Island Hopping In Greece On A Budget

Island hopping in Greece is a great way to see some of the most beautiful islands in the world. The best part? Visiting the Greek islands doesn’t need to be expensive. Here are some insider’s travel tips for Greek island hopping on a budget.

What is Greek island hopping?

Let’s start with what it means to island hop in Greece! With few exceptions, island hopping in Greece involves packing your luggage, and moving on to the next island.

Greek Island hopping - Santorini

While many Greek islands are close to each other on the map, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can use one as a base and take day trips to others. This might be possible with a chartered boat, or a small local boat, but is rarely feasible on commercial ferries.

Budgeting for the Greek islands, ferries and flights

Not all islands in Greece have international or domestic airports. Even when they do, there are few direct flights from one island to another. So, Greek island hopping will normally involve a ferry.

Overall, hopping around the islands isn’t the most wallet-friendly choice when visiting Greece. Certain ferry tickets to some of the popular islands can cost well over 100 euro.

Mykonos Greece in summer - Island hopping

If you’re taking a ferry every couple of days, the costs soon add up. In addition, accommodation prices on some of the islands can be exorbitant during peak season.

As for direct flights between the islands, these are not only rare, but they also come at a premium price. Here is some more information: Direct flights between the Greek islands

However, it is absolutely possible to island hop in Greece on a budget. This article will help you make smart choices, and enjoy your holiday more.

13 Travel tips for Greek island hopping

Here are some tips and ideas which will help you island hop around Greece. They come from decades of my experience travelling around the Greek islands since I was a kid!

Enjoy some great beaches in Greece

For the purposes of this article, “a budget” will be around 50-60 euros per person per day. This might seem like too little for some people, but it’s absolutely doable. All you need is some careful planning!

1. Visit Greek islands in the same island group

Before you plan your island hopping itinerary, my best tip is to study a map of Greece. Many of our islands are grouped together, and the island groups are all at different sides of the Greek mainland. According to the 2011 census, there are 119 inhabited islands in Greece!

Colorful buildings in Skopelos Greece

There are six main island chains, plus a few standalone islands. Here they are:

  • Cyclades islands, e.g. Santorini, Mykonos, Milos
  • Ionian islands, e.g. Zakynthos, Corfu
  • Saronic islands, e.g. Hydra, Aegina
  • Dodecanese islands, e.g. Rhodes, Kos
  • Sporades islands, e.g. Skiathos, Skopelos
  • North Aegean islands, e.g. Lesvos
  • Evia, a large island close to Athens
  • Crete, the largest island in Greece.

Most islands will reward you with stunning beaches, traditional villages, fantastic food, and a relaxed, laid-back pace of life. Yet, each island group is different! 

This introduction to the Greek island groups will give you a better idea on what to expect in each group of islands.

Vanessa on the Greek island of Rhodes

Overall, it’s better to visit islands in one or maybe two island chains. Not only will travelling costs be lower, but you will also save considerable amounts of time by not rushing around the country.

As an example, the combination Santorini – Corfu is not practical or time-efficient in terms of ferry connections. You’d have to take a flight from Santorini to Athens, and a second one to Corfu. This would cost you a lot more than an itinerary including Santorini and 2-3 more islands in the Cyclades.

These days, most ferry tickets are available online a few months in advance. I use Ferryscanner to check itineraries and book my ferry tickets in Greece. 

Tip: Note that ferries are sometimes delayed. I have been on ferries that were delayed by a couple of hours. So if you are planning to take a flight home after your last ferry, allow for plenty of time, or even an extra night.

Further reading: Should I visit the islands or the Greek mainland?

2. Visit Greek islands on direct ferry routes

Even within the same group of islands, you may find that not all islands are directly connected with each other. It’s more practical to do some advance research, and choose your destinations according to the ferry routes available at the time of your visit.

As an example, let’s say that you want to travel between two Cycladic islands: Andros and Iraklia. As there is no direct connection, you would first get a ferry from Andros to Naxos, and then take an onward ferry to Iraklia.

If you want to avoid too many ferries, you could either combine Andros with Tinos, or Iraklia with the other Small Cyclades and Naxos.

Milos can be a stop on a Greek island hopping itinerary

Photo taken from the castle in Plaka, Milos.

Another idea is to visit islands that are connected by small, inexpensive local ferries. As an example, there are several daily ferry connections between Milos and Kimolos, Paros and Antiparos and the Small Cyclades.

You can compare ferry schedules and book your tickets on Ferryscanner.

3. Cut down on the number of islands

Visitors often try to include several Greek islands in their vacation.

Some of the most popular islands, like Santorini and Mykonos, are easily experienced in 3-4 days. However, some other islands would need more than a week to be properly explored.

Colorful church in Samos Greece

If you are thinking to island hop in Greece but are on a tight budget, consider visiting fewer islands. There is a lot to see on the biggest islands, like Crete, Rhodes, Naxos, Lesvos, Chios, Andros and several others. You could easily spend your whole vacation there, and bring transportation costs down.

4. Take the slow ferries

There are a number of different ferries serving the Greek islands. For the Cyclades in particular, there are many different companies, running dozens of ferries.

You will find anything from small, high speed ferries just for passengers, to larger, slower ferries that also transport vehicles, big trucks and goods.

Use the ferries to go island hopping around the Greek islands

Costs of ferry tickets vary a lot, especially for the Cyclades islands. As an example, passenger tickets from Piraeus or Rafina ports start at 35-40 euro for most slow ferry routes. Prices can reach over 100 euro if you want business class tickets on the high speed ferries, or a cabin.

Unless you are really pushed for time, you can get a deck seat or numbered seat on a slow ferry and keep the costs down. In my opinion, the extra expense of business class or a cabin is not worth it, especially for trips of up to 5-6 hours. Of course everyone is different, and it’s best to decide yourself.

This ridiculously long article lists all the different ferries that are running in Greece at the moment, and explains the differences between types of seats, fares and cabins. Have a look!

5. Take the night ferry from Piraeus to the islands

If your itinerary in Greece starts or ends in Athens, you can take a night ferry from Piraeus to get to one of the islands. The ferries to Crete are a good example.

Get a comfortable seat, and you should be able to get a few hours of sleep, arriving at your destination in the early morning, ready to kickstart your holiday.

Take a slow ferry to the Greek islands

Even if you go for a cabin, the cost will still be lower than what you would pay for a daytime ferry plus a night’s accommodation in Crete.

The best thing about the night ferry – you’ll get to see the starry sky right in the middle of the Mediterranean!

6. Take advantage of ISIC cards and other special discounts on the ferries

Before you book your ferry tickets, check if you belong to these lucky categories of people who are entitled to discounts. For example, several companies offer a 50% discount for ISIC student card holders.

Picturesque beaches in Greece

If you have children travelling with you, make sure that you read each company’s policy before you decide who to travel with. In general, children either get a discount or travel for free, depending on their age.

Sometimes, the ferry companies release promotional tickets that are around 70% or less of the original price. If you find any of those, bear in mind that they are generally not changeable, non-transferable and non-refundable.

7. Check for flights instead of ferries to the Greek islands

If you are thinking to fly between the islands, you should be aware that most of them don’t have airports. You will find airports on some of the popular islands, like Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu or Rhodes.

This article lists all Greek islands with domestic and international airports.

In addition, take into account that, with few exceptions, there are no flights connecting the islands directly. So if you want to fly from one island to another, you’d normally have to go through Athens first.

Take a domestic flight in Greece

With that said, if you are planning to spend a few days in Athens, it’s worth checking the prices for domestic flights. In some cases, you might find a cheap flight that will cost less than the high speed ferry.

When booking flights from Athens to the Greek islands, make sure you understand the fare rules. For most airlines, basic fares only include hand luggage, and Ryanair charges an extra fee even for that.

8. Take local buses or walk around the Greek islands

Let’s face it – if you want to have freedom to go wherever you want, the best idea is to rent a car or other vehicle on your island of choice. Read my article on driving in Greece to decide whether this is for you!

Driving in Greece

Depending on where you are and how many days you need the vehicle for, it can cost at least 25-30 euros a day, so costs can add up quickly. However, you can always rent a car for a day or two, and use buses for the rest of your time.

Public transportation on the islands is cheap, and a great way to meet other people. Buses won’t take you everywhere, but they serve the most popular places and you will be able to see the highlights of each island.

You can get around Hydra island on foot

When you are waiting for a bus, be prepared for queues, especially in you are in famous islands like Santorini or Rhodes. Once you are on the bus though, relax and enjoy the landscapes!

If you are on a quieter island, you could try hitchhiking. I have hitchhiked (or picked up hitchhikers) in many of the less touristy islands, like Ikaria, Tinos and Schinoussa, and also in Crete, on several occasions.

A blue-domed church in Agapi village Tinos

Finally, you can always consider going to smaller islands, where you won’t really need a car. Some examples are Iraklia, Schinoussa, Koufonissia, Donoussa, Kimolos and Antiparos. You can walk around pretty much everywhere!

Note: We have a guidebook to Iraklia and Schinoussa available on Amazon.

9. Bring your tent and camping equipment

If you are island hopping on a budget in Greece, this is a no-brainer. Campsites are a lot cheaper than rooms or hotels, and they are also a great way to meet people.

You can freecamp in certain areas in Greece

While not all of the islands have campsites, many of them do, and most of them also rent tents and equipment. Make sure you do some research on the campsite you are planning to go, as occasionally, campsites close down with no notice.

Although freecamping is technically illegal in Greece, it’s another way to keep your budget down. Popular places to freecamp are generally on faraway islands, and you need to ask for recent information.

If you decide to go freecamping in Greece, please make sure you respect the environment and leave no trash behind.

10. Get a room with a kitchenette

If camping is not your style, you can rent a room with kitchen facilities, instead of staying at a hotel. You will miss out on some of the fantastic Greek cuisine, but it’s always helpful to have a kitchen to prepare a meal or two.

Boats in Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

In many of the smaller islands, buying food items from a mini market will be more expensive than you might expect. This is normal, as almost everything has to be brought in from the mainland.

11. Eat at local tavernas instead of expensive restaurants

I doubt that you needed advice for this! Eating at Greek tavernas can be very, very affordable. For two people sharing a couple of dishes, a salad and a starter, your bill can be around 30 euro. You may also be offered a complimentary dessert or some fruit after your meal.

Note: Chances of getting a treat after your meal may actually increase if you try to speak some words in Greek!

Enjoy delicious food in Greece

If 30 euros is still out of your budget, two people can easily share a meal for less than 20 euros. Just get a Greek salad, some fries, a souvlaki or two and a carafe of house wine. Yiamas!

Here are 50 great dishes to try in Greece!

12. Skip the most expensive destinations like Santorini and Mykonos

Santorini and Mykonos, two of the most popular Greek islands, can actually be very expensive when compared to most other places in Greece.

Mykonos is one of the most expensive islands in Greece

You can easily island hop on a budget if you decide to go to some of the islands that you hadn’t heard of. Most of them will have plenty of rooms available for a fraction of the prices in Mykonos or Santorini. Also, meals and drinks will be much more wallet-friendly.

Don’t get me wrong – I think these islands are very, very cool. You should visit Santorini once in your life to see the active volcano, the sunset views from the west coast and the famous beaches.

Here is a guide on how to see Santorini on a budget – my best tip is to consider visiting Santorini in winter.

You might also find this guide on things to avoid in Santorini useful.

As for Mykonos, only a few islands in the Aegean Sea can boast as many great beaches on such a small area! Here are my impressions on Mykonos without the crowds, which I was lucky to experience. But if your budget is limited, consider another island, like Ios or Naxos, instead.

13. Visit the Greek islands outside peak season

This might be the single most important tip on how to keep costs down when island hopping.

If you have a choice, visit Greece outside the peak season of July and August. This is the most crowded time to travel here, and accommodation prices go up. If that’s the only time you can visit, however, have a look at these tips for visiting Greece in summer.

Island hopping - Amazing beach in Ios Greece

In the past five years, we have stayed in several rooms on the Greek islands, which cost us anywhere from 20 (!) to 50 euro. Most of these were in June, early July and September. These are all fantastic months to visit the islands.

Similarly, a car rental will be much cheaper outside the summer months. Check out DiscoverCars, a platform that compares all major car rental companies in Greece, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the low costs during the shoulder seasons.

Here’s a quick introduction on the best time to visit Greece.

FAQs for Greek island hopping

Here are the answers to a few more questions!

What are some Greek islands that won’t break the bank?

One of the best Greek islands for budget-conscious travellers is Crete. It’s an amazing island with exotic beaches, wild beauty, several ancient sites and fantastic food.

Sunset at the Portara Naxos

Among the Cycladic islands, I’ve found that Naxos is very affordable. It has some truly fantastic sandy beaches, excellent food and plenty of budget accommodation options. In addition, it is well connected to several other Greek islands.

Ios, a short ferry ride from Santorini, combines some amazing beaches with lively nightlife. You will also find plenty of affordable accommodation.

Can you suggest a Greek island hopping itinerary?

There are hundreds of different island hopping scenarios! To a large extent, it depends on how many days you have in Greece and what you are interested in. If, like many people, you have ten vacation days, it would be best to stick to two or max three islands.

Plaka beach in Naxos Greece

Santorini, Mykonos, Milos, Naxos and Paros are often combined in Greece itineraries, as it is straightforward to travel between them on the Greek ferry system.

Other popular combinations include Santorini and Crete, Kefallonia and Zakynthos or Rhodes and Kos. As these islands have international airports, you can combine flights and ferries to island hop between them.

If you are looking for lesser known islands, check out Sikinos and Folegandros in the Cyclades, close to Santorini. This article will give you a few ideas.

Finally, if budget is your main concern, most of the Dodecanese and the North Aegean islands will fit the bill.

What are the islands with the most picturesque beaches?

There are very few islands where I can honestly say I was disappointed with the beaches! Most of the Greek islands have great beaches, and quite often they are very diverse.

Milos Beaches - Kleftiko beach in Milos Greece

Among the places I’ve visited, I’d say that Milos island has some of the most beautiful beaches. The combination of sandy beaches, strange landscapes, and limestone cliffs is pretty unique!

Related: How to get around Milos

Do I have to travel through Athens to go island hopping?

No, you don’t. In fact, many foreign visitors prefer to fly into an island with an international airport, and leave from another. There are dozens of direct flights to and from the Greek isles, from many European countries. This article will help.

Are there any Greek island hopping packages?

Plenty of international and local companies organize Greek island hopping tours. Options range from cruises on large cruiseboats to sailing trips for 10-12 people.

Take a sailing trip around Santorini island

Certain Greek island hopping tours cover a few of the Cycladic islands. Other popular packages include some of the Ionian islands. For travellers with limited time, there are tours of three islands in the Argosaronic Bay, close to Athens.

A sailing trip is an excellent way to enjoy some of the most remote beaches on Greece’s beautiful islands, without the hassle of planning ferry routes.

Is it easier to hop around the Ionian islands or the Cyclades?

There are direct ferries between certain islands in the Ionian sea. Yet, the Cyclades are the most popular islands if you want to island hop.

Some of the main islands are only an hour or two away from each other. This makes the Cyclades the perfect islands for an island hopping vacation in Greece.

Are the Eurail ferry passes worth it?

I’ve seen some people swear by the Eurail Greek islands pass. This pass offers a number of ferry trips, run by either Blue Star Ferries or Hellenic Seaways, for a set price.

Sarakiniko beach in Milos island Greece

These ferry passes may sound like a bargain at first. However, if you check fares carefully, you will notice that it depends on the specific islands you are planning to visit, and the cost of the individual fares. You can easily check routes / prices and book your ferry tickets here: Ferryscanner.

If you decide to book the Eurail Ferry pass, make sure that the routes you are interested in are run by either of the two companies mentioned above. If not, you’d need to buy extra tickets for all other routes.

How to island hop in Greece on a budget 

I hope these tips have encouraged you to look further into visiting the Greek islands, even if you think your budget won’t allow it. Here are a few more guides you will find useful:

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Islands near Santorni - CreteHi! I’m Vanessa, a travel writer from Athens, Greece. I enjoy exploring, travelling, meeting people and cooking. One of my passions is snorkelling on quiet beaches, so I have visited dozens of our islands! I love sharing my local knowledge and views about Greece and helping out visitors. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below, or get in touch through the Real Greek Experiences FB page and FB group.

A guide to island hopping in Greece on a budget

29 thoughts on “Island Hopping In Greece On A Budget”

  1. Can I island hop from Athens to Mykonos, Santorini to see the blue dome houses an Crete. Await your advise for my planning.


    • Hi,
      Yes the Athens – Mykonos – Santorini combination is very popular and easy to do on the ferries.
      We would say only consider adding on Crete if you have longer than a week – maybe 2 weeks.

  2. Me and my wife would like to hop Islands from athens to Santorini and Mykonos for week. Do we need to stay overnnight in any of the Islands. Can you please give some idea how we plan it to save money! We are planning to travel in Oct 2020.

    • Thanks for your question! These islands are among the most expensive destinations in Greece, however accommodation prices tend to be lower this year, so it’s a great opportunity to visit.
      I would personally allow at least 2-3 days on each island in order to explore. If you take a slow (= less expensive) ferry it will take you around 8 hours to get to Santorini, or it’s a short flight away from Athens (and perhaps if you book your tickets now you can get good deals). Mykonos is 4-5 hours away from Athens on the ferry, and a couple of hours away from Santorini. So you will definitely need to spend a few nights if you want to explore.
      Please read the latest article about 4 days in Santorini to get an idea of what you can do there. As for Mykonos, for me its main attraction are the beaches, Chora and the nearby Delos. I am a beach person and could easily spend a couple of weeks there, but based on our recent trip there it is generally more expensive than anywhere else I’ve been in Greece. It all depends on what you want to do!

  3. Is Mykonos- paros – naxos – milos -santorini a good combination? Me and my friend (18) are hoping to do this in june 2021 as part of our gap year and are trying to find cheap places to stay etc.

    • Hi Ella, your route is great! Yes, overall it’s a good combination, however it depends on how many days you have in total and what you are generally after (partying? hiking? nature? beaches?). I personally recommend at least 3 days on each island, and those that are bigger definitely deserve longer – e.g. we spent 10 days in each Naxos and Milos in summer 2020 and I could have easily stayed longer as there’s so much to do. Mykonos is definitely not on the cheap side, though in June 2020 it was possible to find accommodation for two people for about 40 euro a night, and depending on how the covid restrictions go it may still be cheaper than other years. There are also campsites on most of these islands, so this should help, and it might even be possible to freecamp in some places if that’s your sort of thing. You are very welcome to get back to me with more questions as you are planning your trip!

  4. Hi there,
    Myself and husband are looking at possibly island hopping for our 10th wedding anniversary. We are not really interested in santorini ( will be july and feel to touristy and not much to do)
    Also do not fancy mykonos.
    We like visiting historical sites, learning local culture. Good food and drink. Genetally things to see and do. Don’t mind walking around. But also somewhere to have some beach relaxation and catch some rays.
    Any suggestions as I’m just not getting very far, all the islands are starting to jumble into one.
    I might add that I would imagine we will fly from london Gatwick.
    Thanks in advance for any reply.

    • Hello and happy new year! If you like bigger islands, I would totally suggest Crete – the only issue is that there is so much to see and do that you will need to return several times. Also, you should definitely consider Milos as there is a variety of beaches and strange landscapes and a fair amount of ancient sites. Naxos is also one of my favourites, great long sandy beaches and a less touristy feeling than Milos (not that I’ve found Milos to be too touristy all things considered, but in my Greek head Naxos feels more authentic). I’ve had some of the best food in Greece in these three islands. By the way, I’ve had some of the best food of my life in these three islands! You could also consider Rhodes, which is very different from other islands, with a medieval castle in the main town and great beaches all around – though you might find it too warm in July. Finally, Corfu in the Ionian islands has tons of history and culture (but I haven’t been recently so don’t have much of a personal opinion).
      Now, understandably, it’s hard to predict what flights are going to resume this year, but Naxos and Milos don’t have international airports, so you’d have to go through Athens. There are normally direct flights for the other three.
      Hope this helps a little, feel free to get back to me with more questions!

  5. Hello!
    Thanks for this article, I found it so helpful!
    I am planning to do a yoga course in Amorgos this summer. I have about 8/10 days after that- do you have any advice on which route to take from there- finishing in athens?

    thanks so much!

    • Ah – so many options!!! I love the Small Cyclades islands like Iraklia, Schinoussa and Donoussa, but it depends on how quiet you want your vacation to be! The “easy” option would be to go to Naxos which is the biggest of the Cyclades, you can easily spend your whole 10 days there if you want. Not sure what month you are here, but Naxos will typically be more affordable than the small islands as there is plenty of accommodation. You could also combine it with Paros – we are going next week so will write an article at some point, you are welcome to follow my FB page for updates and photos! And here’s an itinerary for 3 days in Athens (not sure how long you are staying). Enjoy!

  6. Really enjoyed reading this post, Vanessa!
    I’m trying to plan out a month or two months of Greek island hopping with a friend around May next year, but we’re having a hard time choosing which islands to visit. We’re both huge Mamma Mia fans so Skopelos is a must to visit, but that’s the only island we’ve chosen so far. Would love to hear your input!!

    We plan on mostly staying in hostels and other backpack friendly accommodations but probably also airbnbs/hotels once in a while. Do you think 1.000€ a month for everything, would be enough?

    • Hi! Thanks for your question 🙂 My partner and I typically spend about 40-45 euro per person per day, but this includes our own car which we bring with us on the ferry. Have a look at this article which breaks down our expenses for May – June 2021 (note that accommodation was super cheap because of Covid…)
      We are also travelling around the Dodecanese this year (you can see photos on my FB page) and so far we are spending around 40 euro per person per day. If you choose Skopelos, you should definitely visit Skiathos and Alonnisos that are nearby – but note that, the more north you go, the colder the sea will be! Hope this helps!

  7. Hi Vanessa,
    My wife and I will be travelling to Greece in November. Is there any ferry transport to Rhodes from Athens at this time of year? We don’t need to have a direct route as we have time and would be okay to stay on other islands on the way.
    Thank you for any advice you can give us.

    • Hi Chris! Thank you for your message. Last November, there were 4 ferries a week from Piraeus to Rhodes, with the fastest one taking around 16 hours. As an indication, you can use to check out past routes, and you should expect them to be similar this year when they are announced. It’s worth checking flights too (at least for some part of your trip), as they can be much cheaper than ferries at that time of year. So you could fly to Rhodes, and then take ferries back to Athens. Please check out my other guides on Symi and Nisyros, these are two islands you should definitely consider including in your trip! Enjoy your time!

  8. Hi,
    First of all, your posts are great. Very informative.
    I love Greece.
    I have been to Santorini and Mykonos in the Cyclades and
    Zakynthos and Kefalonia in the Ionics.
    Now, we want to come back and visit less touristic islands with beautiful beaches and great food in June 2023.

    We are thinking in the following two options:
    1 – Athens –> Milos –> Paros –> Naxos –> Athens or
    2 – Athens –> Milos –> Ios –> Paros –> Athens
    With just 1 day in Athens (we have been there)
    and around three days in each island.
    We are two couples from Brazil (around 50 years old, but who like adventure).
    Two questions:
    a) which option (1 or 2) do you think is best?
    b) We are planning to arrive In Milos by plane and leave Naxos or Paros by ferry? or It should be better to arrive in Milos by ferry and leave Naxos or Paros by ferry?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Oi! Obrigada for your question!
      Out of the islands you mentioned, Paros is my least favourite as it’s the most organized and “touristy” of the four… but that’s just my personal opinion! I would go to Milos, Naxos and Ios, though three days in each might be cutting it a little too short (Naxos is quite big).
      Both Naxos and Ios have amazing sandy beaches, Milos is much wilder (especially the western part), but still enough infrastructure. Naxos is among my best places in Greece for food! Paros has more options for nightlife and also many organized beaches with sunbeds etc. Here is our opinion on Paros vs Naxos.
      I think it’s best to plan your itinerary when the ferry schedules are out, which will probably be around spring 2023. But either of these itineraries work. Now, in terms of plane vs ferry, the plane takes less time – and if you book early it might even be cheaper. If you prefer planes you could even fly to Milos, ferry to the next islands, and then take another flight back to Athens (as you probably know all of these islands apart from Ios have airports).
      I’m not sure if this helped! Feel free to message me again!

  9. Hi,loved your ‘ pages ‘.
    My wife and I are putting an Island Hop itinerary together for next year ‘23 starting late April.Our ‘ thoughts ‘ were 3/4 days in Athens,fly to Milos 4/5 days and then ‘ hop ‘ towards Mykonos.Our intention’s would be to hop over a 4 week period,not including Athens stop.Rather surprised when checking accommodation costs on-line at the various islands.We don’t budget accommodation somewhere mid range but even then costs are high.I would recon for a daily costs for two persons would be circa euros 200,I know what you are saying ‘ no way ‘ you check,accommodation + coffees + stopping for lunch including a few drinks + plus dinner and a bottle of wine and I am not including car hire.When I include ferries and flights I don’t imagine my costs would be less than euros 10000.I think that’s expensive or am I not in the “ Real World “What’s your suggested itinerary,I am not interested in Santorini which from all accounts is way too busy and ‘ Rip Off “ territory.What would your suggested itinerary be.On the accommodation issue I find it difficult to view locally owned b/b.
    I don’t intend to be in the hotel for long each day,breakfast and sleeping so why pay excessive prices for ‘ Vogue ‘ style accommodation.

    • Hi John! We rarely pay over 45-50 euros for accommodation for two, even in the mid-season (we never travel during the peak season). However, accommodation prices in the Cyclades increased a lot in summer 2022, and I won’t be surprised if this trend continies. However, many places still haven’t put availability and prices up for next year, and it’s too early to do your research – you will find the same for ferry schedules.
      I totally enjoyed Mykonos without the crowds, but I wouldn’t really think it’s a must-see island (Santorini is pretty unique, but it does get busy like you say). Milos is great, have a look at Kimolos too, though not everything will be open yet at that time of year. Ios has fab sandy beaches – not just a party island that everyone seems to think it is. Also Serifos is great, though you might find that accommodation prices are higher than the other islands. And check out Naxos and Tinos… both amazing islands with delicious food.
      Though my favourite island group are the Cyclades, an alternative might be to go to the Dodecanese, which tend to be a little warmer. We found very reasonably priced accommodation on 8 of the Dodecanese islands throughout spring-summer 2022, starting at 30 euro per night believe it or not. We rarely use airbnb as prices always seem to be higher, we stick to instead. It’s also possible to rent a last-minute place in the the old-fashioned way, just asking around… though it’s not for everyone.
      Have a look at this article (granted, it’s two years ago and food prices have gone up a little), but it will give you an indication: Is Greece expensive
      Hope this helps, feel free to get back to me with more questions! Have fun planning!

  10. Hi, we are digital nomads and planning to make a longer island hopping version combining work and travel during the trip. Our journey will start from Crete. And we are planning to stay from 5-14 days on each island travelling during the whole summer 2023. Our plan at the moment combine Naxos, Ios, Tinos, Milos and we want to visit something else. Maybe you could give me some recommendations about where to stay longer or with what group of Islands to combine our trip. After all we want to go back to Crete again. We are travelling also with our car and have a tent with camping stuff. Thanks in advance for your answer!

    • Hello, thanks for your message 🙂 Since you don’t have to worry about accommodation, you can just play it by ear. Crete is a fantastic place to explore, I’ve been there many times and we are going back this autumn for a couple of months, you could easily spend your whole time there 🙂 Naxos too, we spend 10 days a couple of years ago and we were kind of running around as we wanted to see everything!
      Just to let you know, Milos has no camping site at the moment, and accommodation tends to be more expensive than on other islands, also some of the roads are not suitable for normal cars (I damaged my own car lol) – but it’s a very special place – and you should absolutely go to Kimolos which is next door. No campsite there either, but you should be able to freecamp.
      Or, since you are going to Naxos, you can easily go to the Small Cyclades, Schinoussa, Iraklia, Koufonissi and Donoussa which are very close…
      Tinos is another one of my favourites – you could spend several days as there are so many fantastic villages to explore!
      Before you plan anything, check the ferry ticket prices… unfortunately, they can pile up quickly since you also have your car. Most ferry companies have a loyalty scheme where you get some discounts, so make sure you join! Ferryscanner is a great website to plan your trip, as it allows up to 10 consecutive routes. Also, have a look at this article I wrote two years ago to get an indication of prices – I’d say things have gone up by about 20% now, but it’s still absolutely doable. Enjoy!

  11. Enjoying reading questions/answers. Been to Greece way back in 1980, Athens 3 days and flew to Rhodes for two and one half weeks then back to Athens one nite then flew home. Want to island hop now. Need to see Santorini 3 days / Crete will add couple less popular u mentioned. We want to go to Cyprus for what? A week or is that too long?

    • You will find that Athens has changed a lot – yet some things remain the same! You can spend long in Crete, it’s a huge island and getting from the north to the south isn’t always straightforward. Cyprus is another country altogether. I spent a couple of weeks there a few years ago and I would have happily stayed longer, there is lots to see, and I was personally super interested in talking to people who live there – both sides of the border.

  12. Hello!
    Thank you for all your informations. It is nice to read your texts.
    I have tried to find information about Amorgos in previous questions before asking you but I did not find anything.

    Have you ever been there? I want to visit this island because it is smaller than others and it looks less crowded to. We will not have a car. Do you have suggestions to visit this island?

    Thank you very much.

    • Yes I’ve been there but not written much for my blog yet lol! Have a look at this article for some information. If you aren’t planning to rent your own car / scooter, it’s probably best to stay at one of the two port towns, so you are close to the beach. You could then check the updated bus schedules to see where you can go (they change by the season). As with all islands, try to avoid August if you can. Enjoy!

  13. Hi ,
    Loved reading all your info !!Planning a trip with my daughter [usually she plans but im retired now and shes the busy bee} This is really short notice (July 9 for 10 days )
    After reading all your messages Athens..Ionian Islands /Milos&Naoxis sounds like a plan ,we’d be travelling from London,what do you suggest?
    Thankyou 🙂

    • Hi Ann, thanks for your message! I would fly to Athens and visit 2 islands max (e.g. Milos + Naxos). The Ionians are on the other side of Greece so getting there from Milos or Naxos would be time-consuming and probably quite expensive.
      Or you could fly into Corfu or Kefalonia, spend a few days there, then fly to Athens, then fly back to London (or the opposite route).
      Hope this makes sense!! I’ll send you a pm with more info.

  14. Hello Vanessa! Absolutely love your blog and refer to it all the time. About to go to Greece for the first time for 2 months with my friend from April to June (She is Greek from Chania, Crete!) We are both new to travelling in Greece and were wondering if you have any tips for finding odd jobs/visiting the more rural quiet areas in a way that is safe for two young women, and if you know anything about travelling around Vikos?

    Really any travel tips for two young travellers going for such a long time on a budget, much appreciated!!!

    Thanks for your awesome blog.


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