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Any one ever been Greek Island hopping?

(56 Posts)
Portofino Tue 11-Jun-13 13:22:54

I am thinking of this for next year as dd wants to see the Acropolis and the photos of the various islands look so gorgeous. I have no idea where to start though....Any tips?

ArabellaBeaumaris Tue 11-Jun-13 13:30:36

I did, before I went to uni. Can't remember the details but as I recollect it was pretty easy! I think we had a vague idea of which islands we wanted to go to, & you can pretty much rock up & buy tickets as & when... Was lovely.

bruffin Tue 11-Jun-13 13:59:19

We didnt do island hopping as such, but stayed in Poros and got the dolphin over to other islands and the mainland. We went to the Acropolis and Mycenie, as well as Aegina.

burberryqueen Tue 11-Jun-13 14:02:42

long time ago I was au fait with Greek ferries, you just turn up and buy a ticket as arabella said, easy as anything.

Portofino Tue 11-Jun-13 19:58:41

Bruffin. - that looks gorgeous. I am not one for package holidays but dd will be 10 so I don't want to rough it TOO much. I looked at interrail, though you can't do trains into Greece at the mo due to the financial crisis, but it does include ferry from Italy to Corfu then to Piraeus. I want to have a clue on where is best/reasonable to visit say over 3 weeks...

burberryqueen Wed 12-Jun-13 07:57:53

if you can get an internal train from Patras (ferry port from Italy) down to Kalamata in the Peloponnese, then a bus or taxi down to Koroni, there is a lovely campsite at Agios something, would recommend that over the more popular islands, incredibly child friendly and not much to do except swim fish and eat.

burberryqueen Wed 12-Jun-13 08:04:22

we spent a memorable three weeks on this campsite

Hullygully Wed 12-Jun-13 08:11:05

Research it carefully, because of the "austerity" destroying the country, a lot of ferries have been cut or can only be taken from Piraeus. Choose a group of islands where you can definitely get ferries to and from without having to go back to Piraeus.

Poros is crowded in the summer and Aegina is falling apart (packages withdrawn). Agistri is tiny but quite sweet.

I'd look at the Cyclades or Sporades

Lavenderandroses Wed 12-Jun-13 08:11:48

Yes, fantastic experience and easy to do with children. I got a really good book about island hopping which explained all the ferry timetables. You can only travel easily between certain islands.

Just book flights and turn up. No need to book accommodation. I would look into where to stay in Athens though. It's not a great city in my experience and I would want to know where I was staying in advance.

burberryqueen Wed 12-Jun-13 08:14:52

that is interesting what you say hullygully about ferries and package operations being withdrawn - have not been to Greece now for four years although I spent a long time working there or on extended (beachbum) student vacations.
possibly there is no train now to Kalamata...

Hullygully Wed 12-Jun-13 08:16:53

We had four ferries from our bit to others and two boats have been sold to South America! We miss them <sad face>

Hullygully Wed 12-Jun-13 08:18:23

You should also think about the mainland, Porto.

The Pelops has amazing sights and beaches, much more so than th eislands. It might be an idea to travel the mainland for two weeks and pick an island for a week's vegging?

bigTillyMint Wed 12-Jun-13 15:02:03

I did quite a bit of Greek island hopping in a previous lifesmile

Agree with Hully - we had a great holiday one year - mainly on the Peloponnese (on the back of a motorbike!) and on the island of Spetses. Athens is an interesting place too.

Portofino Wed 12-Jun-13 18:45:40

That is an interesting thought. I picked up a second hand book about Athens and it mentions Mycenae, Corinth, Epidaurus etc as excursions. Explore also do a family cruise round islands to the NE of Athens which looks fun. So maybe one week sights, one week cruise, one week beach/island? I normally allow about 150 euros a night accommodation costs as that is what your average mobile home/gite seems to cost in July and it looks like I can even do naice hotels for round the 120 euro mark. So there should be bargains to be had. I don't need posh.

CatsAndTheirPizza Wed 12-Jun-13 18:50:21

Only as a student - it was lovely though. I imagine doing it as a non-student not being in Piraeus catching the cheap ferries out v early in the morning, and sleeping beaches, would be v nice

Hullygully Wed 12-Jun-13 20:09:07

I'll give you recommendations for the Pelops if you like?

Mystras, Monemvassia, Nauplion...

Portofino Wed 12-Jun-13 21:34:07

Very interested Hully. Sounds like you know the area well :-)

Portofino Wed 12-Jun-13 21:39:54

We normally fling stuff in the car and drive. So this is a bit of a new thing for me. Pre child/Dh I did lots of Eastern Europe and walking in mountains. And we did a lot of city breaks way back when.

ThinkAboutItTomorrow Wed 12-Jun-13 21:44:24

Did athens then from pireus to naxos one year. It was very chilled and easy. Booked up front online so no stress.

Athens is a great place to spend a few days as well as just seeing the parthenon.

Quodlibet Wed 12-Jun-13 21:47:45

Do people think Greek island hopping would be ok at 24 wks pg? We are thinking of going...

Lavenderandroses Wed 12-Jun-13 21:52:19

Yes! You will be fine when pregnant. Enjoy

unebagpipe Wed 12-Jun-13 22:39:06

Just returned from Naxos... Amazing. Not overly busy, beautiful beaches and good accommodation (Faros Studios). We didn't island hop and enjoyed a week there... Will watch this thread with intent as looking for more ideas for next June. grin

Hullygully Thu 13-Jun-13 08:46:03

So, have a few days in Athens, there is a hotel called The Phiippos where we stayed a few years ago that was (then at least!) very reasonable compared to other hotels and we had two adjoining rooms. It's right at the foot of the acropolis so easy to walk up first thing to the Parthenon and then can walk down through the agora (very nice) and on and around Plaka for little shops/stalls/cafes etc. Go to new museum too.

Then get a car and head off. Drive down to Corinth (ancient Corinth) (couple of hours), there are a lot of hotels close to the ancient castle, again walk up really early (it's worth it) or you'll die. Not much else to do there so head off afternoon and go to Nauplion which is a beautiful Venetian town with lots of lovely places to stay, narrow streets, a lovely port where you can take a boat trip, lots of castles to climb to (how fit you will be), a nice museum, and a really nice evening buzz to stroll around in.

Then go to Mystras (couple of hours), near Sparta - do not go there, there's nothing as the Spartans were only into training and fighting so no monuments or anything of interest!, MYstras is a Byzantine village/town that is deserted and beautifully preserved. Again, go early and start at the top and walk down, it's really stunning. It's not on the well-known site trail for some reason, but coaches do turn up, go early and you'll beat them.

I would then go down to the Mani which is the maddest part of Greece in my opinion. Everyone lived in tower houses and had feuds for generations, supposedly the Maniots were the original Mafia (they all went to Italy). Lots there, there is an amazing boutique type hotel at Geromolinas, and you must go to the Caves of Diros where you float through in a boat. I'd go to the bottom of the Mani, to the gate to Hades, because it is a stunning landscape.

Then go up and round to Koroni and Methoni, keep going up and head into the mountains of Arcadia to Stemnitsa, Dimitsana etc which are stunning and hang off the mountains, there is a gorge there where you can raft (float) which is lovely.

Then across again and back down to Monemvassia, which is a Byzantine town completely hidden in a rock. You can't see it from the sea or the land until you walk through the rock entrance (no cars) and there is an amazing tumble of houses, flowers, churches etc. Nice hotels in and at the entrance.

Go down to Elafonnisos for an astonishing beach (five second ferry) and then end of the island of Kythira (which I haven't visited but want to).

bigTillyMint Thu 13-Jun-13 08:58:25

Oh yes, the gorge! Samaria gorge? You can walk down it - lovely day out, but stiff legs the next daysmile

Hullygully Thu 13-Jun-13 09:17:41

Samaria is on Crete...

I think it's the Lousios river, if you google Trekking Hellas, they have loads of active suggestions (am thinking of kids), we always try and build in activities as just looking is dull for kids (and me).

There is a great website for small Greek hotels, can't remember the bloody name.

Malvasia is the hotel to go for at Monemvassia

En route to Corinth you can also stop and look at the Corinth Canal (and bungee jump)

And on the way up and out of the Mani, stop at Kardamyli where Patrick Leigh Fermor lived and which is lovely.

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