Why spend your summer holidays exploring just one place when you could experience the best of ten – and still have time for a generous amount of swimming and sunbathing in between? Island hopping is the way to see Greece, and it can be as highly paced or relaxed as you want. You’ll get a sense of freedom that no trip to a single destination can replicate, and you can also plan your travels around your tastes – whether those run to good food, deserted beaches, all-night clubs or ancient ruins.
If you’re intrigued by the idea of island hopping then you practically have three options. Cruises – all inclusive holidays where all the arrangements are made for you – could be the best choice if hassle-free luxury sounds like your idea of a good time. There are plenty of cruise holidays on offer, catering to a wide variety of different tastes and ages, and ranging in price from truly great bargains to the extremely expensive.
If you’re looking for more freedom than a cruise can offer, then the best option may be to travel independently. There is an excellent network of ferries and catamarans running between the Greek islands, although co-ordination can be tricky. You’ll need to be prepared to do some rigorous planning and research in advance, and this route may appeal more to backpackers and single travellers than to families – but if you’re happy to put the work in then expect spectacular results. A good place to start your research is the Athens newspaper Kathimerini (www.eKathimerini.com) – it publishes the day’s ferry departures from Piraeus and Rafina. Most Greek ticket agents will also have a copy of the Greek Travel Pages, which contains a fairly comprehensive ferry timetable.
If negotiating the ins and outs of the Greek ferry system sounds like too much hard work then your third and final option is to book an all-inclusive holiday to one of the larger islands, such as Crete or Corfu, and make day trips from here. This gives you the luxury of a fixed base and pre-arranged accommodation, as well as the freedom of exploring a large range of destinations. The only downside is the price – day trips can be expensive, although you can almost always bring the price down by booking in advance.
With attractions across the Greek islands ranging from theme parks and water sports to fabulous restaurants and important cultural sites, island hopping is the perfect choice for a family trip. Just remember to reserve some time in between adventures for the traditional Grecian holiday experience – sun, sea, and stunning beaches.