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1st trip to Greece - easily accessible islands with beautiful beaches?

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My boyfriend and I are planning a whirlwind trip to Greece this October 7 – 15. We would have liked to go for more than 8 days since we’re coming all the way from Vancouver, Canada, but unfortunately that’s all the time I could get off from work. We’ve already booked our round trip flight to/from Athens, as well as a 2-night stay in Athens and a 2-day tour of Meteora & Delphi. My boyfriend is really interested in exploring ancient ruins. I went to Rome recently, so I’ve had my fair share of archaeological tours and am only doing this tour for him. So for the remainder of our time, we’d like to spend time on the islands and lounge/explore the beautiful beaches.

So my questions for the trip advisor community are – what islands should we stay on for the last half of our trip? We’d like to see at least 2. Is there an island that’s kind of central to other ones that we can take ferries to visit the other ones for the day, and then come back at night to our hotel? I was thinking Mykonos and Santorini. The beautiful white sand beaches of Mykonos are very appealing to me, with a backdrop of picturesque white washed villages. Although we’re both 25, we’re not overly interested in the party vibe on the beach, though. It’s not necessarily a negative, but it’s not what we’re looking for, or high on the priority list. So if there’s an island that has more beautiful beaches, we’d consider that instead. My boyfriend really loves the idea of those beaches where you can swim in caves that line the shore (think the Benagil Sea Cave on the Algarve Coast, Portugal). And Santorini is apparently just somewhere you absolutely must visit while you're in Greece.

Since we’re limited for time, we need to consider travel time between islands, and the ability to get back to Athens relatively quickly on a morning flight/ferry on our last day for our flight home at 1:05pm.

Thank you very much in advance!

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