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travelwithme Feb 3rd, 2014 12:15 PM

Greek Islands- Must see authentic harbors?
Researching late spring or fall trip to Greek Islands. First trip. Active couple who enjoy authentic uncrowded harbors and villages, exploring on our own, hiking and being able to walk to outdoor cafes. Swimming not important but enjoy water views.
Would like to spend three to four days on each island.
What, in your opinion, are "must see' and in what order would you visit? Would it be best to fly in and out of Athens?
Will plan trip length based on your input.
Thank you in advance for suggesting lodging, too.
I've looked at Naxos and like the feel of it.
Many, many thanks for offering your well traveled expertise!

brotherleelove2004 Feb 3rd, 2014 01:03 PM

Check Ammoudi Bay below Oia on Santorini: http://rachelcraze.files.wordpress.c..._4585-copy.jpg

If you want to stay down there check Amoudi Villas:

HappyTrvlr Feb 3rd, 2014 01:50 PM

For harbors, Chainia and Napflio. Chania has a Venetian lighthouse too.

travelerjan Feb 3rd, 2014 03:34 PM

Late Spring May-June ideal, especially if you enjoy greenery. Naxos Harbor a delight at sunset .. Then go to Santorini for a couple nights.. Then Sifnos. Naxos & Sifnos paradise for hikers. here are a couple of photo glimpses, first one by Stanbr a regular here -- "a trip around Naxos"
and from this excellent non-hype sifnos site its photo album of scenes

lizcdn2 Feb 3rd, 2014 05:19 PM

We spent a lovely week on Paros a couple of years ago. The hike from Lefkes to Prodromos on the Byzantine Road was wonderful. We spent a great day exploring the old harbour at Naousa, and another on the island of Antiparos. The capital, Paroikia, was very interesting as well. Monastiri Beach in a sheltered cove off Plastira Bay was the perfect beach! Rocky outcropings which provided private sandy coves to the left and a Greek church atop a hill to the right. The beach itself was modest in size but you were able to stroll out on smooth sand in crystal clear blue water before hitting deep water to swim. We were only a handful of swimmers but had the pleasure of seeing several sailboats with scuba divers and tourists who would anchor in the cove.

We also spent time that trip in Oia on Santorini and loved this as well. Mmm, am dreaming of going back to the Greek Islands someday...

yipper Feb 3rd, 2014 06:58 PM

Symi has the most beautiful harbor. It is not an island of white cube houses, but has italian influence. Look at

clausar Feb 3rd, 2014 11:31 PM

Just a small correction regarding the houses of Symi.
They follow the typical style of the Dodecanese and there is no italian influence at all.
Some houses were build in the 15th and 16 th centuries and most in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th following the neoclassical architecture that was very common at that time in Greece.

The italians occupied the island between 1912 and 1943.

stanbr Feb 4th, 2014 09:05 AM

Certainly Naxos gives you a nice harbour with both working and sail boats along with a lovely main town. St George beach is located directly adjacent to Naxos town so you get that ocean view the beach and all the activities of town. Naxos has lots of walking trails and and those mountain villages where you will see Greece as it used to be.
Here are additional views of Naxos
Naxos Town

Naxos Mountains and Villages

Nearby you might consider Antiparos.

yipper Feb 4th, 2014 04:52 PM

Clausar, thank you for the info. I am so happy to know they are truly greek. It is such a special island . Oh to spend a summer there.

travelwithme Feb 19th, 2014 11:37 AM

Thanks for all your wonderful responses and sharing photos.
My proposed plan is to fly from Brussels via Athens to Crete and spend 4 nights at Blue Palace resort (have fabulous discount). Wanted to stay in Chainia for a few days but employee discount at GP too good to pass up. Ferry to Santorini for two to three nights in villa in Firostephani over looking caldera. Then ferry to Naxos for three or four nights, do a little island hopping from there depending on ferry schedules or boat charters. Take flight from Naxos to Athens. Spend one day in Athens and fly back to Brussels....then back to the states. reasonable flights if I book now.
What tips to you have to add?
thought about trying to combine Istanbul/Ephesus but just cramming in too much.

Tommmo Feb 19th, 2014 02:27 PM

Actually you could fit in Ephesus by crossing to Turkey on an hour ferry ride from several places like Rhodes, or Chios to Cesme etc. Turkey is a fascinating alternative for an easy daytrip and you can join a bus tour with ferry etc. included. A night at Selcuk the small neighbouring town is a really nice experience , with cafes and small hotels and an excellent Ephesus museum. Bet you'd buy a nice rug too....

nanabee Feb 20th, 2014 07:14 AM

Check out the island of Hydra. It has a charming harbor, the island has a lot of historical significance, no cars allowed, great restaurants, shops, and beaches. It also has a lot of space for hiking as well.

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