Mykonos to ? Final leg before Athens

Old Mar 10th, 2012, 02:21 PM
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Mykonos to ? Final leg before Athens

I am finalizing our travel plans for Greece in mid-May. My husband and I have decided to mainly spend our time island hopping saving 2 nights for Athens at the end. I am trying to decide whether to spend extra nights on the 3 islands we are visiting, or save 3 nights for another area on the mainland (perhaps the Pelopennese Peninsula). I know there are lots of historical sights to see such as Corinth, and Delphi or visiting the monestaries of Meteora. So far our plans are to fly to Santorini from Athens upon arrival from New York. 3 (or 4? ) nights Santorini, 3 (or 2?) nights Naxos, 3 nights Mykonos. That leaves me with 3 nights to play with before returning to Athens for final 2 nights. I am looking for either another beautiful island easily accessible from Mykonos, or a good mainland plan from Mykonos. The Mani area looks like an interesting place to visit or Nafplion. After visiting Pompeii and Paestum in Italy last year and visiting the ruins of Ephesus in Turkey, I am not sure I want to spend lots of days visiting more ruins. We've got Athens and Delos on the schedule for ruins. Maybe just visiting more of Greece's coastline would be fun? We like to visit small coastal towns or fishing villages where we could stay at a nice spot on the water, hike or walk for some good excercise and then have options for eating fresh seafood for dinner on the water. I wish we had more time! Another island? Coast or inland? Anybody have a favorite?
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Old Mar 10th, 2012, 05:11 PM
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It's a difficult decision. If you perhaps would prefer an island then, without hesitation I'd recommend Syros, less than two hours from Mykonos by ferry. (Ferry route: Mykonos - Tinos - Syros - Athens (Piraeus)).

Not an island visited regularly by tourists, it has a stunning main port and some of the best and most deserted beaches in the Cyclades. Ferries operate regularly each day direct to Athens (about 4 hours journey time by car ferry).

On the same route back to Athens (Mykonos - Tinos - Andros - Athens (Rafina)) it also might be worth checking out the island of Andros. I enjoyed exploring this lush, green and traditional island many years ago although I do understand it receives more visitors these days.

All that said, I love the mainland too and extra time there is well worth considering.

bill
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 12:37 AM
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I've always concentrated on the islands myself, but last September was invited by friends to spend four days in the Peloponnese. It was stunningly beautiful, and a wonderful contrast to the Cyclades. The coastal towns were just as pretty, the beaches as good as those on the islands, and was easy to get around by road. It left me wondering why I never visited before, and why so many people seem to think Greece is just Athens and islands.

One advantage of the Peloponnese for your trip, especially if you hire a car, is no worries about weather or strikes to delay the return to Athens for your flight home. The Nafplion area has one of the largest concentrations of ancient sites apart from Athens itself. If you are interested in antiquities, don't miss Delos, though. The site is closed on Mondays, and occasionally when strong winds prevent the excursion boats from running.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 04:16 AM
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On my opinion I would either spend at least 4 nights/3 full days on Naxos, either skip it completely and go elsewhere. If you plan to do a side trip on Delos island, you might want to add at least one more night on Mykonos too. You mention small coastal towns and fishing villages, so I am not quite sure why you picked Santorini and Mykonos, but anyway....
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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The reason I felt we had to see Santorini and Mykonos is because every travel guide says they are a must for any first time traveler to Greece. So I am including them, but wanted to add a few other places that are a little less visited. I also think going in early to mid May it will be less crowded. Thanks for the everyone!
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 09:04 AM
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Roadster - sounds like an amazing trip! When I saw the title of your post I immediately thought of Santorini - glad to see it is in your plans. It IS a main tourist draw so will not have the advantages of a less touristy place, but it is spectacularly beautiful. Thats why it is on all the "must see" lists. We were fortunate to be there on a gorgeous fall day when it was not overrun. I cannot speak to what it is like in spring.

I'll throw Rhodes into the mix of options as an island I was delightfully surprised by. I had heard of it of course, but did not realize what a rich and varied history it had. I learned so much while I was there. The living, thriving modern city inside the Medieval Castle walls fascinated me too.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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Hi Roadster. One thnkg that really strikes first time visitors to the Grek Islands is how relaxing they are. Time tends to slow down. The combination of beautiful towns and beaches just makes a perfect vacation. Where I am going ith this is you will likely regret moving on after only three days on each Island. I would suggest you add at least two of those extra days to Naxos. There is so much to see and do there with the lovely mountian villages, the great beaches and the winding back alleys of Chora. Naxos has a large permanent population so you will discover how Greece used to be. Better yet it is a great budget saver as it is far less expensive destination than Mykonos and Santorini.

If on the other hand you do decide to go to the Peloponnese then the suggestion of Nauplion is an excelelnt one. I would suggest you rent a car and drive to Nauplion and just stay there for the 3 days. It is reall yone of my favourite cities in Greece and it is well positioned for short day trips. Here are images of Naxos and Nauplion

http://travel.webshots.com/album/552001505EYxVYT

Nauplion
http://travel.webshots.com/album/551991579dJbWvh
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 03:07 PM
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Do you have a hotel suggestion for Naxos or a particular area on the that would be a good base? yours is the second response to suggest spending more time on Naxos. Thanks for the input.
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Old Mar 11th, 2012, 05:50 PM
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May is still early season so it makes sense to stay at St George Beach area because it will not be to crowded at that time of year and the water is shallow so it heats up faster than the deeper beaches along the west coast. Best part of St George beach is it is directly adjacent to Chora so you are only a short stroll away from all the activities of town but get a beach vacation and very quiet at night for sleeping.

You do not indicvate a price range for hotels however our favourite hotel is Hotel Glaros which is essentially on the beach with every room having ocean view. It was totally renovated last year and is now a boutique hotel and should run you about 80 euros a night. Much more expensive but an even higher class is Hotel Nissaki right next door to Glaros. A good bargain is Hotel Galini and Sofia about 76 meters away but without the view and another of my favourite hotel is Hotel Spiros which has a pool and kitchenettes which appeals to me. It is in the second row of hotels from the beach but some units have ocean views, If you can give me an idea of your price range and class of hotel you are looking for I have pictures of several hotels that I am familiar with.
I would also suggest you plan on renting a car and visiting the mountain villages, this will be a highlight of your trip.
Here are some images.
http://travel.webshots.com/album/577950188puzxSj
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Old Mar 16th, 2012, 12:08 PM
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Thank you for the responses. We have decided to spend at least 4 (maybe 5) nights on Naxos. Although the St George Beach area seems like the perfect area to stay (close to town ,but a little out), I am thinking about staying off the beaten track for this island. We are on the beaten path in Santorini and Mykonos. Our requirements for Naxos are to stay somewhere clean with beautiful water views and to be near a few good tavernas for nightly dinners. Nearby any walking trails would be a bonus as well. We will rent a car for a couple of days for island excursions. Do you have any suggestions for a less populated beach on the island that would meet our requirements? Thanks!
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