Naxos & Paros

Apr 13th, 2009, 05:49 PM
  #1  
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Naxos & Paros

I will go to mykonos around May 04, 09. I would like to go to Paros &/or Naxos, then on
to Santorini. I will have 2 weeks. How many days @ each island? I thought maybe from Athens - Mykonos, I could stop @ one of the other islands. Then, on my way to Santorini, stop @ the other. Should I skip any of these? Do want Santorini & Mykonos. But not sure how many days on each. Could I book hotels upon arrival, as I'm not sure on arrival dates or how long to stay on each?
shantai is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 11:29 PM
  #2  
 
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You can just play it by ear, and move on to the next island when it suits you. These islands have daily ferry connections, and rooms are easy to find in early May. No need to book rooms or ferries in advance. Buy your ferry ticket the night before, and pick a room from the many people waiting at each port. You will get a better deal than when booking in advance.

With Paros and Santorini you will have to decide which resort to stay in, e.g. Parikia or Naoussa on Paros, Fira or Oia on Santorini. With Mykonos and Naxos most accommodation is in the port town itself.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 13th, 2009, 11:42 PM
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When I wrote "You will get a better deal than when booking in advance" I meant for rooms - ferry ticket prices are fixed, so will cost the same whenever you buy them.

When island hopping I usually get a room upon arrival at the port. It helps to do a little advance research, though, to learn the geography of the island, and decide where you would like to stay (town or beach). If you want to eliminate some uncertainty, you can make a list of hotel contact numbers for each island, then call ahead when you know when you will arrive.

For itinerary order, best ferry connections are: Mykonos-Paros, FlyingCat 4; Paros-Naxos, Blue Star; Naxos-Santorini, Blue Star.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 02:46 AM
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Hi Shantai - How long to stay in Mykonos? The main attractions are Mykonos town and ... the beaches.

If you're not planning spending time on the beaches (- early May may or may not be beach weather anyway), then a couple of nights in Mykonos town might be enough IMO.

Steve
Steve_James is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 04:50 AM
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There is another option as well. it all depends upon your priorities: what are they? Beaches, shopping, nightclubbing, scenery, ancient sites ??? If it is the first 3, you do want to spend several days in Mykonos ... but otherwise, a 1-day visit may do it. And this can be done conveniently with a "day excursion" from either Paros or Naxos. Here's how it works:

You would go directly to Paros OR Naxos for a stay. There is a 1-day excursion to Mykonos & Delos offered by 2 companies (the one with the boat Alexandros is recommended as it's a bigger boat). The "day trip" picks up people at Naxos town dock and Naoussa Paros, arrives 10 am at sacred isle of Delos. At 1 pm it takes you to Mykonos for 4 hours... then back to Paros/Naxos in time for the sunset & dinner. Costs about 54€.

That early in May (and I speak from shivery experience) about the only place you can manage a brief dip in the still-chilly water, is the shallow St. George beach in Naxos -- and even so, it will be brief! So most beaches will be for sunbathing. But if partying is a priority, there is more action off season on Mykonos (and to a lesser extent Santorini) than at the others. The trade-off is that those 2 are the costliest to visit.
travelerjan is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 05:00 AM
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ABOUT HOTELS -- Yes, that early in the off-season, you can get hotels on a walk-up basis in ALL these islands. However, if you want to be happy with your choice and budget, it really pays to do some homework.

Either from a good guidebook or online, get detailed maps of each island and print them out ... good to have maps of Mykonos Town, Naxos Town, and Fira Town and Parikia (Paros port town). Then get online with some lists of hotels in a range of prices. Pick out several on each isle that are the best location and price for you ... and if you can, "Google" them as "Hotel xx TA reviews". You will get comments from past guests that are VERY helpful. MAKE LISTS.

If you arrive by ferry (not by airplane) there will be people with signs, trying to lure you to their pensions or rooms, at low prices. Beware: sometimes these are way off the beaten track, with no views, and inconvenient bus service. Make them pinpoint their place on your map. Otherwise, go to the location in each island where your choices are, and just do a "walk-up" untill you find something you lilke. TIP: if there are 2 of you, it's good to have one sit down at a cafe in that location, with the bags, while the other walks around.

This is a tested technique used successfully by off-season islandhoppers for years.
travelerjan is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 10:33 AM
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Generally the people waiting with signs at the port are those with domatia (rooms for rent) that aren't advertised on the internet. It is true that some are off the beaten track, but equally, others are in central locations.

Last June I got a room on Mykonos in what I considered to be a perfect location - just off Laka Square, and around the corner from the bus stop. I found the room from the first person I spoke to when I got off the ferry. Not only that, but I got a free ride to the room as well.

Mykonos is definitely worth more than one night's stay. It is quiet in early May, and wandering around its beautiful chora (main town) sheer delight. Mykonos has the best selection of shops and restuarants in the Cyclades. You can get to Delos (wonderful archaeological island) from Mykonos in 30 minutes rather than an all-day trip from Paros or Naxos.

The trick is, don't be rushed into a decision. Look at the photos, check the map, and ask questions. Find out what the price for one night's stay will be, then ask for a discount if you stay for three (or however many) nights instead.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Thank you for all your great information. I do love the scenery, local people & some shopping. What is the best site to print up local island maps to take along?
shantai is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 10:45 PM
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One website, http://www.skymap.gr/ , has interactive maps of all the islands you have asked about. There is a 'print page' option, but I've never tried it, so don't know what the end product would look like.

Most of the guidebooks have good island maps, and one I always buy, Greek Island Hopping, Thomas Cook Publishing, has lots of useful info on ferries and the islands themselves. It's updated yearly, and the 2009 edition is out now.
Heimdall is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 05:41 AM
  #10  
 
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shantal -- why don't you try Google ... both on the text part and then on the Image part, just put "Santorini Island Map" or the like. Then u can pick which you lilke best.
travelerjan is offline  
Jan 25th, 2010, 03:29 PM
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1 Day in Paros, 2 in Naxos. Check out this blog:

http://travelring.blogspot.com/2009/...and-greek.html
traveler_mos is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 01:42 AM
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The blog is a good lesson on how not to do the islands. A scooter ride round the island with a couple of stops for swims!

Traveler_mos, you missed so much!
Heimdall is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 11:39 AM
  #13  
 
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Heimdall; How do we get to Naxos from Athens? Can we fly direct? Are you aware of any villa companies on Naxos? We would have ten to twelve people. If we stayed on Naxos for a week, are Paros and Mykonos easily reashed by ferry? Santorini? We are also considering either staying on Crete or Rhodes. Thanks Richard P.S. I realize I am stealing this thread, but it's ten months old.
iris1745 is online now  
Jan 26th, 2010, 12:14 PM
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Hi Iris,

Naxos has one daily flight from Athens, but you will have to wait until March for summer schedules, probably by Olympic Air. Ferry connections to Naxos are excellent, with year-round Blue Stars leaving Piraeus at 7:25am and 5:30pm. During summer are also Hellenic Seaways highspeeds, a little faster than the Blue Stars.

For villas, suggest you Google 'Naxos villas' and check out some of the hits. Ten to twelve people would require something quite large, and would be outside of town, so you would need your own transport. The other option would be to find apartments for your group. I stay at http://www.argo-hotel.gr/, which I know has apartments for up to five people. The hotel is owned by a very nice Greek-Swedish family. Some of our other regular posters may have additional suggestions.

Paros is easy to reach from Naxos, as both islands are on the same ferry route. If you just want a taste of Mykonos, there are excursion boats that go there from Naxos three times a week, stopping first at Delos (not to be missed).
Heimdall is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 03:55 PM
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Iris, what time of year are you going? If it's in JUly or August, you may wish to stay at a beach area farther out, such as Plaka Beach, for less crowding. IF it's May, you'd want to stay closer to Naxos Town, because Plaka, Mikri Vigli, etc are just opening at that time.

I agree with Heimdall that you will do better on Naxos by renting several apartments ... any villas big enough for 12 are sure to be far from the beach ... that's because any building of large villas has been VERY recent, and all the best beach locations have long been occupied by hotels with apartments and studio units. You can easily find adjoining units -- and it probably will be more agreeable anyway... more than 1 kitchen area, more balconies more bathrooms, and probably equivalent (or cheaper) than a biggie villa.

Crete does have some large villas ... of course you would need to rent (several) cars. I would suggest that you google "Villas sleep 12" for Crete & Rhodes... then come back to the forum if you have some you want opinions on.
travelerjan is offline  
Jan 26th, 2010, 04:53 PM
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Heimdall and travelerjam; Thanks for your replys. I do have another post for Crete and Rhodes posted a few months ago. The intent is to give our granddaughters a week on an island for their graduation. One from high school and the other from college. We would be going in early July, 2011. I have given everyone until June this year to decide. Of the twelve, so far eight will be going, with four deciding in June. Once that happens, I was going to start looking for a villa. But these small hotels sound inviting. After I posted a few hours ago, I started looking at ferry routes and it seems like Syros would be an ideal place to stay for a week. It looked to me like there were direct ferries to Naxos, Paros and Mykonos for day trips. I'm liking the hotel with apartments better after both of your replys. My daughter will be usng FF miles for eight of her family if they all go, booking sometime in August. The more I look at Crete and Rhodes, day trips to other islands are less inviting, ever with fast ferries. So after I compile all the information, I will sit down with everyone, present what information I have and let them decide. For four of us, we intend to fly into Athens a day early and then stay a day at the end of the island vacation. We four will then fly to Barcelonia/area for a week. Richard P.S. Your suggestions are getting my thought process moving. Maybe two islands. Hotel apartments would accomplish that.
iris1745 is online now  
Jan 26th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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One small suggestion: if it hasn't been addressed already, be sure that the 4 who don't decide until June have their passports with at least 6 months to go (before expiration) as of July, so there's no issue with their last-minute decisions.

I certainly hope that by June there will still be a villa available in July that will house all of you.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Jan 26th, 2010, 05:56 PM
  #18  
 
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Hi; I should have said July 2011. but Thanks
iris1745 is online now  
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