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Should I go to Naxos or Mykonos...help me decide :)

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Apr 19th, 2011, 01:19 PM
  #1
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Should I go to Naxos or Mykonos...help me decide :)

Hi. I'm planning a honeymoon for me and the soon to be missus. We're flying into Athens, then I'm going to ferry it to either Naxos or Mykonos for a four night stay, then ferry to Santorini for a four night stay and then fly back to Athens. I'm up in the air between Naxos and Mykonos...any advice? I've read through a lot of old threads and I understand that Mykonos has more crowds, nightlife is great and the city area is vibrant. I've read that Naxos has prettier beaches, more historic temples to see and is more relaxed because it's off the beaten path. Any thoughts? We like the vibrancy of downtown Mykonos...but we're not big on the touristy scene. Bars are nice but we don't need a huge party scene. If we do Naxos and do a day trip to Mykonos/Delos...would we be missing out on experience Mykonos? Is Naxos too relaxed considering that we're going to Oia Santorini right afterwards...it'd be nice to have a good mix of a vibrant city and the relaxation of Santorini. Any help would be huge! Thanks in advance!
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Apr 19th, 2011, 01:24 PM
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You'll have a more diverse and interesting experience of the islands if you choose Naxos and Santorini. There's plenty to see and do on Naxos. There is a lively nightlife there as well, and it's a LOT less expensive than Mykonos' €15 cocktails and €8 beers. When it comes down to it, all the islands are what you make of them. You can party 'til dawn and sleep 'til late in the day or you can take it slow and easy. It's up to you and how you like to spend your time.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:04 PM
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IN general terms, brotherLee is right. Of course we could calibrate more exactly the level of liveliness if you would tell when you are going. That help WOULD be huge.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:06 PM
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I was debating the same for our upcoming trip in July & based on the information & advice I got on this forum we decided on Naxos for a more varied experience since we are also going to Santorini after.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:17 PM
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I'd go to Naxos because of the variety. Honestly, you could relax in Mykonos just as easily, just as you can certainly party on in Naxos.

If you're considering going in the summer, don't even think about Mykonos -- exceedingly crowded. We went in mid/late September of one year and the crowds were still fairly large. The notion that there is a "city" to Mykonos is laughable -- a small and somewhat congested town, maybe. City? Nope.

Note also that Mykonos has a well-deserved reputation as a top destination for homosexual travelers. If this bothers you, then avoid it. Otherwise, it's just really a fly-and-flop with some party zones.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:19 PM
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Thanks BLee and Travelerjan. From what I've read on these forums, Naxos has piqued my interest quite a bit. Thanks for reassuring me about it! I just wanted to make sure it wasn't going to be too slow of a pace. We're going in the middle of May. Is there a lively downtown area of shops and boutiques in Naxos for us to poke our heads around during the day? I've read that St George is beautiful...just wasn't sure what the downtown city is like. Thanks both of you!

Excited/confused - great minds think a like! I guess we're on the same page...Naxos and then Santorini. Have a great time.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:23 PM
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Yes, date is all important. If it's June, Mykonos will be lively, and Naxos fairly quiet. In July and August all the islands will be busy, Mykonos and Santorini more so. Mykonos has lots of clubs that stay open from midnight to dawn, while Naxos has a more subdued nightlife.

The beaches on Mykonos are nearly as good as those on Naxos, but more developed, with beach bars, sunbeds and umbrellas. With Naxos you have more of a chance to find a spot of sand to yourself, but even there the popular beaches are sprouting sunbeds nearly everywhere.

Choose Mykonos if you want a cosmopolitan atmosphere, Naxos if you prefer more of a family island.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Cool Bigruss, that's helpful. Looks like we'll be able to find what we're looking for in Naxos. The "super beaches" are fine by me, doesn't bother me...I think things being really touristy would bug more. Naxos sounds like it will be a good time. Do you think we should even do a day trip to Mykonos? We're probably going to do a daytrip to Delos, so I guess it wouldn't be too much trouble to do both in one day...unless you think the travel time isn't worth it?
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:31 PM
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We cross-posted. Middle of May will be very quiet on Naxos — perfect for grannies and families with small children. I am in my 60s and find mid-May on Naxos too quiet, but know travelerjan likes it then. Mykonos will be quiet too, except the weekend when the Greek students arrive. ;-)
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:35 PM
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Considering I'm traveling in the middle of May, which island will have more life to it? Ideally, I'd like to skip out on the touristy crowds...but I dont' want to go to an island if it's going to be a slow pace and shutdown. Is May too early where businesses on Naxos won't be up and running?
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Apr 19th, 2011, 02:37 PM
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Thanks Heimdall. Helpful to know...hmm, sounds like Mykonos might be really nice cause it'll be somewhat quiet also. So Santorini Oia will be pretty quiet during that time as well, then?
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Apr 19th, 2011, 03:04 PM
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It's a matter of scale. Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos (where I spend most of my time) don't have international airports or deep water anchorage, so that keeps the package holiday and cruise ship crowds away.

Mykonos gets a lot of bad press on this forum, but is a really beautiful island, especially in May. The chora (old town) is larger than the one on Naxos, fun to get lost in the narrow streets, and then find your way again. Delos is only 30 minutes away by excursion boat, while the trip from Naxos takes 10 hours. I haven't visited all the beaches on Mykonos, but my favorites are Paradise, which has one or two good beach bars, with parties beginning in the afternoon, and Agios Ioannis (of Shirley Valentine fame), which is less developed.

I do like Naxos as well, and if you choose it instead you probably won't be disappointed. The season is just getting started in mid-May, so it will still be very quiet. It also has some interesting inland villages where you can see a more traditional Greek life.

Mykonos is easier to reach than Naxos, with several daily flights and ferries from both Rafina (near the airport) and Piraeus. Ferries to Naxos leave from Piraeus, at around 7:30 am and then again at 5:30 pm, with nothing in between. There are one or two daily flights from Athens to Naxos, on small Dash 8-100 turboprops. Mykonos has an international airport, served by regional jets, e.g. Airbus A320.
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Apr 19th, 2011, 07:54 PM
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I would go with Naxos over Mykonos - much more interesting IMO. We did a day trip from Naxos that included both Delos and Mykonos that worked out well. We loved Delos, and then we were able to at least get a look at Mykonos and have a nice meal there.
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Apr 20th, 2011, 09:23 AM
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"I've read that St George is beautiful...just wasn't sure what the downtown city is like."

Heh. You need to remove the word "city" from your vocabulary when talking about either Naxos or Mykonos. These are villages we are talking about. Mykonos town is pedestrianized and has the tiniest "streets" you will ever see in your life in which two people can barely pass. No room for even a scooter on some of them.

I went to Naxos, Mykonos and Santorini in late May and I agree with the posts that say to go to Naxos because it will offer more variation with Santorini. Naxos was quiet, but there were people on St. George beach and I would not say it was "shut down."

Mykonos town is truly gorgeous, but it's still got an energy on even in May and it's similar to Fira in Santorini. Naxos was much quieter, and more rustic and "authentic" feeling and had a very different feel from the other two islands. I think a day trip from Naxos would be great to sample the lovely Mykonos town. When the cruise ships came into port, the tiny lanes in Mykonos town were packed to the gills and it was not as pleasant.
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Apr 20th, 2011, 05:30 PM
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What I like about Naxos is having a great beach within easy walking from the hotel. Whereas Mykonos, if you stay in the main town, where the selection of restaurants, the nightlife and the many high end gift shops are, then you are probably looking at taking the bus to the beach for the day. If there is a great beach in town, I never found it.
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Apr 20th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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With all this talk about Naxos, where the heck is travelerjan??
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Apr 21st, 2011, 01:16 AM
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When I'm on Naxos I stay in St George, but never use the beach there, preferring to take the bus to Ag. Prokopios or Plaka. That means a walk into town to catch the bus, unless you know where to meet it as it is leaving town. In mid-May the beach will still be clean, but all the rainwater from the streets in that part of Naxos Town drain across St George Beach, sometimes leaving the bay slightly murky.

Mykonos has about half a dozen beaches within a 10-20 minute bus ride from the station near Lakka Sq, and taxi boats leave from Plati Yialos Beach, stopping at Paradise, Super Paradise, and Elia Beaches. You can see the Mykonos beaches on http://www.greeka.com/cyclades/mykon...os-beaches.htm. I've never taken one, but there are also day trips on sailing boats going to deserted beaches on nearby uninhabited islands: http://www.mykonos-accommodation.com/day-trips.htm
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Apr 21st, 2011, 01:21 AM
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You can see the Naxos beaches here: http://www.greeka.com/cyclades/naxos/naxos-beaches.htm
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Apr 21st, 2011, 06:55 AM
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I'm here, I'm here, parosblue, though why should I do all the Heavy Lifting when others are being so good about it??

I'm with Heimdall, I enjoy staying in St. George in May... green, flowery, populated but not crowded, then I hop a bus to Plaka or Ag Prokopios for a deep-water swim. PS: for a bus to/from those beaches, coming St. George, see this town map. Outbound, you may either go to Bus area at foot of Naxos town Pier (14) or anywhere along the road from the Hospital slanting down toward the water (arrows show route). Coming back, you can get off just where the bus turns left (after #31), before it descends down to the waterside ... this is an easy walk for anyone staying at the "near end" of St. George.

For just sunbathing, I like lolling on St. George beach and watching all the Scandinavian toddlers scampering around. Of an evening, we may take a 10-minute stroll to the harborside... from 2100 on, Tavernas are full of happy people, sometimes a couple of musicians hanging out with bouzoukis, no fancy stuff ... and in May half the diners are Greek families, out for the evening.

For revelry in May-June, up above the waterfront promenade, the Pelican Club always has some music & dancing going on. There are also some clubs around the far end of the harbor; across from the Waffle House is Jams Bar, gets going about 11 keeps going forever, also Day & Night, and a place we walk by on way back to ST.George), I think it's called Escoba, full of people 20- 35 and mucho music.

As for Mykonos Town, I agree it's not much fun by day if a cruise ship is in -- HINT: if you do that day-trip on a weekend u avoid them, the cruise ships are all midweek ... I like it by evening, lots of buzz, however I can't afford to shop there and as for the nightlife don't drink that much any more (ask me about my years as a journalist, but no more).

Can't believe stanbr hasn't come in yet with his slideshows from Naxos, so I'll provide: http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/552001505EYxVYT http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/570796960FtMsPF

If you do choose Naxos, MR. bridegroom, as an upscale choice you may like Naxos Royal BEach Hotel ... or for a modest place with ideal location right on th sand, Hotel Asteria, or a small cute place Villa Naxia, just off the sand with sea view.
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Apr 21st, 2011, 02:40 PM
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Hi all, thanks for the input....very helpful! I hate to go against the wave of overwhelming Naxos responses, but I talked it over with the future-wifey and I think she would have more fun in Mykonos. Naxos sounds really cool (besides the granny part) but I'm just going to score the brownie points and book Mykonos. You know what they say about a happy wife is a happy life. Plus since we're going the second week of May, I hear it'll be really nice how quiet Mykonos is. Thanks everyone for the suggestions...now just to finalize my hotel plans in Mykonos.
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