Visiting multiple islands during one trip, sound great right? Ever thought about island hopping in Greece? In this post Valeria shares here experiences and things that you should know before you go island hopping.
- Season – when to go
As in every typical holiday destination, there is high season in Greece from June to August. During these months the prices are a higher for ho(s)tels, activities but also for food. For example, in Naxos the fruits were really expensive (about 2-5 Euro for an apple) just because of high season. In return in Santorini we paid a normal price (0.50 Euro for an apple). This shows that the prices in the food stores highly vary on the different islands and even the different shops. Since the prices sink everywhere when there is low season I recommend going to Greece during spring or autumn
- Hopes – what to expect
When thinking about Greece before our trip – we thought of cute small villages full of these white and blue houses. Great photo locations, for example in front of the traditional churches or beautiful sea views. But as a matter of fact: most houses are actually just white – Light colors absorb less light than dark colors do, so the houses get stay cold. You do not see the expected « blue and white houses » that often. When going to Fira or Oia in Santorini you get to see some of them but also in famous towns like « Naxos town » or « Mykonos town ». When travelling around, there are many view points with amazing views over the island(s). Sometimes you see other islands that are close by. To sum it up : certain places in Greece can live up to your expectations, but sometimes it’s better to not raise your hopes too high.
- Weather – what to wear
Summer days in Greece are hot and mostly sunny yet in the evening it gets cold fast. Make sure you wear layers. Important to mention is the constant wind in the Cyclades. Especially June and August are affected by Meltemi winds. Good thing about it: It never seems as hot and humid as it actually is. Bad thing about it : Everything blows away. Most important thing is to not underestimate the solar radiation because of the wind. Put enough suncream on to protect your skin.
- Beaches – what to look forward to
We went to 4 different islands on our island-hopping; starting in Mykonos, going to Naxos, over to Santorin and ending up in Paros. On every island we enjoyed the beautiful, clean, clear and turquoise sea! The beaches are mostly „stone beaches“. Good thing about it: The water looks really clear and therefore it’s really nice to swim. Bad thing: Laying on the stones is not always that comfortable. It is recommended to take a thin matrasse with you or to rent a sunlounger. In Naxos for example we paid 10 Euro for a sunlounger, which is not that expensive.
- Transport – how to get around
First, we were a little worried about taking the ferry to hop from one island to the other. Greece is unfortunately known for strikes and for not always having the best organisation. But we must say: it all went okay. The transportation is well-organised and you can get the tickets easily at the local travel agencies. The tickets are not too expensive: for all the 4 ferry rides we spent about 100 Euro. We mostly took the „Blue Star Ferries“ – which was totally fine - but there also are „speed ferries“. They are more expensive because they go directly from one island to the other. The rides were between 2-3 hours long. On the islands you can easily use public transports. Traveling by bus saves you lots of money too since taxis are more expensive.
- Food – what/where to eat
The best restaurants turned out to be the local ones. Don’t eat in famous cities like Oia or Fira, if you are on low budget. It’s more expensive there. Also be open-minded about new kinds of food, try their specialities and let them advise you about their local dishes. The best appetizer we ate was feta cooked in the oven with olives, tomatoes, peppers, olive oil which was served with fresh (pita)-bread. Best meal was stuffed vegetables with rice or beef – whatever you prefer better - or the famous „Gyros“ – you can have it with meat or with fresh mushrooms as well. Best dessert we had over there was greek yoghurt with honey and fresh fruits.
Have you ever been to Greece yourself? Or would you like to?