Top 2 or 3 Greek Islands

Old Apr 21st, 2024, 08:43 AM
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Top 2 or 3 Greek Islands

My husband and I would like to go to 2 or 3 Greek Islands at the end of August. (We'll be in Dubrovnik for a wedding and would fly in from there.) I took a cruise of the Greek Islands 35 years ago but my husband has never been. We are foodies and want to enjoy some amazing food and wine. We want to relax on beautiful beaches. We are active and enjoy hiking, water sports, and exploring cultural sites. We are not bringing our kids and would prefer to stay away from resorts with young children (no offense... we were those parents not so long ago). We like to go out at night...but we're not big party animals. I loved Mykonos and Santorini and have been thinking about returning to those but I've been reading many negative comments about how much those have changed. Looking for mid-range to upper-mid-range accommodations. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!!!
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 04:36 PM
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We loved Rhodes but that was years ago as well. Weren't there more discoveries in Santorini?? What did you hear?
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Old Apr 21st, 2024, 04:49 PM
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Thanks for your reply! I remember loving Rhodes! It's one of the farthest east and I was thinking about staying closer to Athens, but may reconsider.

The negative comments I've read about Santorini are mostly about how touristy it has become and how busy it gets with the cruise ships...especially in August.

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Old Apr 22nd, 2024, 02:34 AM
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Mykonos and Santorini are the hell.
The only direct flights from Dubrovnik into the Aegean area go to Athens.
Prices of Volotea are usually fair, except on weekends. For the Islands (via Athens) check Aegean.
Rhodos and Crete have both beautiful beaches; antique and medieval sites, good restaurants and some hiking trails (even hiking guidebooks).
For more not too touristy postcard like whte cycladic villages, you may also check Astypalea (has an airport), Sifnos or even Skyros(with airport).All 3 have not much nightlife and almost none archeologiecal sites, however.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by adm159
My husband and I would like to go to 2 or 3 Greek Islands at the end of August. (We'll be in Dubrovnik for a wedding and would fly in from there.) I took a cruise of the Greek Islands 35 years ago but my husband has never been. We are foodies and want to enjoy some amazing food and wine. We want to relax on beautiful beaches. We are active and enjoy hiking, water sports, and exploring cultural sites. We are not bringing our kids and would prefer to stay away from resorts with young children (no offense... we were those parents not so long ago). We like to go out at night...but we're not big party animals. I loved Mykonos and Santorini and have been thinking about returning to those but I've been reading many negative comments about how much those have changed. Looking for mid-range to upper-mid-range accommodations. Thoughts? Suggestions? Thanks!!!
Crete is another incredible destination I'd highly recommend. The local cuisine and wines are simply divine, not to mention their honey and olive oil. The locals are absolutely warm-hearted and welcoming, but since it's a large island, I'd suggest planning your journey a bit in advance. If your visit aligns with the summer months, Elounda in Heraklion and Elafonisos in Chania are wonderful spots. Do bear in mind that August is a peak travel period in Greece, as the locals themselves love travelling during this time.

Honesty, August is not as busy a month for Santorini as it is for Mykonos. You might want to consider the route Athens - Crete - Santorini - Athens for a well-rounded experience.
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 12:46 PM
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Thank you so much for your reply! I haven't thought about some of the islands you mentioned. I'll look into those. Thanks for your time!
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Old Apr 24th, 2024, 12:50 PM
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Thank you so much! Crete is high on my list! Any recommendations of where to stay in Crete?
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Old Apr 25th, 2024, 04:03 PM
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We were in Crete for 5 nights last fall. Spent 4 in Chania. Loved the town. We stayed in Elia Palazzo Hotel which was delightful. We also spent 1 night in Heraklion (to see Knossos). Didn't like the town as much as Chania, but main sights are worthwhile.

After Crete we flew to Athens, rented a car and drop to Nafplio and adored it. Lots of ruins in the area, most not very crowded, especially in the morning. The driving was easy. Easily found parking near the old town (where our fabulous hotel, Aetoma was).
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Old Apr 26th, 2024, 12:59 AM
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We were staying in Kastro Hotel 3* in Heraklion, it was a decent hotel (not that nice breakfast) but its location was a gem.

You can check maybe similar hotels around the area, they are not that expensive and they are next to the main pedestrian street.
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Old Apr 26th, 2024, 05:24 AM
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Best beaches in Crete (IMO):
Elafonissi, Falassarna, Xerokambos, Palekastro, Vai
Archeological sites:
Knossos, Phaistos, Kato Zakros (with beach and bungalows), Mallia (mass tourism)
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Old Apr 27th, 2024, 10:12 AM
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Agree Falassarna and Elafonissi are lovely sandy shores.I wasn’t impressed at all however with the northern coast of Greece but enjoyed the south very much.Much nicer.

Was shocked too, several years ago , on revisting Mykonos and Santorini.The over - development is awful though there are still nice spots of course and Oa village is stunning(if over run in the evenings for sunset.) Mykonos…we stayed, towards end of season a few years ago, at the Panormos beach area but even that may have got further developed.Lovely beach.We also visited the ruins at Delos via a easy boat trip, which was stunning.

My favourite island overall is Symi which is an hour’s sail from Rhodes.We’ve combined the two (Lindos and east coast) then headed for the far quieter Symi.Little boats go out to its many shingle beaches and the harbour town must be one of the Greek islands’ prettiest.

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Old Apr 27th, 2024, 11:06 AM
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To Scotlandmac:
There are also quiet places along the East cost of Rhodos. Check Haraki, Gennadi and Plimmiri.
There are also direct ferries from Symi to Piraeus (Athens) as well as to Kastellorizo (with connecting boat to Kas and connecting bus from there to Antalya).
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Old Apr 27th, 2024, 05:32 PM
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Crete, Paros… both wonderful.
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Old Apr 28th, 2024, 02:02 AM
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Just returned from Rhodes which was nice but I think I preferred Crete. Consider the Casa delFino in Chania.
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Old Apr 28th, 2024, 07:48 AM
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I know a lot of people criticize Santorini for being too crowded but we loved our visit there in May 2022. It's such a unique island and the views from the caldera are stunning. I don't know what August is like but May wasn't bad at all, and I planned our trip so we were in Santorini on a weekend because I was told there are fewer cruise ships there on weekends. There was only one cruise ship when we were there. I think Travelerjan is the person who recommended visiting on weekends instead of weekdays.

If you decide to visit Santorini, I recommend staying for 3 nights. Rent a car for one day to tour the rest of the island. We visited the Akrotiri archaeological site, the red sand beach, and the black sand beaches. It was a wonderful day. While the caldera is stunning as I said, there is more to Santorini than just the caldera.

Also, to avoid some of the crowds we stayed in Firestefani which is quieter than Oia and Fira.

If we return to Greece, I would like to visit Crete, Rhodes, and Symi which Scotlandmac recommends. In doing research, I came across Symi and it looks absolutely gorgeous!
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Old Apr 28th, 2024, 10:40 AM
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I forgot to mention how much we enjoyed Rhodes, both Rhodes Town and Lindos.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 01:13 AM
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Was interested to find that people in Rhodes were surprised we were from the US. Americans apparently come by boat and are around for the day but not found in the evenings for dinner. I told them that we flew in.
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Old Apr 29th, 2024, 04:09 AM
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I'm with KarenWoo re Santorini, it's stunning. We did stay in Oia, at a place a bit off the beaten path, Dreamland Houses (and 1/2 the price of most places), but only a 2 minute walk to the main area. It gets most crowded during the day. Mornings and evenings better, mornings the best. We were out during the day touring the island, hiking the caldera, etc, and never dealt with the day trippers. Our hotel was very quiet and peaceful, and had a pool that seemed private because no one else was using it. Evenings we booked a dinner spot with sunset views. We also spent 3 nights there and felt that was enought. We didn't rent a car, but did hire a private guide/driver for 1 of the days which we foud worthwhile. Besides seeing much of the island, we also learned about the history.
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Old Apr 30th, 2024, 09:31 AM
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Sorry, I should have said I wasn’t impressed with the northern coast of Crete, not Greece!

neckervd - we only got as far south as Lindos (the heart of the old village was still very pretty and the Acropolis was magnificent) .We then drove over the hill road to the north coast of Rhodes and it seemed like a different planet compared to the built up(very overdeveloped ) resorts areas we passed heading for Lindos.
The north coast of the island was beautiful, I thought, very quiet (until we reached the resorts nearer Rhodes Town and the airport) The ancient ruins of Kameiros were stunning.

I really loved Rhodes Old Town too, it’s so atmospheric and those amazing city walls….

Karen…Symi is a wee dream of an island, it really is.Well worth fitting in to any itinerary in that area of the Greek Islands.

We also loved Folegrandros (after Santorini) though I wouldn’t recommend it for beaches as such.

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