11 Days in Greece (Athens and Cyclades)

Jan 12th, 2013, 07:35 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I am also putting together a trip to Greece and after studying a lot of options and islands in depth there's one conclusion I came to and that is to keep the itinerary as simple as possible. This means that the best way to make the most of your time is to fly from Athens to your first island which you are doing and to choose one other island that you can also fly to or is within easy reach. I have been to Mykonos and love it and there are areas that are more quiet than where the so called party crowd congregate. Milos seems a bit out of the way and harder to get to, a lot of ferry routes take in two or three island stops along the way adding to the travel time. Have you thought about the islands closer to Athens, Hydra, Aegina or Poros? They are easy to get to and you could make an overnight stay at one of them. You have not said what your interests are, is it just scenery, history, beaches, museums etc as this will make a big difference? Mykonos is dry and barren for instance, for me the highlight there is the day trip to Little Delos. You are only in Greece for 11 days, I would not be spending my time relaxing too much during the day or lazing on a beach, there is so much to see and explore. Two full days on Santorini is enough to see the famous sites, as for the beaches there they are black sand so it is not a beach hangout. Most people have suggested only two islands and I would certainly agree given the time you have allowed. Enjoy!
golfernz1 is offline  
Jan 13th, 2013, 06:26 AM
  #22  
 
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Hi nspotz,

The easy option would be to choose Naxos or Paros as the second island. Both are on the main ferry route from Santorini back to Athens, two hours and three hours by Blue Star ferry respectively.

When I'm not on my favourite island, Antiparos, I enjoy visiting Naxos. It is quieter (and cheaper) than either Santorini or Mykonos, has some great beaches, and a main town with a castle above winding passageways lined with little shops. There are some interesting inland villages to give you a taste of the real Greece. If you had time you could even take a day trip to Delos/Mykonos from there.
Heimdall is online now  
Jan 13th, 2013, 02:55 PM
  #23  
 
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I would recommend Paros. It has lots to see, interesting small and scenic villages and a fun and varied main port town with an old town plus shop and tavernas and bars. Lots of art and artists. I found Naxos equally beautiful, more rural and quieter. Either one would be a great choice. I admit my first love is Paros and we can also get to Naxos and Antiparos from there easily. It is an easy ferry route to be on when coming from Santorini.
parosblue is offline  
Jan 13th, 2013, 06:39 PM
  #24  
 
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nspotz, you ask why I didn't like Milos, I would say I had frustration over being unable to get around without a car and even with a car, I ended up in a huge mining area of bad roads and awful scenery. The rock formations that drew me to the island, I never saw. The boats did not go to them due to the direction of the winds. I can't recall anything positive about the island. I did travel to 2 beaches. One by bus which involved a long walk up and back to the beach and the other was beautiful but again, required a car rental to get there and it was a long way from town. I decided I wanted to leave and then all flights were cancelled due to a strike. Maybe a different time would change my mind but I can honestly say I won't go back.
Chania is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 06:36 AM
  #25  
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Thank you everyone! Naxos and Paros seem to be everyone's island of choice on this board. I will start doing research on those. My main interest is scenery and the rock formation on Milos plus the fact that it is not super touristy are what drew my attention. But, it seems Milos is a little harder to get to. Does anyone have any hotel/B&B recommendations for either Paros or Naxos? Thanks again for all of the help!
nspotz is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 08:30 AM
  #26  
 
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I am a eight time visitor and my idea of hell would be Mykonos & Santorini in July. I like Corfu, Rhodes and Crete because while also having a large tourist population, these islands have enough space one to find some peace. Americans seem to be fixated on Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Mykonos but I can assure you that the Northern Aegean, Dodencanese, Crete and Ionian islands have beautiful beaches, ancient ruins, good food, clubs, casinos, etc. and you won't feel like you are in a maze of mass tourism. Good luck with your trip and hope you can visit some of the other island chains in Greece.
mes2525 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 09:42 AM
  #27  
 
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No mystery there: Americans are "fixated on Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Mykonos" because most arrive in Greece at Athens, and the Cyclades are easier to reach from there than other island groups. They are also the most practical for island hopping, with so many ferry routes between islands grouped close together.

Europeans can get direct flights to Crete, Dodecanese, and Northern Aegean, making them attractive for people who don't wish to go through Athens. Many British and European holidaymakers choose package deals, and stay at one resort throughout the holiday. ;-)
Heimdall is online now  
Jan 14th, 2013, 12:44 PM
  #28  
 
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We stayed here on Naxos and loved it http://www.hotelspiros.com/
jamikins is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 01:14 PM
  #29  
 
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Hello!
Have you decide on locations on each island?
End June/start of July nowhere will be extremely crowded, so on Naxos I vote for St George beach and on Paros on Parikia or maybe Naoussa.
If you want a more quiet beach location, everything from Plaka and southern would do on Naxos while Piso Livadi or *maybe*even Chrissi Akti or even Drios,Aliki etc would do.

On St George area, Naxos : Hotel Spiros as mentioned gets good feedback. Then you have Hotel Glaros, Galini/Sofia Latina, Argo among other places.
On Naoussa, Paros : Mannis Inn, Paliomylos, Alexandros and even Kanales might do near Piperi beach while Kalypso,Lily's Residence, Kosmitis, Stelia Marre may do closer to Agioi Anargyroi beach.
I am not that much familiar with Parikia accommodation but I stayed in Argonauta once behind the harbor and it was very decent.

If you manage to overnight in Delphi, sometimes Hotel Amalia has nice bargains otherwise Hotels Pan, Sybilla, Pitho, Artemis, Varonos, Leto, Phaedriades among others would do the trick.
mariha2912 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 01:15 PM
  #30  
 
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while Piso Livadi or *maybe*even Chrissi Akti or even Drios,Aliki etc would do on PAROS.
mariha2912 is offline  
Jan 14th, 2013, 01:47 PM
  #31  
 
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I stay at http://www.argo-hotel.gr/index.php?lang=en on Naxos. It's not on St George Beach, but only a short walk away. What appeals to me about Argo is that the rooms are inexpensive but well appointed, and kept spotlessly clean. The hotel is run by a very nice Greek-Swedish family.

For Paros, I think Naoussa is the best alternative, a picturesque village in proximity to some beautiful beaches, including those mentioned by mariha. Drios is at the end of the bus route, a long way from anywhere except Chrissi Akti beach.

If you want somewhere fairly quiet, consider Antiparos, which is a separate island but only 30 minutes by boat/bus from Parikia. Here is one hotel I would recommend there: http://www.antiparosgreece.com. Even better would be http://www.dolphinantiparos.gr, but it's at the southern end of the island where a rental car would be an advantage.
Heimdall is online now  
Jan 14th, 2013, 06:38 PM
  #32  
 
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If you go to Paros, take heed that most folks will recommend staying in Naoussa but I prefer Parakia. Naoussa is a pretty town and fine to visit, with nice beaches nearby, but it can get congested, plus limited activities at night compared to Parakia. The latter is the main port town which can get busy but has also has some nice quiet spots and plenty of choices for dining and activities. I like the variety there. The beach in town is nothing special, but there is a nice beach a short boat ride across the bay or hop a bus to several others. There is good bus service on Paros, but we rent a car for at least part of the time. There are lovely drives around the island and lots of great beaches, some down dirt tracks.
And lastly, Antiparos is wonderful - we have stayed at Mike's, a small place walking distance from the ferry. It is small and quiet with a few really good tavernas and great beaches. There you don't really need a car, you can walk or take the bus.
parosblue is offline  
Jan 16th, 2013, 05:56 PM
  #33  
 
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In order to recommend accomodations, a price range would be helpful.
Chania is offline  
Jan 17th, 2013, 08:45 AM
  #34  
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Because we want to see Delphi, and many have suggested renting a car and staying over night, what if after santorini we headed back to the mainland? Does anyone have any suggestions for other places near Delphi we could drive to? I've noticed most poeple seem to do just the mainland or just Athens and the Islands.

@Chania. We splurged on a little house in Oia with a private balcony and great view for 275 euros per night. So, we would like to keep our other hotels around 100 euros or less if possible.
nspotz is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 12:29 AM
  #36  
 
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Somehow my last post is shown uncomplete...
With a rental car there is plenty to see and do in wider Delphi area. Please not that Greece is not only ancient sites+beaches, you may want to drive around PArnassos mountain villages, starting from Arahova, by passing Parnassos ski center and drive towards Agoriani and the like. On the other hand, you may want to visit Hosios Loukas monastery (an other UNESCO heritage site) and head to Antikurra area. I am not that much familiar with this part of the coast line, but many locals vote for beaches there, Agios Isidoros a name coming up very often. Nearer Delphi I suggest to investigate on Galaxidi. Itea is the closest sea side town to Delphi, only 20 minutes (18 kms drive or so) anmd it is ideal just for beach and been near a real town for grosseries, food etc. It is a rather dull town though. Passing Itea, a further 20 kms or so (40 minutes from Delphi) you will meet Galaxidi. Galaxidi is a very very scenic rural sea side town, it has a great naval history (nautical museum there) so there are many mansions originally owned by captains and everyone that had to do whith sea trade... There is a very pleasant fishing harbour and many eating and drinking options. The only disadvantage is that staying in town, there are really only a couple of swimming spots than a real beach in easy walking distance. 2 kms outside town though you have some very decent pebbly beaches. On one of them you have a selection of small hotels and rooms to let too. The draw back is there are only one or two taverns near by, actually by the busy national road and nothing else in terms of shops etc. You have to make a decision, staying inside town to soak in the ambiance or stay in a beach and commute to Galaxidi for grosseries, dinner etc. Having a car I vote for Galaxidi base and near by explorations. Driving towards Nafpaktos you will find many deserted coves, small sea side towns and a very authentic feeling, as not many intrnational visitors make it there.
mariha2912 is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 02:43 AM
  #37  
 
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Am I correct that you are thinking of skipping the second island and touring the mainland? We drove to Delphi in the afternoon, visited the museum, stayed overnight, toured in the morning, drove to Nafplion via the Rio-Antirio bridge. We loved Nafplion - lots to see and do, including Epidaurus.
txtree is offline  
Jan 18th, 2013, 03:04 AM
  #38  
 
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I was thinking that, too. Delphi isn't all that far from the bridge leading to the Peloponnese, but not sure you have the time in your 11 day trip. If you do, it would be an easy drive from Nafplio back to Athens.
Heimdall is online now  
Jan 18th, 2013, 05:10 AM
  #39  
 
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As Mariha said, Galaxidi is an excellent option for an overnight after Delphi,
It has many nice boutique hotels and excellent restaurants and tavernas.
An authentic not touristy town next to Delphi and on the way to Galaxidi is Amfissa, the capital of the Fokis prefecture.

The drive from Delphi to the Rio - Antirrio bridge is scenic as you drive along the seaside, passing by some authentic villages.

Nafpaktos is another nice town with a small medieval harbour and a castle with amazing view over the whole area.
clausar is online now  
Jan 18th, 2013, 06:00 AM
  #40  
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Thanks for the tips everyone! Very helpful. i think after spending a few lazy days in santorini we might feel like visiting the sights on the mainland!
nspotz is offline  

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