The Greek Islands! I think a lot of us dream about coming to this paradise destination and so expectations are high and you will want to do everything.
I will be sharing a post for each island but first, let me share the overall itinerary which was really hard to put together. We had 10 days in July, we wanted the “perfect” itinerary so we decided to go for:
The first tip is for you to have a clear idea of the type of things you want to do. Of course beaches, but there are many different types of beaches: organised, unorganized, sandy, rocky, red, black, white, party, nudist, etc. Also, there are islands that have more than beaches of course, like for example Rhodes that has a beautiful medieval historic town that is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Mykonos: is known for it’s party scene, but it actually also has a really nice vibe to it. There are nice bars and restaurants to have a more chill night as well. The beaches are overall the most beautiful we saw of the 4 islands because we were able to find more beaches that were not overtaken by hotels and restaurants.
- Santorini: is know as the honeymoon island. When you get there, you will immediately understand why. I have never seen views more breathtaking than those in Santorini. This island also has a party scene at Fira, so not to worry if that’s what you’re looking for. Watch out for tourist traps in Santorini, there were a lot of those and bring cash because a lot of places do not accept credit cards.
- Kos: an island with history, the first thing you see when you get off the ferry is a castle. The island has a party scene in Kardamena and a more resort oriented atmosphere. It has nice long beaches on one side of the island and on the other side more windy beaches for those that do kite and wind surfing.
- Rhodes: is the biggest island. The town of Rhodes feels like a little city and has a lot of history so plan to spend time walking around the old and new city. It is also known for it’s beautiful beaches, like St. Paul’s Bay and Eli beach for example.
The Second tip is not to try to fit too much in the itinerary. It happened to us because we wanted to do and see everything. Kos and Rhodes are big islands, so 1 or 2 days might not be enough depending on what you want to do. In Rhodes, you definitely need a car to explore more. If I had to re-do the itinerary, I would give Kos 2 days at least instead of 1 and Rhodes 3 days instead of 2 or if you can’t add more days (like us), take out 1 island.
To plan your itinerary, look at the ferry schedules, because most of the times are not very convenient for someone who does not have time to spare. Always check for flights as an option they may be very cheap and you can save a lot of hours and find a better schedule.
Another thing to keep in mind is that connection between Cyclades and Dodecanese islands is difficult. The ferry from Santorini to Kos, took 4.5 hours and it was a 5pm so we ended up having more time in Santorini rather than Kos. The other option was leaving the day before at 3am but we would have lost 1 day in Santorini. If you’re short on time, it might be a good a idea to focus on Cyclades or Dodecanese, but the nice thing about combining the two is that they are very different islands and towns so you will see a different side to Greece.
The Third tip, ENJOY!!! There will always be things you will want to change to your itinerary or wish you had more time, but remember to enjoy the moment and where you are! You will fall in love with Greece.