and you can walk almost the whole island (it has only one main village.) Donousa is more remote (you might combine it with Naxos or Amorgos) and more wild. It is not for everyone taste as it is very small and it looks from another older era. But there many hiking routes and wonderful beaches and it is not a party island!

      Note that almost all the mentioned islands feel quitesafe and lately there is an increasing of solo female travellers, so I don’t think you will have any issue.

      I hope I didn’t confuse you more. If you need anything else, just let me know. Happy to help if I can!



  65. Hi, I am looking to go island hopping with my Son around mid May. He is 20 and I am in my mid fifties. I don’t really want to hire a car so ideally resorts near the port. The Cyclades looks as though it might be the best choice?
    The Sporades have been recommended as easy to navigate for first timers but I’m worried my Son might be bored!
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Hi Steph,

      Hope you will have a great time wherever you choose to go!

      I agree that Sporades might be easier to navigate but in the middle of May, they might not have too much things to do. Skiathos might be busier than the others, but still….

      Cyclades might be a better ft – I think. You will have more choices to fit the needs of both of you!
      Also, take into account that middle of May would be still quiet in the islands so you might prefer visiting some more popular islands than small and remote ones.

      You can pass Mykonos or Paros, which have both a great energy and vibe. Both have good bus connection, so if you want to visit some great beaches you can go without renting a car.
      Naxos is large island, but you can stay at the main town where you can visit some lovely beaches nearby. Plus it has many different activities to do.
      Last island that you might visit, can be Ios which normally I do not recommend it, as at some areas gathers too much massive young tourism but for middle of May it would be very nice.

      If you need any other help or guidance, just let me know Steph.


  66. Hello – I was last in Ios, Naxos, Paros, Santorni, Crete, 30+ years ago with a backpack and a few months,. Now, I want to introduce my teenagers and wife to the Cyclades and/or Crete over a 4-5 day visit. What I loved most were the wonderful traditional Greek tavernas, the village squares, the hiking, the bakeries, the sovlaki, the retsina. Is all of that now swamped by tourists and development? Where can we still find a nice white village, a lively square, good/great local/traditional food (I don’t want any French Asia Fusion stuff)? Daughter must have Instagram white beauty, wife wants hiking, swimming of course, but all of this not over whelmed by developments and tourists. And, in my old age, the accommodation needs to be charming, traditional, and comfortable 4*+ boutiques.
    I was looking at Crete because they have nonstop flights from London – what do you think of there?

    Can you weave magic and give us some contemporary suggestions? I can almost smell the spanikopita!

      • Hello MR H!

        Your plan sound lovely! I think you all have great time and you will totally love it! I am not sure about some details of your itinerary, like which town of Crete are you going to land etc, but I will try to give you some ideas!

        1. Crete is a beautiful place and you could spend some time there. You will also find some of the best and most Instagramable beaches, like Balos, Kedrodasos and Elafonisi in the Chania region. But I don’t think it fits your needs as you described them to me.

        2. If you want to see villages with white houses and blue windows, then Crete isn’t your place. You can visit some Greek islands in Cyclades that has some direct connection. Naxos (3.30 hours from Heraklion), Paros (4 to 5 hours from Heraklion) and Santorini (2 hours from Heraklion ) that you went 30 years ago, are good options.

        Santorini is now one of the most famous places in the world and it can be quite crowded. But if you are going at the beginning of June I expect quite fewer tourists than July and August.
        Paros and Naxos are great islands as well and I think a good fit for your needs, but you will definitely notice that both have become touristy! I have written some posts about both islands, where to go and where to stay etc, so you can have a look and also check some nice boutique hotels.

        3. Now, a more risky choice but closer to your needs might be the Small Cyclades complex. These are 4 small islands that they retain some of the magic of the old days!

        Ano Koufonisi is the most touristically developed, but at the beginning of June it would be quite nice and peaceful. It has amazing beaches and you can walk to every beach on foot (5′-40′). It has only one main village but you can also visit the opposite island (Kato Koufonisi) on a daily trip by boat.

        Schinousa is better for hiking as it has more uphills (not anything extreme), nice squares, not so touristy and nice beaches as well.
        I wouldn’t recommend Iraklia or Donousa islands (Dosousa is my favorite island from the small Cyclades complex), as they might not fit to everybody in your family.

        If you need anything else, just ask me! I am here to help you as much as I can!


  67. Hi im new to greece island hopping, i was hoping to do Santorini , Amorgos, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Mykanos then back to Santorini, which order should i do them or are there better islands to substitute with ? Ihave three weeks but dont want to rush ,also do i get tested at each island? how does it work at the moment , Many thanks Lynne

    • Hi Lynne!

      You sound quite well informed about Greek island hopping, as the sequence of the islands that you have selected are pretty reasonable at least to me!!! There are direct ferries to each island and the duration of the trips are not too long!

      Τhe choices of the islands is of course a personal choice based on your preference! I might replace Amorgos with Koufonisia or Donousa, but this is just me as I love small islands! Amorgos is much wilder, with incredible colour of the sea, beautiful Hora and wonderful paths. But the other two islands have amazing beaches and they are smaller and easier to walk around!

      And also I am a fan of Tinos island and not so much Ios, which is more touristic! But again, these are personal preferences!

      And not sure when are you going to Greece, but if you have selected July or August, you may have to be super prepared and book your hotels, tickets etc. The official predictions are that this summer will be super busy for the touristic destinations in Greece!

      For now, there are no special restrictions for ferries and islands, but this might change. To be frank, based on today’s situation, I expect this summer to be quite easier to go around without too many restrictions. But, we have to wait!!!

      Anyway, if you have any question, just let me know! Happy to help if I can!

  68. Thanks so much for your tips, they’ve been really, really helpful.

    I’ve been island hopping from early September until late October, starting in Corfu (I had plenty of time, not just a few days). I went to Paxos from there, and as you said you can’t go straight to the next islands to the South. Instead I skipped them altogether, and went to Igoumenitsa and then Athens. Then Serifos, Ios, Naxos, Astypaleia, Nisyros, Tilos, Chalki, Rhodes, Kastellorizo, back to Rhodes, Santorini and finally Naxos again, where I’ve decided to stay until the end of June.

    It’s fairly easy to arrive in one island, book ferry and accommodation for the next one on the first day, and enjoy the island for 2-4 days before heading to the next one.

    Only once did I arrive to an island with no pre-booked accommodation (Paxos, early september), and it took me a little time to get it, so I guess that’s out of the question during the high season. Other than that, I found it fairly manageable to book from one island to the next.

    Thanks again, and keep your good work with this website!

    • Wow! It sounds amazing! That should be an amazing trip Deithi! Thank you for sharing this island hopping experience with us! The way that you handle the whole trip was quite impressive! And I totally agree with you. Someone might not be able to do the same during July or August, so you selected the right period! And it is so much freedom to be able to plan or amend your plans based on your mood and desire!


  69. can i say how wonderful your web site is! thanks soo much for all the info .
    W e are going to book one of the trips for sure for the summer will def be in touch many many thanks

  70. Hi there!
    Is it possible to visit the islands 1-2 days each? Specifically for Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini. I am leaving 3-4 days for Athens

    • Hi Morgan,

      This can be a tricky question as it depends on what you want to see each time that you visit an island or a city.
      Personally, I think one day for these islands is not enough. You will need at least 2 days for each of those 3 islands and indeed at least 2 days for Athens.

    • Ηi Manni! It depends on what kind of holidays do you want! If you want just take a taste and see all the important things, I think 3 days minimum to each island would ok.

  71. Hi We are a couple looking for a sailing holiday hopping around some greek islands. I’m a bit overwhelmed by the choice and finding it hard to know where best to choose – no real sailing experience either but would like opportunity to try. We love food and less touristy places. Also, some “yachting” holidays seem not to be actually sailing (motor powered mainly) Do you know of any companies to recommend and/or island groups to focus on.

    • Hi Julia,

      I have only sailed in Greece twice, one in Ionian islands with some friend’s sailing boat and one in Sporades islands using Sail with us. I totally recommend both areas.

      Ionian islands I think is perfect for beginners as usually the winds are quite smoother than some other areas in Greece and you can find beautiful beaches.

      Sporades islands are as well as superb for sailing as you can visit 3 main amazing and green islands Skiathos(the most touristic), Skopelos, Alonissos (the quietest and not so touristic) with stunning beaches. There are also some small and uninhabited islands that you can visit! I am totally satisfied with “Sail with Us” so I totally recommend you, but I am not sure if they rent the whole boat or you can book some individual tickets. They have awesome customer support, so contact them ( and ask them if they can help you or advise you on anything else!

      Not sure if I helped but let me know if you need anything else!

      • Thank you so much for your reply – I will check out Sail With Us
        Also, your website has so much useful information thank you for taking the time and effort to share your knowledge
        Best wishes, Julia

  72. Hi, we’re interested in seeing “green” locations with beautiful coves and beaches combined with dining in great restaurants at night. What islands would you recommend? Are sail tours operating this summer?

    • Hi Alison,

      From what you describe to us we think Sporades island would be a good choice and more specifically Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos islands.
      They are full of trees with really beautiful beaches and many coves! The food is also delicious, but overall don’t expect too fancy restaurants (only in Skiathos probably) but nice and original taverns! And this summer quite few sail tours are operating.
      If you are interested in sailing in that area we can recommend one company that we have used in the past and we were very pleased.

      • Hi, I’m really interested in doing island hopping in Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos early next month (September 2020). I’ve been to Skiathos and Skopelos before but many years ago. Any recommendations on companies to use would be appreciated. I am a solo female traveller for UK.
        Thanks 🙂

  73. We’re looking at doing a bit of Greek island hopping next year (2020). We want to go to Nidri and will hopefully have 2 weeks. Which other island(s) near or places in lefkada would you recommend?


    • Hi Claire!

      As it says on the article, you can combine it with some other islands that are close, like Kefalonia and Zante or even Corfu! If you need some extra information, just write us an email!

      • Hi Dimitris
        I have written earlier not sure if it went through or I closed page before it sent.
        You have a wonderful and useful information on Greece

        Can I please have your thoughts on an itenary for aprox 18-21days honeymoon end of August 2023. Happy to day trip to a couple of them if that’s your recommendations , flying from Australia.


        • Hi Lidia,

          Congratulations for your wedding! I think you will have an amazing time in Greece!

          So, your itinerary is great! Greece is a magnificent country with lots of beautiful places to explore and experiences to have, particularly for a honeymoon. My only comment is that for you will cover a lot of different areas in Greece. I mean the list includes islands from Cyclades, Eptanisa kai then Dodecanese, which great but you will move a lot around. On the opposite, you are coming from Australlia so you will like to see as much as possible and Greece is so tiny compared to Australia so perhaps all the distance between Greek towns are quite short for you!

          Now, I would remove either Eptanisa islands (like Corfu, Kefalonia and Zante) and include more islands from Dodecanese like Kos and Patmos or Symi. Or preferably, I would remove Rhodes and keep the Eptanisa islands (you might want to add Paxos island, even as a day trip from Corfu).

          Also, note that there not many flights between islands. So if you want to fly from one island to another most likely you will go through Athens airport.

          Another point is that August is very touristic period in Greece, so it will be packed and also many hotels are already booked.

          Finally, note that the movement between Eptanisa islands isn’t so easy and the connections are not great!

          Therefore to my opinion based on your itinerary, I would recommend sth like this:

          1) Transit from Australia to Athens:1-2 days Given the long flight from Australia, I think you should allow for two days of travel and adjustment to the time zone.

          2) Santorini (3-4 days): You can fly there or take the ferry from Piraeus

          3) Paros (3 days). Take a ferry to charming Paros

          4) Naxos (4 days) Next, visit Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades island group. Visit the Portara, explore the old town of Chora, and enjoy the beautiful beaches and make sure to try the local cuisine.

          5) Corfu (3 days)

          6) Kefalonia (2 days)

          7) Zante 1 day. From Kefalonia, take a ferry to Zakynthos. As you only have one day, focus on the highlights: the iconic Navagio beach (Shipwreck Beach) and the Blue Caves. Note that this summer the local authorities might not allowed to visit the Navagio beach (Shipwreck Beach)

          This itinerary is quite packed, so feel free to adjust according to your pace and preference. Always check the local transportation schedules (ferry and flights) in advance, as they might change or be impacted by weather conditions!

          Enjoy your honeymoon in Greece!



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