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Mykonos, Naxos or Paros??

Old Jan 10th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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Mykonos, Naxos or Paros??

We're planning a trip to the Cyclades in early July and are having trouble deciding which island to stay at. Our priorities, in order, are good weather, nice beaches, great food, fun nightlife, authenticity (i.e., not overly touristy), interesting sights. We're inclined toward Mykonos, but have heard that it's very crowded. Naxos or Paros have been suggested as good alternatives. Any thoughts on the islands would be much appreciated.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 08:44 AM
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Mykonos in July will be a madhouse. Naxos and Paros are good alternatives, with Naxos offering the most variety of activities and beautiful beaches. Nightlife willl pale by comparison to Mykonos or Santorini, but there will still be plenty to see and do at night.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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I loved Naxos - been there twice, back in 1976 and again in 2000. Beaches were quite nice, and it certainly was not overly crowded. The port town was really interesting, with the Venetian quarter. I didn't get to Paros in 2000 and I've never been to Mykonos, but I think it would be quite crowded.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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Naxos is a very cool place. While the people were friendly and warm, it's great to go to a place where catering to tourists isn't the residents' only priority.

It has a wonderful mix of the best beaches in the region, diverse and beautiful sidetrips and a lively port city. For nightlife, the wildest we got were some great long dinners in the port including one night when there was a festival going on alongside the harbor. (We're boring, but were travelling with a pre-teen.)

It's got great tiny towns and stopping spots scattered around the island. It's a great place to rent a car for a few days.

One advantage for Mykonos is it's a bit quicker for a Delos day trip, but it's tough to go wrong with fabulous Naxos.
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Old Jan 10th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Thank you to those that have replied so far - much appreciated!!
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 04:29 AM
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Yes Mykonos is overcrowded. But especially August. Early July in the week (not the weekend when all the Athenians go), i'm sure you'll have a great time. It's a lovely island with nice beaches.
Between Paros and Naxos, i like Paros much more but it's a matter of taste.
How many days are you staying? You can visit two islands probably!
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 04:46 AM
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I've been to Naxos and Paros. I enjoyed both of them. Here are some of my photos of both places. I had almost picked Mykonos, but becuase of the crowds, decided against it. Maybe someday!

http://greece2001mjp.homestead.com/grphotos01.html

Monica
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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PS: We stayed 3 nights on each of the islands (or 2.5 full days) and felt that was plenty for us.

Monica
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Old Jan 14th, 2005, 06:38 PM
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if choosing between naxos and paros, here's my take.

first impressions go to paros because the port is smaller and easier to handle. naxos town (chora) isn't as easy figure out because besides tourism, it's the center of a large, relatively busy island that also has plenty of agriculture.

where naxos excels is out in the countryside with its villages and its beaches. in some ways it's greece encapsulated on one island. still, the port area has charms of its own and great dining choices.

If you rent a car on Naxos and include some beach time, you can easily fill a week there as you explore the small villages and kouros. check out the kirton distillery in Halki and the marble streets in Apiranthos.
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 05:01 AM
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This may be a naive question, but of Naxos and Paros, which is greener? Thanks, J.
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Old Jan 15th, 2005, 06:05 AM
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Not naive at all. Good question. Not a lot of difference, but I believe because of the wonderful valleys Naxos has an edge(hence Naxos' agricultural wealth.) Lush is not a word used in the Cyclades, but there's plenty of beauty on either island.

Here's a site to borrow some ideas from and customize:
http://www.worldwalks.com/naxos.htm
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 04:21 AM
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Thanks, repete, much appreciated. J.
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 07:53 AM
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My daughter and I visited Paros and Mykonos in 2003. We only stayed a night in Mykonos to visit Delos (one of the high points of our visit), but we enjoyed Mykonos very much for that short stay. It was crowded even in May.

We loved Paros and people were friendly. It was too cold to go in the water but we enjoyed the views. The little port is great to stroll, but I must admit we'd pretty much seen everything in our three days there.

I am very sorry we weren't able to visit Naxos. My only recommendation is to never take a "slow ferry!" The hydrofoils are definitely the way to go!
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Old Jan 16th, 2005, 09:26 AM
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jmw44, if you want "green" you need to go to the northern Sporades: Skiathos, Skopelos, Skiros etc. Very different from the Cyclades, but quite wonderful as well.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 04:12 AM
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Thanks, Marilyn, now how would you contrast the look of the towns? Is the local architecture similar? When I picture the Greek islands, I imagine those whitewashed, stacked coastal villages. Also windmills, but that's another fantasy that I probably have to lay to rest. J.
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Old Jan 17th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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No, jmw, you won't get that "sugar cubes against a blue sky/sea" photo you see on travel posters. But the towns are charming nonetheless. Actually, the architecture on Skiros comes the closest, I think, to the Cyclades, and it was also our favorite of this group.

Crete is another place that does not look like the Cycladic islands, but is absolutely wonderful if you get away from the horrendously overdeveloped areas.
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