Need Help on a Third Island to Visit

Oct 27th, 2000, 08:23 PM
Mary Anne
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Need Help on a Third Island to Visit

We are going to the Greek Islands in June. I think that we want to go to Santorini and Crete. I would like to go to a third island that is quieter and has nice beaches. Do you have any suggestions for an island that may fit well geographically with Santorini and Crete? Thanks
Oct 27th, 2000, 11:47 PM
Caitlin H.
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Mary Anne,

We were in the Greek islands in late September as part of a bigger Greek/Italian trip. We went to Santorini and Naxos. Naxos was a bit of a last minute thing as we had planned to go to Rhodes but the ferry schedule was against us.

I would definately recommend Naxos. It is much much much (did I say much?) cheaper than Santorini. It is known as a family beach vacation spot in eupope and the beaches are very good. It has a very laid back feel to it, and the prices of hotels are fantastic. It also has more than just beaches. The main town of Naxos Chora has an absolutely lovely Venetian walled city/castle at it's centre (the Kastro). You can spend days exploring it's tiny romantic alleyways. Driving around the island is also quite easy and there are some lovely mountain villages to explore. While the main boardwalk has is wall to wall bars and resaurants once you are back from the main street it is remarkably authentic and lacking in any of the tourist hype of Santorini.

If you visit I would strongly recommend staying in a hotel near the Kastro (one area is the Bourgos) and make sure it is on a no traffic street - this should ensure you are in an older more character filled part of the town.

It's quite close to Santorini and would make a good last stop on the way back to Athens (assuming thats where you are flying out from)

Oct 28th, 2000, 01:35 AM
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Mary Anne

I've not been to Karpathos, but was wondering about making the trip. It lies to the east of Crete, between Crete and Rhodes. The photographs and blurbs are terrific; and yu can go by ferry or fly from Sitia in the east of Crete.

I guess it's worth considering. Has anyone else been there, who might have a view?
Oct 29th, 2000, 02:39 PM
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Hi, highly recommend Naxos. The island has wonderful sandy beaches. Lots of great sites around the island to see too... Like the large Koros statues, greenery, etc. Naxos is one of the largest islands in the Cyclades and the most green. Great contrast to Santorini. Enjoy your trip!
Nov 3rd, 2000, 05:28 PM
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I also vote for Naxos. We had 2 weeks in Greece in September (and a week in Turkey - that was the real highlight!) and we visited Rhodes (because it was close to Turkey), Santorini (because I had been told how wonderful it was) and Naxos. My only other trip to Greece was 24 years ago and I remembered how much I had enjoyed Naxos. When I thought about Greece, I thought about Naxos.

Because it was an easy trip between Santorini and Naxos (the hydrofoil was only a couple of hours), we decided to go back. It's also possible to fly from Naxos to Athens, so that was our final island stop before going to Athens. I wasn't disappointed. I really didn't see a lot of the island the first time around (what can I say - it was the 70's, I was young and interested in other things at that point in my life). Caitlin is correct about the main town. It's a charming town. Sure there are a lot of tourists, but the narrow little streets are wonderful. We spent an afternoon wandering around looking for the Venetian houses with the crests from the 17th Century. We found several. We also went to a concert of local music (and local liquor!) at the Venetian museum. We rented a car for a couple of days and explored some out of town beaches. We found a cute little resort hotel and had a wonderful lunch (surrounded by small cats looking for a bit of cheese from our salads) - we never would have found the place without a car. The beaches were wonderful - sandy, good for swimming and very few people. We also drove to some of the towns in the interior - one of them (Apirathos) is all narrow streets and sidewalks of marble - you park outside of town and walk.

We also drove to Apollon - a town that the guidebooks say is overrun with tourists. I stayed there 24 years ago - not sure where all the tourists are today - the town was dead the day we were there. The scenery was amazing - we drove along the coast to Apollon and back through the interior. We saw the kouros in Apollon and another one elsewhere on the island. The island has a lot of diversity.

Overall, we both really enjoyed Naxos. Actually we enjoyed it more than Santorini - I'm glad we went there, but once was enough. We had 4 days there (5 nights) and that was more than enough.

I don't think you'd be disappointed in Naxos.
Nov 6th, 2000, 01:24 PM
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Hi Mary,

My husband and I spent two weeks in 1999 touring the Greek islands and then going to Turkey.

Our favorite island was Rhodes! Don't miss Rhodes, because it has such great history, and also has more than just a beach. The "old" part of Rhodes is a "walled city" and it's just remarkable.
Santorini is nice, but other than the view, I really don't think there's much to do there. My husband and I both felt that it was over-rated.
Have a great trip!
Nov 16th, 2000, 06:22 PM
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Try Paros. It is out of the way, quiet, and cheap. There are very nice beaches. The inland has rolling hill and farms, quite unexpected but serene. It's not the rocks that are Ios, Santorini, etc.
Nov 16th, 2000, 07:16 PM
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Check out last year's hosted forum on Greek islands for many good suggestions.
Nov 21st, 2000, 06:57 AM
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Folengrandos is near Santorini and was raved about by my greek sailboat captain. I went to Naxos last Sept. and wasn't that impressed. Santorini is a must see, and my friends who went to Crete after my wedding in Sanotini loved it and would return soon.
Nov 21st, 2000, 10:04 AM
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Mary Anne: of the seven islands we stayed on this summer (just over a month total) our favorite was Simi. It is indeed what you suggest -- quieter and some (really only one that we know of) nice beaches. Getting there is a little more of a problem as you really need to go through Rhodes then take a short boat trip (less than an hour as I recall) to Simi. It is a small island with a superbly quaint harbor. Right on the harbour is the wonderful Aliki Hotel (which we originally found in Fodors by the way). It is a restored sea captain's house and we requested and got the largest room with a large balcony where we sat and watched the boat traffic and just admired the views.
We took a bus over the hill and hiked from a tiny harbour to a remote beach with a tiny taverna. (Although there are also a few little boats that will take you there if you want to avoid the hike over the hill). There are a lot of daytrippers on Simi (not hoardes, just quite a few) mainly from Rhodes, but in the evening the little harbour village turns magical. We had two of our best meals in all of Greece at two wonderful restaurants there. If you are looking for a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of Santorini and the larger towns of Crete -- Simi is it.
You don't mention how long you have, but if you could squeeze it in, I agree that Rhodes is worth a try. You can fly from Crete to Rhodes (via Athens, but cheap on Olympic), spend a couple of nights in the old town of Rhodes and then go on to Simi for two or three nights.
Nov 21st, 2000, 10:38 AM
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Another vote for Rhodes here. I took a trip similar to the one you are planning. We started in Athens, and flew between the islands (Crete, Rhodes, and Mykonos). Rhodes was probably my favorite. We also took the boat to Symi from Rhodes for a day trip. Very enjoyable.
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