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Finalizing trip to Greece - Naxos and Athens remaining questions

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May 4th, 2012, 10:35 AM
  #1
sph
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Finalizing trip to Greece - Naxos and Athens remaining questions

Crazy person that I am I started planning a trip to Greece, decided to go back to my favorite Italy and then went back to Greece as I have never been there. Anyway, I have booked airfare, Fanari Villas in Oia for first three nights and plan to ferry to Naxos. From Naxos, ferry to Athens and then we fly to Istanbul.

My questions: are 2 nights in Athens enough knowing we will arrive late afternoon one day which only leaves us one full day there. I currently have a hotel booked for three nights (I can change) and after reading a lot of blogs I wonder if we will prefer to have five nights in Naxos and two in Athens or four nights in Naxos and three in Athens. My other question is what are the three best places to stay in Naxos and should it be St George or Agia Anna or does it matter?

Thanks in advance for any help as I am close to finalizing this trip and as always this site has been truly wonderful in helping me to plan.
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May 4th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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In my opinion I'd say you'll want more than one full day in Athens. Two would do it, but since you're arriving late I'd extend the stay. That being said, you'll love the trip no matter how you decide to split it up. Have fun!
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May 4th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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One day in Athens would be very rushed so three nights is much better giving you two full days to explore the main sites and museums.
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May 4th, 2012, 11:27 AM
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There's a lot to see in Athens, so i'd say 3 days would be better.
You could use the one of the tree days for a full day tour to Argolis, which will take you to Epidaurus, Mycenae and the lovely city of Nafplio.
In Athens the Plaka, the Acropolis,the New Acopolis Museum and the National Archological Museum, will keep you occupied for 2 days.
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May 4th, 2012, 11:47 AM
  #5
sph
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THANK YOU. Exactly the help I need. I will keep the three nights in Athens. I am really looking forward to this trip.

If anyone has comments on the Naxos hotels please let me know.
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May 4th, 2012, 11:50 AM
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When will you travel?
Which hotel have you booked in Athens?
What is your budget, so that we can recommend suitable hotels?
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May 4th, 2012, 12:32 PM
  #7
sph
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Naxos will be 8/25 thru 8/28. Used points for Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens. Finari villas in Oia.

I would like to stay around 175 - 200 euros per night. Don't need extreme luxury but want great location, views, clean and character. I have been looking at nissaki beach hotel but am a little turned off because it is a best western....thanks for the quick reply. Part of the excitement of the trip is planning but I need to get the hotels booked as it sounds like they fill up quickly that time of year.
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May 4th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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We stayed in Naxos at the Nissaki Beach Hotel, which is within easy walking distance of town and the port. The hotel was gorgeous (!!), right on a beach ( although from what I've heard this is NOT the best beach in Naxos) and the food was out of this world. We really enjoyed both the hotel and the location. In fact, the hotel was one of our favorites during a nearly 3-week stay in Greece.

Without knowing when you're traveling and how much you want to spend, it's hard to make other recommendations, but overall I think the split should be: Athens: 3 days Naxos: 4 days. And if possible, I would recommend going to Naxos immediately after you arrive in Athens. Of course that depends on the connections. Then visit Athens at the end of your trip. This saves you from backtracking and helps you avoid any possibly delays/cancellations due to weather etc. from the islands.
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May 4th, 2012, 01:58 PM
  #9
sph
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Ok thanks. We are flying athens then directly to santorini. Ferry from Santorini to Naxos and Naxos to Athens for the three night stay. I appreciate your comments about Nissaki and will look into it further. What is the best beach?
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May 5th, 2012, 12:51 AM
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I think Nissaki and the St George area are an excellent choice. I stay in St George myself when in Naxos, at a very nice, but more modest, hotel called Argo. The Greek name for St George, btw, is Agios Georgios. There are a string of beaches south of St George, including my favourites, Agios Prokopios and Plaka. These are easily reached by bus, either from the station near the docks or at a bus stop in St George not far from the hotels. You will need to buy bus tickets in advance, as they aren't sold on the bus itself.

Plaka is considered by many to be the best beach on Naxos. There are many others, including Mikri Vigla, popular with wind surfers, Kastraki, and others along the same stretch of western coast. Many of these have no bus service, so you will need a rental car to reach them. With a car you may find a beach that will become your own favourite. Guides to the Naxos beaches can be found here:
http://www.greeka.com/cyclades/naxos/naxos-beaches.htm
http://www.naxosnet.com/beaches/thebeaches.shtml
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May 5th, 2012, 02:51 AM
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One of my favorite hotels is the Medusa Resort located on sandy and quiet Plaka beach. The hotel is located directly on the beach, in a very quiet location.

http://www.medusaresort.gr
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May 5th, 2012, 07:05 AM
  #12
sph
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I am looking into this now and will be able to finalize thanks to all of your responses. I promise to give back and share my travel experiences with others on this site and will definitely provide feedback after this trip. Thanks again.
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May 5th, 2012, 02:32 PM
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even though Anna, Prokopios and Plaka are much better beaches, you should probably stay on St. George because it is walking distance to the main waterfront strip in Naxos Town, which is where you will want to spend your evenings. We enjoyed staying at Nissaki Beach. They have great rooms and a beautiful pool, with a lovely breakfast buffet that changes daily. The front desk can arrange a car for you in a flash - no need to book anything in advance.
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May 5th, 2012, 03:04 PM
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tejana
I find Plaka much nicer before it is much quieter, always in combination with a car...
Personally i would never book anything through any reception, as this would add a 20% commission to the price.
Since OP will be on Naxos in August, i recommend booking a car in advance, as there might not be any available on the spot.
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May 6th, 2012, 07:22 AM
  #15
sph
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Tejana and Clausar thanks for your recent comments. I just received a message from Medusa which looks like my kind of place in the pictures. We are thinking of renting mopeds or motorcycles to get into town 8 miles away which does not seem too far. Does this sound like a good idea or is it too busy or difficult to get around that way?
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May 6th, 2012, 07:35 AM
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sphs

This is a very bad idea, if you don't drive a moped/scooter/motorcycle at home. Due to the low price it is a temptation, but you have no idea how many serious accidents happen every year on the Cyclades.
The streets are narrow, sometimes in bad shape ( especially out of the main roads), locals are having their own driving style often ignoring moped drivers...
I would say renting a car or using public buses is the best way to tour the island.
I have worked on the Cyclades, and i have seen many serious accidents with my own eyes.....
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May 6th, 2012, 08:36 AM
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Even a minor accident could ruin your holiday. Because of the heat, few people bother to wear proper protective clothing when riding mopeds or motorcycles on the islands — just teeshirts and shorts. Then when they come off the bike they leave their skin on the road.

I'll second clausar's advice to rent a car if you plan to stay at Medusa. If you want the wind in your hair you could pay extra for a small jeep, but personally I would prefer the a/c. To me, though, the greatest luxury is staying somewhere I can walk into town, and not have to worry about cars. ;-)

Clausar, remind us, please — what is the current cost of gasoline and diesel on the islands?
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May 6th, 2012, 09:33 AM
  #18
sph
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Agree. My husband races dirt bikes in the US and we rented mopeds in Positano which was probably stupid but came out unscathed. I respect your opinions however. I am really torn between staying at Agios Georgis vs Plaka now as it makes sense to be able to walk into town but the Medusa looks beautiful. We will rent a car etc regardless as we want to explore the area.
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May 6th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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Today in my area ( we have the lowest price in Attica here)
the price of gasoline is 1.785 per liter, diesel 1.539

On the Cyclades the average price for gasoline today was 1.895 and for diesel : 1.622
All prices are in Euro and per liter.
Greece is the most expensive country in the EU at the moment
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May 6th, 2012, 10:53 AM
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Thanks, clausar! So, by my calculations, at the current EUR-USD exchange rate, that works out to be about $2.50 per liter, or $9.50 per US gallon for gasoline in the Cyclades. Ouch!
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