Which of Greek Islands to pick??

Old Jun 10th, 2002, 01:26 PM
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Which of Greek Islands to pick??

My mother and I are planning a trip to Greece for two weeks. I am 25 and she is 50. I have already been to Santorini and Mykonos...so i wanted to try someplace new. Between the both us, we would like to choose an island that can encompass clear sandy and warm beaches, decent night life as well as scenic. Our tastes lend to the european/rendy/cosmopolitan side..Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Old Jun 10th, 2002, 01:42 PM
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the website
www.greektravel.com has excellent info on comparing the many islands
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 04:14 PM
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For a big island, Paros.

For a smaller island, Hydra
Old Jun 10th, 2002, 05:13 PM
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Rhodes has great beaches and a wonderful medevil city. It has night life and upscale shops. It is full of tourist from Nothern Europe, but it is a Greek island. Take a day trip to Symi. It is wonderful, filled with English tourist and expats, so if you are from the US you can converse with a lot of the people.
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 11:58 AM
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Try Skiathos. It's very Euro-centric (as opposed to Yank) re: tourism and there are two other islans within easy reach (ferry) that are less touristed: Skopelos and ALonissos. Beaches are world-class and a variety of night life abounds.
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 02:17 PM
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Was just going to suggest Skiathos when the poster above beat me to it. Our family of 4 has been there 2x most recently summer of 2000. Great beaches, typical Greek town, great, cheap tavernas, plenty of nitelife in town, some touring spots. Stayed at a wonderful spot about 15 minutes outside of town run by a family. Villa and studio accomodations w/spectacular pool setting and view. Moderately priced. Very peaceful and relaxing yet minutes from many tavernas and beaches. Would go back in a heartbeat. Other island I have always wanted to visit is Crete. If you need any other info on Skiathos please e-mail me. PS, I also went to Santorini on the same trip and we liked Skiathos better.
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 02:55 PM
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I've been to Greece countless times and I have to say that my favorite islands, in terms of beauty, beaches, and nightlife are Crete and Rhodes. Crete is absolutely gorgeous with tons to do both during the day and night. It has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, as well as one of the best hotels --Elounda. There is also a lot to see in Crete, from the Labyrinth in Knossos to the old venetian city in Chania--the island is truly beautiful. Like Crete, Rhodes is also a beautiful island with a great old town, beautiful harbor, and lots of restaurants and shops. The down-side of Rhodes is that the beaches aren't nearly as beautiful as those of Crete. Also, I saw that one of the responses recommended taking a day trip to Symi. I did that the last time I was in Rhodes and had a HORRIBLE time in Symi. The nice beaches that Symi is known for are a boat-ride away from where the ferries from Rhodes leave you. There is no way that you have enough time to see them and you are left hanging around a REALLY BAD BEACH in a port that has nothing to offer. I would only go there again if I had the time to visit the other side of the island which is apparently very beautiful. Finally, if you do choose to go to Rhodes, I recommend taking a ferry ride to Marmara, Turkey from there. It is a short trip and you can find some really great buys in jewelry in Turkey --not to mention that you get to visit another country!
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 03:06 PM
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Mary, any tavern or restaurant suggestions for Skiathos? Beaches? Day trips? We arrive in a few weeks for our first visit and can't wait. Thanks!
Old Jun 11th, 2002, 04:03 PM
Jay Sanderson
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I can wholeheartedly recommend Rhodes, though avoid Faliraki like the plague! I originally went to Rhodes 10 years ago, stayed in Lindos, and vowed to go back. I returned for the first time last June and have been back twice since. The village of Lindos is very scenic as it is protected by a conservation order prohibiting development out of keping with the original 400 year old houses. Therefore there are no hotels, multi-storey apartment blocks and most importantly, no roads! The village is overlooked by the ancient acropolis which is a wonderful backdrop for the numerous rooftop restaurants and bars in the village. There are noise controls in place which means most bars shuit around 1am, however a number have been soundproofed and open till 4am or there's an open air club outside of the village that is open all night, from where you can watch the sunrise, a wonderful view, only spoiled by the fact that at that time you're likely to have difficulty focusing! You therefore have the option of a quiet night with a nice meal (there are some excellent restaurants) and few drinks or having it large!

The beach is generally quiet, with sunbeds available for hire taking up most of the space, however unusually for Rhodes the beach is sand rather than the usual shingle. However the walk back from the beach can be a bit torturous as the village is built into the hillside, however if you hire a car you can drive down and park near the beach.

The people are extremely friendly, we have made a good number of friends out there. There's a very cosmpolitain mix, lots of Italians, British (the quiet sort though!) and a few Americans and a large number of Greek visitors.

Well worth a trip, though you may find you get the bug like we did and keep going back!
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 08:38 AM
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I lived on Rhodes and it's a nice island, but be prepared for a long ferry ride if you don't take a flight. Also, going in the summertime is hot, hot, hot! All places have sunbeds you can rent, unless u go off on your own. Be careful, some have rough waters and are not for swimming. I didn't like the beaches much there, so it would not be my first suggestion.

Paros has gone downhill over the years, and many people I know no longer favor this island especially if you want a local flavor.

Hydra is definitely a good suggestion. It's a very short ferry ride from Athens, and it has a cosmopolitan feel to it without compromising its Greek roots. Your mom would like it, and there's plenty for you to do too.

Skiathos is a good place for families with children. Most people I know who like the island are British, and it's popular. I tend to like places with more of a Greek feel so this isn't on my list of good islands.

Crete is my favorite island. It's a big island, so there is a lot to see and different parts of the island offer different things. Elounda is more of a party place with all-inclusive resorts. Near Hania, it's more laid back and a bit more cosmopolitan because it's a major city with much to see and do. In the south, it's more traditional. Hiking the Samaria Gorge is a must in my opinion but don't do it the first day unless you're in very good shape. Crete is also culturally diverse because it's been conquered a lot by foreign invaders.

For beautiful beaches combined with nightlife, I liked Naxos. YOu have to travel off the beaten track to find the really good ones. The one we found after 4-wheel driving for an hour and trekking through an olive grove had fine white sand and turquoise waters secluded in a cove--much like a lagoon. We were the only ones there, and pigs digging for truffles joined us. It was great.

Wherever you go, each island has its own magic.
Old Jun 14th, 2002, 10:06 AM
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Second vote for Naxos. Just back last week. Never been to Crete or the other islands mentioned though, so can't compare. It was a nice island because it was not at all as touristy as Santorini, though there are easy boat trips to S. or Mykonos (two hours and one hour), if your mother wants to see the typical Greek architecture. We stayed at the beach in Naxos and rented a car, found great beaches easily and terrific authentic restaurants at bargain prices. Never spent more than 25 euros on a meal for two. The port is where the nightlife is and you can easily drive in for the evening. We also found some neat little towns to visit with interesting histories to them, i.e. most important Byzantine church in the Balkans, and a city inhabited by Cretans.

Good luck.
Old Jun 17th, 2002, 12:45 PM
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Amy, If you see this, write me and tell me about your time on Naxos!

Old Aug 19th, 2002, 01:42 AM
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corfu is great!!!
Old Aug 19th, 2002, 03:16 AM
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Third vote here for Crete. It's just wonderful. It is pretty big so you should try to decide where, in advance, you would want to base yourselves.

I would suggest somewhere between Chania and Rethymnon, to try to reach all your aspirations most easily
Old Oct 20th, 2002, 05:47 PM
marty bielicki
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Traveled in Greece four times and loved every island! There is an opinion that all Greek islands are a like--not true! Each island is unique and the connection is through the great food and friendly people. We're heading back to Corfu. There is something about that place pulling us back!
Old Oct 21st, 2002, 10:29 AM
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1/Chios and lesvos on the aegean Sea.

2/ Kefalonia and Corfu.
Old Oct 28th, 2002, 09:47 AM
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Can you tell me more about Corfu & Kefelonia? The guide books have so little info on these two islands. Planning on going in mid-June. Want to see the less touristy islands. What's there to do on each of the islands and where did you stay? Need a car?
Thanks. Any info would be helpful.
Old Oct 28th, 2002, 10:02 AM
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Do not stay in the southeastern Corfu area. Total tourist trap- then again I was there in August the worst time. The beaches were bad. If I was to go back I would stay in an area near Agios Georgios beach- the nicest one I saw on the island. Still quite touristy, but beautiful. I stayed in Benitses, what a nightmare unless you are 16. Corfu is strategically very well placed- take a day trip to Saranda, Albania. It was very rugged and gourgeous. Paxos in the Ionian group seemed very un-touristy even in August. You could do this as a day trip or stay there. But if you like a cosmopolitan flair, Corfu Town in Corfu is it.
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