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Greek Islands Photos & Overview

Bad Ass Dudes on Scooters
A couple bad ass dudes posing with their scooters on a cliff in Santorini

Q. Hey Mike. Quick question. When you did the greek islands, did you from athens, or elsewhere and did you take a ferry? Also a boat between islands? Finally, which ones do you suggest doing for sure? Thanks dude!

Both times I did the Greek Islands I took a ferry from Italy, one time out of Brindisi and one time from Bari. It’s a long journey, more than overnight, and they still don’t go into Athens (otherwise they have to go WAY out of the way, check a map). They’ll get you pretty close to Athens, the port they go to is called P├ítras, then you take a train or a bus to Athens. Depending on where you stay in the city, the Athens port is still not that close. The port is called Piraeus if you want to search ferry costs and times up front, pretty much all the websites use the same service so just do a quick google search and you’ll find ferry times.

Choosing which Islands to do can be a difficul task. There are TONS, and usually the ones you want to see will be very spread out. Depending on how much time you have, you probably want to pick your islands based on what group they’re in. I’ve mostly only done the more popular ones, Mykonos, Santorini, Milos, Rhodos, and Ios. You need to decide what you want from this trip to know what Islands to go to.

Santorini

Sunset On Oia, Santorini
People lining up to watch the sun go down in Santorini

Santorini is still my favorite island, it has a nice mix of everything: nightlife, beaches, scenery, cool towns, and things to do. This is also where the famous cliffside white village with blue rooftops is. The town is called Oia, and it’s famous for its sunsets, everyone goes and watches it, the cliffs will be covered in people. They even clapped at the end which I found annoying. The sun sets over the Volcano which is just a quick boat ride away, you can hop on a pirate style ship and they’ll take you to the island where you can hike to the summit. On the same boat ride they’ll take you to a hot springs (don’t wear light colored trunks, the mud will stain them) and another little city, as well as give you the option to take a donkey up the cliff to Oia, just in time for sunset. There are also a couple spots where you can go cliff jumping. We stayed at a place called Anny Studios on Perissa Beach, there was a bartender there named Steve from San Francisco who was cool, had some good advice for things to do on the island, may or may not still be there. Santorini is also cool because it has a red sand beach, black sand, white sand, and plenty of rock beaches (all best reached by scooter).

Mykonos and Ios

The Town Against The Water In Mykonos
Water coming up all the way to the edge of the town in Mykonos

Mykonos and Ios are mainly party islands, beach by day, and big clubs by night (although they have a few cool sites as well if you aren’t too hungover). Mykonos has the famous windmill house things you’ve probably seen photos of. I prefered Mykonos to Ios, they have fewer, but bigger clubs, and they get some big name DJ’s. Ferry Corsten played when I was there, was quite happy about that. Felix Da Housecat was also there over the same couple days. If you’re looking for the party, you’ll want to stay on Paradise beach. Ios is equally as crazy of a party, but the routine there is: go to Far Out resort (or the beach out front) and party during the day, then there’s a lull, and then people head into the city and go to all the bars and clubs. They don’t have the big ones like Mykonos though, so people tend to spread out all around town (or not make it out at night because they got too wasted at Far Out). I think Ios may be better in a large group.

The Pool At Far Out Resort In Ios
One of the pools at Far Out in Ios

Milos

Shipwreck In Milos, Greece
Walking the beach on a windy day near the shipwreck in Milos

Milos was very scenic, but probably more suitable for couples. Won’t find much in the line of hostels either, it’s mostly guesthouse type accomodation. We rented scooters and drove around to all the beaches, they have tons of really good and unique beaches, but not your typical relaxing style beaches; more like cool rock, cave, arch and cliff formations. I’d say easily best scenery out of this group, but that’s about it. The wind was awful when we went too, so much so that we couldn’t take our scooters to one side of the island, and most of the boats weren’t going out.

Rhodos

Going back to planning your route through the islands ahead of time, we took a ferry from Milos to Rhodos. It took us something like 27 hours! We had to because we were on our way to Turkey, but thats still no fun spending a full day plus of your trip on a boat. Can’t give much info on Rhodos because we only stayed the night there, but it seemed pretty cool and different. A castle is built around the island, and everything goes on inside the walls. We didn’t go out because we had to be up early to get on another boat, but it seemed like there was some nightlife when we went out for dinner. If you’re in the east of the Mediterranean, definetely look into Rhodos (and from there Turkey is just an hour or so by boat if you have time).

Zakynthos

If it’s in your path, the island of Zakynthos looks pretty cool too, we wanted to go there but couldn’t find a route that made sense. Theres a really cool shipwreck on the beach, google imae Zakynthos and most of the photos will be of this wreck.

Scooter Off Road in Milos
Taking a short cut to the beach while exploring by scooter in Milos

All the islands are the same in that:

One good comment on "Greek Islands Photos & Overview"

  • Darren  @ Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    Mike, this is awesome stuff. Rick Steves eat your heart out!

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