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July honeymoon in greece, italy, or spain?

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Jul 27th, 2013, 10:41 AM
  #1
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July honeymoon in greece, italy, or spain?

We'll be planning a honeymoon of 10-12 days in July 2014 and we're trying to figure out where would be the best best fit for us out of greece, italy, and spain. We'll be traveling from cali or ny/nj. We are most interested in good weather, beautiful beaches, good food, activities and would like to visit at least one island. My fiance isn't into museums.

Just in case it helps- we most recently enjoyed a trip to napa because of the great food, great weather, time by the pool, the beautiful outdoors, and visiting wineries.

I'm not sure if it'd be realistic or too hectic to visit parts of more than one of those countries in 10-12 days and it'd be great to have experienced opinions to choose between them.

Any suggestions or ideas on where we should go?
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Jul 27th, 2013, 10:50 AM
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July is Peak Season in all 3 countries you're considering. All of them will be extremely hot and crowded, especially at the beaches or on the islands. With only 10-12 days stick to one country. Go to the Greek islands.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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Agree to stick to one country - with so few days and for a honeymoon with beautiful beaches. Many european beaches are rocks or pebbles - not the broad white sand you are used to in the US. And in many places the best beaches ar owned by a specific resort.

I think you need to do a lot of research to find a place - or 2 places if you are looking at the Greek isles - to find what you are expecting.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 11:38 AM
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It depends what you mean by "beautiful beaches." Because some beaches can be scenic in their way (such as in Oregon in the US around Cannon Beach, with the offshore rocks, etc), but the beach itself is not that great and nothing like I suspect you are thinking -- nothing like Caribbean or Mexican beaches, in terms of lots of nice sand. Even if they are not rocks, the sand is just packed brown, more like dirt more or less.

So I also think Greece is probably your best bet in terms of food and beaches. For Spain, the islands probably have the best beaches in terms of some white sand, etc.--Mallorca or Formentera. Not sure the food is going to necessary be great in any beach resort area, food in Spain is not always its top quality in many places IMO, at least not to my taste. I find you can eat well in Barcelona, but I haven't had great eats in some other parts of Spain. But I love Greek food.

To be honest, it sounds like you just really want some Caribbean beach vacation, not sure why you are going to Europe. Why not go to St Lucia or something. I have a friend who went on her honeymoon in July there last year, and she loved it.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 11:48 AM
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Technically there aren't any private beaches in Greece, but some hotels and restaurants rope off areas for their customers. I'm not going to get into the argument over which country is best, but the only island I've been to that I liked as much as those in Greece is Formentera, Spain, which has some of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Europe. To get there you first have to go to Ibiza.

Actually most of the things you are looking for are best found on the mainland of whichever country you choose. The advantage of Greece is that it is easy to combine mainland and island in one trip.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 11:56 AM
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Haha Christina, we were both thinking of Formentera! I went there a couple of times by ferry from Ibiza, and the beaches were stunning. Quiet little Formentera is a big contrast from Ibiza, which has the reputation of being a party island. There are quiet parts of Ibiza as well, though.

I'd better stop taking about Formentera and Ibiza, or my Greek friends will think I have deserted them! ;-)
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Jul 27th, 2013, 12:40 PM
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Speaking of beaches in Greece, they all are public, as per Greek consitution.
There are not more than 20 private beaches all over Greece, only a very few belong to hotels. The rest of them are public beaches with an entrance. ( like in Varkiza, Voula or Vouliagmeni in Athens)
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Jul 27th, 2013, 04:48 PM
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Thanks for the help so far, everybody- it's sounding like greek islands or a trip that includes formentera might work best. and, Christina, to clarify, I mean beaches for swimming & maybe water activities. & I don't mean to sound picky- we don't care at all about dirt/pebbles/sand; I tend to think most beaches (that aren't just dirty, trash-filled) are pretty, especially with blue water.

We don't want an island in the caribbean (for one thing, it'd be hurricane season), but also even though ABC aren't in the hurricane belt, we've never done the isolated island/beach feel, and I think we're a bit too active for the lazing on the beach-type vacation. From previous vacations and research, italy, spain, and greece seem to have more options for active/sightseeing vacations than the caribbean.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 08:09 PM
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Throwing the cat among the pigeons. Why those three countries? and why in their peak season.

Why not Denmark or Southern Sweden; a cruise of the fiords of Norway; a pacific Island or even tropical Queensland.

Just curious.
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Jul 27th, 2013, 11:40 PM
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I would choose Greece,, its amazing, different, but so comfortable.. I would suggest two or three isles.. Santorini, Naxos and Mykonos... an interesting mix of busier and quieter ...
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Jul 28th, 2013, 03:28 PM
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peterSale - as others have posted, people often say the greek islands are amazing. we looked at where the best places for a july honeymoon would be that also include beaches and those 3 are the places we'd been most interested in so far. we are open to other places, but don't want cruises and want the trip to involve warm, non-rainy weather and beaches for swimming.

I'll take a look at the places you suggest, but, from what I understand, july would also be peak season for most of the places you mentioned too. If there's enough to do outside of beach/water activities, pacific islands might be amazing- we will definitely look into those more.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 04:02 PM
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You sound like my husband and myself. We went to Greece 2 years ago, it wasn't our honeymoon, but we felt like it was. AMAZING! We went to Crete, Santorini and Mykonos.

Mykonos was our least favorite, but everyone has to go there at least once. We stayed at a beautiful Resort (Royal Mykonian Resort and Spa)they have their own private beautiful beach.

Crete, we stayed in 2 places, completely different yet both amazing. 1st we went to Chania and stayed 2 nights in a very beautiful bed and breakfast. This is a small quaint area and so beautiful with fantastic food. (and not the restaurants that have a view of the harbor, we found this out on our last night) I am 100% greek and was not impressed with the food until we walked down the side streets away from the ocean...then we found great restaurants. Beach around the corner about a 10min walk. Then we drove to Hersonososs about 1 1/2 hr drive. Stayed at a beautiful sprawling Resort (Aldamar Resort and Spa)We had our choice of the main pool, our private pool that only 8 other hotels rooms use) We got upgraded, and a beautiful beach, the ocean was so clean. When we decided to go to

Santorini, we only stayed 3 nights because we are beach people and it is not much of a beach....well, we stayed in Oia and had a beautiful pool that overlooked the ocean, when we asked the hotel about a close beach, he said that there was an area we could walk to but it was rocky with no beach sand and it wasn't that great. Let me tell you that it was the most beautiful area we swam in and we had so much fun.

And we did this in July. I would highly recommend it
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Jul 28th, 2013, 04:38 PM
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Fair enough. We try to avoid peak places and people as much as possible.

The fiord cruise has shore trip pretty much every day, sometimes two. It is half cruise ship half postal ship stopping at lots of ports.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 08:41 PM
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giadav: thanks so much for the detailed comments. we are leaning toward the greek islands now and we'll put your recs to good use. so good to know that, even in peak season, we'll be able to craft a vacation to get some pool and beach time that isn't overcrowded.

peterSale: understood. I think as long as we have the main things we're looking for & there are some uncrowded pools and beaches that we'll have access to (like giadav described), we should enjoy the trip.

We would consider a cruise, but I've been known to get seasick (on shorter trips, a dramamine does the trick, but I prefer not to be sick or hazy for nearly every day), also my fiance is a big guy and does not like smaller spaces or feeling "stuck," and we prefer to have resort or boat food as infrequently as possible and for our room to have the look and feel of the area we're in and to be able to change things up as we go.
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Jul 28th, 2013, 11:49 PM
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Santorini and Crete are good choices, but be aware that to get between the two it is usually necessary to go by small catamaran, not good for people who are prone to seasickness. This summer is better though, as during July and August Olympic Air has flights 3 times per week between Mykonos, Santorini and Heraklion in Crete. Hellenic Seaways has also substituted its small catamaran during high season for a much larger one, making the journey more pleasant. These changes are both new this year, and it remains to be seen whether they will continue next summer and beyond.

July is busy on the Greek Islands, but not as busy as August. Mykonos and Santorini will be busier than most other islands, and many visitors feel they are too touristy, as they are both popular cruise stops. You won't avoid tourists in July, but there are many islands with a more traditional feel. Santorini, because of its views, should stay on top of your list.

If you want an island with a more traditional feel, there are many to choose from. Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos all have good beaches, and are well connected with Santorini. Koufonissi and Amorgos also have good beaches, but are a little harder to reach. If you want somewhere a little more secluded, try Antiparos and stay at http://www.dolphinantiparos.gr. You might even spot the actor Tom Hanks, as he has a villa nearby.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 10:26 AM
  #16
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slight change in plans- we decided to do a short domestic mini-moon right after the wedding and do a longer honeymoon (14 days) over the last 2 weeks of august. I wonder if this changes anybody's ideas? if we should now consider adding a second country or just seeing more of one?

also, Heimdall- I'm fine taking boats for a few hours at a time (I pop a dramamine), I just prefer not to do my entire honeymoon as a cruise.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 10:59 AM
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If you can delay your honeymoon another week or two it would be a huge advantage. August is the big month for holidays in Europe, and anywhere near the sea is jam-packed. August 15th is a major holiday in Greece (Assumption Day) — anyone who can will be on the islands around that time. By the last week of August things begin to calm down, and it gets even better in September. One of my favourite times for the Greek Islands (apart from June) is the last week of August and the first week of September.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 01:01 PM
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If you are going to Greece, adding a few more nights gives you more time to enjoy the country, but not enough to add another. You could add another island,and also be sure to include a night in Athens to see the acropoilis.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 01:10 PM
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Heimdall: we can also do our honeymoon over the first two weeks of September if that's better. I haven't checked the weather then & I don't remember when places start closing up since tourist/summer season is over.

msteacher: point taken on staying in greece for all 14 days. we probably won't do the acropolis or athens any more than we have to because we've both been there before, so we're trying to limit our athens time.
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Aug 23rd, 2013, 01:56 PM
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If you like clubbing and don't mind the crowds, the last two weeks of August would be fun. Although I am much older than you, I still enjoy the buzz of islands when they are busy. The first two weeks of September are still high season on touristy islands like Mykonos and Santorini, but are quieter on islands like Naxos and Paros.

One big difference I've noticed is that in August there are still a lot of families with children, while in September it is mostly couples and singles.
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