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Weadles May 22nd, 2017 11:41 AM

Greek honeymoon: He wants sightseeing, she wants beaches
A family friend has asked for recommendations. Travel time is summer of 2018. He's been to: Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Paros, and Naxos, and Athens. His bride-to-be has been to Paros and Athens. They love Greece, and really want to go back, but which islands? They will have about ten days- 2 weeks. Many thanks!

Heimdall May 22nd, 2017 01:42 PM

Does it have to be islands? The southern Peloponnese coast has beautiful beaches (probably better than the islands), and there are lots of things to see.

crazyh May 23rd, 2017 09:38 AM

Lots of options depending on interests and budget, Big Name Islands or Less-Known Islands?

Sightseeing can be just about any island or mainland. Beaches can also be most islands and parts of the mainland.

My favorite Greek Islands are: Sifnos, Milos, Naxos, Amorgos, Astypalea, Tinos, Samos, Ikaria, Fourni, Skyros, Kythira, just to name a few.

The mainland is wide-open, especially the Peloponesse Peninsula. Lots of options there with a wide variety of area for beach-goers, sight-see-ers, archeological/historic sites, etc.

Check out Matt's Greek Guide for lots of info.

My choices may be far different than what you want. I'm more of a traditionalist than a Big-Name Islander-Goer but you'll have a great time regardless of where you go as long as you do your research.

Weadles May 23rd, 2017 12:10 PM

Thanks so much for your help! Budget is open. I'd say Peloponnese Coast and at least one island, but where on the coast and WHICH island? With a 10 day- 2 week time frame, I think that's all they have time for plus Athens, of course.

I've been to Greece many times, but am stymied because we always go to the same places!

Thanks very much again!

Heimdall May 23rd, 2017 01:27 PM

There are a number of great seaside villages in Laconia and Messenia, any of which could be mistaken for an island. Here are a few photos of the area around Kalamata, including Pylos, Methoni, and Koroni, also Ancient Messene and a nearby monastery:

Weadles May 23rd, 2017 02:06 PM

Thank you so much, Heimdall! What gorgeous photos!

crazyh May 23rd, 2017 03:22 PM

How about Nafplio just a short ride car/bus from Athens. One of Greece's loveliest towns with a pretty waterfront, beautiful Old Town, historic sites right in town, close to some of the best archeological sites in Greece (Epidavrous, Mycenea, Tyrns, plus lots more)

Close to Tolo, a nice seaside town with lovely white sand beach.

Great place to base yourself for the Argolis Peninsula, beaches, history, great food, nice combination of upscale and budget friendly areas.

Heimdall May 23rd, 2017 10:35 PM

I thought you didn't like touristy places, crazyh. Messenia is much more traditional. I agree that Nafplio would be well worth a stop for 2-3 nights on the way south, though.

clausar May 24th, 2017 08:07 AM

Personally i wouldn't call Tolo a nice seaside town... i find it ugly, they have build hotels directly on the beach, making it very narrow ( no white sand there)... and in general there's nothing to see in Tolo.

It serves mostly as a cheap substitute for Nafplio ( hotels have generally lower prices) and an overnight base for groups.

Messenia with Koroni/Pylos or the Messenian Mani ( Stoupa/Kardamyli) are excellent choices.

An island that would hopefully fit the bill is Syros, with a beautiful old town, that goes from neoclassic to traditional.

cwra May 24th, 2017 11:39 AM

I just came back from Greece last week after staying in Mystras, Kardamyli, and the last two nights in Tolo. I last was in Tolo as a child in 1971 and I remembered it as a very small town with a big wide beach.

Things have really changed. First because they built right on the beach, the beach is now less than 2 meters wide in most places. Only at the far end of town is there a decent beach but not white sand. It is a pretty ugly town but ancient Assini is just a few minutes walk down the road and is worth spending some time there.

They are trying to make same changes to the seas currents by putting big blocks of concrete in the sea with the hope of restoring some of the lost beach.

If you like to hike I can recommend Kardamyli as a great place to stay. We are already planning to go back there in September.

Weadles May 24th, 2017 12:46 PM

Thanks, again for the great replies. I've already suggested Nafplio, which I fell in love with on our last trip.

I will have them look into Syros and some of the towns around Messenia.

Many thanks!

billbarr May 24th, 2017 04:22 PM

I agree with clausar about Syros. Not just a beautiful old town but also a beautiful island too. Things may have changed since I last visited a good few years ago but at that time, there were very few visitors.

Every year I used to travel over from a neighbouring island to visit a wonderful old-fashioned bookshop in Syros’s old town then spend the rest of the time I had exploring what I could of the island.


crazyh May 25th, 2017 09:04 AM

We go to Greece in October, off-season, less tourists, lower costs and even the "touristy" areas tend to become more traditional and local.

Nafplio is lovely in October, not many tourists, more locals and a nice vibe.

There are places that I would never go whether High Season or Low Season in Greece.

Nafplio was perfect in October. No need to rub it in with the "I thought you didn't like touristy places." I don't. That's why most of Greece off-season is not touristy, even the over-the-top areas.

Heimdall May 25th, 2017 09:57 AM

But Weadles' friends are going in summer. Have you been to Greece in the summer?

crazyh May 25th, 2017 10:25 AM

I haven't been to Greece in the summer . . . and even if I could I wouldn't.

I would avoid touristy-heavy destinations during High Season, even places that I found I enjoyed in October I would probably not want to go to in High Season. That's true for my home country of the US, I would not go to Disneyland, Graceland, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Everglades during HIgh Season. I don't want to deal with crowds, higher prices, hotter weather and push, obnoxious tourists who expect locals to bend over backwards for them.

I'm sure you can find many areas of Greece (mainland/islands) during the High Season that don't get the heavy tourism of the Big Name Islands/Mainland and still get a good Greek Experience.

I will never tell anyone not to go where they want regardless of the season. So much depends on what you are looking for or want from a Greek Experience.

I want tradition, local flavor, less congestion/tourism. That's why October or any other time of the off-season is much more enjoyable for me.

If you want crowds, a buzz, nightlife, and higher prices then that's fine, but if you want a more quieter, lower-cost, less congested and more traditional experience then head for Greece off-season.

Weadles May 25th, 2017 02:49 PM


I completely get what you're saying, and hate crowds myself, but once again I'm off to Greece at the end of July because that's the only time I can go. Better that than nothing! Same with my friends' kids. Due to work commitments, they must go next summer.

And again, thanks to all of you for the great advice!

CAH85 May 25th, 2017 06:29 PM

It sounds like Weadles is asked to wade into a brewing disagreement. It strikes me as odd that two people who have already been to Greece need this advice for a Honeymoon. I would think they already have a good idea as to whether they want to go to a bunch of places or just 1 or 2. And about 1/2 sights, 1/2 beach sounds about right for the newlyweds with different interests. Maybe go to beach areas near historic sights he has not seen but is interested in? What does he want to see that he was not?

I spent a wonderful month in Greece a long time ago. Go where the Greeks go in summer, it will be quieter, that is at least an idea for the beach. Back in the day that was Sifnos or Serifos.

clausar May 25th, 2017 06:37 PM

<<Go where the Greeks go in summer>>

Well the Greeks go everywhere in summer.... they have no problems with logistics, they don't have to book ahead of time ( with few exceptions), they often use their own car be it in Mainland or on islands...

No matter where you go, Greeks will be everywhere, even in the most touristy places, because they can be tourists in their own country too.... Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, are popular amongst Greeks as well, just to name a few.

Also something good to know, is that again this year Greece will reach an all time record in the number of foreign tourists, 30 Million tourists will visit Greece in 2017, last year the number was 25 Million.

crazyh May 26th, 2017 08:18 AM

I stated that Tolo is a nice seaside village with a lovely white sand beach which for many would be fine. The beach is very lovely, very white, nice views of two small islands just off shore and a decent village that originally was a fishing village but now is a tourist destination.

We were there in October and it was quiet, some people on the beach and the town itself pretty empty. Again . . . we go to Greece offseason to avoid crowds, heat and higher prices. Tolo, off-season would be a very nice destination, High Season may be a different story.

As for when people can take a holiday . . . a fully understand that most people usually have the summer months off and that is their only time to have a travel and/or take a vacation. You are limited by your employer, your children's summer vacation and other factors.

That doesn't mean you can't avoid the heavily touristed areas of Greece that may or may not be something you want to deal with.

There are numerous islands and the mainland that doesn't get the hype like Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes or Nafplio get and you can get a very nice Greek Experience if you seek out other areas of the country.

Do your research, check out various websites and don't rely solely on travel agents, travel websites and ads hyping the over-the-top Greek destinations.111

Weadles May 27th, 2017 03:11 PM

Hmmm.... On behalf of my friends' kids, I was just looking for suggestions and advice, both of which have been helpful here. I might have asked the very same question they are asking even though I've been to Greece many times. Never hurts to find out what others on a travel forum have discovered. Thanks to all!

mariha2912 May 30th, 2017 09:51 AM

Do they plan to have a car if necessary?

This area does not come up very often on this forum, but I will mention it once again. Why not Lefkas and surrounding area?

Lefkas is an island with very beautiful beaches, nice scenery, tons of boat trips to surrounding islets and islands, various inland villages to explore, a few hiking opportunities and so on... and the ultimate advantage of been connected to mainland only on a small bridge. So no ferries involved and you have tons of options for more beaches and scenery and a vast array of places for sight seen and similar say in half and hour or say 2 hours driving ratio. Ancient Nikopolis, Acheron Springs, Ioannina are only a few among the sightseen options while this part of west mainland Greece offers many nice coves and beaches too.

Assuming Athens is the entry/departure spot in Greece, if driving there and back one could always allow one overnight in Delphi or Galaxidi or NAfpaktos or Meteora and so on to break the journey or they could always fly.

OF course that's just an idea out of many. Let us know what they decide and best wishes for a great honeymoon and prosperous marriage : )

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