Checklist : Planning a Trip to a Greek Island

by | Apr 4, 2017 | Beyond the Coast | 4 comments

Greek island planning
Want to escape the mainland for a bit?  Greece is the place to be for island adventures.  We have put together a helpful checklist to plan your perfect island getaway.

[] Select the Island that is right for you

  • Location : What area of Greece are you going to be in?  If you are flying into Athens, the most popular option is to use the port of Piraeus as it is connected to the airport by public transportation.  Rafina is accessible by taxi.  The Saronic and Cyclades islands are easily accessible from Athens by boat.
  • Island lifestyle/vibe : Do you want peace and quiet in a natural setting or do you want lively with loads of options to keep you busy with activities?  Google will help you with this!
  • Accessibility : Logistics and schedules are important.  Certain islands only have ferries on certain days, if you are in a crunch for time- you need to look into the ferry schedules and map out a plan.  The larger, more popular islands will have more ferry options.
Aria Folegandros

Aria Boutique Hotel – Folegandros (click photo for link)

[] Check ferry connections vs air options vs car rental

  • By Sea: I prefer for comparing ferry routes and pricing.  Check out Pip the Greek’s Ferry expertise.
  • By Air: Air travel to the islands is becoming more and more popular because people have limited time.  Some of the islands have airports that have direct flights straight in from major European cities.
  • By Land: If you are flying into Athens, but want to visit the Ionian islands, renting a car and driving it across the mainland is an option for you.  Lefkada is an island that you can drive straight onto!
    • If you really want to have a car on an island, I would suggest renting it ON the island for the duration of the time that you need it.  Motorbikes and ATV are also popular to rent on the islands.
Santorini Blue Star

Arriving to Santorini by ferry

[] Scope out hotels

I’m a kind of gal.  I like the info that they give and I find it very user friendly for making decisions.  Looking through the hotels can also give you a feel for the island.  If you are looking for a modern, cosmopolitan vibe and are only finding rooms that look like your grandmother’s living room, you may want to reconsider your island/village choice.

  • Open up the map
    • distance from port/airport
    • proximity to shops/dining
    • where’s the beach!?
    • transportation options
  • Pay attention to guest reviews
    • neighborhood – busy street or quiet area
    • comments on staff/cleanliness
    • experiences they had with getting around and other suggestions

Planning is all part of the fun, right?  I really enjoy the planning process and am happy to answer any questions you may have or assist you in your upcoming trip to Greece (at no cost)!

Contact me or Ask a Local


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Americana chica enjoying the sunshine on the Athens Coast.


  1. SerbianGirlInGreece ✈

    Thank you for this post! Its so much needed at the moment as I am planning to go on the island during the Easter in a week. What is your favourite Greek island for holidays?

    • Jessica

      Such a difficult question to answer! I’ve visited Naxos 2 times in the past two years, so I guess that says something 🙂 I really enjoy convenience, so that is something that I look for when planning a trip. What islands are you considering?

  2. Rachel Bohn

    Jessica provided me with excellent tips when planning our trip to Greece in the Fall. She helped us narrow down which islands we wanted to go to, answered questions about exactly which areas to stay in, and gave some restaurant recommendations too! Made our trip so much better and I didn’t have to stress 🙂

    • Jessica

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it Rachel!


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