Help! Family vacation chaos

Jun 29th, 2008, 06:38 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 4
Help! Family vacation chaos

We are a family of 7. There are 4 adults, 2 preteens and 1 toddler. We are looking for a combination of spectacular beaches, stark white architecture (usually in photos), cobblestone streets, lots of character, in the Cyclades, all on a budget for approximately 1 week. Which island is best? We have read the books and are just looking for input. It is hard to get 2 families to agree!

Villa, Hotel, Hostel recommendations? Once we get to the island, do you think we need a car? (We will be coming from Italy...any suggested ports?)

We appreciate any help you can give!!
nazz is offline  
Jun 29th, 2008, 07:03 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
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You didn't say when you plan to go... I HOPE it is not immediately; I hope u are talking about 2009. July-Aug on most Greek islands is a mob scene--and if u are talking about this summer u have left plans very late.

NAXOS is the BEST island for varied interests. It has the 12 miles of golden sand beaches and the blue & white architecture (which BTW is true of ALL cycladic islands (not just Mykonos and Santorini -- tho the posters only show those 2). THere are also the ruins and castles, the winding flagstone lanes, beautiful harbor for sunset...AND lodgings at 30%-50% the price of Santorini & Mykonos.

If u stay in St. GEorge Beach you won't have to rent a car for your whole stay, you can WALk to Naxos Town for cafes dinner shopping concerts etc etc... Put the toddler in a folding stroller. It IS fun to rent a car for a day to tootle around the entire island.

Here's a map of he Island, a map of Naxos town, and a slide show from a frequent Fodor contributor, that shows why Naxos is THE island for families...and for the rest of us.

If this convinces you re Naxos, e-mail me; I'm not going to keyboard a boat-load of tips only to find out you have chosen somewhere else! And DO share what your trip dates are.
travelerjan is online now  
Jun 29th, 2008, 09:11 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 674
I have been to Mykonos, so yes it fits most of your requirements, BUT,

traveljans advice is spot on, Mykonos will be a crowded zoo, and you have no reservation( which with a group is best).

I would go to Naxos, I have only seen blogs on it, but it is so beautiful looking.

PS In case anyone in your group has suggested Santorini, it does not have nice white beaches, in fact I don't think it have many beaches at all, and with a toddler ,, all those hills, yech!
bozama is offline  
Jun 29th, 2008, 10:37 PM
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Paros is also a very good choice for your island holiday, and with a car you can get to some very nice beaches, calm for toddlers, not crowded.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 01:17 AM
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>>Mykonos will be a crowded zoo<<

Bozama, how can you say that when you don't know when they are traveling? I was on Mykonos a few weeks ago (early June), and it wasn't crowded at all. Only a few people on Ag Ionnis Beach (on a hot sunny day), lots of empty tables in the tavernas, and the morning I visited Delos I had the island practically to myself.
Heimdall is online now  
Jun 30th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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Okay so here is the update. We are trying to get there on July 11th from Italy. I think Naxos sounded good and I will look into Paxos. Our family is a bit on the last minute type of people. I understand that rooms will be iffy but I still need to find us some. So we are thinking about forgetting Santorini and Mykonos altogether ( due to price and the fact that it will be crowded.)

Any other suggestions? Inexpensive places in Naxos or Paros? or anywhere else.
nazz is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 03:48 PM
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I am going to give you the two most useful links to hotels in Naxos -- NOT commercial, not agencies; when you click on a pictured hotel, you see rooms,amenities, locations sometimes rates --AND the contact information DIRECT to the Hotel.

Naxos has more "studios" and "apartments" than freestanding villas; and in fact if this is 2 couples and their child/children, probably 2 units would be best. The typical non-luxury place is family- run, has 15-30 units each with patio or balcony, AC, room fridges...the "studios" or "apts" have kitchenettes so you can fix own breakfast, snacks even dinners-- handy for families where kids get hungry at odd hours. Price range 50-80 per double, more if there's a pool. Plain decor, white, light, airy, sparkly clean.

I am not going to recommend specific ones because GOOD LORD you want something 12 days from now!! My first choices will probably be gone. HOwever there are TONS of attractive places available ..... Advice:

(1)Try St. George Beach, just because you won't have to be getting on a bus or getting in a car all the time -- see my original post.

(2)Pick out hotels u like the look of and Google "Hotel XXX Trip Advisor" and you'll get any traveler reviews of same. Make a priority list of 5 that your 2 families agree on . DO THIS TONIGHT.

(3)Do NOT e-mail -- you don't have time; you've left it too late. TELEPHONE -- I'm sure you have a 10-10 number that makes it cheap. Best time to reach someone fluent in English is betwwen 9 - 12 am. Greece time -- that is 7 hours ahead of USA east cost. So 2am -5 am EDT. Drink some coffee & stay up late and get 'er done.

(4)When u book, ask if they will pick up at the POrt (I assume u are taking a ferry there). Tell them u will call back & confirm the ferry arrival.
travelerjan is online now  
Jun 30th, 2008, 04:15 PM
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traveler Jan - You are the best! Thank you very much for all of your help! I will take your advice!!
nazz is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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Nazz -- you can repay our help by posting a "trip report" on your time on Naxos. It helps us learn.
travelerjan is online now  
Jun 30th, 2008, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Nazz, how do you plan to get from Italy to Greece? Before deciding on Naxos, consider this: if traveling from Italy by ferry, you will be bypassing many nice islands in the Ionian that are much easier to reach than the Cyclades. You mentioned Paxos, near Corfu, which can be reached directly by ferry from Bari and Brindisi.

To get to Naxos from Italy the most sensible way would be a flight to Athens, then a ferry to Naxos. There are also flights from Athens to Naxos, but you are unlikely to get seats for a party of seven at this late date.
Heimdall is online now  

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