Greek trip August, family

Old Feb 11th, 2020, 12:53 PM
  #1  
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Greek trip August, family

Hello
We are a family from New York City coming to Greece for the first time for 10 days in late August. We will do 2 nights in Athens to start and one night to end so have 7 days to play with. Here is what I'm debating

1. Split time between Paros and Naxos
2. Split time between Milos and Folegandros
3. One week in Crete

Could someone weigh in on the best combination for a family looking for a place that is not overly touristy. Looking for an authentic place to stay with beautiful beaches and good restaurants and ideally a flat or apartment or en-suite hotel with a nice view. Would love to avoid renting a car but I know that's impossible on most of these islands. Def want to explore some - we love active things. Snorkeling, biking, hiking, kayaking, day trips, etc...
Would love to hear your thoughts!
rddysum is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2020, 01:24 PM
  #2  
 
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I won't get into the island choices yet, but just start off by strongly advising you to reverse your itinerary & do all yr Athens time LAST... upon arrival take 1st possible domestic flight (allow 2 hrs layover0 to your farthest destination, & "hop" your way back via ferry or plane. All the "vets" know to do this, and if you've looked at any online forums at all you will see this advice. Main reasons, especially key for short trips like yours, from N. America:
• AVOID WASTING TIME - u must be in Athens area on night before departure flight anyway, and staying in Athens or by airport 2 x wastes precious hours - as much as half a day lost.
• A BETTER START - You'll be exhausted/jet-lagged, & it's a whole lot more fun to recover on an island than in a busy National Capital
• PEP & PREPPING - After a few days on isles, you'll be relaxed, reinvigorated, and somewhat hip to Greek ways of doing things, readier to tackle big-city sightseeing
• APPRECIATION - Even a short time of immersion in Greek culture/history will make Athens famous landmarks & treasures resonate so much more with you.

I have enjoyed all 4 islands you've chosen ...just a few observations • by choosing late August you WILL confront immense High Season tourism. • U get best help by not just saying "family" - advice differs greatly if kids are teens vs toddlers, or if elderly grandparents are along • Transport - 4 of your choices you can manage without a car -- but Milos has a lame bus network even in high season. • For an active family (water sports, hiking etc) my choice would be NAXOS and ANTIPAROS ... the latter is just off the port of Paros, totally walkable, lovely beaches & you can go to Paros in 15 minutes on a mini-ferry.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 08:47 PM
  #3  
 
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Renting a car is the best way to explore an island. Be sure to bring an International Driving Permit from your local AAA office, no test or membership required.
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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 09:30 PM
  #4  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by brotherleelove2004 View Post
Renting a car is the best way to explore an island.
Maybe, maybe not -- depends on what one wants to do and where, IME!

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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 09:36 PM
  #5  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by rddysum View Post
1. Split time between Paros and Naxos
2. Split time between Milos and Folegandros
3. One week in Crete
1. I haven't been to Paros, only Naxos; from what you say, I think think this option might well for you.
2 I haven't been to Milos or Folegandros -- sorry!
3. I loved Crete, but am not sure it would suit your purposes well.

Have you seen my trip report? If not, you might find some useful information in it:
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece


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Old Feb 11th, 2020, 09:38 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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BTW, I fully agree that you should try to put your time in Athens at the END of your trip if at all possible!
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 12:44 AM
  #7  
 
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It is true that August is touristy on whatever island you choose, but the last week of the month is when many Greeks and other Europeans leave for home. Many Paros and Antiparos hotels reduce their rates around August 20th, in fact. That isn’t true for Mykonos and Santorini, which have longer seasons, but they are wisely not on your list anyway.

Obviously you’ve already looked at ferry routes, because you know that Paros and Naxos are good combinations, as are Milos and Folegandros. As for the latter, I like Folegandros but wonder if it would appeal to active children. Crete is so large I can’t see how you would enjoy it unless you rent a car, which is why I’ve never been there.

Whether you stay on Paros or Antiparos is not important, because getting from one to the other is so easy that high school students from Antiparos attend school on Paros. The main advantage for you is that everything in Antiparos Town is within walking distance, and there are buses that can take you to the south of the island and to the stalactite cave. Paros itself has an excellent bus system, with seaside towns on the entire circumference of the island, and a few inland mountain villages, e.g. Lefkes, Prodromos, and Marpissa.

As for transport back to Athens, Paros is 4 hrs by Blue Star ferry and has the largest airport of the three (there is no airport on Folegandros). Naxos and Milos have shorter runways than Paros, so are restricted to small turboprops. Olympic Air, the main carrier for Paros, uses Dash 8 Q400 turboprops for that airfield, modern 78 pax aircraft.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2020, 05:45 AM
  #8  
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Thanks! This is all very helpful. To be exact we will be on the islands for 7 nights starting August 27-Sept 3. So I was hoping perhaps some of the islands would start to clear out and prices drop? Is that true and if so, which islands? (we have no interest in Santorini or Mykonos)

My other question is of the 5 islands I mentioned is one or two more economical than the others in terms of lodging costs? Trying to get the most bang for our buck so if there is a place where we can get nicer lodging at a more affordable price that would make the decision easy. Based on a few quick searches it seems like Naxos may be the most affordabe? Am I right on that? Thanks again!
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Old Feb 12th, 2020, 05:56 AM
  #9  
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Thanks! Some more information: my kids will be 12 and almost 7 when we travel. In an ideal vacation with 4 nights on an island we would spend a couple days exploring beaches and a couple days doing an activity, ideally something water based like a sailing tour to nearby caves and beaches/islands, or a kayaking or snorkeling tour. Open to hiking or horseback riding too, if the weather isn’t too hot. Exploring villages also fun. And def open time renting a car for all or some of the time on an island like Naxos.



Originally Posted by travelerjan View Post
I won't get into the island choices yet, but just start off by strongly advising you to reverse your itinerary & do all yr Athens time LAST... upon arrival take 1st possible domestic flight (allow 2 hrs layover0 to your farthest destination, & "hop" your way back via ferry or plane. All the "vets" know to do this, and if you've looked at any online forums at all you will see this advice. Main reasons, especially key for short trips like yours, from N. America:
• AVOID WASTING TIME - u must be in Athens area on night before departure flight anyway, and staying in Athens or by airport 2 x wastes precious hours - as much as half a day lost.
• A BETTER START - You'll be exhausted/jet-lagged, & it's a whole lot more fun to recover on an island than in a busy National Capital
• PEP & PREPPING - After a few days on isles, you'll be relaxed, reinvigorated, and somewhat hip to Greek ways of doing things, readier to tackle big-city sightseeing
• APPRECIATION - Even a short time of immersion in Greek culture/history will make Athens famous landmarks & treasures resonate so much more with you.

I have enjoyed all 4 islands you've chosen ...just a few observations • by choosing late August you WILL confront immense High Season tourism. • U get best help by not just saying "family" - advice differs greatly if kids are teens vs toddlers, or if elderly grandparents are along • Transport - 4 of your choices you can manage without a car -- but Milos has a lame bus network even in high season. • For an active family (water sports, hiking etc) my choice would be NAXOS and ANTIPAROS ... the latter is just off the port of Paros, totally walkable, lovely beaches & you can go to Paros in 15 minutes on a mini-ferry.
rddysum is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2020, 08:16 AM
  #10  
 
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Rddysum, have a look at the Captain Ben website for day trips to the Antiparos sea caves and stops for swims and bbq. Captain Ben gets rave reviews, and picks up passengers both from its base on Antiparos and from Pounta Port on Paros:
https://captainbenantiparos.com
Heimdall is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2020, 05:31 AM
  #11  
 
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I've been to all those islands and enjoyed them all so I don't think you can go wrong. The only island we rented a car was Crete and then only for 3 of our 8 days. I'm glad I did in that case but it is possible to get around by bus. As to the other 4 islands I took buses to get around.

While none of those islands are major cruise ship stops or seriously crowded, Folegandros and Milos would be the least so. Folegandros especially is very quiet, very tiny, but with beautiful beaches and amazing views - and not much else. Milos had a lot more going on including wonderful day sails around the island. If you were to do those two islands I'd split the time 2 days Folegandros and the rest Milos. But you could also add in Sifnos which I really liked. All three of those islands are connected by a ferry daily so easy to hop from one to the next. I was in Naxos/Paros about ten years ago so it's probably gotten more crowded since. If you choose those two I'd split the time evenly.

I have photos of all those here: https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/f320347206
And a trip report that includes Sifnos and Folegandros here: https://andiamo.zenfolio.com/blog/20...nd-folegandros
isabel is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2020, 08:38 AM
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I would not choose an island based on whether you could get a room for €5 or €10 cheaper ... if you are so worried about prices, whynot give us more specific information, such as the range in Euros you are comfortable with for room rate per night? Since u express interest in sailing & horseback riding, it would seem that your pockets are deep enough to cover a slight different in lodging rates. For children the age of yours, I do think that Naxos and Paros/Antiparos may offer more activity options than Folegandros ... and less need for a car full-time than Milos. I'm done here.
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Old Feb 13th, 2020, 12:34 PM
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Rddysum, I don't want to switch back and forth between Fodor's and TripAdvisor to follow your posts, so I'm done here too.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2020, 09:02 AM
  #14  
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I appreciate your tips and sorry to have annoyed you with my questions. I thought this site was to get suggestions and help!
rddysum is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2020, 07:45 PM
  #15  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by rddysum View Post
I appreciate your tips and sorry to have annoyed you with my questions. I thought this site was to get suggestions and help!
Indeed, this is a site where people can come for suggestions and help! And just like it is free for you to ask for help, it is a service provided for free by those who choose to respond. And just as you get to ask what you like, we each get to choose to whom and how to respond -- ANY response, from ANY of us, is offered gratis, simply because we choose to spend our time sharing our thoughts. And we each have different criteria that we use to decide when to respond and when not. I don't know anyone else's criteria, but I know that one of mine is that I'm happy to help people who do their homework and express sincere appreciation for any help they receive. I'm less inclined to help people who don't respond to objections expressed by those who have been trying to help with apologies and/or clarifications of misunderstandings. JMO.

Good luck!

Last edited by kja; Feb 14th, 2020 at 07:48 PM.
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Old Feb 14th, 2020, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rddysum View Post
I appreciate your tips and sorry to have annoyed you with my questions. I thought this site was to get suggestions and help!
Wow, where did that come from? You have been given a lot of information from several people who are very experienced with Greece! Are you irritated because you were asked for more specific information (actual hotel budget, etc)? That information would only help people give you more pertinent answers.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 05:16 AM
  #17  
 
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I think the OP's comment came from the two responses saying "I'm done here". And I kind of wonder why they said that. Other than not giving the ages of their family I don't see that the OP said anything wrong, they came back and thanked everyone for the info given. Heimdall alluded to another post on trip advisor so maybe there was something there, but I'd be a little taken back if someone replied to a follow up question I asked with "I'm done here". I sometimes ask questions on another forums as well as this one, so that in and of itself shouldn't be a problem, unless there were things said on that other thread that were frustrating to Jan and Heimdall, they usually give great advice and it seems kind of out of character for them.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 08:24 AM
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Guess I was looking quick, I missed the "I am done" at the end of each. You're right, Isabel, it's out of character for both.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 02:56 PM
  #19  
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Thanks! Yes, I interpreted "I'm done here," as being annoyed. Maybe I'm wrong and that's code for something else? I'm always very grateful to get advice from people who know what they're talking about and always am mindful to thank everyone - as evidenced by all my responses. So I'm not sure what I did that was annoying. I tried to give as much information possible to get the best information as possible.
The only question I haven't answered is the one about cost. To me a $50 a night difference is significant. And yes I don't mind paying for a few fun activities on a trip because I prioritize them. But I prefer not to spend more than $200 a night when at all possible. I don't like spending too much on a room if I know I won't be there much unless there is a nice pool and grounds to enjoy. Thanks again.
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Old Feb 15th, 2020, 08:27 PM
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rddysum, I only said I was done, because it was not possible to answer your query about economical, when you did not indicate anything about what you consider a good price ... without a baseline, that is like asking "how long is a piece of string?" Now that you have finally given us a $$, I can say certainly in Naxos you should be able to find what you need at that price, or below .... I go to Naxos in early June, when I can find rooms with a beach view for €40 a double... so you should be able to manage for your price level.
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