Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Europe (
-   -   Which Islands? How many days? (

raphaekg Jan 29th, 2007 11:03 AM

Which Islands? How many days?
In mid-August, we will be cashing in our frequent flyer miles and making the trip from NYC to Athens. We have 2 full weeks available. So far, I think we'll spend 3 or 4 days in Athens and viscinity, probably in an apartment belonging to a friend. After that: what?
We are a family of 4 (two adults, two teens ages 18 and 13) who enjoy archeology, hiking, and beaches (not necessarily in that order). We want to plan the rest of our days in a way that combines these activities. We do not like big crowds (yes, I know it's August: no choice!) and none of us are into super-fine cuisine or the party scene. We have a moderate budget.
Based on your own experiences, which island(s) are must-visits? How many days would you spend at each? Any special tips re accommodations? I'm thinking that we wouldn't want to visit more than 2 (or possibly 3) islands, especially since we have to account for ferry transit time.
So far, Santorini seems like a definite, but I'm undecided about the others. Suggestions?

brotherleelove2004 Jan 29th, 2007 11:35 AM

You'd won't find an island in August that is not crowded, and Santorini will be one of the 'worst offenders' in this area. As much as I love it there I just want to be sure you understand what you're getting yourselves into by choosing Santorini in August. A 'moderate' budget won't take you very far. Your best chance for good hotel rates will be away from the sea. Look for hotels in Messaria and Karterados. These will be the least-crowded areas. It's easy to get to the beaches and to the rest of the island from these villages by bus. Be sure to bring flip-flops or rubber-soled nylon reef shoes to wear at the beach. The most popular beaches are black sand or rock and extremely hot then. The ferry system is in full-swing in August, so you can get to just about every neighboring island on a daily basis then, with a few exceptions requiring at least an overnight stay. Paros and Naxos are two good choices. They're large enough to provide a few days of interesting exploration, and from Paros you can easily go to Antiparos on a local ferry. Just be aware that again, in August, even the lesser-known islands will be very busy.

sheila Jan 29th, 2007 12:49 PM

If Santorini's a must go to Crete. It's nearby, has all the things you're looking for and is big enough for you to escape the crowds. Me, I'd aim for the South East- Makriyialos and around, but it's a bit far from the archeaology. Maybe Matala?

GBC Jan 29th, 2007 01:03 PM

If you visit Greece you really need to visit Santorini - crowded or not.

We enjoyed Naxos. The beaches are hard to beat. It is also a good contrast to Santorini.

Crete, or even Rhodes may be a good idea. Check it out.

Personally, I would limit Athens to no more than three days.

Consider flying for the longer legs of your island journey. Within Greece air travel is very reasonable. Check Aegean Air.

LM3682 Jan 29th, 2007 01:45 PM

Raphaekg- Search on my name and check out my trip report from last summer. We went to Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Naxos. We were in a similar budget situation. Granted, we went over Memorial Day, so the hotels were cheaper and islands less crowded. But it might still be helpful!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:50 PM.