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overbeck Jan 16th, 2007 01:55 AM

Splurge in Naxos or Santorini?
New site member--what a great forum!

My husband and I will be travelling to Naxos and Santorini in June (roughly 11th - 18th), with time split about equally between the two. We tend to stay at modest places--something with character, a local feeling, more apartment-like than hotel-like, and on the inexpensive side. However, we want to book a more luxurious, "special" hotel for one of these islands.

The budget is probably $300-400/night. We don't like super-touristy experiences; this is our first time in Greece, but by comparison, in San Francisco we don't want to stay at Union Square or Fisherman's Wharf. We have no idea yet about location in Naxos; on Santorini, we prefer Oia. We're not about the nightlife, we like gorgeous views and luxe appointments, we don't mind walking or climbing stairs, we like great food but after paying for the room will probably economize with our meals. We live by an incredible beach, so going to the beach is less important than a good town experience--but a nearby beach would still be nice. A pool with an amazing view would be great--a sunset view would be great--but relative privacy would probably trump both of these.

It's clear there are lots of local experts here, and I've benefitted a lot from reading previous posts (which suggest that Esperas or Aspaki in Oia, Sun Rocks if we're willing to go to Firostefani, and maybe Naxos Royal might be good options for us). We've also found Perivolas Apts in a guidebook, though it doesn't seem popular here.

But my main concern is, are we better off with a splurge on Santorini or Naxos? Given Santorini's big honeymoon business, might we be happier in a small local place there and get more from a nicer place on Naxos? I look forward to your suggestions--thanks so much!

worldinabag Jan 16th, 2007 03:24 AM


Welcome to the forum. I haven't been to Naxos but have been to Santorini, Mykonos and Paros. All of them are fabulous in their own special way. But if I had an option to splurge on my accommodation then Santorini would be my pick without hesitation. Nothing beats the caldera views on Santorini, particularly at sunset. Beaches are not as beautiful as the other islands but as you stated you would prefer a pool anyway. Many posters are a fan of Oia. I think the Volcanos Villas - - get favourable mention in this forum. They are in your price range and have kitchenettes to help cut meal costs. I stayed at Firostefani and my stay was memorable.

Hope you have a fabulous trip. Don't forget your trip report in this forum when you come back. We'd love to hear about your adventures!

Weadles Jan 16th, 2007 04:24 AM

Santorini would be my choice of where to splurge. We stayed at Perivolas and the views were unforgettable, but the total overpriced experience was not.

I'd suggest pulling up posts by BROTHERLEELOVE2004 for advice on where to stay in Oia.

Have a great time!

brotherleelove2004 Jan 16th, 2007 09:54 AM

Oia has many special small hotels. I highly recommend the Aspaki Suites or the Oia Castle. They are both wonderful.

Also have a look at Ikies, Strogili, Kirini, Esperas, Oia Mare, Katikies, Golden Sunset Villas and Ether Studios. Volcano's Villas are also a good option.

JQReports Jan 16th, 2007 09:57 AM


Having visited both Santorini and Naxos last May, I would put my splurge on Santorini.


travelerjan Jan 16th, 2007 05:38 PM

Definitely your big bucks should be saved for santorini because on Naxos you don't have to spend a bundle to have a great view of the sunset and/or the beach.

Pull up messages by Stanbr for all the best tips for a spectacular time on Naxos, (at a fraction of what you'll spend on Santorini). Both are worth doing.

stanbr Jan 16th, 2007 09:33 PM

There is no question that you should save your dollars for Santorini. It can be very upscale and spectacular and even if you don't intend to splurge it can be pricey. Naxos on the other hand is about being laid back with good beaches, beautiful villages and getting to explore and meeting local people. I do not believe you can spend $300 to $ 400 per night on Naxos. I recommend Naxos Royal which is a very well appointed hotel with a lovely pool and gardens about 30 meters from St George beach but also only a 10 minute walk to Naxos Town main waterfront. As I am always saying stay at St Beorge beach so you can have easy access to the town action but you can also leave that noisy action and have a good nights sleep. Last June Naxos Royal was 120 Euros a night, well within your budget.

overbeck Jan 16th, 2007 11:22 PM

Thanks so much, everybody! I think I am perceiving a bit of consensus, then. ;^)

Just a couple of questions: Weadles, you thought Perivolas was overpriced--so you would recommend skipping it? Brotherleelove, thanks for the additional lodging tips--most of those I hadn't seen yet, and options are good. I do have an inquiry in at Aspaki, so if that comes through, we'll probably stay there.

Finally--I'll ask this here rather than start a new thread, but tell me if I'm violating the norms and I'll switch. We want to do a day trip to Delos from Naxos--can anyone tell me whether the day trips all stop at Mykonos, or do they go direct from Naxos to Delos? Just trying to figure out the best transportation links, and this might affect other decisions.

Thank you all so much! All your guidance has been really terrific. I've learned so much from all the posts in this forum.

overbeck Jan 17th, 2007 02:32 PM

Whoops--one more Q for Brotherleelove. Does Aspaki have a pool? The website doesn't make this clear, and that's a deal breaker for my husband...

brotherleelove2004 Jan 17th, 2007 03:07 PM

No pool at Aspaki, unfortunately. When I was there they were building a large outdoor shallow spa pool with a fantastical waterfall true to the owner's whimsical vision, but I don't know if it's complete or not. It looked like a great way to keep cool.

stanbr Jan 17th, 2007 05:37 PM

There are two day trips from Naxos to Delos. The Naxos Star and the Alexander. Price will be the same although the Alexander is an older boat it is wider and I thought it was quite stable.
They both go to Paros for passanger pick up and then head off to Delos. They give you about three hours there which isn't really enough time. Bring hats for the sun and bottled water as there are no facilities on the island. They head off to Mykinos for about three hours and then return. It's a pretty good day trip

Weadles Jan 17th, 2007 06:52 PM


We booked a one-bedroom suite at PERIVOLAS with a lovely terrace, and thorougly enjoyed the amazing view, but that was about it. Our bed was horrible-a thin mattress stuffed on top of a stone alcove, and the plumbing in the bathroom was a constant problem. On top of that, the AC didn't function well, and there was a very moldy smell to the room.

And although it shouldn't have been much of a surprise, the infinity pool didn't look anything like pictures I'd seen on the web. The pool area was very small, OK for dipping, but not much else.

All that being said, the hotel was located very well for exploring Oia, which is one of the most beautiful towns I have ever visited. I'd go back tomorrow if I could, but would stay somewhere else!

overbeck Jan 19th, 2007 12:42 AM

Hi again, everyone. Another Q for stanbr:

On Naxos, we'll stick to our usual low-key standards, and I see from some of your other posts that Glaros and Hotel Spiros are places you recommend. At Glaros, do you recommend the hotel, the studios, or both? Is there a big difference other than in the availability of kitchenette? For our dates, only the standard studio is available at the studios; it's priced lower than any of the available hotel rooms so seems like quite the steal...any thoughts? Spiros has two studios available, one upper and one lower. I'd love to hear any recommendation you might have.

We should have our plans nailed down soon and I'll post an update. And of course, I'll be happy to post a trip report afterward.

mileaday Jan 19th, 2007 04:47 AM

My husband and I stayed in the Romeo and Juliet suite in the Aspaki this past Sept. and loved everything about it. It didn't have a pool at that time but the sea was warm enough for a swim so I was ok without one. The location is perfect for privacy while still being in the middle of Oia. The sunset was not visible from the terrace so we walked to the end of the village to see it one night and had dinner reservations at Kastro to watch it another night. Just as pretty was watching sunrise from the lounge chairs at the Aspaki.

brotherleelove2004 Jan 19th, 2007 09:04 AM

Hi Mileaday-

I've never read anything about the quality of food at the Kastro Restaurant. How was it?

mileaday Jan 19th, 2007 10:13 AM

Hi Brotherleelove, I'm not a foodie - I pretty much only know if I like the taste or not so I wouldn't give advice on any restaurants. I don't even remember what I ordered. However, the service was great and I had no complaints. Well, except for the evening we were there was extremely windy and the sunset was shrouded in fog. But we had a great table outside on the edge of the deck that would have been perfect on a perfect evening. Nickolai from the Aspaki made same day reservations for us so I assume he had some influence on the table location. Thanks again for the recommendations for the Aspaki and the hints on getting cheap flights on Agean. You helped make our trip even better with your many suggestions on Fodor's and TripAdvisor.

stanbr Jan 19th, 2007 08:12 PM

Overbeck, we have stayed three times at Hotel Glaros and loved it each time as it is overlooking St george Beach. Having said that the last three visits we stayed at Glaros Studios for several reasons including the ability for me to cook a robust relaxed breakfast to enjoy on one of our balconies duringthe cool of the early morning. We also wanted to experience a little more of the life of an ordinary Naxion. Glaros studios was perfect for us. It is close to the beach but is situated in a neighbourhood. It is surrounded by homes with Greek people living their lives. We got to know the lady on the balcony across the alley mostly with smiles and gestures. We met her mother and her grandchild who she proudly showed off to us each day. We were a hundred paces from a little mini market and every morning I bought eggs and fruit and again and we got to know the owner and her kids.
Glaros studio allowed us to experince for a brief moment what it might be like to live like a Greek family. Our studio also had two balconies a large patio just outside the room and a kitchenette sitting room and a loft bedroom, all for a very reasonable price.
The building itself did not look particularly hotel like. It is an older building, beautifully maintained and much like a small apartment building. All the rooms seemed to be different so it is hard for us to speculate what a standard room is. We definitely stayed in the smallest unit and it was wonderful.
We visited Spiros to look for a slightly more upscale studio apartment with more amenities so we could recommend something a little better than Glaros. Spiros is closer to the beach but more in the hotel section. It is very much a new hotel complete with swimming pool and front desk and does not have the homey feel of Glaros. The two studios are no more than a 5 minute walk from each other.
If you choose Glaros say hi to Alex and tell him Bruce and Laurel say hello.

brotherleelove2004 Jan 19th, 2007 11:14 PM

I'm not a foodie either, in fact I'm a vegetarian so I don't eat a lot of what Greeks do best, cook! I was interested in the Kastro just so I can add it to the growing list of places to recommend with confidence.

I'm glad my recommendations helped make your trip a memorable one. :-)

NYerr Jan 22nd, 2007 05:07 PM

We stayed in Esperas in Oia and really enjoyed it. The sunset views are amazing. The pool area is lovely. I believe somewhere I posted a detailed trip report. It was about 200 Euro per night and they discount for cash! We ended up renting a car for a couple of days to explore Santorini and were very glad we did. We spent a day at WET STORIES at Perivolas Beach (sunbed reservations recommended). Had a sunset meal in Fira at Archipelago. . I still dream about the Santorini Fried tomato balls at Archipelego. (my spellings may be off, but the hotel concierge will know). I find that if you are paying double (Perivolas) your expectations would go way up. I would also not stay in a place without a pool in the summer. It was nice to take a dip or relax for an hour or two. If you do go to the black beaches, buy the special sand shoes so you can walk around and enjoy the sea. They sell them right across the street.

overbeck Jan 25th, 2007 10:22 PM

Just an update--we have booked Deep Blue at Aspaki for our Santorini stay, and are really looking forward to it!

We were set to book Hotel Glaros on Naxos, but then my husband discovered in the web photos (and some TA reviews) that there is an awkwardly placed footboard on the beds. He's very tall and footboards and short beds can be problematic for him, especially when we're in the same place for several days, as we are in Naxos. So now we're looking around more--at Hotels Sofia and Galina and Naxio, primarily, I think. Will let y'all know how it goes. THANKS to all for the help! (And if anyone has advice on the Naxos question, please share!)

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