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25 year anniversary return to our honeymoon spot- Greece

25 year anniversary return to our honeymoon spot- Greece

Old Jul 31st, 2022, 09:39 PM
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25 year anniversary return to our honeymoon spot- Greece

Hello all,
We would like to return next July 2023 to Greece to celebrate our anniversary along with our 2 teens ages 16/19. We are experienced travelers and usually like to not do the typical tourist things and immerse ourselves into the culture. We are open to moving around yet wanted to basically do some sightseeing, eating, relaxing, boating etc. Looking to stay in towns which have a easier access to restaurants/ bars by foot and prefer villla// apartments to Hotels. This way we have space and if you have traveled with kids you know how valuable that is. I am very open to any changes or suggestions you have. other island/ longer stays etc. I've done some research and this is the first stab at my itinerary. We are ok with 3 weeks.

Athens 2/3 nights( we have a 16 hour flight coming in)- staying in the plaka area
Ferry to Milos
Milos 4/5/6 nights- Pollonia area? I also wanted to rent a boat for the day in Milos
Ferry to Paros
Paros 4/5/6 nights- Parikia or Naousa
Day trips to Mykonos, Naxos, Anti Paros look interesting
Ferry to Santorini
Santorini 3/4 nights- Oia
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Old Aug 1st, 2022, 03:24 AM
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That itinerary will work fine, but brace yourselves for the islands being much more crowded in July 2023 than they were 25 years ago. Don’t know why so many people spell Antiparos with two words, but it’s the easiest day trip you will get from Paros, with a ferry from Pounta (a small port south of Parikia) taking only 7 minutes across a narrow strait. Naxos also is an easy day trip, with Blue Star ferries twice a day and several other ferries taking under an hour. Mykonos/Delos day trips run from Naoussa with two different excursion boats, Alexander and Naxos Star.

Recommend you overnight upon arrival in Athens, or even go by connecting flight directly to the islands if possible. Save two nights at the end of the trip for Athens, as it’s best to be back on the mainland a day or two ahead of your flight home. Milos and Paros both have airports, so it’s possible to reach them with either AegeanAirlines/Olympic Air or Sky Express.

Parikia and Naoussa are the two largest settlements on Paros, but there are others worth considering, including Piso Livadi, Drios, and Aliki. Parikia and Naoussa will have the largest choice of apartments and restaurants. The best beaches from either require a taxi boat or bus to reach. I always stay on Antiparos and take day trips to Paros.
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Old Aug 1st, 2022, 11:35 AM
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Thank you Heimdall! funny, I actually had written antiparos in one word and my phone it seems separated it. Very helpful advice and I appreciate it. On a different note would I be pushing it if I added Corfu to this itinerary? perhaps on the front end of the trip? a transfer flight from Athens and then a flight from corfu to Milos?
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Old Aug 1st, 2022, 12:36 PM
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You were right and your phone was wrong, but that might explain why I am seeing the island’s name written that way so often. Anti is a prefix meaning “opposite”, so the island is opposite Paros, making it Antiparos. Facebook is even worse when Antiparos is written in Greek, as its translator thinks it means “opponents”.

Now, for your question about Corfu: it’s certainly possible to add that to your itinerary, but that would mean a lot of expensive flying and add a couple of layovers in Athens. There are no direct flights between Corfu and Milos, but you may find connecting flights that would work.

Personally I think it would be better to look for another island in the Cyclades if you have sufficient time, and if you are looking for something different, Folegandros is near Milos and would be a natural fit. The island has a beautiful chora (main town) high above the sea, and a church that rises even higher on a zigzag footpath from the village. Some of the hotels are near the cliff, offering beautiful views.
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Old Aug 1st, 2022, 01:52 PM
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Anti is a prefix that can mean several things. It can mean "opposite", but it can also mean "against", depending on context, therefore it's not surprising FB can translate it as "opponent." It can also mean "instead". Similar with chora, this can mean more than one thing, main town or country for example.

Check out Ryanair in a few months as they offer a seasonal direct service from Santorini to Corfu for 2022 in case they offer the same for 2023. Maybe you can rework the itinerary to include Corfu if they operate that route next year.
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Old Aug 1st, 2022, 09:32 PM
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Thank you....I hadn't thought of ryan air.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 01:18 AM
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Balthy, you are correct that anti could mean other things, but in this case it means opposite. Other small islands with anti in their names are Antikithira, next to Kythira, and Antipaxos, near Paxos in the Ionian.

Facebook has a terrible Greek to English translator. I am on a few Facebook groups where people write in several languages, and when I need help use Google Translate. It isn’t perfect either, but doesn’t make the same mistakes.

Monica, if you decide to use Ryanair read the terms & conditions very carefully.

Last edited by Heimdall; Aug 2nd, 2022 at 01:38 AM.
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Old Aug 2nd, 2022, 03:01 AM
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Logistics: Milos - Santorini - Paros would be much easier than Milos - Paros (many ferries pass through Santorini anyway) plus backtracking to Santorini.
Flights: in the case there are no direct flights from your home to Athens, it could make sense to check itineraries via airports like Zurich, Milan Malpensa, Venice, Barcelona which all have direct flights to Santorini, Mykonos AND Corfu.
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Old Aug 31st, 2022, 05:32 PM
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We are planning to visit Greece for our anniversary in July 2023 as well (20 years). We seem to have some common themes with our itineraries. I actually have a 10-year-old, who will be in sleepaway camp at the time. Although my heart wants her with us. It seems the consensus is to head straight to the islands upon arrival and do Athens last. So that is what we are planning. I posted a two-week itinerary the other day, but considering some changes. We are now thinking of 5 nights in Naxos. Although I am still debating if Paros would be a better option. Why Paros for you? We then plan to spend 3 nights in Milos. We decided to skip Santorini due to the expense and crowds, although I am sure it will be touristy everywhere. We will then fly from Milos to Athens and do 2 days of traveling to and from Delphi or 2 days in the Peloponnese. We originally thought we would do both, but I rather spend less time in the car. We will then end with 4 nights in Athens, but I am thinking of a day trip to Aegina on our last day as we both love pistachios, and the island is famous for them. Have you solidified your plans a bit more since your first posting? Corfu is lovely and so different than the Cyclades that I can see why you would want to add it, but if you decide to stay closer to where you are, have you considered Rhodes? I also read that Crete is great to do with kids as it is very family-friendly, but I think you would want at least a week there. If we come back to Greece with my daughter, I plan to do that.

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Old Sep 2nd, 2022, 11:01 AM
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We chose Paros because of some comparisons I had read and also since its smaller, I could change my mind if anyone highly suggests Naxos. Also, I think 4 days in Athens might be a bit too long. Unless of course you are doing day trips on the mainland. Rhodes you mentioned...hmm.... I will have to look at it. Crete just seems too big but it is an option. I have friends who go to Crete annually and absolutely love it.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2022, 11:04 AM
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The only issue is we want to end in Santorini and then fly back to Athens for a second flight to Armenia. So we will be seeing Athens on the front end of the trip. 2 nights....as we have already done Athens in the past.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2022, 11:43 AM
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Paros also has an airport with the same turboprops that fly to Athens out of Santorini, Q400 and ATR-72 aircraft. There wonít be people waiting for international charter flights at Paros, so the terminal wonít be as crowded as the one at Santorini. Neckervdís itinerary in #8 of Milos - Santorini - Paros would work well for you.

Last edited by Heimdall; Sep 2nd, 2022 at 11:49 AM.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2022, 01:50 PM
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So glad to hear back from you and have a nice discussion. I chose Naxos as I have not been there before; hoping it might be a bit less crowded than Paros and that there would be more to do over 4-5 days. But I don't think we can go wrong with either island and I'm still debating. My husband is a cyclist and there seem to be some very good shops on Paros, where he can rent a real bike (real for him) and communicate with some folks who are more than your average day cyclist. So that might have an influence on the final decision when he finally sits down to do his own research. BTW: Naxos, Paros, and Milos all have airports with flights to Athens. Another island to consider is Samos. I haven't been, but have friends who loved it, although that was many years ago. You can even take a day trip from there to Kusadasi/Ephesus in Turkey. I have traveled here and was truly amazed by Ephesus. We are spending a bit more time in Athens as my husband has never been, but I should clarify that it's really 1 night, 2 full days, and then a day trip to Aegina. Otherwise, I agree with you on it being too long.

Last edited by job816_2; Sep 2nd, 2022 at 01:53 PM.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 02:48 AM
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I donít agree that Naxos would be less crowded if you stay in the popular Naxos Town - Agios Prokopios- Agia Anna - Plaka area, which is only a small part of the larger island. Paros has many places from which to choose, from the busy Parikia and Naoussa to smaller settlements such as Piso Livadi, Drios, Aliki, and many more too numerous to mention. To get away from the crowds on Naxos you need to choose somewhere away from the bus routes, or simply visit outside the main tourist season. That applies to Paros as well, although it has a more comprehensive bus system.

Yes, Milos and Naxos have flights to Athens as well, but due to their shorter runways are served by smaller turboprops than those that Olympic Air and Sky Express fly to Santorini and Paros.
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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 11:29 AM
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I didn't notice your logistics, but wanted to recommend you look for lodging at Imerovigli, Santorini, rather than the more tourist attraction of Oia. I would definitely not stay in over-crowded Fira.

We liked Imerovigli, because we were situated directly on the caldera, with a paved walkway to Fira and Oia which had fabulous little restaurants with views (although a long walk to Oia, so we took a bus). There is a bus stop at Imerovigli and a small market. Cabs frequent there, as well.

We stayed at the Gold Suites there. It's a lovely little hotel, with suites large enough for families. Wonderful breakfast included, served on your private patio each morning. Great little poolside cafe and amazing views.
https://www.goldsuites-santorini.com

We got a good deal through Costco, which included transfers to/from the ferry/airport. Also we had a local Costco concierge, who luckily alerted us to an upcoming ferry strike, which would have caused us to miss our flight from Athens. We would not have known, had she not told us. With our approval, she booked us on flights to Athens rather than the ferry. Cost a bit more, but she saved us from getting stuck on Santorini and missing our flight from Athens.

Our morning view:


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Old Sep 3rd, 2022, 05:39 PM
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No matter how beautiful the photos of Oia are, do not stay there. Tourist crowds! We could not wait to leave!
We loved staying in Naoussa on Paros.
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