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Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 3rd, 2004, 09:08 PM
meg
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Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought

Hi
I intend to spend two weeks hopping some of the greek islands but am a
bit unsure whether to just buy a flight and throw all caution to the
wind. I do have a very good book on the subject but am tempted to seek
an organised hopping package, although more expensive peace of mind
comes at a price it seems! Does anyone have any experience island
hopping who would care to advice me either way? Is it as simple to do
off your own back as the books suggest to find accomodation in peak
season?
thanks
Meg
  #2  
Old April 3rd, 2004, 10:26 PM
David Horne
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Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought

meg wrote:

Hi
I intend to spend two weeks hopping some of the greek islands but am a
bit unsure whether to just buy a flight and throw all caution to the
wind. I do have a very good book on the subject but am tempted to seek
an organised hopping package, although more expensive peace of mind
comes at a price it seems! Does anyone have any experience island
hopping who would care to advice me either way? Is it as simple to do
off your own back as the books suggest to find accomodation in peak
season?
thanks


I doubt you'd need to take an organised package. It's not that hard IMO,
but you will probably be better off if you have a good idea of the
various ferry schedules in advance, and at least a rough idea of where
you'd like to go, and how to get there. Apologies if that seems obvious!

Also, my own experience has shown that if you leave ferry bookings to
the last minute (even in shoulder season) you won't always get a place
on the service you want, or at the price you want. The best thing is if
you can be flexible- i.e. not put off by having to wait an extra day or
two. If you are flying back home from Athens, then try and aim to arrive
back in Athens at least 24 hours before your flight home, and try and
keep the last 'hop' to Athens relatively straightforward.

I also wouldn't recommend being _too_ adventurous, at least the first
time around. You will probably feel you have successfully "Island
hopped" if you get to 2 or 3 Islands in reasonable proximity of each
other. All the other Islands won't disappear, and you can visit them
again! For a first time hopping trip, I'd recommend the Cyclades, but
other people will have their own preferences.

I'm afraid I can't give you any experience about doing this in _peak_
season however. I wouldn't want to travel then (do you really have to?),
but I've friends who've done so though- and been successful. Expect the
popular Islands (Santorini, Mykonos etc.) to be extremely crowded then
(they're certainly crowded in the shoulder months)- you'll also have a
less good choice of accomodation.

David

--
David Horne- www.davidhorne.net
usenet (at) davidhorne (dot) co (dot) uk
  #3  
Old April 4th, 2004, 12:29 AM
Tony Day
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Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought


"David Horne" wrote in message
news:1gbotup.jmqu02n7ied5N%this_address_is_for_spa ...
meg wrote:

Hi
I intend to spend two weeks hopping some of the greek islands but am a
bit unsure whether to just buy a flight and throw all caution to the
wind. I do have a very good book on the subject but am tempted to seek
an organised hopping package, although more expensive peace of mind
comes at a price it seems! Does anyone have any experience island
hopping who would care to advice me either way? Is it as simple to do
off your own back as the books suggest to find accomodation in peak
season?
thanks


I doubt you'd need to take an organised package. It's not that hard IMO,
but you will probably be better off if you have a good idea of the
various ferry schedules in advance, and at least a rough idea of where
you'd like to go, and how to get there. Apologies if that seems obvious!

Also, my own experience has shown that if you leave ferry bookings to
the last minute (even in shoulder season) you won't always get a place
on the service you want, or at the price you want.


The rest of your advice was good, but I don't understand this bit. As a foot
passenger, not wanting a cabin, there should never be a problem getting on
board a traditional ferry, and the prices are fixed by government, so what
are you talking about?

Tony


  #4  
Old April 4th, 2004, 12:45 AM
David Horne
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Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought

Tony Day wrote:

The rest of your advice was good, but I don't understand this bit. As a foot
passenger, not wanting a cabin, there should never be a problem getting on
board a traditional ferry,


It happens- believe me. We were forced into a cabin two years ago from
Heraklion to Thira, at extra cost, because there were no more 'deck
passenger places.' That was at the end of May. Though I suspect it's a
convenient money maker, I can understand why there would be a quota.
That occured when buying the ticket a few hours prior to departure.

Also, as happened to me on another trip, I wanted to take a catamaran
_instead_ of a ferry, to save time. Booking the day before, all the
places were sold (Naxos to Piraeus.)

and the prices are fixed by government,


Sure, but I had to pay more for a cabin.

David

--
David Horne- www.davidhorne.net
usenet (at) davidhorne (dot) co (dot) uk
  #6  
Old April 4th, 2004, 02:09 PM
Jeremy
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Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought

On 3/4/04 23:26, in article
1gbotup.jmqu02n7ied5N%[email protected] oo.co.uk, "David Horne"
wrote:

meg wrote:

Hi
I intend to spend two weeks hopping some of the greek islands but am a
bit unsure whether to just buy a flight and throw all caution to the
wind. I do have a very good book on the subject but am tempted to seek
an organised hopping package, although more expensive peace of mind
comes at a price it seems! Does anyone have any experience island
hopping who would care to advice me either way? Is it as simple to do
off your own back as the books suggest to find accomodation in peak
season?
thanks


I doubt you'd need to take an organised package. It's not that hard IMO,
but you will probably be better off if you have a good idea of the
various ferry schedules in advance, and at least a rough idea of where
you'd like to go, and how to get there. Apologies if that seems obvious!

Also, my own experience has shown that if you leave ferry bookings to
the last minute (even in shoulder season) you won't always get a place
on the service you want, or at the price you want.


Hmm - that's not my experience as a foot-passenger. I never had a problem
regardless of the time of year.

If you are flying back home from Athens, then try and aim to arrive
back in Athens at least 24 hours before your flight home, and try and
keep the last 'hop' to Athens relatively straightforward.


That's a good piece of advice if you want to be sure of not being affected
by one of the strikes that not uncommonly delay sailings. Another tactic is
to make your last hop accessible to Athens by both ferry and some other mode
of transport ("Flying Dolphin" etc)


J;

  #7  
Old April 4th, 2004, 05:23 PM
Tony Day
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Posts: n/a
Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought


"Jeremy" wrote in message
...
If you are flying back home from Athens, then try and aim to arrive
back in Athens at least 24 hours before your flight home, and try and
keep the last 'hop' to Athens relatively straightforward.


That's a good piece of advice if you want to be sure of not being affected
by one of the strikes that not uncommonly delay sailings. Another tactic

is
to make your last hop accessible to Athens by both ferry and some other

mode
of transport ("Flying Dolphin" etc)


Agree - and if you do get back to Piraeus a day early and don't fancy the
mainland there are frequent dolphins to nearby Aegena, which is at least an
island, if not the most beautiful one!

Tony


  #8  
Old April 4th, 2004, 11:20 PM
Mike Lane
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Posts: n/a
Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought

meg wrote:

I intend to spend two weeks hopping some of the greek islands but am a
bit unsure whether to just buy a flight and throw all caution to the
wind. I do have a very good book on the subject but am tempted to seek
an organised hopping package, although more expensive peace of mind
comes at a price it seems! Does anyone have any experience island
hopping who would care to advice me either way? Is it as simple to do
off your own back as the books suggest to find accomodation in peak
season?


You will get masses of advice on this subject, but the simple answer to
your question is, yes - it *is* as simple as the guide books suggest.
Don't go with an organised package - the whole point of island hopping
is having the freedom to move when and where you want.

All you have to do is get a flight to Athens, take the bus to Pireaus
and get a ferry to the island of your choice. I find the overnight
easyJet flight from Luton best as it arrives early in the morning with
plenty of time to get the morning ferries (I take it you are based in
the UK?).

The only caution I would advise is not to imagine that Greece is a cheap
country. Prices have been rising year on year and I would now estimate
that they are about equivalent to most other European countries.



--
Mike Lane
To email me replace invalid with mike underscore lane.
  #9  
Old April 5th, 2004, 10:34 AM
Tony Day
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Posts: n/a
Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought


"Mike Lane" wrote in message
...
meg wrote:
The only caution I would advise is not to imagine that Greece is a cheap
country. Prices have been rising year on year and I would now estimate
that they are about equivalent to most other European countries.


But prices vary enormously. Expect to pay twice as much for everything on,
for instance, Rhodes (maybe three times as much in a good restaurant) as on
a small nearby island such as Nissiros. I would say that, apart from busy
tourist centres on such as Mykonos or Santorini, prices are still very
reasonable. You should find accommodation for 15 euros a night or so, out
of high season at least.

Tony


  #10  
Old April 5th, 2004, 11:13 AM
David Horne
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Posts: n/a
Default Greek Island Hopping Advice Sought

Tony Day wrote:

"Mike Lane" wrote in message
...
meg wrote:
The only caution I would advise is not to imagine that Greece is a cheap
country. Prices have been rising year on year and I would now estimate
that they are about equivalent to most other European countries.


But prices vary enormously. Expect to pay twice as much for everything on,
for instance, Rhodes (maybe three times as much in a good restaurant) as on
a small nearby island such as Nissiros. I would say that, apart from busy
tourist centres on such as Mykonos or Santorini, prices are still very
reasonable. You should find accommodation for 15 euros a night or so, out
of high season at least.


I haven't been for a couple of years, but last time we were on Crete,
late May, that's approximately what we paid for a nice room (with
facilities, fridge) in Matala. Just got off the bus, walked up a side
street, liked the look of the hotel, and got a room. I'd be interested
to know the cost now.

Athens, I've noticed over about a decade, has gotten much more
expensive.

While accomodation on Santorini is relatively (and understandably)
expensive, the restaurants are still IMO similar in price to those on
less busy islands.

David

--
David Horne- www.davidhorne.net
usenet (at) davidhorne (dot) co (dot) uk
 




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