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Naxos or Paros?

Old May 28th, 2008, 05:06 PM
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Naxos or Paros?

I have a couple days to spend in Greece in early July. I want to take a ferry to either Naxos or Paros. I want nice beaches, snorkeling, and charming towns. Any suggestions about which I should chose? Is it good (and safe) to rent a room at the port? Will I need to book a ferry and room ahead of time? Any advice would be great!
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Old May 28th, 2008, 11:38 PM
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Hi EmmaLeeEm

You wrote: "I have a couple days to spend in Greece in early July."

If you really only have a couple of days to spare, you shouldn't be thinking about going to Paros or Naxos at all. The highspeed ferry to Naxos takes about 3 hours, conventional ferries over 5 hours, and they only leave Piraeus early mornings and late afternoons. You will spend most of those two days just traveling back and forth, checking in and out of the hotel, etc.

Please be a little more specific about how long you will be in Greece, and someone will have a suggestion for how best you can spend your time.

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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:32 PM
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Thanks Heimdall. I'm going to Athens for work and extended my stay a little to have a couple days on my own. I'm free Wednesday through Sunday (but my flight leaves midday from Athens on Sunday). I'll have done a bit of sightseeing in Athens by then so I wanted to check out an island.
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Old May 29th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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I would suggest Hydra. Can easily go and return in a day or spend the night. It's charming. No cars or motorbikes. They use donkey's to carry luggage up the hills. Food is good, you can sit at the harbor, drink and watch the LARGE luxury yachts go and come. Very safe. Have a nice museum and art gallery in the harbor area. You can wander the little streets, and shop. I go there to buy Michael Lawerence water colors. Love his art. One of my favorite places. Do love Naxos too but it is far compared to an hour to Hydra.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 12:35 AM
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With Wednesday to Sunday available, Paros or Naxos will be just doable, especially if you can break away early enough for the Wednesday afternoon ferry. Unfortunately Hellenic Seaways highspeeds don't run on Wedneday afternoons, but Blue Star Naxos leaves at 5:30pm, and arrives on Naxos at 10:45pm. If you can't leave on Wednesday, a Thursday morning highspeed will get you to Naxos before noon.

Paros is an hour closer to Piraeus, but the best parts of that island take a little longer to reach, while the excellent beaches of Naxos are only minutes away from Naxos Town (where most of the hotels and restaurants are also located). Naxos, IMO, is more suited for short visits.

You will need to return to Athens on Saturday. Blue Star Paros leaves Naxos at 6:25pm, and arrives Piraeus around midnight. There is another ferry leaving at 5:00pm, arriving Piraeus at 9:15pm.

All that will make for a very rushed trip to the islands. If it seems too hectic, consider southeastern's suggestion for Hydra or one of the other Saronic Gulf islands, although you may be disappointed with the beaches.

Another possibility would be the island of Kea, a favorite weekend retreat for Athenians. It is close to Athens, and has frequent ferries from Lavrio. You may even be able to stay there until Sunday morning, as Lavrio is very near the airport. I've never visited Kea, though, so know it only by reputation.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 01:06 AM
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Here is the Lavrio-Kea timetable: http://tinyurl.com/5scsgb

As you can see, the ferry takes only one hour. Don't worry about the "not officialy approved yet" - the sailings will be confirmed soon.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 02:14 AM
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Looking closer at the return timetable from Kea to Lavrio, there don't seem to be any Sunday morning ferries, so you would have to get back to the mainland on Saturday.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 05:25 AM
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ANother intriguing possibility is also a Saronic island -- I gather it's thronged on weekends by Athenians but not so much during the week -- Agistri (Angistri). Best of all, it's a snap to reach from Pireaus.

It's a "satellite" islet of Aegina. Aegina has hourly ferries, & takes 40-50 minutes. There are water taxis (10 minutes) to Angistri. AND several direct ferries to Piraeus every a.m. There are apparently several nice beaches, and villages, all walkable from the port, which is attractive too, and of course safe.

Here's a link for an overview
http://www.greekisland.co.uk/angistri/angistri.html
and another w. a hotel review too:
http://www.greekisland.co.uk/angistri/angistri.html
-- you can easily find other hotel or pension listings by Googling. And since u will be in Athens, why not just telephone from there during your work time, and book a room? THis will give you an island experience with maximum convenience -- AND (unlike Hydra) it does not have that big influx of day-excursion crowds.
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