The GREEK ISLAND HOPPING Project
 

 

 

 

Between 1990 and 2013 the material that forms the nucleus of the forthcoming Greek Island Hopping eGuide was published in print form as the popular Greek Island Hopping guidebook. It ceased print publication due to the closure of Thomas Cook Publishing.

Over 770 pages Greek Island Hopping set the standard for guidebooks to the Greek islands thanks to its unique mix of island and ferry information, coupled with the most comprehensive collection of port town and sightseeing maps yet published. Much of the content of both book and eguide just simply isn't available anywhere else.

Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guidebook that is designed from the cover in by an island hopper for island hoppers. Its layout scheme and content is geared to the subject - not to the sometimes inappropriate dictates of a guidebook series formula.
Greek Island Hopping is the one guide with town maps for all 60 major islands, and the ONLY chance to obtain street maps for most of the smaller destinations.
Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guide that shows you the location of over 1800 places to stay (and 190 windmills).
Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guide with unique colour 3D-view sightseeing maps covering Athens and the top island destinations.
Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guide that describes all known ferries, hydrofoils and tour boats, with over 230 route maps.
Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guide with summer ferry timetables for all ports.
Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guide with bus route maps for all the islands.
Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guide with full Island Ratings and Example Itineraries for all island chains.
Greek Island Hopping is the ONLY guide updated on an annual basis.

  Island and Mainland Port Coverage

 

The authoritative text in Greek Island Hopping covers all the Greek islands as well as Athens and all mainland ports (as most island hoppers start out of Athens the book has a whole chapter devoted to the capital). It is supported with over 100 photos, colour sightseeing maps and a positively indecent number of town plans and island bus maps. Major sightseeing destinations are described in detail, and a fair amount of space is also given over to accommodation (as most island hoppers don't travel with pre-booked bed space).

 

The text supplies all the necessary information that you are likely to need on any island for a three to five day visit.

However, there is no such thing as a perfect book - at least until the 3,000-page eGuide successor (with all maps converted to interactive full colour graphics) to this guide appears!. Even so, Greek Island Hopping does offer better coverage than any comparable guidebooks.

Greek Island Hopping offering a massive total of 480 maps and route diagrams on its 776 pages.

Most guidebooks have as few maps as they can get away with (it is far cheaper getting an author to knock off a page of text than it is to commission a detailed map).

Greek Island Hopping's port and town street maps in particular are of great value on the ground. When you arrive on an island ferry quay in the small hours and start negotiating with a room owner or looking for a hotel, it helps to establish exactly were the property is. The value of a street map is not to be underestimated!

It can't be emphasised enough: this book really does offer you your ONLY chance to obtain street maps for the most of the smaller islands and secondary towns on many of the larger ones.

 

 

The high ratio of maps to text reflects the author's belief that it is better to show the reader how to get around, rather than leave them to wade through paragraphs of text full of names of places that most won't have heard of. Greek Island Hopping is intended to be a guidebook rather than a technical manual. Indeed, the tone of the book is - both via the text and graphics - fairly lighthearted throughout: we try to remember that the reader is on holiday and therefore unlikely to want to be saddled with a boring, heavy-going companion.

 

 

  Ferry Coverage

 

Greece is a country where ferry timetables and route information is very hard to find on the ground. This fact is built into the design of Greek Island Hopping.

The ferry, catamaran, hydrofoil and beach boat coverage in Greek Island Hopping easily surpasses that of any other guidebook. Much of the appeal of our guidebook is to be found in its ability to help you understand what is going on (for there is a strong underlying pattern), thus enabling you to plan your island hopping successfully.

Typical timetables are backed up with itinerary maps for each ferry, ferry frequency route maps for the major islands and ports, ticket price tables and plenty of background information.

 

 

Candid write-ups of all the ferries (a subject almost entirely ignored by other guidebooks) is further unique feature of Greek Island Hopping. Sadly these are important as Greece has traditionally played host to elderly ferries retired from other European and also Japanese routes - giving rise to safety concerns. As the primary function of any guidebook is to keep it's readers out of harm's way, Greek Island Hopping is never shy when it comes to reporting problems.

Unfortunately this isn't always successful. In 2000 Greek Island Hopping achieved the unwelcome distinction of becoming one of the very few guidebooks to ever make the front and main news pages of the UK press following the sinking of a ferry condemned within its pages.

  Online Coverage

 

An important part of the Greek Island Hopping project has been the support that this dedicated web site has provided to the printed book. With updates to timetables, ferry routes and street maps it has been lauded byThe Independent as 'the best source of information' and 'a comprehensive site'.

In the absence of the printed book. the bulk of the online Greek island coverage is currently off-line as it is being absorbed with the printed guidebook material into the forthcoming Greek Island Hopping eGuide version. This takes time, but it is worth it. For example. planned online video tours built around key points on the sightseeing maps in the printed book are being reconfigured so that you simply have to click on the symbol on the online map to bring up the appropriate video.

 

 

The example above gives some idea how this will move the guidebook concept into a much more interactive experience.Greek Island Hopping has always sought to innovate and inform and this is never so important than when dealing with destinations such as the marble mines on Paros. Other guidebooks mention their existence and couple of German guides even suggest you go right down into them, but only Greek Island Hopping has ever printed a comprehensive map in order to keep readers safe (never has a greek island guidebook provided coverage that has gone quite so deep!). The addition of the video tour will ensure that readers looking to find their own flake of the famed translucent Parian marble are kept safer still.

 

  Comment
 

 

Over the years Greek Island Hopping has received a regular stream of reader's emails and letters. The homely laid-back style of the guide tends to generate a very positive response. There are quotable comments too numerous to mention. The one above really stands out though as the reader has really entered into the spirit of Greek Island Hopping 's irreverent take on the world.

Press coverage is equally positive. The examples below are representative of what has been regularly said of the book.

© 2016 Frewin Poffley