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Mykonos, Paros, Santorini & Ios
Take off your watch and set yourself to ‘chilled’. From the moment you arrive you’re on Greek Time… You’ll never have the same experience twice on this trip – it’s what you want it to be. Immerse yourself in all that Europe’s original party islands have to offer, then take it easy along the miles of beaches or discover ancient ruins and natural wonders. The islands are full of surprises and whether it’s decent or decadent you’re after, our Flexi-Hopper gives you a taste of it all. 9 days or 5 months - it’s up to you.
- Watch the sunset behind white stone windmills
- Grab a photo with Petros the pelican
- Discover the ancient ruins of uninhabited Delos
- Dance to the world’s best known DJs in Mykonos
- Explore Santorini’s black, red and white sand beaches
- Party until dawn on Ios
- Go Greek with plenty of feta, moussaka and ouzo
- Your fantastic Busabout Guide
- All ferries
- Guided orientations of each island
- Nights out on every island
- All transfers to and from MyTrip Preferred Partner island accommodation
Explore the islands at your own pace or join in with one of our optional extras. Full details from your Busabout Guide.
- Mykonos town - night out and orientation tour
- Half day trip to ancient Delos from Mykonos
- Paros boat trip with swimming, BBQ, free wine and ouzo
- Plate smashing and Greek dancing in Paros
- Horse riding in Paros
- Santorini Bucket List tour
- Oia sunset on Santorini
- Water sports and scuba diving in Ios
Here are a few more details to help you before you start your trip. If you would like to meet fellow travellers and get top tips from Busabout crew then log-on to Chatabout - our online forum - for all the info you need to plan your awesome adventure.
Fixed itinerary (9 days): A Busabout Guide will escort each group, staying two nights on each island. If you have not advised us otherwise (at least two weeks prior to departure), we will assume this is what you wish to do and book your ferry tickets accordingly.
Flexible trip: If you would like to stay longer on any of the islands you can select/change your travel dates through MyTrip up to two weeks before your departure from Athens. You can increase the number of nights you stay in each island too - we have departures every two days May, June and September and daily July and August and you can join up with different Busabout groups along the way.
NOTE: Two weeks before you are due to depart Athens all ferry tickets will be booked and ticketed. No further date changes will be possible. Due to group size restrictions, the minimum stay on each island is two nights (and an even number of nights if staying longer – 2, 4, 6, etc).
The Greeks can have a pretty relaxed outlook on timetables; 'island time' they call it. This 'island time' can mean that last minute changes can occur to the timetable, and because of this we cannot guarantee what time you will get back to Athens on the last day of the trip. It can be anywhere from 12 noon on the last day to early the following morning and therefore it is advised that you do not organise to leave Athens until the day after your trip finishes.
Check out our sample itinerary below - based on 9 days, the minimum amount of time to get round. You have the option to extend the number of nights you spend in the islands for as long as you like (in multiples of 2) within the season's departure dates and can change your dates up to 15 days before you travel.
Day 1: Athens to Mykonos
The first day of the best 9 days of your life! Head down to the port in the early morning sunshine to meet your Guide and hop on our first ferry over to the stunning island of Mykonos, famous for gorgeous Cycladic architecture, stunning sun-kissed beaches and an awesome party scene.
The afternoon sees us chilling out at Paradise Beach, our recommended accommodation for the island and home to some of the best partying around. Grab a cocktail and your beach towel and spend the afternoon working on your tan before we head out tonight to Mykonos town for a walking tour of all this amazing island has to offer – famous windmills, white washed, cobbled streets, fab shopping and super friendly locals. After the tour try some local cuisine with an optional dinner at a local restaurant before we hit up some of the best bars and clubs in town and get to know our trip mates over a few drinks and some serious tunes, the perfect end to our first day on tour.
Day 2: Mykonos
Today is yours to explore all this island paradise has to offer. Take an optional half day trip out to Delos, the birth place of Apollo and Artemis and a sacred ancient centre of Greek culture, for a taste of the historical side of the islands. If sun, sea and sex on the beach (the cocktail) is more your thing, laze the day away sunbathing at Paradise Beach or explore some of the other beautiful secluded beaches nearby. Shopaholics can head to the winding streets of Mykonos town for some retail therapy, whilst the water babies amongst you can spend the day frolicking in the waves – pure bliss!
The party kicks off in the early afternoon at Paradise Beach, so chuck on your sarong and hit the table tops, as pumping beats and fab cocktails make for the best party this side of sunset. Head in to town tonight or stay at the beach with your trip mates, then head up to the onsite club or up to club Cavo Paradiso, where pools, podiums and the world's best DJs keep the party going way past sunrise.
Day 3: Mykonos to Paros
Next up Paros, a beautifully chilled out island and the perfect place to kick back and relax in true Greek islander style. This afternoon there’s free time when you can head off on horseback with our optional excursions, then this evening we’ll explore with an orientation walk. Tonight you can sample delicious Greek cuisine at a local restaurant, before letting loose your inner kefi (the spirit of joy, passion and high spirits) with a local tradition – plate smashing! Plates smashed and kefi released, it’s time to head out in to the night to try some local bars, and get to know the spirit of Paros after dark…
Day 4: Paros
Today you have the option to get on-board the best day trip EVER and take to the high seas! A full day boat cruise, we’ll visit Paros’s most spectacular swim stops and splash, snorkel and sunbathe the day away. Wine, soft drinks and delicious beach barbeque included, this day trip has deservedly become legend amongst Greek island adventurers. Try char-grilled octopus washed down with Ouzo (in true Greek style) and then dig in to souvlaki, tzatiki, Greek salad and fresh bread with a bit more wine, more swimming, more tunes and maybe even a beach bar or two. As the light begins to fade we return to shore in the early evening ready for a hot shower and an evening at leisure on our final night in Paros. If boat trips aren’t your thing there are loads of other optional extras available today, including scuba diving and horse riding, and your guide can advise on all the things to see and do to make the most of your time in Paros.
Day 5: Paros to Santorini
From the turquoise caldera at the centre of the island (a souvenir from a massive volcanic eruption over three and a half thousand years ago) to whitewashed, blue-domed churches, cloudless blue skies and red and black sand beaches, Santorini is a feast for the senses. Arguably the most beautiful island of the Cyclades, with great food, amazing wines and some very decent nightlife, Santorini is a firm favourite amongst Busabouters This evening after arrival we’ll go on an orientation walk to show you why. Tonight there’s an optional sunset dinner overlooking the lagoon and volcano, then it’s on to a few bars to celebrate our first night in Santorini in top Grecian style.
Day 6: Santorini
Free time today and with so much to see and do there’s an optional Bucket List bus trip showing you the top highlights of this awesome island. Check out the Monastery at Mount Profitis Ilias for stunning views of the island, taste local wines, cheese and olives at the Santo winery, visit historic Akrotiri, the beautiful red and black beaches and then grab a late lunch before returning to Fira Town. As part of the bus tour tonight we head for a sunset picnic in Oia, the most beautiful village with the most famous view point on the island – probably the romance capital of Greece and home to some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world…
Day 7: Santorini to Ios
Ios - party capital of the Greek islands and in a world all its own… Our recommended accommodation, Far Out Beach Club, is the most happening resort on the island and whether it’s pool, beach or bar you’re after you won’t be disappointed. Cocktails, water sports and relaxing on the golden sands this afternoon, then tonight there’s an optional meal and a few drinks before we head in to Ios town; its tiny winding streets hide an amazing array of clubs and bars so be prepared for the bar crawl to end all bar crawls!
Day 8: Ios
The sun will be shining and the head might be thumping, but for a no fail guaranteed hangover cure head down to the beach this morning and get in to some water sports - tried and tested, it works! Chill out to some top tunes by the pool, walk the sun dappled streets of Ios town or head out and explore some of Ios’ white sandy beaches and secret hidden coves. Get back in the saddle tonight with a cocktail or two, grab dinner at the campsite barbeque or head into town for a meal before our final night in Ios, finishing in bar-hopping style with the chance to check out the clubs again, just in case we missed one!
Day 9: Ios to Athens
Today our tour comes to an end as we leave Ios for Athens.
Please note: Your arrival time back into Athens is not finalised until two weeks before your departure. You will get back into Athens anywhere from noon on the last day or early the following morning. Please be advised ferries can be delayed due to weather conditions and therefore it is advised that you do not organise to leave Athens until the day after your trip finishes.
Accommodation is not included in the cost of the Greek Island Hopper, as it’s a flexible product (so you can extend the number of nights you stay in each island). We know where you hang out is just as important as how you got there though, and have chosen a recommended accommodation on each island which offers fab value accommodation, great facilities and an awesome vibe!
Your accommodation in Athens and the Greek Islands can be guaranteed by pre-booking through My Trip – you just log in, select the room type and number of nights and then put down a 10% deposit online (the rest is due on arrival). Availability will be limited in peak season (July and August) so make sure you book your accommodation at least two weeks before you jump onto your first ferry (or as soon as you’re sure of your dates). Prices vary, but are generally between €10-€45 per person per night, depending on the type of room you book, and each property is run by local super stars who love our travellers to bits, so we're sure you'll come away smiling.
For a taste of the recommended accommodations and all they have to offer check out the below:
Pre/Post tour accommodation: AthenStyle - Athens
Athens is our departure point for the Greek Islands, and to make the most of the awesome birthplace of civilisation amazing pre-tour accommodation is required! Located beneath the Acropolis between the archaeological (and shopping) rich Monastiraki and the nightlife and bars of Psyri, AthenStyle has a wide range of rooms with something to suit every budget. With en-suite rooms, AC, breakfast and free wi-fi included, as well as free daily walking tours, a great happy hour and a wicked rooftop bar and restaurant for those sultry Grecian nights, it’s an awesome base from which to explore Athens, and a fab choice for those of you arriving in to the city a little earlier or staying a bit longer.
You can pay approximately €5 for a transfer from AthenStyle Hostel in Athens to the port on your first day - bookable through your Guide.
Paradise Beach - Mykonos
Justifiably the most famous resort on the island, Paradise Beach is a guaranteed great time. Choose from clean, cosy cabins or bungalows with a choice of communal or ensuite facilities – there are loads of different room types so you can pick the one that suits your budget best. The accommodation is located right on the beach with restaurants, cafes, bars, pumping tunes and a couple of awesome clubs hosting some of the best DJs around all on site or just a few steps away. It’s the perfect base for our time on the island and from full moon parties to the small, more secluded beaches nestled nearby it has something for everyone.
Elizabeth Pension - Paros
Paros is the perfect chill out island, and our recommended accommodation - the Elisabeth Pension - is the perfect place to unwind. The rooms are clean and comfy, with ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and balconies to make your stay that little bit more luxurious. The lovely Lily and Mikhailis, a local couple with loads of local character, make this a home away from home, and with the main streets, seafront cafes, restaurants, beaches and nightlife located just a short walk away it’s an ideal location from which to explore this most chilled of Cycladic islands.
Fira Backpackers - Santorini
Fira Backpackers is in a great location. The cliffs and town centre are only 90 metres away from your door step! The place itself is clean as a whistle, with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and free wi-fi. What's more is that it's in a beautiful traditional white–washed Greek island style building. What more could you want?
Far Out - Ios
Ios is backpacker heaven! Situated right on Mylopotas beach, Far Out is the most popular place to be on the island. With a choice of different styles of accommodation, all within a stone's throw of each other, you can choose from the chilled-out Far Out Village or the more happening Far Out Beach Club. The Beach Club cabins have simple bamboo roofs and a fan so they're light, airy and perfect for those on a budget. The Village rooms are built in traditional Cycladic style with fridges and air-conditioning, offering a bit more luxury for a few extra Euros. Both are far enough away from the party to get a good night's sleep, but near enough to get involved whenever you fancy, and with pools, beach bars, restaurants, cafes, a mini-market and water sports all at your fingertips (plus a bus stop right outside which takes us to the heart of the clubbing action in under ten minutes) it’s the perfect location to get your party on!
NOTE: Transfers to and from the port on these islands will only be provided to Busabout passengers who book accommodation at these properties through MyTrip. If you book any of the other recommended properties you will not be eligible for the transfer service. You can pay approximately €5 for a transfer from AthenStyle Hostel in Athens to the port on your first day.
If you’re travelling with us before you get to Greece (e.g. on a hop-on, hop-off pass) and need to get from Italy to Greece or vice versa on a budget then you can purchase an Athen's Link from Minoan Lines www.minoan.gr. A single costs approx. €59 and departs from Ancona, Italy to Patras, Greece (Patras is approximately 3 hours by bus or train to Athens centre (€15 approx.)
The journey will take 24 – 30 hours but with restaurants, bar, shops, internet and sundecks onboard it’s the perfect way to catch up on sleep and top up your tan before hitting the islands! Your Athen's Link will entitle you to a full deck pass however sleeper cabin upgrades are available to purchase direct from Minoan lines on the day (subject to availability and vessel).