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A plethora of islands

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My fantasy Greek vacation (Grexit not withstanding) was always a week exploring Athens and other historical sites, and then a week on a Greek island. It wasn't until I started actually planning that I realized just how many islands there are - yikes.

The fantasy would be somewhere relatively quiet, (not Mykonos I've learned), at a hotel or resort as close to the beach as possible, that would still allow for exploring other spots as well.

I've learned that we do better when we spend at least 3 nights, better 4 or more, in one spot, and explore out from there. Is it realistic to stay on one island and explore others? Are we missing something if we don't stay at more than one?

How does one decide? I'm pulled by Crete and Rhodes because of their historical aspects...but I can see that there are so many options.

So, if we are not really night life people, but love history, beauty, quiet, and small villages (plus of course beaches) - what would you recommend?

any particular hotels or resorts that you love?

thanks, bewildered Greek-traveller-wannabe

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