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Anyone been to the Dodecanese or Corfu and could give some advice?

Anyone been to the Dodecanese or Corfu and could give some advice?

Old Feb 9th, 2020, 04:44 PM
  #1  
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Anyone been to the Dodecanese or Corfu and could give some advice?

I'm planning on three weeks in the early fall. I originally planned the trip so I could go in September cause I kept reading how crowded both Rhodes and Corfu are in July/August. But now that I'm planning it's looking like going late August, early September is better. The last two flights of the year on Easy jet from Paris to Rhodes are Aug 25 or 29.

Here's my tentative plan:
Paris Aug 21-25 (been many times, mostly just for logistical purposes this trip)
Rhodes Aug 25 - 31 (6 nights, 1 or 2 day trips)
Kos Sept 1-3
Patmos Sept 3-6
Leros Sept 6-8
Corfu Sept 8-14
Italian Lakes and Switzerland Sept 14-27

Corfu and the remaining part of the trip look best if I do earlier, but how is Rhodes the last week in August?

Has anyone been to Kos, Patmos or Leros and can speak to how long you "need" there. Sightseeing and photography are main goals, beach time will just fit itself in and if it doesn't that's OK.

How about the amount of time in Rhodes and Corfu?

Thanks

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Old Feb 9th, 2020, 06:57 PM
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I think that's a bit long for Rhodes. A couple of days (three nights) is plenty for Kos.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 09:04 AM
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It looks like you wouldn't have read my answer to your previous post:.

"1 week is by far not too much for Rhodos. Everything will remain open until end September.
Catamarans to Kos - Patmos run usually daily until mid October, later only a few days per week, in November and December only once weekly.

There ARE package tourists at Rhodos and Kos.
In Rhodos they usually stay in the unpersonnal concrete hotel buildings along the so called beach between Kallithea and Kolimbia and on both sides of Lindos (Vlycha, Lardos-Kiotari).If I stay at Rhodos in late August/early September, I never go to these places and am fine.
In Kos, the tourist ghettos are south of the airport, along the coast from Kardamena up to Kefalos.
Patmos is fine, not a package tourist Mekka and never really crowded.

In Corfu, summer often ends in the first half of September, in Rhodos around the 20th. After these dates, it may get cloudier and even rainy from time to time. Corfu and Patmos are a bit cooler (air and seawater) than Rhodos anyway.

As to Paris - Rhodos connections, Transavia and Aegean offer direct flights (at least every 2nd day) until late October.

Symi:as Symi lies along the catamaran itinerary Rhodos - Patmos anyway, you may also stay 1 night or 2 at Symi and then go on by direct catamaran to Patmos.

Leros is a beach and hiking destination. It's up to you to define how long you want to stay there.
There is more to see at Corfu and you may do day trips to Saranda - Butrint or to Paxi - Antipaxi.

The plane is by far the cheapest and fastest way to move from Corfu to Northern Italy, But there are ferries to Venice and Ancona too.
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Old Feb 10th, 2020, 01:21 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the replies.

Neckervd - yes I did read your reply to the other thread, and modified my itinerary because of it. You mostly spoke to Corfu being better before the middle of September (and Rhodes also) but now that I tweak my itinerary I realize I am in Rhode totally in August. I still think that will be best overall as I do have to consider the entire itinerary, not just the Rhodes part, but it makes me a bit nervous that Rhodes may be too crowded. I have for the past 20 years traveled in July and planned this trip specifically for mostly September because I'd read so much about how horribly crowded Rhodes is in July and August so don't go then. But now it ends up I'm still going in August. But I also realize that the last week in August can be quite different from earlier in the month - or so I hope at least. So just hoping that someone who has been in Rhodes in late August could speak to how it is then.

Also the reason I posted a new question is I am also wondering about Kos, Patmos, and especially Leros as there is very little about those islands on this or other similar forums. I know a few years ago those islands were in the news about the migrant problem and I just want to be sure I'm not missing something I should know about. From the little I have read Leros looks interesting enough for a couple nights and it does have flights to Corfu (via Athens) that will work for me.

I find it interesting that when someone posts a question about Naxos, Paros, Mykonos, etc. there are tons of replies but to questions on these islands only one or two people respond. But thanks to both of you for doing so.
isabel is online now  
Old Feb 10th, 2020, 01:22 PM
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If going to Paris just for logistics, it seems more sensible to fly into Milan and visit the Italian lakes first. Your plan seems to have you dodging around a lot and too many flights for my taste. Corfu is an outlier so I'd consider dropping it in favour of somewhere else more enroute.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 09:37 AM
  #6  
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I was trying to 'simplify' things by only asking about the 3 week Greek island portion of the trip, as that the part I have questions about, but I realize it is easier to give good advise if you have the 'whole' picture. So here goes:

1) For years I've done 5 week trips to Europe but only in July/August as that when I had off work. I usually visit at least a couple different countries and fly between them. I've been to most European countries multiple times visiting different regions on different trips. I know some people like to extensively visit one rather small area but I like variety within a trip.
2) I've long wanted to visit Rhodes and Corfu but waited till now, when I can do it in September which I have heard is the best time to see those places. So they are the focus of this trip.
3) In addition to about 3 weeks in Greece I plan to visit at least one of the Italian lakes and Switzerland (both of which I have been to before, but will visit specific towns/areas that I have not been to).
4) Because I want to be in Greece in September, but not too late in the month, it makes more sense to put the approximately two weeks in Italy/Switzerland after Greece.
5) I can fly easily and inexpensively to Paris, and then also easy and cheap from there to Rhodes so that's why I'm starting there. Been to Paris lots of time but am happy to have 3 or 4 days there this trip.

So my dilemma is if I don't get to Rhodes till the beginning of Sept, then I'm still in Corfu later in the month. If I want to be in Corfu by mid September that means the Rhodes portion will actually be the last full week of August. (Because while I'm in the Dodecanese I do want to visit some other islands). So there's the question - is Rhodes too crowded the last week in August or Corfu too dead the third week in September.

The secondary question was just about Kos, Patmos and Leros - was hoping someone who had visited one or more of those island in recent years could give opinions.

In terms of the "too much flying/hoping around" - I only have three flights within the body of the trip and it's spread out over almost 6 weeks so that doesn't feel excessive to me. There's a recent thread where someone wanted to do five flights within a two week trip - that I would consider excessive.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 09:11 PM
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Thanks for the context, it does help.

It's a while since I've visited Greece but I personally wouldn't visit in July or August, partly because it's peak season but more importantly because it's too hot for me. I wouldn't have thought that a week either way would make much difference in terms of weather (except that weather can obviously never be entirely predictable). More important would be school holidays. Both Rhodes and Corfu have significant local populations and September/October is when people go who don't want to visit during the peak summer season so I can't imagine that either would be dead mid-September. One way of assessing busyness is to see when the budget airlines stop flying there.

My preferred time to visit Greece is the spring because everything is greener and the wildflowers can be beautiful.

Not sure how useful any of that is but it sounds like you're just looking for a sounding board. Greece and Italy are my favourite countries to visit - I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 09:23 PM
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I happen to be planning a trip to Greece for next year (early Spring) and have the Rough Guide sitting on my desk, just to tantalise me. Here is what it says in the 'when to go' section.

"Most places are far more agreeable outside the mid-July to end of August peak season, when soaring temperatures, plus crowds of foreigners and locals alike, can be overpowering. You won't miss out on warm weather if you come in June or September, excellent times almost everywhere but particularly on the islands."
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 11:44 PM
  #9  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by isabel View Post
I know some people like to extensively visit one rather small area but I like variety within a trip.
And I like realizing that places only kilometers from each other are extraordinarily different -- a mountain ridge or river might have meant incredibly different historic and cultural influences. The variety is sometimes much greater than traversing great distances. For example, I found much greater commonality among the diverse cities of the AustroHungarian realm spanning HUGE portions of central Europe) than among cities within any one country that differed in the extent to which they were (or were not) subject to that empire

To each his/her own!

Last edited by kja; Feb 11th, 2020 at 11:48 PM.
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 01:57 AM
  #10  
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P.S. to use a comparison that might make sense to a photographer, like isabel: If you want to see the difference between shades of gray, you don't necessarily look for white and black -- you look for places that vary around a similar (if not identical) shade of gray.

From what I can tell, isabel has taken a lot of trips that essentially compare grays to whites and blacks, and very few (if any) that are designed to see the differences in shades that are similar. (And BTW, I could say the same about differences among shades of off-white or deep charcoal or whatever.) My point is that isabel has chosen to include places that are different in so very many ways that it would be hard to notice subtle differences. And that's fine! But it isn't the same as including "variety" within a trip. One can include variety without jumping from place to place, but instead, by finding what variety is to be had in a small area. Again, I'm not criticizing; just commenting.

So if isabel wants help planning a trip with "variety", I think she would do well to explain what, exactly, "variety" means to her.
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 07:35 AM
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kja - I agree with you if looking at each of my trips. But for years now I have know that (at least as far as anyone can know) that each trip is not my last and I will be back. So for example, I don't feel the need to fully explore the Greek Islands on any one trip - this will be my 4th trip, and if you include these 3 weeks I will have spent a total of 8 weeks. I just prefer that each specific 4-6 week trip have more variety. I know a lot of people would want to explore a country more at one time - I'm pretty sure you've said you prefer this. The one time recently I did a trip of five weeks to a fraction of one country (Northern Spain) I didn't enjoy it as much as other trips. And I don't think that had to do with where I went. So I guess it's a good thing that people have different travel styles. I would consider myself a 'slow' traveler these days, and really do think that slower (to a degree) is better than rushing, but I have to admit that a trip I did a few years ago with a friend who had never been to Italy and wanted to see the 'biggies' so we did one week of Venice, Florence and Rome - it was way more enjoyable than I though it would be and the friend loved it. So while I still advise people to consider travel time vs time at the destination, I realize that even rushed trips can be enjoyable for some people. When I travel alone or with my husband I would not travel that way but for some people it works.
isabel is online now  
Old Feb 12th, 2020, 08:00 AM
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RHODOS:
I told you in post 3 which places are infested with mass tourism.
Last year, I stayed a few days at Stegna Beach (July 21st - 23rd) as a "technical stop" before flying home. Both, Stegna beach and the much nicer Tsambika Beach were half empty. In the evening, some tavernas got full, others not at all.
In 2017 we arrived at Rhodos on August 2nd and stayed at Hotel Hermes (close to city wall, airport and Island bus Terminal) until the departure of our Amorgos bound ferry on August 5th. Publlic buses to Tsambika Beach and Agathi Beach (Faraki stop) got full but not crowded. Idem for the beaches. Among the better Greek restaurants within the walled city, Niireas got crowded for dinner, Nimmos and Laganis got half full.
In 2016 we landed at Rhodos on July 4th and left by boat for Anafi a few days later. There were definitively less people than in August 2017.
In 2014 we landed at Rhodos on August 23rd and left by boat for Kos - Bodrum - Datca a few days later. Our favourite places were not crowded.
In 2013 we arrived ed at Rhodos by boat from Kas - Kasellorrizo on Spt 11th andlstayed in Hotel Tsambika Sun at Archangelos. The hotel was pmore or less empty.
etc. etc.....

KORFU
Corfu is never dead.It's not just a beach Island, like Koufonisi or Formentera. A lot of people (about 100 thousand, 33 thousand of them in the capital Kerkyra) live there since centuries.
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 06:54 PM
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Interesting. I just booked Hotel Hermes for August 25-31. I don't really plan to visit any of the other places on Rhodes that you mention. I want to go to Lindos (which I know is pretty popular) but mostly I am interested in the old town of Rhodes. Also plan a day trip to Symi. I checked to see if hotel prices differed much between various dates in July, Aug and Sept and there's actually not much difference. In general, beaches are of secondary interest to me (after towns and villages and general scenery) and I figured the other islands I'm going to are probably better for beaches anyway.
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 10:55 PM
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Just briefly - we visited Rhodes in July and it was hot. Stayed in the old town, it was pretty busy everywhere. Also another trip we stayed on three different Greek islands in August and it was stinking hot - and we are used to the heat. A week in Rhodes was not too much for us, we're not beach people but enjoyed the history and loved a day trip by ferry to Symi.

Kay
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 02:55 AM
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"I figured the other islands I'm going to are probably better for beaches anyway."
Tha'ts YOUR opinion.

"Also plan a day trip to Symi"
Despite the fact that you will most probably reach Kos by Dodecannese Seaways catamaran which stops at Symi on the way from Rhodos to Kos - Patmos?
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 11:00 AM
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Kay - so glad to hear you enjoyed Rhodes and day trip to Symi. Did you do a trip report? I'm more worried about crowds than heat, I've been traveling to Europe in the summer for years and the heat doesn't both me - I'd much rather have a (relative) guarantee of sun even if it means it will be hot. And I know everyone's definition of "crowded" is different, I'm not looking for solitude, just not shoulder to shoulder type crowds. I've been to 7 other Greek islands, always in the month of July and the only one I found at all crowded was Santorini, and even there it was totally possible to get away from the crowds.

neckervd - the reason I'd rather do Symi as a day trip is to have one less hotel change. I'm not one of those who dislikes one or two night stays but given the overall length of my trip there will be a lot of different hotels so since Symi looked to be an easy day trip figured I'd do it that way. I'm sure once I get there I'll wish I was spending the night.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 04:19 PM
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Isabel, I checked and didn't do a trip report, sorry. It was right after we'd moved to live in the UK (from Australia) and life was hectic. I had a week before starting a new job so booked flights the day before and went! I normally spend months planning so that stressed me a little but once we got there it was wonderful. I looked at old photos and it was never massively crowded, during the day there weren't that many people about. I think most were probably at the beach while we were exploring. We caught a bus to visit Lindos for the day and it was particularly hot there. We never had trouble getting in anywhere but restaurants were busy.

Hope that helps.
Kay
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 05:14 AM
  #18  
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Thanks Kay, that helps a lot. I've started booking hotels and flights and feel fairly confident I'll have a great trip. I spend most of my time 'exploring' rather than at the beach so don't mind if the beaches are crowded.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 09:26 AM
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On Kos, make sure you go up in the hills to Hippocrates’ Asklepeion, his health center. Amazing. Plus the views from there are beautiful.
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