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Advice from fellow Greece travelers: off the beaten path islands?

Advice from fellow Greece travelers: off the beaten path islands?

Old Jun 13th, 2018, 02:32 PM
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Advice from fellow Greece travelers: off the beaten path islands?

Hi there, been to Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Paros and Samos.

Where else have you been in Greece that you really loved?
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 04:59 PM
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Sikinos, Skiathos, Naxos and Antiparos.
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 05:30 PM
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Syros, Paros, Kos, Spetses.
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 05:36 PM
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Hydra (no cars, trucks, vespas, just donkeys. And windmills.)

Don't like Spetses, where there was an infestation of vespas.
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 06:15 PM
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I adored Naxos, but would hardly call it off-the-beaten-path. You know how to find my trip report....
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Old Jun 13th, 2018, 08:04 PM
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I hate that phrase, it's a Rick Steves "sell phrase" which in his case means that whatever he recommends becomes a heavily-beaten Main Road for thousands of loyal Rick-heads. Since he started talking about those Italian shore towns connected by rail (Cinque Terre), the path has become a single-file miles-long line of tourists who then complain its not like rick's TV show, it's too crowded. So I dislike that phrase almost as much as the one about that favorite pastime listed by tourists, "people-watching" -- which sounds like peering at an ant farm.

Thus -- I'd prefer, instead of "off the beaten path," if travelers would look for "less easily accessible" Greek destinations.... Islands that have no airports, or at least runways too small to accommodate jumbo jets flying direct from Major European cities ... and where the ferry service is not as frequent.

Some Island examples: in the Cyclades Western Lne... SERIFOS and KYTHNOS particularly, and SIFNOS or MILOS before June and after mid-september. KEA (Tsia) is very close to the mainland but ferries go only from Lavro port, so it's mainly known to Greeks and yachtsmen. Great hiking ... I was there about 6-7 years ago, and there was only ONE public internet-access in the port town! (in back room of a pool hall). That of course has changed... while I was there, they were building 2 big hotels... but if you bus or climb to the high town, no tourists at all. Most americans Never go to Isles on the East Aegean except Rhodes or Patmos for brief Cruise stops.... and they miss the amazing scenery of SAMOS -- which is really only touristy in about 3-4 UK Package-tour "Hives," otherwise less-frequented (It did have a round-the-island public bus route once, but couldn't vouch for it now; Samos tourism is not well organized. And CHIOS is about the same ... do your own research, be prepared to rent a car, and the path will be unbeaten, for sure. Another one is IKARIA, which I've always been fascinated by, but will not be able to visit, because public transport is almost non-existent & I don't drive.

In the Peloponnese, the Argolid is Such a lovely valley, one couldn't go wrong driving down any side road, or trying any walking paths... this wonderful & totally NON commercial website, created by an expat Scandinavian - http://www.visitnafplio.com/walks.html - shows an array of walks and strolls that take you through charming vistas, into villages that never see a tour bus. You could spend a month walking or driving every day, and never encounter a tour group.

All of these things I've discovered by reading ... books, guides, in-depth websites ... avoiding the "eye candy" of smart-phone photos -- which are usually promotional rather than informational.
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Old Jun 14th, 2018, 01:34 AM
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"Off the beaten path" is a time, not just a place, and Greece is far more than just islands. Some of those little islands mentioned by travelerjan are packed in high season, but you wouldn't know unless you had been there at that time of year. Travelerjan wisely stipulates "before June and after mid-September."

The true "off the beaten path" islands are the ones hardest to reach, and furthest from Athens. Anywhere off a main road on the mainland could be described as off the beaten path.

Okay, I'll take a stab: Kastellorizo. No, I've never been there.
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Old Jun 14th, 2018, 11:49 AM
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When you go can make a big difference between being over-run by tourists or a more local and "Greek" experience. Since I travel to Greece in October most anywhere becomes more traditional and local-flavored. However, Big Name Islands like Santorini and Mykonos still get the hordes of tourists via cruise ships which can make you time there either lovely or a elbow-to-elbow with tourists who push and shove you out of the way to get where they are going.

Some of my favorite islands are:

Amorgos (lovely)
Astypalea (the best Chora I've been to in Greece)
Tinos (one of my favorites)
Chios (Spectacular scenery, vistas and the Mastic Villages are a Must)
Sifnos (truly a nice island)
Milos

All the above have been visited off-season so it was lovely, Greek and very quiet. Remember, there will always be shops, markets and tavernas open year round for locals which may give you a more Greek Experience rather than a Tourist Experience.

Some other islands to consider, which I have not been to as of yet are but would feel they would be much more local-flavored during off-season:

Ikaria (I'll be there this October)
Fourni (which you can combine with Ikaria
Kythira
Lemnos
Thassos
Aegina/Angistri (to combine if you want nearby islands to Athens) and still be Greek (most Greeks visit these islands for holiday rather than tourist, but you'll still get "in-the-know" tourists visiting.
Chios (a gem of an island)

Check out this website for everything you need to know about Greek Islands:
https://www.greektravel.com/greekislands/

If you can go to Greece during low or off-season then you may find Greece to be a wonderful country to visit. If you go during High Season (July-August) to Big Name Islands you may find it more of a Disneyland Experience. Just depends on what you are looking for and want.
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Old Jun 14th, 2018, 04:03 PM
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You guys have amazing travel experience. I'm going to keep a running total (removed places on mainland and places I've been):

Aegina/Angistri1 Amorgos1 Antiparos1 Astypalea1 CHIOS2 Fourni1 Hydra1 Ikaria2 Kastellorizo1 KEA (Tsia)1 Kos1 Kythira1 KYTHNOS1 Lemnos1 MILOS2 Naxos1 SERIFOS1 SIFNOS2 Sikinos1 Skiathos1 Spetses 1 Syros1 Thassos1 Tinos1
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Old Jun 15th, 2018, 09:34 AM
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I have not been to any off the beaten path islands as that is the very reason I've not been...

Amongst those of any size it would probably be Samothraki, followed by smaller ones such as Ag. Efstratios, AntiKythira, Thimena.

Second rank would be Skyros, Pserimos, Kasos, Gavdos, Inousses, Psara. Only stayed on 2 of those.

I would never used a word like love in conjunction with any Greek Island on a rather short tourist visit.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2018, 12:42 PM
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https://www.fodors.com/world/europe/...ourists-arrive
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Old Jul 23rd, 2018, 12:59 PM
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So this question was used as research for a Fodor's publication?
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Old Jul 23rd, 2018, 04:13 PM
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Lesbos !
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Old Jul 23rd, 2018, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
So this question was used as research for a Fodor's publication?

That didn't sit well with me, either.
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Old Jul 24th, 2018, 03:36 AM
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<<or at least runways too small to accommodate jumbo jets flying direct from Major European cities>> Jumbo jets? Is this the perception, that 747s fly bucket loads of tourists around Europe on package holidays?
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Old Jul 24th, 2018, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by suze View Post
So this question was used as research for a Fodor's publication?
Originally Posted by kja View Post
That didn't sit well with me, either.
Haha. Um, no. The question was for me. I just happened to find the article yesterday and posted it here for you.
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