Greece...so many options! (11 days)

Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 02:40 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Greece...so many options! (11 days)

My friend and I are planning an 11 day trip to Greece with our husbands in early June. We are thirty-somethings who enjoy relaxing, exploring, and trying new things. As we began our research, we realized how difficult it would be to pick one or two islands. We desperately need help determining which islands are the best fit for us and are hoping for suggestions.

My dream spot would be a town that has a moderate range of activities (quaint shops, restaurants, wineries, bars, historical sites, trails, etc.), but also offers clear, warm beaches. We'd love to stay somewhere on the beach that has a beach bar, a small restaurant, and is in walking or biking distance to the town center.

We are also looking to avoid huge crowds, but we aren't looking for complete remoteness. We enjoy meeting others and socializing, especially if we can meet locals. We just aren't looking for a party town.

Additionally, we are open to staying on an island for three days and then moving on to another island. Or stay on one large island and split our time between two different towns.

We plan to end or begin our trip in Athens depending on the islands and their respective transportation options.

All in all, we are looking for somewhere to relax, soak in the sun, see some historical sites, and explore the local cuisine / culture.

I truly appreciate any advice!!
Webster0317 is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 08:02 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 278
Likes: 0
Received 28 Likes on 4 Posts
This page (and the site itself)is a useful resource
http://santorinidave.com/best-greek-islands

Also please do review similar posts on the forum, which may provide some guidance
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-to-greece.cfm
ANUJ is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 08:21 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,036
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
My first advice to you is to tell us WHEN. Advice can differ markedly if you are going in May or August or October. I would not even begin to advise unless I knew the month -- and actually the EXACT DATES are best of all (and this means the date you ARRIVE, not the date you depart US airport).

Secondly, since your stay is so short, it's most time-efficient to transfer to a domestic flight ASAP after your plane arrives in ATH airport ... otherwise u will have to go into Athens 2x, and that eats up precious hours. However, you need to tell us not only the date but the TIME you arrive.. so we can tell you whether you can make that island connection.

Your "wish list" sounds like a wonderful dream ... ideal beach location, all kinds of cafes, shops, amenities, but of course no crowds. Hard to achieve at any time! -- but a real challenge for July-August, when Jumbo Jets arrive daily, dumping thousands of Europeans on all the best-known isles. If you have a choice, think about May-June or September -- for best weather, least crowds.
travelerjan is offline  
Old Jan 22nd, 2017, 11:50 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
You did say early June, and that's a perfect time to visit the Greek Islands! There won't be any huge crowds anywhere that time of year except perhaps on cruise port islands like Mykonos and Santorini.

Everyone on this travel forum, including me, automatically thinks of the Cyclades Islands or Crete, but there are other island groups too. Rhodes, in the Dodecanese for example, is just as easy to reach by air from Athens as anywhere else, has historic sites, and some easy to reach smaller islands nearby. It would even be possible to do a day trip to Turkey from there.

Don't overlook the mainland either. There are more historic sites in the Peloponnese than all the islands put together, and some of the beaches are better too, especially along the southern coast. You can easily travel by car through the Peloponnese without having to worry about flights or ferries.
Heimdall is online now  
Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 09:23 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 285
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There are so many Greek Islands to pick from. So much depends on what you want for a Greek Island Experience: crowds, buzz, shopping, nightlife, beaches, archeological/historic sites, more locals than tourists, more traditional than touristy, etc.

In addition you have to consider how to get to the island(s): ferry or flight. The further out the islands are the more time on the ferry (as much as 9 hours) or a short flight of under 1 hour. Time is valuable on a holiday and time is also money!

Some of the more traditional islands to consider are Sifnos, Milos, Naxos, Amorgos, Tinos, Chios, Samos (lots of others) and the travel-agent-cum-tourist-agent islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, etc.

If you are island hopping you have to consider how to get to the next island. Some island combinations can't be reached by ferry.

Most of the Cyclades can be combined but can't with other island groups without major backtracking.

If this is your first time to Greece I would consider the Cyclades and the more traditional islands of Sifnos & Milos along with Paros.

Santorini/Mykonos are two of the more heavily and tourist in addition to expensive of the Greek Islands. Some people love them, others don't.

From what you decribe in your needs I would recommend Sifnos, Milos, Naxos, Amorgos, Tinos for Cyclades. Don't overlook islands like Lemnos, Lesvos, Chios or Samos further out.

So much to consider but it needs more research on your part to find something that meets your needs.

Check out Matt's Greek Guide for help:

http://www.greecetravel.com/
crazyh is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 10:35 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Within the individual island groups there are different ferry routes, and even islands you can see on the horizon don't always have direct ferry links. For instance, in the Cyclades there are only two ferries per week between Paros and Sifnos, on Tuesdays and Sundays. To get from Naxos to Milos may require transfer between ferries on a third island.

Frankly, for a first-time visitor to the Greek Islands, especially with only 11 days, I would recommend keeping it simple and sticking to the main ferry routes or islands that have air routes from/to Athens. The main ferry route in the Cyclades is Piraeus > Paros > Naxos > Santorini. There are several ferries per day between these islands, and all have airports with flights from/to Athens.

With 11 days you have enough time for 2 islands + Athens. Santorini isn't my favourite island, but for a one-time visitor it shouldn't be missed. I love both Naxos and Paros/Antiparos, and either would be a good choice for a second island. Antiparos is a small island separated by a narrow strait from Paros.
Heimdall is online now  
Old Jan 23rd, 2017, 08:23 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,036
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ooops, mea culpa, I read the first post hastily and lost the early June reference. Perfect time ... I totally agree w. Heimdall , Like him I love both Naxos & Anti paros you cannot go wrong with either. And I also echo his warning about getting off the "main ferry path" -- because I've had my ins & outs getting to/from Sifnos and Milos.
travelerjan is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
cheryl_b
Europe
36
Nov 21st, 2017 10:15 AM
isabel
Europe
4
Nov 11th, 2017 08:01 AM
annmary
Europe
5
Feb 7th, 2016 04:18 AM
mollyann40
Europe
7
Mar 11th, 2010 05:18 AM
carlag
Europe
4
May 11th, 2005 04:01 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information