Independent Greek island hopping
I thought I would share with you how I like to plan my Greek island hopping adventures.
I usually start 12 months in advance and after deciding which Greek island I would like to go to, I research on the internet. Firstly I find out how to get there, and what days the flights are from, and which airport.
Then I would book hotels via booking.com as most have free cancellation.
So for example; Dodecanese islands. Have chosen to fly to Kos and picked which UK airport to fly from. Sometimes the dates for the flights for the following year are not yet released, so I usually look at the days the flights go and how frequent during this year, and make a note of them. So I narrowed it down to Thomas Cook and TUI. The price for TUI was better so booked with them for next year when the dates were released. Whilst we were in Corfu and the Greek TV was on, we saw a video of Happy Traveller man around Nisyros and the scenery just looked stunning. On further investigation at home, I realised other nearby islands to visit are Leros and Kalymnos. There are other islands but then deciding on how long to go for and realistically how many islands you can fit in whilst seeing some of the island is important.
By reserving hotels early [ sometimes more than a year in advance] means you get the best pick too. Now, the ferries between the islands are usually with Blue Star and Dodecanese Seaways. Unfortunately, most ferry companies in Greece don’t release the dates until a few months before. So after further investigation I managed to find roughly when they would leave one island to another and hoped I had got the combination of the dates and changing islands right. I managed to book 2 ferry crossings and pay for them online. However, the other company hasn’t yet released their dates, so I am still keeping my fingers crossed. Worst case scenario I can move hotel dates around if availability as I have opted for the free cancellation.
So we land in Kos, then after one night ferry to Nisyros for 2 days. Leave Nisyros to go to Kalymnos for 4 nights and then Leros for 3 nights. Head to Kos for 1 day before flying back home. I then usually use Google satellite maps to zoom in each island and see what we would like to visit and make a plan based around that.
Another example of Independent Greek island hopping is Skaithos.
When I looked in to Skiathos flights, this time, Thomas Cook came up cheaper than TUI, so have flights booked with them. Ferries are more frequent from Skiathos to Skopelos and some of the Mamma Mia film was filmed in Skopelos. I picked 3 days out of the week and decided to ferry hop to Skopelos and spend 2 nights there. Planning on visiting the church with the steps where the wedding took place. Then return to Skiathos to finish the holiday. The ferries are released quite early for these 2 islands so these are already booked.
When we flew to Santorini, we used ferry to get to Milos and Kimolos. When we went to Mykonos we flew there and got the ferry to island hop to Naxos and Paros. In Corfu we used Kamelia Lines to go for the day to Paxos and Anti Paxos. After the first couple of successful connections when you get to Greece, It is not such a big ordeal when planning from the UK. We have never had any problems in ferry connections, collecting tickets in Greece when booked over the internet for ferries. The hotels ahve all been as described on booking.com and we have so far been very pleased with all accomodation I have chosen. But then again, I read other peoples reviews on Trip Adviser and check out the local areas by looking on Google street maps.