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Two weeks this summer in the Greek Islands - need help in choosing 3 out of 4 Islands

Two weeks this summer in the Greek Islands - need help in choosing 3 out of 4 Islands

Old Dec 20th, 2006, 07:58 PM
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Two weeks this summer in the Greek Islands - need help in choosing 3 out of 4 Islands

We have 2 weeks in July to spend in the Greek Islands, and although we would like to visit and spend time in 4 islands, we feel that we could only do justice to 3 in this time period.

Please help two very indecisive people to choose 3 of 4 between Crete, Santorini, Naxos and Folegandros.

As always, thanks for any assistance!
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 02:44 AM
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topping up.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 06:11 AM
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It depends also on your interests.

Are you active, like to hike, or like to lounge around, swim, sun? Or both?

Logistically, it might be easier to stick with Santorini, Naxos and Folegandros. Crete is certainly do able, but know that Crete is the largest island and you can easily spend just 2 weeks there by itself.
Is there something special you wanted to see in Crete? Do you think this might be your one and only trip to greece; have alot more on your list you want to see of the world?

What are your total nights? You say you have two weeks, but what are your travel days? If you had a full 14 nights, then seeing three islands can be done at a relatively relaxed pace.

In any event for sure I would not miss Santorini, one of the most spectacular places I've been.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 07:05 AM
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Tripgirl - we arrive in Athens at approx. 10:30 on a Saturday from Toronto, and plan on taking a plane at about 12:30 - 1:00 PM to either Santorini(or, depending on if we go to Crete, to Chania).

We will then be in the islands until 2 weeks following, to either the Saturday or the Sunday (14 nights or 15 nights), and will be flying back from, most likely Santorini (or, possibly Chania) to Athens and then straight to Florence for a week in Italy.

We do know that we want to go to Santorini for certain, and, after reading the reports on Fodors, we would very much like to go to Folegandros.

I guess that the real decision is between Crete and Naxos, and our indecisiveness is due to the following:

(a) if we spend the 1st 4-5 days in Santorini and rest up there from our overseas flight, and relax by the pool in the mornings and go to the 3 main towns, and some of the archaeological sights in the afternoons and evenings (all of which we do very much want to do), will Fol. and Naxos be too much like each other for the balance of our stay, or will there be enough to do in each of these 2 islands to prevent us from becoming bored?

(b)although Crete doesn't really excite us as much as Santorini and Fol., it will allow us to spend 3-4 days near Chania at the beach and be near town and to go to the Gorge, and then spend 1 day at Knossos and wherever the archaeoligical museum artifacts may have been moved to ( if they can be seen).

We are not looking afor a hustle-bustle type of stay, and we will probably lounge by the pool/beach each day until mid-to-late afternoon, and walk or bus to town each day for dinner and relaxation.

Sight-seeing will occur as and when appropriate, and although we will try to see the main "sights" on each island, we plan on proceeding on more of a leisurely pace as opposed to the "checklist" method we have used previously on our last 2 trips to Europe - Rome, Venice, Paris, Florence and Athens).

Does this help you to suggest?

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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 08:39 AM
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The archaelogical exhibits of Knossos are on view at the Archaelogical Museum at Heraklion - one of the great museums in the world. I would spend more time on Crete than Santorini - lots more to do and its a large island. Chania is a good base for the western part of the island. You might research going to an additional Minoan site if you like archaeology. Rhymenon and Vrisses (towns near Chania) are nice. The beaches are spectacular. Haven't been to Naxos. I highly recommend Rhodes and Corfu, but that may be your next trip.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 09:48 AM
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I think then what I would do is go to Santorini, Folegandros and then Crete. Folegandros is really small, but it is unique, and I do agree with the above poster on the history of Crete; it is fascinating and would provide a nice foil to the Santorini part. Go with your gut instinct about Folegandros and if you are excited about it that is all that matters.

Do be careful upon your return to Athens from the islands. you might want to build in a safety net and stay one night in Athens. Ferries can be delayed, etc and you would not want the stress.

Do you have your flights worked out yet?
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Tripgirl - If, as is likely, we will be going to Santorini, Folegandros and Crete, our itinerary will be as follows (assuming that no boat goes from S. to F. on Wednesdays):

Sat - arrive in Athens and fly 2 hours later to S.
Sat. to Thurs.AM - Santorini
Thurs.AM - ferry to Folegadros
Thurs. to Monday AM - Folegandros
Mon.AM - ferry to Santorini
Mon.PM - highspped to Heraklion
Mon.PM to Sun.AM - Crete
Sun.AM - plane to Athens (arriving at around 12:30)
Sun.3:00PM - plane to Florence

How does this sound?
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 10:55 AM
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I recommend that you only stay in Santorini three days at the most and give those days to a lesser visited, non-touristy island and/or Chania. We didn't listen to our Greek friends when they gave us this advice and regreted being on Santorini as long as we were, sacrificing time on the other islands, Naxos,and Paros.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 12:27 PM
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Personally I think this sounds good.

While the above poster recos shorter time on Santorini, think about this: you will have had such a long travel from Toronto and so the first day and even the second are kind of a bust. Then you leave Santorini?? I think not.

I could stay on Santorini the rest of my life but that's just me!!

So you have 5 nights Santorini, 5 nights Folegrandos, which I think is nice and relaxing. Then that Mon is a travel day to Crete and thus a bit of a bust. So you will have actually Tues-Sat and for a first trip to Crete to just get a little flavor, you will do well.

Look.. you can always go back to Greece!

Yourtravel to Italy concerns me just a tad to make sure you'll connect( you just never know), but what's the worse that can happen, you are stuck in Athens for a night. I loved Athens and would reco you go there sometime and spend a few days anyway.

Have you chosen your lodging?

If not, there are tons of threads here to help you choose and then let us know if you need assistance.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 12:31 PM
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I'm sorry I see its actually only 4 nights, for Folegrandos, but I still think this is fine.
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Old Dec 21st, 2006, 12:33 PM
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also, you are going to Italy and that involves more hotels and more moving around. The purpose of the Greek Islands is to build in a little relaxtion, so don't try to do too much.
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Old Jan 1st, 2007, 02:59 AM
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Hi, i did a trip last year starting in Chania for 3 days to Irepetra (3 days) then to Fira (again for 3 days) before returning to Iraklion for the flight home.

Crete is pretty big so this is what I did:

I would recommend that you try to visit the areas around Chania. We hired a car and visited the beach in the west coast as a day trip. Then we went to Samaria Gorge for a day hike. (A word of warning, I found the hike quite demanding so go prepared ie proper shoes and training!)

Then from Chania we drove to Knossus and spent 1/2 a day there before continuing our road trip to Irepetra. Irepetra is much quieter than Chania which gave us time to have evening strolls by the sea and people-watch in coffee bars. It is also a great base to visit the fishing villages, Chrissy island and beaches (go to Vai early in the mornings, before the crowds. It'll feel like your own tropical secluded beach).

Santorini at the end of the holiday was the crowning jewel in our trip, though 3 days or so should suffice. We didn't travel to the other islands since we felt the 2 we chose already gave a good balance.

Hope this helps and all the best on the trip.

ps notice we stayed away from Iraklion as much as possible ;p
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Old Sep 30th, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Hi Tripgirl,

Will be on Santorini in Oia this Oct 8-15th with my husband and 2 teenaged daughters. The females would be happy to sit and look at views, eat, stroll and see some shops but the husband gets antsy... We will definitely do some walking and see the volcano etc but I would love to hear any suggestions you have. My husband would like to "charter" a boat for a day and go off-island but I don't know if this is practical...

My husband and I spent 2 weeks seeing the greek isles many years ago. This was fun and fascinating but not very relaxing which is why we opted not to hop around this time.

Hope we didn't make a mistake. The hotel booking is firm...
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