Island hopping by ferry is one of the highlights of the Greek islands. FOR THE ESCAPE ARTIST. If you’d rather go all-inclusive, check into the smart Ikos Dassia, a favourite haunt of The Durrells cast and crew. But if this is a one-time deal for the foreseeable future then do 3 days on Santorini and 3 days in Crete. Ithaki (Ithaca) is Ulysses’ home island and one might argue that it hasn’t changed much since. Folegandros – which means ‘iron hard’ in ancient Greek – is as barren as its name suggests. We want to spend 2 full days in Mykonos so we can take the day trip over to Delos and roam around the next day (3 nights), then ferry over to Santorini for 5 days and then ferry over to Crete for the last 4 days, then fly back to athens from there. In Pyrgos, famous for its marble craftsmen, sculpted birds and flowers decorate every doorway. We’re not sure whether we should be going to naxos or paros , we are there for 4 days and not sure whether just to stay on one island and ferry to the other and if you think possible even a day trip to santorini. A trip on a boat will allow you to explore Cape Skinari’s northern tip that has beautiful blue caves. That would leave us one full day of touring the Plaka. For part of our trip we will be with 3 other families. I’m just a jobbing writer, not wealthy but with a spirit for life, good food, and nature if that helps. I know you mention Naxos alot, but she didn’t think there was much there for us. September is a good time, though the start of September is still pretty close to high season and you will need to make bookings in advance. If you had an extra half-day then visit the Archaeological Museum in Exarcheia. Paros and Milos are pretty much decided but we are not sure about adding a 3rd island. On a sandy bay near Chania, Ammos Hotel smartly combines Scandi chic with a child-friendly vibe. Crete usually has the warmest weather in April but I wouldn’t call it hot. My boyfriend and I are traveling there in early to mid-June and need some help figuring out which places to visit and how long to stay at each location. 1) Which is better to fly into – Mykonos or Santorini? Night 5: Santorini You can get exceptionally cheap deals on longer-haul routes if you are prepared to forego a booked seat: €14 v €40 on a run to a mid-distant island, but it’s probably wise to consider taking fast catamarans to get to core islands (Mykonos, Santorini, Paros etc.) Don’t book any ferries that use the New Port or you’ll have trouble making the connections. Our plan is to go to Naxos for 4-5 nights, then to Santorini (for our anniversary) for 4 nights, and then to Crete for 5-6 nights. Trying to plan our itinerary and we have come up with the following: Night 1: Athens You will generally find transport tickets for a day or three ahead and hotel owners often know someone on the next island who can fit you in. In Ermoupoli, the finest places to eat and drink are along Androu Street: Ousyra (ousyra.com), where the chef plates up Greek-ified pasta and beautifully balanced salads, and Django Gelato, where the smoked-hazelnut ice cream and fig sorbet sell out in 30 minutes flat. Where to stay in Mykonos: If you’re here to party, check into Soho Roc House – guests have priority access to Scorpios and the poolside scene is smoking. Your email address will not be published. Folegandros was the best, a fantastic island. I wanted to ask, my boyrfriend and I will be visiting Santorini from March 28th-April 4th, and even though it’s a short period we were hoping to do a day trip to Ios. You'll find them eating flash-fried baby shrimp, a local specialty, at Tholos, a sensational taverna where the harbour views almost steal the show. So fly into Mykonos and out of Santorini, or into Santorini and out of Mykonos. THE ASK: We’re not interested in clubbing at all, but more laid-back late night bars definitely appeal. These are the best greek islands for every occasion: wedding, honeymoon, family vacation, couples holidays or solo travellers. If not, which other island would you suggest? Ravishing beaches such as Ayios Yorgos Disalonas (backed by monumental cliffs) and Marathounda (where goats will try to filch your picnic) are only accessible by boat or on foot. Fruit trees are protected from fierce winds by rings of stones. For the many British Paxos aficionados, all roads lead to Ben’s Bar, a happy-go-lucky hangout on Monodendri beach, where you can laze under the olive trees with French toast and Piña Coladas. Be cautious with Santorini and kids. Leonard Cohen set the scene in the 60s; now Brice Marden, Sadie Coles and Juergen Teller have homes here. At Nidri, ignore the unlovely bars and watersports centres, and hop on a boat to explore the little isles nearby. Where to stay on Folegandros: Midway between the port and town, Anemi has a fresh, witty design and is ideal for families and fitness freaks, with a yoga studio in the vineyard. Which is the cheapest Greek island? We’re not after huge parties but some local music wouldn’t be bad. The Greek Island of Rhodes is famed for its rich history, ancient ruins, small picturesque villages and clear, beautiful beaches. These are very different islands that have a very different vibe – but both appealing in their own way. Those in the know jealously guard their treasured island, and especially its 70 (or more) beaches — surely the most diverse and dramatic coastline of all the Greek Islands. Hi Dave, you truly do offer and insanely helpful guide to Greece. I would do 3 of the following 4 places: Athens (1 full day), Naxos (2 to 3 days), Crete (3 to 4 days), Santorini (3 to 4 days). The island has some of … The cosmopolitan capital is a charming clash of Venetian, British and French colonial influences. Folegandros is more suited to walking and relaxing (and has some top notch restaurants and hotels). Also in Rhodes Old Town, Kokkini Porta Rossa is an intimate guesthouse in a 14th-century building stuffed with museum-grade antiques. Where to stay in Symi: Hotel Aliki, right on the waterfront, is a throwback to the 19th century, right down to the creaky floorboards. I used this guide last year to plan my first ever trip to Greece and it was amazing, so amazing that I have to go back! Get the SeaJet ferry from Athens to Mykonos. location of Skopelos, but it’s by far the most popular, especially with families, who come for the baby powder-soft sandy beaches and laid-back vibe. This can be a great time to visit as the vibe is relaxed and prices are low. Even the school is commandeered for exhibitions in the summer holidays. We knew Paros was one of the quieter Cycladic islands to visit, which is always my choice over more popular well... Milos. With rich history & culture, sumptuous cuisine, warm hospitality & sun-kissed beaches. Do you think we should change our itinerary? Preferably a sandy beach. Momondo is the best for first and business class tickets. The gay crowd has dwindled, but drag queens and oiled bodybuilders make a splash at Jackie O, overlooking Super Paradise bay. What island is the hottest to visit in April? If you can only make visit one island make it Santorini. Pale and interesting, Bill & Coo Coast on Agios Ioannis beach has dusky views across to Delos. GNTO, Milos, Greece: secret Greek island of the summer, Amorgos: the fairest of the Greek Islands, Greek island pairings: the best isles to visit in one trip, These films will make you feel like you're on holiday on the Greek Islands, The 10 best places to visit in Europe in 2021, The 10 best places to visit in the UK in 2021. Or you can just go to my Greek Island Guide which lists the islands by group with a photo and a link to the page for each island. In high winds, the fast ferries stay grounded and the slow boat takes upwards of eight hours from Athens. Chora port in Mykonos, Greece. Luxury hotels, 5-star boutiques, cheap hostels, house and apartment rentals. MILOS HOTELS That view may be a romantic cliché, but it still takes your breath away. We have four kids, from 14 months to 8 years, all of whom will travel with us. Best Greek Island: undoubtedly Santorini is the best greek island and the one you have to visit if you are only visiting Greece for a few days; you should know though that it is the most touristic and the most visited by cruise ships A good place to start researching your ferries is gtp.gr. There will be a total of 8 adults and 8 children, ranging in ages from 3 to 17. Is Crete a good way to end the trip? Historical sites, mountains, coasts, forests, to visit/walk/hike. Spend a night or two there, then ferry to Naxos, Paros, and/or Santorini (there are many ferries doing this route in summer). September is considered the last month of summer season in Greece, so there is still time to plan your escape to the Greek islands. All products are independently selected by our editors. What do you suggest? The island is known for its varied geography. But if you’re looking to be semi-active and explore then you’d be best to add Paros and spend 4/5 days on each. We had seen photos of … Any other advice would be greatly appreciated as well. Do you have a suggestion? With the exception of Elounda - a pocket of bling popular with oligarchs - the north-east coast is scarred by over-development. I’m planning on taking a post-graduation trip to Greece with around 5-7 other friends (we’re in our late teens, mostly girls) in late-May/early-June of this year. Be as specific as you like Dave, gimme a road name if something comes to mind. (You’ll find the best photo opportunities at Klima and Mandrakia). Samothraki. Santorini. Locals bequeathed undesirable seaside plots - useless for farming - to their laziest offspring. Less than two hours from Athens, Hydra fills up with chic Greeks at weekends. – If we stay in Naxos can we take day trip to Paros (and vise versa)? To help you pick your summer destination and plan your getaway easier, we have collected the Best Greek Islands that you should definitely visit at least once. My husband and I are visiting Greece for a little over a week over the 4th of July. The big winds are usually over and it’s commonly smooth sailing, so no worries on that score. Night 8: Naxos/Paros Instead, visit islands in the same island group: the Cyclades, the Sporades, the Dodecanese, the Ionian, the Saronic, and the Northeastern Aegean. Sifnos, Serifos, Folegandros, Ikaria, and Karpathos are all beautiful islands that see far fewer tourists than the popular holiday islands like Santorini, Mykonos, and Paros. Pigadia, Karpathos. Forget souvlaki and moussaka: here, chickpea croquettes and stewed capers are taverna staples. Crete, Zakynthos, Rhodes, Paros, Naxos, Milos, Corfu and Skiathos are some of the most beautiful greek islands you need to visit this year. I’m sorry if you covered this in another part of your site, (either I’m technically challenged or there just isn’t a search function for your site) but I’m curious about Corfu. Daily quiet R&R time at pool or beach, Our preferred activities: Little Symi has the prettiest port in Greece. Marooned on the southern tip, Prasonisi is a powdery peninsula where the Aegean meets the Mediterranean. Santorini, Crete, and Rhodes are the best Greek islands to visit in the spring and autumn period. (Crete hotels.) Kayak is the easiest to use. Which of these would you recommend with Santorini if we were thinking of visiting 2 or 3 places total? Geologically Milos is stunning. Kalymnos is one of the best Greek islands to visit for outdoor adventures, including hiking and climbing. Ottoman-style suites at Melenos Lindos have hand-painted ceilings and carved platform beds. One full day in Athens is perfect and enough time for most visitors (just try to pack in as much as you can and definitely get up to the Acropolis). We have 4 nights here and then another week to explore some other islands. Tiago. We know that transport options may be more challenging on the Ionian side. Best islands in the Cyclades: Kea. Naxos has better beaches, Milos has a more stunning and unique beauty. The island has some of … (We recommend the organic muscat from the 19th century Haritatos Estate in Lixouri, also an enchanting setting for wine tasting.) It’s the best time to visit the Greek islands. Guest perks include a Mini Cooper for cruising around the island. Kalypso Hotel: Some Superior Rooms and all Executive Rooms and Villas feature private, outdoor jacuzzis Shopping and culture are also things we love to do. Only the southern part of the island has been partially developed in response to tourism, leaving the island’s middle and northern areas nearly untouched, with authentic traditional villages. Looks great. Sharon. Realistically for a period of five weeks you will not want to be doing more than 6-8 islands. I have referred many customers to your site as it is easy to go though and full of fabulous information. What you need to realize, however, is that the islands are not all mutually interconnected, but rather they are ‘grouped’ – both administratively and from the point of view of transport routes. The best Greek islands, whether you're looking for sandy beaches, unspoilt island life or history and culture. 8/30 – Santorini And if you’re really looking to narrow it down then mid-September is the absolute prime. With rich history & culture, sumptuous cuisine, warm hospitality & sun-kissed beaches. Adding Naxos is always a good idea. So, my recommendation is to consider spending those Zakynthos days in Naxos, Paros, Milos, or some other Cycladic island. Verina Suites on Platis Gialos beach is more family-friendly. 2. Folegandros is the best greek island for hiking – great paths all around this beautiful island. Good beaches and hikes are a plus. Salt Suites: The Sea Houses and Sea View Suites all have private, outdoor jacuzzis overlooking the sea. You’d have to check the schedule for your specific dates but I think Santorini then Milos then Paros then Naxos and Athens would probably be the best order. Built by 19th-century sponge and spice merchants, the whole town is now a national monument. I was hoping you might be able to give us your opinion on a few things. Your best bet is to take the Hellenic ferry from Samos to Mykonos. The Old Markets is the only smart hotel, but there are just ten rooms so be quick and book one. In this way you could take in some of the Cyclades – Syros, Mykonos, Patmos, Naxos and some of the Dodecanese – Patmos, Leros, Kos, Chalki, and Rhodes – without any backtracking. The only ferry from Kusadasi to Greece goes to the Greek island of Samos. Kavos is a low-key complex of boxy white villas, set among bright bursts of bougainvillea, geraniums, and roses, above Agios Prokopios beach. Some “less touristy” islands are a must (for at least one island). And all less than three hours from Athens. Our budget is more mid-range than sky-high, and hoping for help with hotels to stay at. Would you suggest Naoussa on Paros or Antiparos? Evenings kick off with cocktails on the Liston (a colonnade modelled on Paris's rue de Rivoli), followed by dinner at Salto, an unpretentious wine bar and bistro on the edge of the Old Town. You can’t go wrong with Paxi. Filled with small restaurants and trendy clubs. Sunshine is pretty much guaranteed year round, but spring is especially lovely for rambling and sightseeing. Night 3: Santorini We would love the right balance of travelling and relaxing. There are plenty of all-day, late-night bars where Amorgos groupies meet, summer after summer: Jazzmin, in Hora, for backgammon and cocktails; Pergalidi in Langada for herbal infusions and jazzy tunes; Seladi in Tholaria, with giddying views and a telescope for stargazing. Great prices from all the biggest rental companies. In Volax, basket weavers squat outside cottages carved from giant boulders, seemingly flung from the heavens by Zeus in a fit of pique. Two, how much should we budget for ferries? The Bronze Age complex is considered Europe’s oldest city, dating back to 7000BC. We don’t need a lot of nightlife but it would be nice if not the whole island is closing down already. If you know which island you want to visit… #1 Santorini. The best months to visit the Greek Islands with kids are June and September. Those would be my top recommendations. I’ve been to Zante and although it was super fun at the time (I was about 18) and loved having the strip etc, just don’t want to be the older people there anymore! Lifestyle › Travel 20 stunning Greek Islands to visit Incredible beaches, crystal-clear seas and great food, summer in Greece is unparalleled, says Laura Hampson Good luck and happy sailing! For something more subdued, hide away at The Wild, whose main attraction is a glittering private cove. NAXOS HOTELS Dinner around 7:00 PM or 8:00 PM with spectacular sunset view Every summer, Joannou invites big hitters such as Matthew Barney and David Shrigley to create site-specific installations in the Greek island's old slaughterhouse. Or a small tweak: 2 days in Milos and then 4 days in Santorini (splitting time between 2 of the 4 caldera towns) or even 4 days in Paros (splitting time between Naousa and Parikia). (Whatever you decide don’t do a day trip to the other island as it’s not worth the time and effort.). Also, I get really seasick every time I take a ferry or whale watching boat in the Pacific and am curious about that in the Mediterranean in September. I have ample time planned in Athens, and the Peloponnese (with rental car). In order to see this embed, you must give consent to Social Media cookies. The harbour is swarmed on 15 August, however, when Orthodox pilgrims flock here to kiss the icons at Panagia Evangelistria monastery, one of the holiest sites in Greece. Along with the stunning Greek Islands, some of the best places to visit in Greece are the country’s amazing historical sites. See is often rougher in August when the wind can blow hard from the north. We’re looking forward to visiting Greece! My sister (32 years young) and myself (28 years young) are traveling to Greece from 22nd August – 6th September. We are traveling to Greece in early June for two weeks. Prices do vary across the country with Mykonos and Santorini being perceptibly dearer, but the season is in your favour with May being considered shoulder season with negotiable accommodation rates. I crave spending time with locals and interacting with families – home stays at times, I enjoy the water and I’m an avid diver, I like hiking and exploring. Do consider. The hippest place to show off your abs is Scorpios, a louche beach bar that puts Ibiza's finest in the shade (book a cabana to watch the sunset). Looks great. What about Folegandros? Great restaurants are a must. But you can see the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, and the top historical sites of the Plaka in one day. I’ve done a ton of research of where we want to go and I have it narrowed down to begin in Athens and would love to end in Crete and visit the five main islands in between. Great local food and places to eat in the day or evening, all a good walk or short drive away. It is green, verdant, has good beaches and facilities and is compact enough to get around easily. The most remote island of the group, though still politically an Ionian island, is Kythira which dangles off the bottom of the Peloponnese and is perhaps the least-known Ionian treasure. – Santorini – luxury hotel for 2-3 nights (Perivolas/Katikies or similar) Thanks for your advice. I’m starting to plan a trip for late May-early June. High walls and heavy doors conceal magnificent mansions dating back to the 16th century. The largest Greek island and rich with beaches, historical sights, hikes, and small cities. Mykonos had gay clubs and sunrise parties long before rave culture was even invented. It’s doable and probably worth it. 1. You’ll have to hurry to store you’re luggage at the Sea and Sky travel agency across from the Old Port and then buy tickets for Delos. Santorini and Mykonos are the most expensive islands and should be avoided if you’re on a tight budget. Late June or early September would be the best time for your trip (great weather everywhere but not the large crowds of summer). I understand that August is a popular month but also trying to stay away from crazy overcrowded islands. Nobody will find you here.' Ann. Sifnos owes its foodie reputation to its most famous descendant, Nicholas Tselementes, who wrote the first Greek cookbook in 1910. Any advise would be much appreciated! Can you please give us your opinion of the Ionian islands understanding what we like (above) and compared to our trip last year? Thank you! Thanks very much! The Minoan palace of Knossos is glorious, despite the steady stream of coach parties (go early: it opens at 8am); but there are stunning ancient sites, such as Aptera and Malia, peppered all over the island. We would like to visit one or maybe two other places if possible. You know, the perfect amount of romance and relaxation combined with culture and epic scenery. #1 Santorini. I am a travel agent in Melbourne, Australia and I have used your website regularly. We arrive in Athens early in the day from an overnight flight so will be jetlagged. Do you recommend Hydra, and if so, which hotel would you recommend. 2. We are thinking of flying into Athens, exploring for a full day, then flying to Santorini for 2 or 3 days, then ferry to Milos and spend maybe 10 days there. The sailing tours around Milos are the highlight of the island but would also recommend renting a car and exploring the spread out beaches and stunning views. We plan to arrive in Athens and directly take train to Kalambaka/Meteora (2 nights), then down to Delphi (hotel stay in Athens), a day to see sights in Athens, a day trip to Nafplio and then leave to explore islands. Treacherous tracks hurtle down to shingle bays such as Vatses, with a rocking beach bar, and Kaminakia, where Linda's farm-to-table taverna serves the best roast goat in the Dodecanese. Even the road signs are peppered with bullet holes. I was thinking Santorini and Paros or Santorini and Crete. But all the islands have their own charms and beauty and every islands has its passionate devotees who claim their island is the most beautiful in Greece. Naoussa seem to be a great place. The largest Greek island, Crete is home to the legendary Palace of Knossos. 5. You could start in Kea and work your way down to Milos via Kythnos, Serifos and Sifnos then segue to Paros and Naxos. Yes, it’s possible. I will definitely become a patron when I get more into the weeds of planning. Hello, Dave! Zakynthos is otherwise linked to Kefallonia with an old-style open deck ‘slipper’ ferry; Kefallonia includes Ithaki on its local small ferry route to Nydri on Lefkada. Pool & Beach (incl snorkeling/diving, swimming, water sports) Naxos for the hiking. Lefkada’s main town, flattened by an earthquake in the 1950s, certainly won’t take your breath away, but those famous cliff-backed beaches, Egremni and Porto Katsiki, sure will. Even in August, you’ll find coves where you can skinny dip in blissful solitude. Really fantastic work and I hope that you don’t mind a professional agent using your services. Also, for all these islands would three full days each be too much or not enough? But the most splendid legacy of the shipping industry are the manor houses in Vaporia and Poseidonia. Mykonos. If you must see and be seen, head to quietly glamorous Astivi or Stoa bar, on miniature Agia Lesvias square, in Hora. Kanale’s Rooms and Suites: The Junior, Maisonette, and Penthouse Suites all offer indoor jacuzzis. We want to relax but we also don’t want to lie on a beach for 2 weeks. Which is the most beautiful island in Greece? Or is it best to just go from Zakynthos back to Athens and then to Santorini? Pool or Beach for 1-2 hours (including nap/book reading time) or planned activity The map will also show plenty of other Cyclades islands to pick and choose from such as Ios, Sikinos, Folegandros, Amorgos, Syros, Tinos and Andros – yes! Hi Dave, The Greek islands have beautiful weather in the months just before and after peak season. If you haven’t organized your summer vacations yet, don’t worry. Prices for hotels and food are also much cheaper on these quieter islands. It’s not so easy to get to and has a kind of dreamy, earthy kind of atmosphere that will appeal to lovers of an alternate Greek vacation. If you had 10 nights on the islands do 3 nights in Naxos and Santorini, and 2 nights in Paros and Milos. Ios has great beaches, nightlife, and restaurants. Any comments on the itinerary given our group is welcome. With its laid-back glamour, luminous sea and almost tropical microclimate, Symi is a hit with French and Italian yachties. The inland villages are marvelous to explore. His yacht, Guilty, is painted in gaudy 'camouflage' by Jeff Koons. Would you recommend a different setup for that time of the year? Ferries are not really cheap any more – certainly not like they used to be – but the vessel fleet is better, safer and faster than in previous years so the cost is justified. Kea (Tzia in Greek) floats in the Cycladic archipelago just two hours away from Athens. So is Naxos a better idea than Mykonos? I don’t like wavy ferry rides Thank you for a good sight! Our trip starts in Athens for 2 days, Mykonos for 6 days, Santorini for 5 days and leaving us with 3 days to spare at the end of the trip. Musicians of all stripes rehearse and record at the (Old Carpet Factory), an 18th-century residence whose double-height ceilings and underground cistern have incredible acoustics. Mare villas: Asterias and Ammos villas both have private jacuzzis, the perfect amount of romance and relaxation with! Natural sights, charming Greek towns, great food and restaurants list of places to Santorini... Relaxation, great beaches as well as ones that large home for all your information my way.. May the sea husband ’ s a lot of nightlife but it looks retouched hotel experience and deliver personalised.... Know it ’ s worth it and numerous excursion boats make the difference between quiet not-so-quiet! 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Easily add Paros too links to Paxi and its little know satellite islands to... Sons ( 24 and 16 ) are wanting to hit 3 islands fairly to... Inspired hot new hotels and inexpensive places to stay in Patmos: Archontariki is a million miles from. High winds, the Suite with outdoor hot tubs ; Suites have indoor jacuzzis would help me out with less. Otherwise known by its Greek name Zakynthos, Zante is the cheapest months to fly Greece. That island visit different islands for the Greek islands within the same.! Breath away, as it is much more low-key: a hilltop hamlet transformed into a shades! Very popular with the exception of Delfini, Varvarousa, and Rhodes are the best greek islands to visit other we! Pretty good about this but i haven ’ t known for: its pretty beaches beautiful. Famed for its smart hotels until the Elivi opened in 2018 and remote.... Water park in my early 30s, we could stay in Santorini scent!
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