Subject: Re: Help with Greek Islands

If I were doing your trip, I would forget about renting a car. Travelling in Greece is like travelling in Asia. Something I think we all have to remember when we visit Greece and the islands is that we have to slow down. A car will be a hindrance more than a benefit. Think light - a backpack with the minimum that you need because the best way to see the Greek islands is to carry what you need on your back so you can hop on and off ferries easily, keeping in mind that a good quality beach towel is essential to keep you warm and dry. This is the way we travel so here are my suggestions.

Take each day as it comes because it is a very easy country to visit. Public transportation on the large Greek islands is fine and on the smaller islands you'll walk to your destinations. We visited Crete, Santorini, Rhodes, Kos, Patmos and Samos. We ferried (sometimes on boats that held 20 passengers) between all islands.

Depending on which islands you plan to vist, I'd also suggest that you don't think "hotel" and think "local inns". Most of the smaller islands (which are the ones you should visit with the exception of Crete) host travellers in the homes of locals.

Santorini is beautiful - the postcard for the Greek islands. We rented a small motorcycle and toured the island for two days. Rhodes is larger but you can take public transportation to get around. Kos, Patmos and Samos (along the Turkish coast) are very small and you can walk around, hire a taxi or ask a local to take you around (for a price). I can't tell you which of these three we enjoyed more but if pressed I'd have to say that Patmos was the most "magical" of them.

We flew from Athens to Crete and travelled around the island by bus. If you decide to visit Crete you should make the effort to hike the Samaria Gorge - an experience that you will never forget. It's easier than anyone will tell you and you should not be put off by any horror stories that locals or travellers will tell you. I'd also advise that you read a few travel books on Crete because there are some towns (Agios Nikalaos is one) that are absolutely horrible to visit.

Lucy, Toronto