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Local News

Island-Hopping in Greece

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Island-Hopping in Greece

 

Greece, with its sun-kissed beaches, turquoise waters, and rich history, is the epitome of a dream destination. Island-hopping in Greece offers an unparalleled experience of exploring stunning islands, each with its unique charm. From the vibrant nightlife of Mykonos to the serene landscapes of Santorini, the Greek islands have something for everyone. This guide will provide you with essential information to plan your island-hopping adventure, including the best time to visit, ways to get around, planning your itinerary, quick travel tips, and a budget breakdown.

The Best Islands to Visit

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Cyclades Islands

When you picture Greek islands, chances are you’re picturing the Cyclades. Everything about this group of islands in the Aegean Sea is iconic—from the blue-domed churches to the stunning sunsets. Santorini and Mykonos are the most famous, but don’t miss the charm of islands like Paros and Naxos.

Ionian Islands

Located west of mainland Greece in the Ionian Sea, this group of islands is known for its lush vegetation, natural beauty, and cosmopolitan vibe. Corfu, Kefalonia, and Zakynthos are top picks, offering a mix of history, culture, and stunning beaches.

Saronic Islands

Situated in the Saronic Gulf, this island group is the closest to Athens. It is one of the most diverse groups, with a range of rich history, neoclassical architecture, monasteries, and churches. Hydra and Spetses, two of the most popular islands in this group, are car-free, adding to their charm.

Dodecanese Islands

The Dodecanese, influenced by Italian rule until 1948, boast picturesque landscapes and quaint villages. Rhodes and Kos are the largest and most well-known, but smaller islands like Symi and Patmos offer serene beauty and rich history.

Sporades Islands

Made up of four main islands and several smaller uninhabited ones, this group is located almost in the centre of the Aegean Sea. Skiathos and Skopelos are famous for their stunning beaches and lush landscapes, making them ideal for a relaxed family holiday.

North Aegean Islands

With wild and rugged landscapes and traditional architecture, this group of islands represents an authentic side of Greece. Chios, Lesvos, and Samos are perfect for those seeking to explore less-touristy destinations.

The Best Time to Visit

The ideal time for island-hopping in Greece is from late April to early October. During this period, the weather is warm, the sea is perfect for swimming, and the islands are bustling with activities. July and August are peak tourist months, which means higher prices and crowded spots. For a more relaxed experience, consider visiting in May, June, or September. These months offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds, allowing you to enjoy the beauty of the islands without the hustle and bustle of peak season.

Best Way to Get Around

Ferries: The most popular and scenic way to travel between the Greek islands is by ferry. The Greek ferry system is extensive and well-connected, making it easy to hop from one island to another. Companies like Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, and SeaJets offer regular services. It’s advisable to book tickets in advance, especially during peak season.

Flights: For longer distances or timesaving, domestic flights are available between major islands and Athens. Airlines such as Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air offer frequent flights.

Rental Boats: For a more personalized experience, renting a boat or a yacht can be a fantastic option. This gives you the freedom to explore hidden coves and less accessible islands at your own pace.

Local Transport: Once on the islands, getting around is easy with local buses, taxis, or by renting scooters, ATVs, or cars. Scooters and ATVs are particularly popular for their affordability and convenience.

Quick Tips Before You Travel to Greece

  • Visa and Documentation: Ensure you have the necessary visa and travel documents. EU citizens can travel freely, while others may need a Schengen visa.
  • Currency: The currency in Greece is the Euro (€). ATMs are widely available, and credit cards are accepted in most places, but it’s advisable to carry some cash for smaller establishments.
  • Language: Greek is the official language, but English is widely spoken, especially in tourist areas.
  • Health and Safety: Tap water is safe to drink in most places, but bottled water is recommended on some islands. Healthcare facilities are generally good, but it’s wise to have travel insurance.
  • Packing Essentials: Pack light, breathable clothing, swimwear, sunscreen, a hat, comfortable shoes, and a light jacket for cooler evenings. Don’t forget your camera to capture the stunning landscapes.
  • Local Etiquette: Greeks are known for their hospitality. Learn a few basic Greek phrases like “Kalimera” (Good morning) and “Efharisto” (Thank you) to show appreciation.

Budget for Each Day

Your daily budget for island-hopping in Greece can vary based on your travel style. Here’s a breakdown for a mid-range traveller:

  • Accommodation: €50-€100 per night for a comfortable hotel or Airbnb.
  • Food and Drinks: €30-€50 per day for meals at local tavernas and cafes.
  • Transport: €10-€30 per day for local transport (buses, taxis, scooters) and inter-island ferry tickets.
  • Activities and Entrance Fees: €10-€30 per day for visiting attractions, museums, and guided tours.
  • Miscellaneous: €10-€20 per day for souvenirs, tips, and other expenses.

Total daily budget: €110-€230

For a more budget-friendly trip, consider staying in hostels, eating at budget-friendly eateries, and taking advantage of free attractions and activities.

Get Hoping!

Island-hopping in Greece is a magical experience that offers a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and cultural enrichment. With careful planning and a sense of adventure, you can create unforgettable memories exploring the stunning Greek islands. Whether you’re soaking up the sun on a pristine beach, exploring ancient ruins, or savouring delicious Greek cuisine, each island has something unique and enchanting to offer. So pack your bags, set sail, and let the beauty of Greece captivate your heart.

 

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Local News

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

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Harwood Sugar Mill Mural

The Beauty of the Sugar Industry

 

A recently completed mural at the entry to the 150-year-old Harwood Sugar Mill is stopping traffic and creating excitement in the little village with the oldest Australian owned sugar mill.

In the lead up to the 150-year celebrations, artist Nitsua, has created an artwork that reflects the blending of the cane growing and milling activities in the Northern Rivers, that exists thanks to the all-Australian partnership between the grower-owned NSW Sugar Milling Cooperative and family-owned Manildra Group.

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The artwork was commissioned by Sunshine Sugar as part of the preparations to celebrate the significant milestone of 150 years continuous manufacturing operation and Australian ownership – all on the same location on the bank of the mighty Clarence River.

As Sunshine Sugar CEO, Mr Chris Connors commented: “Not too many businesses in Australia can say they have achieved such a significant milestone, which is why we are making the effort to celebrate and promote the resilient industry we have here in NSW.”

Sunshine Sugar and the NSW sugar industry have a line-up of community events and activities happening at Harwood (near Yamba) in August. The celebrations with culminate in a massive outdoor community event to be held at the Harwood Cricket Oval on Sunday 25th August.

Find out more at: 150th Harwood Mill Landing Page – Sunshine Sugar

 

For more rural news, click here.

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Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

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Golden Wattle

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre “Golden Wattle” to Visit Northern Rivers Region

 

Services Australia’s Mobile Service Centre, Golden Wattle, is set to visit towns in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, providing easy access to Centrelink, Medicare, National Disability Insurance Scheme, and Department of Veterans’ Affairs services.

Golden Wattle will visit:

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  • Nimbin: Wednesday, 17 July, opposite the neighbourhood centre, Cullen Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Urbenville: Thursday, 18 July, near Captain Cook Park, Urben Street (9:30 am to 3:30 pm)
  • Woodenbong: Friday, 19 July, in front of Woodenbong Hall, Unumgar Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Kyogle: Monday, 22 July and Tuesday, 23 July, in the Kyogle visitor centre car park, Summerland Way (9:00 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Bonalbo: Wednesday, 24 July, in front of Bonalbo Hall, Koreelah Street (9:30 am to 4:00 pm)
  • Tabulam: Thursday, 25 July, opposite the hotel, Court Street (9:30 am to 3:00 pm)

About Mobile Services Centres: Mobile Services Centres are 20-tonne trucks operated by Services Australia staff, providing regional and rural Australians with friendly, face-to-face service and tailored support. On this trip, staff can assist with:

  • Centrelink claims
  • Medicare registrations
  • Accessing online services

Additionally, information about the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Department of Veterans’ Affairs programs and support services will be available.

For more information, visit the Services Australia website.

 

For more local news, click here.

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Lismore News

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

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Lismore MP Janelle Saffin with North-Tracks Works Chair Patrick Higgins, Secretary/board member Kevin Bell and Mr Bell’s working dog Maezzie. - Youth Crime Prevention

Saffin Secures $30,000 Grant for Youth Crime Prevention

 

Lismore MP Janelle Saffin has successfully secured a $30,000 grant for North-Tracks Works, a Lismore-based organisation dedicated to empowering vulnerable young people. This funding will enable the expansion of their life-changing programs to engage more youth in Goonellabah, Coraki, and Casino.

Ms. Saffin expressed her gratitude to NSW Minister for Police and Counter-terrorism Yasmin Catley for approving the grant following her advocacy on behalf of North-Tracks Works. She praised the organisation, which operates out of a shed in South Lismore, for its impactful work with young people aged 11 to 18, offering one-on-one support, mentoring, and practical learning opportunities.

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“I previously secured a $44,000 Local Small Commitments Allocation grant to help North-Tracks purchase equipment and materials for skill-building,” Ms. Saffin said. “This additional grant will allow North-Tracks to employ youth workers and expand their proven youth program, which is supported by Richmond Police District Commander Superintendent Scott Tanner.”

Patrick Higgins, Chair of North-Tracks Works and a local real estate agent, thanked Ms. Saffin for her efforts in securing the additional funding from Minister Catley. “We don’t fit in the box for normal funding. Our approach is about creating a sense of belonging and purpose through our skills program and training working dogs. It’s the work with the dogs that bridges the gap,” Mr. Higgins explained.

“At North-Tracks, we spend 10 percent looking back, 10 percent at where you are now, and 80 percent looking forward. We help them chase their dreams and goals,” he added. “Our team has three basic goals: keep them safe and alive, keep them out of jail, and help them move forward to live a full and productive life.”

This funding is set to sustain and expand North-Tracks Works’ impactful initiatives, providing more opportunities for at-risk youth to gain essential skills and find a sense of purpose and for Youth Crime Prevention.

 

For more local Lismore news, click here.

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