I‘ve been planning this year’s main Greece trip for a few months now, so it’s probably time to share my itinerary and talk a bit about where I’m going and how I mapped everything out. Originally I was going to make this several posts but I think it makes sense to keep it short and sweet!
The Cyclades again, really?
Now the first thing I’ll admit is the trip isn’t as totally different from last year’s as I originally wanted it to be. At first, I looked at some other island groups such as the Aegean, Dodecanese and Ionian islands, but after doing some research none of them really seemed that suitable: the islands are more spread out, there are fewer to choose from and in some cases, they include very touristy places I’m not that interested in visiting.
On the plus side, I know there’s plenty more to see in the Cyclades and with the benefit of experience, I expect to get more out of my holiday this time around. Once again my friend Ed will be joining me for the first 3 days before I continue on my own.
Getting to Greece from the UK
Due to the shorter overall trip, Ed and I agreed that flying into Athens wasn’t ideal as it would either mean an internal flight, a long ferry crossing, or having to go via Andros/Tinos again, which we decided was too similar to last year. We needed a direct flight from the UK to one of the Cyclades islands, but which one and how much would it cost?
Flying directly to the Cyclades from the UK presents two options: Mykonos or Santorini. After some cost analysis, Mykonos became the obvious choice as Easyjet prices were less than half that of Santorini [average Gatwick – Mykonos price was £100 in July, versus a Gatwick – Santorini price of £200+ at the time of writing], and it is slightly closer to other islands like Naxos and Paros, so we can make better use of Ed’s limited time.
So, despite our combined lack of love for Mykonos (sorry if you’re a fan), we agreed to spend our first night there before moving on the next day. It does mean that we can finally do the Delos trip we had planned last year but abandoned due to a lack of time (well, poor planning really). We’re also going to stay much closer to the port to make it easier to get off the island the next day – a lesson learned from my failed attempt to get a taxi the last time I was here!
With the above as our starting point, the itinerary for the trip looked something like this:
- An early Easyjet flight from Gatwick arriving at Mykonos just after midday.
- Bus/taxi from the airport to the hotel.
- Check in and chill for a couple of hours.
- SeaBus from the new port to the old port in Mykonos Town to catch the 5 pm Delos ferry.
- Explore Delos – possibly a guided tour.
- Return ferry at 7:30 pm arriving at Mykonos Town at 8 pm.
- Stay in Mykonos Town for food + drinks.
- SeaBus and walk back to the hotel.
- Relaxed morning at the hotel, then walk down to the port for a midday Naxos ferry.
- Arrive at Naxos around 2 pm, walk to the hotel and check-in.
- Arrange car hire for the next day so we can get to Mount Zas easily for the main hike of the trip.
- Explore Naxos town, eat and relax.
- Early breakfast near the hotel, then set off in the hire car to Filoti and walk Mount Zas.
- Depending on how long the walk takes, use the car to drive around and explore.
- Back to Naxos town for dinner.
- Ed’s last day. Get a local bus to Agia Anna and walk around the Plaka beach area.
- Back to Naxos town for late lunch.
- See Ed off on his ferry back to Mykonos/home.
- Relaxed morning, pack case.
- 11:20 am ferry to Koufonissi.
- Get picked up at the ferry port and taken to my accommodation.
- Explore beaches nearby.
- Walk to Pori Beach, and spend most of the day there.
- Ferry to Kato Koufonissi, and explore the island.
- 12:30 pm ferry back to Naxos.
- Picked up at the ferry port and taken to accommodation in Agia Anna.
Links and further reading
- Easyjet offers direct flights to Mykonos from Manchester, Luton and Gatwick. Luton is actually closer to where I live, but flights are more expensive and don’t always fit our schedule.
- The Mykonos Seabus is an excellent way of getting between the new port (Tourlos) and Mykonos Town (Chora). The service runs every 30 minutes, takes approximately 8 minutes and tickets cost €2 per person.
- Visiting Delos is quite expensive. You need a return ferry ticket (€20) plus the government-imposed admission fee of €12. Guided tours are available for €50 (€25 for children 6 – 12, free for under 6) and this price includes ferry crossing, admission fee and a guidebook as well as the guided tour itself.
- First Choice: have got bucketloads of deals to suit every kind of budget, with everything from family breaks to adults-only options and once-in-a-lifetime getaways in their catalogue. You’ll find holidays just the ticket if you want a one-click package that takes care of everything. Or, if you’re the type of person who wants to fine-tune every detail – like your break’s duration, the airport you fly from and the board basis – they’ve got many options for you to get your mitts on, too.