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Crete/Santorini OR Positano/Capri - where to visit?

Crete/Santorini OR Positano/Capri - where to visit?

Jan 30th, 2014, 11:55 AM
  #1  
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Crete/Santorini OR Positano/Capri - where to visit?

I am planning a trip for myself and my 18 year old daughter as a graduation present in June. We would both like some R&R time on gorgeous beaches, but also would to have some fun activities and adventures to keep us a little busy as well. Would like it to be memorable and on the exotic side.

I was originally planning to go to Positano and Capri, but now I'm concerned that while the views are gorgeous, there really aren't beaches to hang at. Or nice beaches, I should say.

I know nothing about Crete so I have no idea what things we might do there outside of going to a beach every day. Neither of us are into ruins.

Any suggestions, advice would be greatly appreciated.
eilee is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 01:26 PM
  #2  
ekc
 
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It depends on your definition of a "nice" beach. True, Positano does not have expansive white sand beaches. The beaches on the AC are, for the most part, small round pebbles.

However, I find the beaches in and around Positano charming and relaxing, which is why I return each year for my week of R&R. I mean really, how can you beat a cute Italian boy delivering white wine and fresh-made pizza to your beach chair? Also, if you get an apartment or terrace, the views of Positano are spectactular and enjoying them on a terrace with a glass of wine and a bit of cheese is the perfect end to a day of sightseeing or on the beach IMO.

You can also take great day trips via ferry to other villages on the AC.
ekc is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 01:35 PM
  #3  
 
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I've been in all the places you say more than twice, and I choose Crete and Santorini, hands down. I just can't understand, why people like Capri? Its an average island, with so few to do and see, the Greek Islands are a thousand times better. Positano is a classic Italian town, nothing special, something you find everywhere in Italy. And there are no beaches, like not a single one. On the other hand Crete, has a great variety of things to do. Charming towns like Chania and Rethymnon, stunning beaches like Vai beach which is next to the only Palm Forest in Europe, and Balos beach (Crete has more than 450 beaches), Cretan Cuisine which is the flagship of the Mediterranean Diet, and Historic Sites. Santorini is a dream, nothing more to say.
PetrosB3 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 02:11 PM
  #4  
WWK
 
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I love both and have been to both many times. Positano does have a real- if smallish- beach within walking distance of the town dock. It's called Fornillo Beach, and that's where all the cool people hang out. Just kidding, but it IS mostly full of Italian and European families.

Beaches on the AC are typically gravel or even stone piers. People swim off the sides of their boats, or visit some of the coves along the coast. That being said, the entire area is magical, and has some of the best food I've ever tasted.

Now about Capri... meh. Not my thing, and maybe not your thing unless you're into throngs of day trippers and parading around in expensive sunglasses. Of course you can escape the crowds by taking a private boat tour of the island, or staying over and waiting until the crowds disperse at night, but I still find myself underwhelmed.

Lastly, and not at all in last place (!!) Greece is one of my favorite destinations in the world. Santorini is stunning and unforgettable. If you go, try to base in Oia at a hotel that overlooks the caldera. You'll never forget it. We had amazing fish dinners there at Amoudi (sp?) Beach, which is down a long staircase from the main town. It's a destination that sticks with you long after you've left.

In Crete, we visited Chania. No beach per se, but we did take a tour of the outer islands which was so much fun. Chania has a lot of restaurants that were rebuilt out of the ruins of WW 2, and is a wonderful place to base for a few days. Didn't see much else of Crete, so can't help you with that.

In my view? Either destination is worth many repeat visits!
WWK is offline  
Jan 30th, 2014, 03:00 PM
  #5  
 
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There are beaches on the outskirts of of Chania and two specular ones to the west, Falasarna and Elafonisi.Falasarna reminded me of Cape Cod's ocean beaches or some in California. Elafonisiwith it's pink sand and calm tropical blue waters reminded me of the Bahamas and these two are not far from each other.
Santorini is not known for it's beaches whereas other islands have much nicer ones. You would want a pool if you are in Oia, up on the cliff.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 08:56 AM
  #6  
ekc
 
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"Positano is a classic Italian town, nothing special, something you find everywhere in Italy"

Petro, you must not have traveled in Italy much - Pos is unlike any other town I have visited in Italy.

I agree with WWK - I am not so hip on Capri.

But if you want expansive, white sandy beaches, then Greece should be your choice.
ekc is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 09:34 AM
  #7  
 
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I guess it depends what you are really seeking in terms of priority. If beaches and laying on a beach is high on the list then choose Greece. Santorini is charming, and quaint I loved it although only there on a cruise ship for one day. We also made a visit to Positano and to me it was just totally a breath of fresh air. It is so charming and we sat on the beachside at a fabulous restaurant sipping wine and having lunch. It doesn't get any better than that? Tough choice, I loved them both, the scenery in both is breathtaking. I must say we walked on the beach and pebbles galore. Not a place to lay on the beach not at all. I so remember thinking that but the charm, the shops made up for it all. Good luck in your decision making.
diann24 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 10:08 AM
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Besides, i find classic italian towns to be absolutely beautiful !!!!!!
clausar is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 10:19 AM
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I agree if you are looking for sandy beaches the Amalfi coast isn't what you are looking for. And Capri is up there with the most overrated place I have ever been...disliked it immensely due to overcrowding tourist masses!

If you want beaches Greece is likely more what you are looking for although santorini I don't think is known for beaches. We really enjoyed Naxos.
jamikins is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 11:24 AM
  #10  
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Wow, thanks for all of your thoughts. A lot of different opinions.

If we were to choose Greece for 1 week, would it make sense to focus simply on Crete or would we have time to add Santorini as well?

1) Crete
2) Crete and Santorini
3) Skip Crete and do Santorini and another glorious island - Naxos?, etc
eilee is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 11:32 AM
  #11  
 
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What is the best time to go to Greece if the options were late August, September or October?

This post made me re-think my upcoming European vacation!

Thanks!
Masterphil is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 12:21 PM
  #12  
 
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Pure heaven is waking up in the morning to breakfast on a terrace overlooking the sea in Positano. I do love Crete but for me nothing compares to Positano and the Amalfi Coast.
Micheline is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Crete or Crete and Santorini in one week... A few days on Santorini is enough but you could spend weeks on Crete and not see it all. Santorini gets over run with cruise ship passengers which was a negative for us. All of the choices you have proposed are popular for a good reason.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 01:36 PM
  #14  
 
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Micheline have you been to Santorini?
clausar is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 01:47 PM
  #15  
WWK
 
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I think September would be a perfect time for a visit to either Italy or Greece.

Santorini is spectacular. So much so, that it almost ( almost!) made me reconsider my obsession with the Amalfi Coast.

Paros is close behind...
WWK is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 01:51 PM
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We went in late October and although it was cool, it was a bit to cool for my taste. I would choose September. Most of the crowds are gone, and it is still nice. I personally would not go again in late October.
diann24 is offline  
Jan 31st, 2014, 07:40 PM
  #17  
 
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Yes I have been to Santorini and the views are breathtaking but I still prefer the Amalfi coast. The beaches in Crete might be just what the op is looking for. I also did not care so much for Capri but only did a day trip there.
Micheline is offline  
Feb 1st, 2014, 12:01 AM
  #18  
 
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September is a great time to visit Greece...we were also there in August, but it was very hot.
jamikins is offline  
Apr 17th, 2014, 06:46 PM
  #19  
 
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Do you think that Crete would be a good place for a holiday vacation over Christmas? It would be with adult kids and just wanting to visit the history,culture,food and wine,etc. Our family would love temps in 50-60'sF range?
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 17th, 2014, 07:35 PM
  #20  
 
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duty free, you will do better by starting your own thread headed "Crete during Christmas Hols??" YOu will not get many responses to your query on this thread -- because people won't even open it up, thinking it's about an old question.
travelerjan is offline  

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