>How does one get around to all the islands if you are not on a cruise ship?
There are 6000 Greek islands, many of which are inhabited, and you are simply not going to see them all in 10 days, with or without a cruise.....nor are you going to see more than a fraction of the 'beautiful laces' you've seen mentioned. With such a short amount of time I suggest you concentrate on visiting just two or three islands.
The largest and most popular islands e.g. Santorini
have international airports
and others have airports with domestic flights
from e.g. Athens
. You can see from the map that Santorini
are a very long way from each other so flying between them, probably via Athens, is the best option: the alternative is a long road journey across the mainland. Flight frequency varies according to the time of year but you can get a rough idea of routes, flight times and costs if you look at www.skyscanner.net
Make sure you book directly on the airline's own website.
The vast majority of the inhabited islands also have a ferry service
to other islands and almost all have a daily service to mainland ports such as Piraeus
. Services vary according to time of year and, depending on route, you may need an overnight stay on an intervening island. NB There are no ferries from the west coast islands (Kefalonia, Zakynthos, Corfu) to the Aegean islands (e.g. Santorini, Mykonos, Crete).
This page has lots of useful information about the island ferries:https://santorinidave.com/greek-ferries
I suggest you decide exactly which 2 or 3 islands you want to visit on this trip and then work out the travel logistics. For such a short trip it makes sense to stick with one group of islands e.g. Corfu
plus Zakynthos and/or Kefalonia or Santorini
plus Paros and/or Naxos.