Greek Island Hopping Routes: The Definitive Guide
You’re planning to do some Greek island hopping for your next trip? You’re looking for the best Greek Island hopping itinerary?
Then look no further!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared this detailed travel guide.
A quick note before starting: In this travel guide, I will give you a 2 weeks Greek islands hopping route. For other durations, please read the following articles:
- 1 week Greek island hopping itinerary
- 10 Days Greek island hopping itinerary
- And if you prefer to visit Dodecanese and Rhodes island: Visit Rhodes, the definitive guide.
Now, let’s get back to your 14-15 days Greek island itinerary.
In addition to the must-see attractions for each stage of the itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.
So, what’s the best Cyclades island hopping itinerary?
Let’s find out!
- Greek Island Hopping Routes: The Definitive Guide
- 1) Santorini (3 days)
- 2) Amorgos (3 days)
- 3) Naxos (3 days)
- 4) Paros (3 days)
- 5) Ios (2 days)
- 6) Return to Santorini (1 day)
- Greece Tours
- You’re traveling to Greece ? These articles will help you !
1) Santorini (3 days)
For the 1st stage of your Greek island hopping itinerary, you will visit the world-famous Santorini island.
First things first: How to go to Santorini?
That’s simple, to get to Santorini, you will have 3 options:
- The best is to land directly in Santorini. Mykonos and Santorini are the only islands in the Cyclades with an international airport.
- If you plan to visit Greece before doing Greek island hopping, there are domestic flights to Santorini from several cities, including Athens and Thessaloniki. Very convenient!
- The last option is to take the ferry from Athens. The journey takes between 5 and 8 hours.
If you want to visit Santorini in 3 days, the best is to rent a car.
Sure, you can also use the public buses, but they are very crowded, they often don’t stop (as they are full!) and they don’t go everywhere. So renting a car is definitely the best solution if you want to be completely free!
What’s great is that all the parking lots are free on the island.
When booking your rental car in Greece, you should use Rentalcars.com website. It’s the best way to compare all car rental companies prices and customer reviews.
They also offer a Full Protection Insurance, to get refunded in case of accident or theft. Tested and approved! They have already refunded me more than 1200 euros to date.
If you already know your travel dates for your 2 weeks Greek island hopping itinerary, you can book your car right now to get the best prices. It won’t commit you to anything, as cancelling or modifying your booking is very often free.
Simply click the button below to compare rental car prices for 3 days in Santorini:
On your 1st day in Santorini, you will visit the 2 most famous villages of the island, Fira and Oia. You’ve probably already seen some pictures, with their typical white and blue houses and their luxury hotels with infinity pools located on the edge of the Caldera.
Here is the program of the day:
- To start your day, you will visit Fira: wander in the alleys, have a look at the luxury shops and enjoy the views over the caldera
- Then, follow the main street along the sea and head to Firostefani and Imerovigli, the 2 adjacent villages.
- If you feel like hiking a bit, you can continue on the walking trail that goes from Imerovigli to Oia town. This 2 hours hike is clearly the most beautiful in Santorini.
- If you don’t want to walk, you can simply take back your car and drive to Oia.
- Once in Oia, you can visit the village and enjoy its numerous small shops, bars and restaurant.
- At the end of the day, you should go to Oia Byzantine Castle ruins to admire the sunset. It’s the best sunset spot in Santorini!
Not bad for the 1st day of your 2 weeks Greek island hopping route, right?
Spend a night in Santorini.
The next day, it’s time to do one of Santorini’s most popular activity: a boat trip.
During this cruise, you will walk on Nea Kameni still active volcano, swim in Palea Kameni hot springs and visit Therasia, the island located in front of Santorini.
As this is a very popular activity, you have to book your cruise in advance. Just click the button below for more details.
There is also a luxury version of this cruise: you will sail on a catamaran and even watch the sunset from the boat! You can book it right there:
For your last day in Santorini, you should do a road trip around the island.
Here are the best places to visit:
- Visit the other villages like Pyrgos, Megalochori and Emporio.
- If you like archaeological sites, you can go to Akrotiri and the Ancient Thera.
- If you’re a wine enthusiast, you can book an oenology tour (in a small group) to visit the Santorini’s vineyards. You will also taste a dozen of the best wines. Book it right here!
- Then, you can end your day at the beach. Don’t miss the Red Beach, and its ochre cliffs, or Kamari and Perissa beaches with volcanic black sand. If you are travelling with children, the shallow waters of Monolithos beach will be perfect for you!
Spend a last night in Santorini.
You will find more details about Santorini in my article: Visit Santorini: the definitive guide.
Where to stay in Santorini
You must know that staying in Santorini, especially in the villages of the caldera like Oia and Fira, is quite expensive.
If you want a less expensive accommodation, it’s better to choose a hotel outside these 2 cities.
And of course, even more in Santorini than in any other place, book your hotels as early as possible!
To help you choose, I have made a selection of the best hotels in Santorini, depending on where you want to stay and your budget.
Best hotels in Oia
- Aethrio Hotel: Located in Oia, only a few steps away from the main square. You can rent double rooms, studio flats or apartments with balcony for most of them. The price starts from 160€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the swimming pool, the large rooms, the rooftop to admire the sunset. It’s one of the cheapest places in Oia, and it offers a great value for money!
- Caldera Premium Villas: Located in the centre of Oia. You will love the troglodyte suites with a breathtaking view of the sea and the caldera, starting from 290€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the design of the rooms, and the location.
- Theodora Suites Apartment: Located in the heart of the city. Studio flats with small kitchen, fridge, private terrace and hot tub, starting from 350€, breakfast included. What I loved: the hot tubs, the breathtaking view, the kind staff.
- Andronis Boutique Hotel: 5-star hotel located in Oia. You’ll enjoy large suites with a view of the caldera, private balcony and private hot tub or pool, starting from 800€ with breakfast included. Strong points: the idyllic scenery and the calm. It’s my recommendation for a one-week romantic stay in Greece!
- Katikies Hotel – The Leading Hotels of the World: This luxurious hotel offers rooms and suites with a great view, bathtub and spa. The price starts from 1000€ with breakfast included. What I loved: the pools, the spas, the splendid views and the food! It’s my recommendation for a luxury stay in Santorini!
Best hotels in Fira
- Galatia Villas: Located 10 minutes away from Fira’s city centre. The double rooms are quite basic but nice, and the price starts from only 80€ per night. Strong points: the hot tub on the roof, the kind staff, the great value for money for Santorini.
- Lilium Santorini Villa: Located on the edge of the caldera. These elegant and modern double rooms with sea view are available starting from 315€, breakfast included. What I loved: the pool, the exceptionnal location, the warm and welcoming staff.
- Cosmopolitan Suites – Small Luxury Hotels of the World: Located in the heart of Fira. You will enjoy lovely rooms with private balcony, decorated in the purest Cycladian style, starting from 550€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the infinity pool over the cliff, and the luxury hotel services. This is the perfect place to stay with your lover in Santorini!
- Aria Suites: Located in Fira, this high standard hotel offers only 6 suites and luxury villas, fully equipped (you even get a laptop), starting from 700€ per night. What I loved: the magnificent place, the pool and the staff availability. This is a great choice for a luxurious and romantic stay in Fira!
Other best places to stay in Santorini Island
- Memories Beach Hotel: Located just accross Monolithos beach. These comfortable modern rooms starts from 65€ per night, with breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the calm and the adorable staff.
- Rose Suites: Located in Vourvoulos, only 4 kilometers away from Fira. Those studio flats and apartments are well equiped and decorated, with a small kitchen and a private terrace. The prices are starting from 75€ per night. What I loved: the pool, the calm, the decoration. The fridge is also full with everything you need for breakfast. This is the best choice in Santorini for its exceptional value for money!
- Hippocampus Hotel: Located in Kamari, only 50 meters away from the beach. The rooms, with a view on the swimming pool or the garden, are starting from 85€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the ideal location close to the beach, and the really kind staff.
- Meltemi Village Hotel: Located in Perissa, only 5 minutes away from the Black beach. The rooms and suites with hot tubs are starting from 100€ per night, with the breakfast included. What I loved: the pools, the spa, and the great breakfast. A great choice for a stay on Santorini’s shore!
2) Amorgos (3 days)
Let’s now go to Amorgos, another island of the Cyclades archipelago.
From Santorini, you have to take the ferry to reach Amorgos. It takes around 1 hour.
If you need more information about the ferries rates and schedules, just click the button below. (You will need this website to plan the ferrys for rest of your trip, so don’t forget to bookmark the page!)
In Amorgos, you will need rent a car for the next 3 days. As there are no car rental agencies affiliated to Rentalcars.com in Amorgos, just rent your car when you will arrive at the port. There are many rental companies just next to the ferry pier and the prices are very similar.
For your 1st day in Amorgos, you should take your car and drive around the island:
- Take a walk in Katapola, where the ferries from Santorini arrives.
- Visit the lovely village of Hora (Amorgos’ capital), with its old mills!
- Have lunch in one of Hora’s taverns, and enjoy a typical atmosphere.
- Drive to the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa. You can also visit the inside.
- Make a stop at Agia Ana cove, just below the monastery
- End your day at Kalotaritissa Beach to go swimming. Don’t forget to go see the ship wreck of “The Big Blue” movie located nearby!
Spend a night in Amorgos.
For the next 2 days of your Greek island hopping itinerary, let’s go hiking a bit! With many walking trails all around the island, Amorgos is one of the best place in the Cyclades to hike.
You can have more information about the walking trails to plan your hikes on Amorgos’ official website.
During your hikes, you will also find many nice beaches and coves to rest a bit.
If you want more information about Amorgos, you should read my article: The 8 best things to do in Amorgos.
Where to stay in Amorgos
When you visit Amorgos, you can stay in one of the 2 main cities: Katapola and Aegiali. Choose between the 2 according to your port of departure!
Here is a selection of the best places to stay in Amorgos, to help you choose.
Best hotels in Katapola
- Amorgion Hotel: Located 1km from the port of Katapola, and at only 8-minute walk from the beach. The double rooms with private balcony, and a view of the Aegean Sea for some of them, are starting from 50€ per night, with an 8€ breakfast. Strong points: the pool, the private free parking, the warm welcome. It’s the only hotel with a swimming pool in Katapola!
- Barbara Pension: Located 5 minutes away from the beach, right next to the port of Katapola. The studio flats are equipped with a sink, a fridge and also have a balcony. The prices are starting from 55€per night. Strong points: the cleanliness, the quietness, the very kind owner!
- Diasino Studios: Located close to the port. The studio flats and apartments are modern, with terrace or balcony. The prices are starting from 60€ with a 5€ breakfast. What I loved: the calm, the location close to all the restaurants. It’s the best value for money in Katapola!
- Landeris Hotel: Located 3 minutes away from the beach, and close to the port. The rooms, studio flats and apartments are decorated in a rustic style, with wooden furniture. The prices are starting from 60€ per night with breakfast included. Strong points: the kindness of the owners, the delicious breakfast, the great advice!
- Minoa Hotel: Located 100m from the beach, close to the port. The bright and large double rooms, with balcony are starting from 80€ per night including breakfast. Strong points: the kind staff, the great breakfast.
Best hotels in Aegiali
- Pelagos: Located only 3 minutes from the beach and 100m from the port of Aegiali. The double rooms with balcony and sea view are starting from 35€ per night, with a 5€ breakfast. Strong points: the view, the welcome directly at your boat, the copious breakfast.
- Aelia Studios: Located on the sea side. The modern and cosy studio flats, equipped with a small kitchen with an oven and hotplates are starting from 60€ per night. What I loved: the design and the charm of the apartments, the location. It’s the best value for money in Aegiali!
- Vigla Hotel: Located 10 minutes away from the beach, in Tholaria, above Aegiali. The modern and bright large rooms are starting from 110€per night, with breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the copious breakfast, the comfort, the quietness, the great restaurant. If you’re looking for a nice hotel with a swimming pool in Amorgos, you should definitely try the Vigla!
- Aegialis Hotel & Spa: Located above Aegiali, this 5-star hotel (the only one in Amorgos) offers comfortable rooms with balcony starting from 140€ per night. Strong points: the big pool, the magnificient view of Aegiali and the sea, the spa, the quietness. It’s simply the best hotel in Amorgos!
3) Naxos (3 days)
After 3 days in Santorini and 3 days in Amorgos, it’s time to take the ferry again to continue your 2 weeks Greek islands hopping itinerary.
You’re about to discover Naxos, the largest Cyclades island, located only 1h15 away from Amorgos.
When you will arrive, as you did in Santorini, get your rental car for 3 days.
Once you’ve got your car, visit Naxos’ main town: Hora. There, you will see the island most iconic landmark: the Portara. It’s the only remain of a former temple dedicated to Apollo. The view of the island and the mountains is beautiful!
In Hora, don’t miss the Kastro district, with its typical alleys and many shops. Along the seaside, you will also find a lot of restaurants and cafés.
Spend the afternoon in one of the West Coast beaches.
Spend the night in Naxos.
The next morning, you will visit the 3 most famous mountain villages in Naxos:
- Halki, located in the centre of the island. There, you will enjoy many shops and the only distillery making a local liquor named “Kitron”. You should take a short stroll to Agios Giorgios Diasorites church, located a 10-minute walk from the village.
- Filoti, with its many typical taverns and restaurants as well as a church entirely made of marble. If you go to “Aria Spring”, located not far from the village, you can hike to the summit of Mount Zeus, the highest point of the Cyclades. It takes around 1h30 to reach the top.
- Apiranthos, a really small village. The road to get there offers gorgeous views of the sea and mountains.
End your day around Moutsouma to enjoy one of the East Coast beaches.
Spend a 2nd night in Naxos.
For your last day in Naxos, how about a boat trip?
During this cruise, you will go swimming in very beautiful places you can’t reach by foot or by car, like Rina Cave or Kalados Beach. You will also discover the Small Cyclades and Antiparos from the sea.
Soft drinks and snorkeling equipment are included in this 80€ per person tour.
If you don’t want to go on a cruise, you can also spend your day at the beach, take a short stroll, or go see the famous Kouros of Naxos, 2 big unfinished marble statues.
They are located in Apollonas (on the road before the village) and in Flerio.
Spend a last night in Naxos.
You will find all the details you need to visit Naxos in my free travel guide: The 10 best things to do in Naxos.
Where to stay in Naxos
If you’re going to visit Naxos, the best is to stay in Hora (the capital city) or its surroundings.
- Anatoli Hotel: Located a 10-minute walk from Naxos centre and the beach. The modern rooms with balcony and a view of the pool or the garden are starting from 45€ with breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the sauna, the hot tub, and the free transfer from the port and the airport.
- The Saint Vlassis: Located only 700m from the city centre and 500m from the Agios Georgios beach. This hotel offers comfortable and large double rooms, with an outdoor hot tub for some of them! The prices are starting from 60€ per night including breakfast. Strong points: the warm welcome, the good breakfast, the free parking. It’s simply the best value for money in Naxos!
- Xenia Hotel: Located in the centre of Naxos. The modern and well equipped double rooms are starting from 70€ with an 8€ breakfast. Strong points: the location in the city centre (really convenient to take the ferry), the kind staff, the comfortable beds.
- Hotel Grotta: Located only 700m from the Portara and 15 minutes from the beach. Those nice and bright double rooms with balcony are starting from 90€ with breakfast included. A great place for a romantic gateway in Naxos!
- Nissaki Beach Hotel: Located on Agios Georgios beach, the closest to Naxos. The double rooms are very well decorated, and with a balcony. The prices are starting from 220€ per night, with breakfast included. What I loved: The pool, the location next to the beach, the amazing breakfast, the staff. It’s the best hotel for a luxury stay in Naxos!
4) Paros (3 days)
You Cyclades island hopping itinerary will now take you to Paros, only 40 minutes away from Naxos by ferry boat.
You will also have to rent a car to discover the island.
On your 1st day in Paros, you will visit the Northern part of the island.
Take a stroll in Parikia, the capital, to discover its old town and Panagia Ekatontapyliani church. If you’re an history lover, you can also visit the Byzantine Museum and the Archaeological Museum.
Then, drive North to Paros Park. There, you can walk around the park for about 2 hours on the 3 marked trails. You can also go swimming at the beach located in the park.
Take back your car and go to Naoussa, a chic and trendy seaside resort with many shops and restaurants.
End your day and relax at one of the beach nearby: Siparos Beach, Stefano Beach, Lageri Beach, Santa Maria Beach or Kolymbithres, it’s up to you!
Spend the night in Paros.
For your 2nd day in Paros, explore the Southern part of the island.
First, visit the 3 lovely villages of Lefkes, Prodromos and Marpissa. You can get there by car or walk on the Byzantine trail that connects the 3.
Get back in your car and drive to the port of Piso Livadi to have a nice lunch in one of the many restaurants. You’ll love the fresh grilled fishes and the seafood.
To end your day, relax at the Golden Beach, Logaras Beach or Faragas.
Spend a 2nd night in Paros.
The next day, for your last day in Paros, you can go on a cruise around Paros and Antiparos. Many stops to go swimming are included in this tour.
If you don’t want to do a boat trip, you can also drive to Pounda village. From there, you will be able to take a Ferry boat to Antiparos (with your car). In Antiparos, you can visit the main village and enjoy the beaches.
You will find all information you need to organize your 3 days in Paros in my article: The 10 best things do in Paros.
Where to stay in Paros
In Paros, you will find most of the accommodations around Parikia (that’s convenient, because its where the ferries arrive), or in Naoussa, the island’s main seaside resort.
You will find here a selection of the best places to stay in Parikia and Naoussa.
Best hotels in Parikia
- Margarita: Located only 300m from the church of Parikia, and 400m from the beach. The double rooms with balcony are starting from 37€ per night. Strong points: the kindness and the advice of the owners, the warm welcome.
- Nostos Studios: Located only a minute walk from the beach and 1km from the port. The studios for 2 to 4 people, with a beautiful sea view, are starting from 70€ per night. Strong points: the terrace to admire the sunset, the warm welcome.
- Sunset View Hotel: Located only 10 minutes away from the port. The confortable rooms with balcony are starting from 80€ including breakfast. What I loved: the pool, the free shuttle from the port, the private parking. It’s the best value for money in Paros!
- Akrotiri Hotel: Located 2km from the port of Parikia. The clean and comfortable double rooms with sea view are starting from 100€ per night, with breakfast included. Strong points: the pool, the view, the great breakfast, the kind staff.
Best hotels in Naoussa
- Surfing Beach Village Paros: Located directly on Santa Maria’s beach, a 5-minute drive from Naoussa. The nice bungalows, decorated in Cycladian style are starting from 30€ per night including breakfast. Strong points: the pool, the free transfer to the port, the location, the free deckchairs on the beach.
- Hotel Senia: Located 200m away from the centre of Naoussa, on the seaside. The rooms and suites with private balconies and amazing view are starting from 105€, with breakfast included. What I loved: the 2 pools, the free parking, the great breakfast. It’s the best value for money in Naoussa!
- Paliomylos Spa Hotel: Located 800m away from Naoussa. The bright and large double rooms are starting from 110€ per night, including breakfast. Strong points: the pool, the spa with massages, the decoration, the complete and varied breakfast.
- Villa Bellonia: Located 12 minutes away from the beach and 1km from Naoussa. The lovely rooms with balcony or private terrace are starting from 120€ per night, with breakfast included. What I loved: The pool, the comfort, the amazing breakfast. It’s the best choice for a romantic gateway in Paros!
- Saint Andrea Resort Hotel: Located 1.5km away from Naoussa, this hotel offers luxurious accomodation with private terrace and view of the garden and the sea, starting from 200€ per night. Strong points: the location in front of the sea, the kind staff, the big pool. It’s my recommendation for a luxury stay in Paros!
5) Ios (2 days)
For the last stage of your Greek island hopping itinerary, you’ll go to Ios.
It takes around 1h to get to Ios from Paros by ferry boat.
During your 2 days in Ios, you just have to relax and enjoy the beaches of Mylopotas, Kalamos and Manganari.
Ios is also well-known for its nightlife, especially during summer (from June to August), where the island is quite busy.
Starting from September, Ios becomes a really quiet place, and you will (mostly) have the beaches just for yourself. If you like quiet places, it will be amazing!
It only depends on what you’re looking for during your holidays.
Where to stay in Ios
- Avra Pension: Located close to the port and a 10-minute walk from the beach. The bright double rooms with balcony are starting from 40€, with a 5€ breakfast. Strong points: the home made delicious breakfast, the location, the warm and welcoming staff.
- Petradi Hotel: Located close to Mylopotas Beach. The double rooms with a sea view are starting from 80€, with a 9€ breakfast. What I loved: the pool, the free transfer from the port, the location, the view, the kind staff. It’s the best value for Money in Ios!
- Dionysos Seaside Resort Ios: Located on Mylopotas Beach. The modern and spacious double rooms are starting from 150€ per night, with breakfast included. Strong points: the pools, the free access to the private beach, the location on the seaside, the really kind staff. It’s my recommendation for a romantic gateway in Ios!
- Liostasi Hotel & Suites: This 5-star hotel welcomes you only 2km away from the port. You will love the elegant and comfortable suites, with a private terrace and sea view. The prices are starting from 320€ per night, with breakfast included. What I loved: the pool, the wellness center, the free shuttle, the amazing restaurant, the breathtaking view. It’s the best choice for a luxury stay in Ios!
6) Return to Santorini (1 day)
Your 2 weeks trip to the Greek islands is already over and you’ll have to fly back home.
From Ios, take the ferry (only 35 to 50 minutes) to get back to Santorini and take your return flight.
However, if you prefer to book a Greece tour with a travel agency, I recommend you to check the 10 best Greece tours by clicking the button below:
Now you know how to do Cyclades island hopping! If you have any questions about your Greek island hopping itinerary, don’t hesitate to ask me in the comments section.
Greece travel guides
- Buy the Lonely Planet Greece guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
- Buy the DK Eyewitness Greece guide on Amazon.com or on Amazon.co.uk
You’re traveling to Greece ? These articles will help you !
Discover all my articles about Greece: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Greece are listed there.
- The 20 Best Things to do in Greece – The Ultimate Bucket list!
- The 15 Best Things to do in Peloponnese – All the must-see attractions
- Itinerary: 4-5 days in Greece – The perfect itinerary for a short stay in Greece
- Itinerary: 1 week in Greece – The best Itinerary to visit Athens + Santorini!
- Itinerary: 6, 7 or 8 days in Greece – The definitive guide to visit Athens + Peloponnese in a week
- Itinerary: 10 days in Greece – The definitive guide to visit Central Greece in 9-10 days
- Itinerary: 2 weeks in Greece – The best Itinerary to visit Athens + Central Greece + Cyclades (Santorini)
- Itinerary: 3 weeks in Greece – The best Itinerary to visit Athens + Central Greece + even more Cyclades islands!
- Itinerary: 1 month in Greece – The definitive guide to visit Greece in a month!
- Road trip in Greece – The best itineraries for 5, 7, 10, 15, 21 and 30 days.
Cyclades (Greek islands)
- The 15 Best Cyclades Islands to visit – With all the must-see attractions
- Amorgos: The 8 best places to see
- Andros: The 7 must-see attractions and activities
- Naxos: Top 10 things to do
- Paros: The 10 best places to visit
- Santorini: The definitive guide
- Tinos: The 10 best things to do