Naxos in May

Nov 14th, 2014, 09:53 PM
  #1  
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Naxos in May

Hi Folks,
My husband and I in our 30s are travelling to Greece First week of May for 10 days. After reading posts on this website we have decided to go with Athen->Naxos-> Santorini->Athens. Will Naxos be open during this time? Will the ferries ply? Where would you suggest we stay? Thanks in advance.
shushu is offline  
Nov 14th, 2014, 09:59 PM
  #2  
 
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Naxos is a large island with a sizeable permanent population. Yes, it will be "open". There will be at least one ferry each day connecting Santorini and Naxos with Athens/Piraeus.

St. George Beach on Naxos is within easy walking distance to Naxos Town and all it has to offer. Firostefani on Santorini is within easy walking distance to Fira and all it has to offer but Oia is the most beautiful village. Oia's nightlife is limited to a few mellow bars and cafes but there are plenty of shops and restaurants there.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Nov 14th, 2014, 11:39 PM
  #3  
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Thank you for your response. Would we be able to hire a bike in Naxos to go around the island ? We would like to explore the smaller villages if possible.

also would u recommend taking the night ferry back from santorini to athens or the one that leaves at 3.30.
shushu is offline  
Nov 15th, 2014, 01:48 AM
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I would take the afternoon ferry Bluestar Delos and go on from Piraeus boat's pier by taxi. Alternatively you could book a Piraeus hotel close to the metro station.
In May, the sun will shine until about 8pm.
The night ferry Bluestar 2 (only 3times weekly) can be boarded after 1am only and the waiting time until then will not be particularly pleasant.
neckervd is offline  
Nov 15th, 2014, 05:50 AM
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Bike? West side may be if you are really serious bikers. Naxos is a big island. East side would be suitable if you are a competitive biker. Look at the topo map https://www.google.com/maps/@37.0713...!5m1!1e4?hl=en
greg is offline  
Nov 15th, 2014, 05:52 AM
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Shushu, when you say "bike" do you mean a bicycle or a motorcycle? With a bicycle you can pedal to the string of beaches along the Southwest. However, inland is quite hilly (even some mountains) so pedaling is VERY strenuous; if you hire a motorbike or ATM use caution, the curves are sharp, with no guardrails.
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Nov 15th, 2014, 06:54 AM
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Brotherlees advice is right on. You are early season so the best place to stay on Naxos is St George beach because it is part of Naxos town. You will find hotels up and running, Naxos town tavernas shops and activities will have started. There will be no crowds but just enough people to make it interesting.

The weather can be a bit iffy in early May with more clouds and occasional rain. Is there any way you can push back your dates to the second half of May.

As Jan and Greg indicated there are lots of bicycle rental available in Naxos town but it is not at all practical to use a bicycle to explore the interior of Naxos. It is primarily mountainous.
Here are images of Naxos town, St George beach and the interior.
St George Beach Naxos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632113170279/
Naxos Town http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632094558042/
A week in Naxos https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr...7645113682278/

Have a great time
stanbr is offline  
Nov 16th, 2014, 04:05 PM
  #8  
WWK
 
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Unless it's really out of budget, I would suggest flying from Santorini to Athens. I don't find the ferries that comfortable, and it's a long ride.

If you do decide to fly, book as soon as you can. Flights to the islands tend to fill up fast starting in the spring/summer months.
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Nov 17th, 2014, 01:22 AM
  #9  
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Thanks all for your responses, they are most helpful. We aren't in a position to move out the dates unfortunately. Is there anything specific I need to factor in if we are traveling 1st week of May?
I was thinking along the lines of a motorcycle but if the local buses ply first week of May we are open to that too. Or is there any other way to explore the island? Is the Naxos Chora a good place to stay? We would like to walk down the town streets late at night if possible.
We will definitely look at budgeting the flight from Santorini to Athens. As mentioned boarding at 1AM doesn't sound too pleasant.

Do I need to pre-book the Bluestar ferries? Or is it ok to land and book the ferry at the airport to Naxos for the next day?
shushu is offline  
Nov 17th, 2014, 02:08 AM
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If you are experienced with motorcycles that may be the way to go, but personally I prefer to hire a car. Either way, unless you have a drivers license from an EU country you will need an International Drivers Permit (IDP).

Buses to the villages run all year round for island residents, but in early May the schedule is reduced. There are also tours of the mountain villages, which can be booked at island travel agents.

Naxos chora or St George is the best place to stay in early May, and there is no problem walking around late at night. No ferry will be full in early May, so it is best to wait until you get to Greece to buy the tickets. The only exception would be when Orthodox Easter falls in early May as it does occasionally. Easter is April 12th in 2015, so that won't be a problem. Early planners please note that Greek Easter falls on May 1st in 2016.
Heimdall is offline  
Nov 17th, 2014, 06:13 AM
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"We will definitely look at budgeting the flight from Santorini to Athens. As mentioned boarding at 1AM doesn't sound too pleasant"
You can of course travel the other way around:
Piraeus dp 7.25 - Santorini ar 15.10 (FB Bluestar Delos)
Santorini dp 15.30 - Naxos ar 18.00 (FB Bluestar Delos)
Naxos dp 9.30 - Piraeus ar 15.00 (FB Bluestar Naxos)
neckervd is offline  
Nov 17th, 2014, 07:39 PM
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Thanks you for all this information. It's very helpful. It continues to amaze me how one can plan a trip overseas by not going through a travel agent. Having wonderful people like you help first time travelers like us makes a trip so much easier. Appreciate your time.
shushu is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 10:50 AM
  #13  
 
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I wrote a trip report which included Naxos. It was my favorite. We stayed at Ilion Hotel just one building in from the beach. I asked for a view if possible and we had a lovely balcony where we could see the sun set each evening. Sofia and her husband are incredible. She makes such delicious pies for breakfast including all the other usual breakfast items. Want a fresh egg and she will whip it up for you. My husband wanted to take her back to New York. Scirroco's right in town is a great restaurant. A fellow traveler who is a chef in Manchester told us to go there. We went to a concert at the Venetician Castle which was wonderful. Have fun!
milliebest is offline  
Nov 18th, 2014, 07:34 PM
  #14  
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Thanks Millie. How can I access your trip report to Naxos?
shushu is offline  
Nov 19th, 2014, 06:59 AM
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shushu, just click on Millie's screen name on her message, and up will pop a page saying "Millie's Topics" and "Topics Millie has commented on" .
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Nov 20th, 2014, 12:18 AM
  #16  
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neckervd,

The schedule you sent me looks good. But I was wondering about comments on how beautiful the view is while approaching Santorini. Anyway we can turn the schedule around? Or am I asking for too much?

Also we land in Athens at 2:30PM. Do you suggest we head to a hotel at Piraeus port or head in to Athens and take the train to the port in the morning.

We will be spending 3 days in Athens on our way home. Any budget hotel with a beautiful view that you could recommend?

Thanks,
Shushu
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Nov 20th, 2014, 04:16 AM
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>But I was wondering about comments on how beautiful the view is while approaching Santorini.<

This is the view you will get from the Blue Star ferry that departs Piraeus at 7:25 am: http://travelmodus.com/wp-content/up...era-view-1.jpg

The same ferry stops at Paros and Naxos around midday before arriving at Santorini about 3 pm to 3:30 pm. With Blue Star (a conventional ferry) you can stand on the open deck, while with catamarans you are limited to peering through a window of an inside cabin. BTW, the stretch of sea between Paros and Santorini has many other interesting views, not just the Santorini caldera.
Heimdall is offline  
Nov 20th, 2014, 04:51 AM
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Another thought: with a 2:30 pm arrival in Athens, you will have enough time to reach Piraeus for the 5:30 pm Blue Star to Naxos. Buy the ferry tickets at Amphitrion Holidays at the airport, then step outside to the taxi rank for a ride straight to the docks in Piraeus. If you are on a budget, the X96 express bus should still get you to the docks on time. Taxis and buses both leave from in front of the airport terminal.

After spending however long you want on Naxos, board the Blue Star to Santorini there. It's scheduled to depart Naxos at 12:55 pm, and arrives on Santorini at around 3 pm, just as if you had travelled on it all the way from Piraeus.
Heimdall is offline  
Nov 20th, 2014, 09:06 PM
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Sounds like a plan Heimdall. Would you know how long it would take us to get to Piraeus both taxi and bus?
Also any idea how much it would cost us?
How soon do we need to be at Pireaus to board the blue star.
In case we miss the ferry will we be able to find a hotel at piraus port
shushu is offline  
Nov 21st, 2014, 11:48 AM
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Hi shushu,

The X96 bus costs €5 per person, and goes non-stop to the Piraeus docks. It would be about a 5-10 minute walk from the bus stop to the Blue Star dock. I always take the bus, but a taxi would be more convenient, taking you right to the dock itself. It would probably cost around €45-50. In either case, allow about 1 - 1½ hours from the airport to Piraeus.

Passport control and baggage pickup shouldn't take much more than a half-hour, and taxi and bus ranks are just outside the arrivals exit. On the way to the taxi rank you should pass the Amphitrion Holidays desk, and that is a good place to buy ferry tickets. Even better, you could wait until you get to the docks — there is a Blue Star ticket booth right next to the ferry, where you can buy the tickets over the counter or use your booking reference number to retrieve tickets pre-booked through the Blue Star website. I wouldn't bother pre-booking for early May, though, as the ferry won't be full.

You could board the ferry right up until they raise the ramp, but it's best to arrive about 30 minutes before departure. Ferries departing from Piraeus usually allow you to board as early as one hour before sailing.

There are many hotels in Piraeus, and you shouldn't have a problem getting a room on a walk-in basis if you miss the ferry. Do a little research before the trip and have as backup the name of a hotel or two you would like to stay in if you miss the ferry. That is unlikely to happen unless your flight arrives in Athens more than an hour late, but it's good to have a "Plan B" just in case.
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