Greek Islands: Island Hopping Tips and Hotel Deals

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According to a story I read earlier this week from  Toronto Star’s travel editor Jim Byers,  a study by Tripadvisor in the UK showed hotel prices in Greece have fallen as much as 20 per cent over all thus far.

The company looked at nine popular Greek Island destinations and found that all but two have seen hotel rates fall significantly in the past year.   The biggest fall was in the Island of Corfu, where hotel rates have dropped on average by 20 per cent.  Rates in Zakynthos dropped 12.4 per cent, while rates in Athens dropped 7.9 per cent and prices in Crete fell 7.7 per cent.  However, prices on the most popular Greek Islands of Santorini and Mykonos were up slightly at 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent respectfully.    “While the Greek economy has experienced a traumatic year, the silver lining for tourism could be an increase in visitors due to the lower prices in many of its popular destinations,” said Emma Shaw, a TripAdvisor spokesperson.

It is great news for the Greek Island Traveler that falling Greek Hotel prices are making the Greek Islands a greater value this season, however another great way to save more money Greek Island Hopping is to travel independently of cookie cutter tour packages.  Such packages present a value to the traveler, however they are not flexible and do not allow for changes or modifications typically.  Using a professional Greek Island Travel consultant however, is best if you are not an experienced traveler since they handle all the details and can can typically find better deals.  It is recommended  to use a Greek Island travel expert with offices in Athens and the USA who typically have great knowledge of Greek island ferry routes, itineraries, hotel values and are full of information and resources.  The best thing of all is that you know they are hands on from start to finish and will handle any unforeseen issues should they arise.

Another basic tip is to book early and get the cheapest flight to Athens which typically means connecting via a European city with a small lay over.  For the true travel adventurers after landing in Athens, avoid the cab or private transfer and catch the airport bus to the Port of Piraeus.   Once there you can  head south on a slow ferry saving money, since they are typically 50% to 70% cheaper than High Speed Ferries and air flights.   Keep in mind that you must allow a couple of extra days in your schedule to accommodate for unannounced time table changes and delays or cancellations caused by high winds or strikes.   It is also critical to make your last Greek Island a major ferry hub, providing multiple ferry options for your trip back to the port of Piraeus or Rafina.

I leave you with some Greek Island traveling tips from the The Ancient Greek Poem Road to Ithaca which states, “When you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge.”  The best way to determine which is the best way  to Greek Island hop, is to ask yourself is the final destination more important to you or the road leading to it?   But, “Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind.  To arrive there is your ultimate goal.”


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