May skip for another trip. Any other advice on hotels, villages, activities and logistics would be appreciated. Crete for historical sightseeing, greek culture and towns, some beaches but spread out (4 to 7 days). If your interests are hiking, exploring, taking tours, and seeing historical sites then April, May, early June, late September, October, and November are the best months. Environmentalists and capitalists clash daggers at Laganas where the mass tourism trade is carried out to the detriment of the Caretta Caretta, or loggerhead turtle that loves the beach as much as British tourists on a binge. Where to stay in Santorini: Trendier pretenders come and go, but Perivolas is still the most stylish and peaceful place to stay. island holiday to Greece in July this summer for 7 days. A wonderful mix of the great beaches and villages of Naxos and the nightlife and boutique vibe of Mykonos. We are in our late 30’s and are looking forward to some beautiful views, chill out time and good food. 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. Whereas Naxos, Paros, Milos, Folegandros, etc. Kea Highlights. One of the largest Greek islands, Rhodes is ideal for families looking for a sunshine holiday that's fuss-free, most notably because of its impressive offering of all-inclusive resorts. When you're ready to turn your daydreams into travel reality, EF Ultimate Break has a perfect Greece trip for you. That’s a busy itinerary but doable. Athens. Ferries to and from the mainland are well provided for, though travel between them is not quite the same deal as the Aegean islands. Favourites are tiny Xigia, with its bubbling underwater springs, and craggy Porto Limnionas, with sunbeds wedged between the rocks and palm-frond umbrellas positioned between the pine trees. The largest Greek island, Crete is home to the legendary Palace of Knossos. We’re definitely including Milos, and one of Paros or Naxos. May the sea be rough at that time of the year? Santorini is arguably the most famous of the Greek islands, and for good reason. Corfu is the It Girl of the Ionian islands. Some “less touristy” islands are a must (for at least one island). Some exceptions do exist – Rhodes Kastellorizo, Kos-Leros-Astypalaia, Thessaloniki-Limnos-Ikaria etc. Our interests would range from nightlife to beaches with everything in between. Our plan is to visit Santorini (Grace) and Mykonos (Belvedere) and then likely Hydra. Chania, Crete. 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. But who cares when you can kick back with fennel pie and raki at Stou Stratou, pick up Natassa Kalogeropoulou’s minimalist ceramics at Kerameio, and listen to Greek folk in the open-air amphitheatre? If you must see and be seen, head to quietly glamorous Astivi or Stoa bar, on miniature Agia Lesvias square, in Hora. The west coast of Naxos is fringed with mile upon mile of powdery sands. So you wouldn’t have time to get to either island. We originally thought we would try the Ionian islands (something different from what we experienced) with a view of visiting Cephalonia, Paxos, Lefkada or staying with the Cyclades with Paros/Antiparos and Naxos. 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. Verina Suites on Platis Gialos beach is more family-friendly. I’m most concerned about ferries being available to each of the islands, especially Paros to Milos. So, what should I do this year? Why it makes the list: It’s perfect for family-friendly breaks. 'The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece, eternal summer gilds them yet…', By They are packaged tourist places, though not quite in the extreme league of the north coast of Crete, but certainly they look to the ‘managed’ traveller more than the individual. The best Greek islands to visit in 2021. We are two couples traveling together in our late 50’s, early 60’s, that love activity, tours, hiking or walking around, lots of history with a nice mix of a few days of relaxing/beach enjoying some really great food and wine. Trying to make the most of our short stay and based on your recommendation we are choosing to tour Athens on the front end of our trip, then Ferry to Paros and then Santorini. 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. We really want to see Navagio Beach on Zakynthos for a day, and we realize this will likely be an overnight trip, or even 2 nights depending on the travel options. Either town makes a great base for exploring the other (and the rest of the island). Mykonos for nightlife and beaches, Naxos for beaches and traditional Greek villages, Paros for trendy restaurants and beaches, Milos for beaches and a wonderful boat tour around the island. JP Boutefeu, It is not a packaged island, but more a place for selective visitors. Pigadia, Karpathos. Even the sage-scented hiking trails are called Blue Paths, because the sea and sky are visible in all directions. Along with the stunning Greek Islands, some of the best places to visit in Greece are the country’s amazing historical sites. But you can see the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, and the top historical sites of the Plaka in one day. Any suggestions? Our budgets (the most important thing) also differ greatly! Looking for something above 26/27 degrees and can’t seem to find any! Your website is fantastic! We are two women in our late thirties. Any recommendation(s) would be greatly appreciated! If you get your breakfast included at the hotel, that is good because breakfast can add another €15 for the two of you per day. How to choose which Greek islands to visit Santorini. 3) 10 days is fine for 3 islands. Crete feels less like an island than anywhere else and can seem and feel daunting at first touch because of its size. The almighty church has kept nightlife in check. Loaded with great boat tours, wine tours, fantastic hotels, amazing restaurants, and awesome things to do. NAXOS HOTELS Syros hosts festivals of animation, dance, digital art, film, classical music, jazz and rembetiko, the Greek blues popularised by local musician Markos Vamvakaris. A few rembetiko joints have survived in the upper town, Ano Syra. The island is peppered with potteries that produce the earthenware casseroles used for revitháda (baked chickpeas) and mastello (lamb with red wine and dill). Even the school is commandeered for exhibitions in the summer holidays. The best nightlife and clubbingin Greece is found on Mykonos. Naxos is a wonderful family destination. Renting a car and exploring the interior villages of Naxos is a must-do and so is a boat tour around Milos. My favorite island in Greece is Santorini. Rhodes is by far the best Greek island for families, with its shelving beaches and days out away from the sand — and for getting from plane to beach ASAP, with … So big that if you only have a week it’s good to limit yourself to only this island. Top 5 Best Greek Islands to Visit from Athens. Our alternatives are: 1st alternative: Santorini 2 nights, Naxos 2 nights, Amorgos 3 nights, Naxos 1 night, 2nd alternative: Santorini 2 nights, 3 nights Ios, 3 nights Naxos, 3rd alternative: although irrelevant to the other alternatives Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonnisos. Our main airport of arrival is Athens. My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece in late May/early April. Thank you! Marathia launched the island’s farm- (or fishing-boat-) to-table scene, elevating local ingredients into complex modern dishes. There is so much information to wade through so was wanting your advice. 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). His yacht, Guilty, is painted in gaudy 'camouflage' by Jeff Koons. Or cruise over to the tiny island of Delos, an archaeological sanctuary that once thronged with 30,000 sun worshippers (the temple is dedicated to Apollo, the Greek god of light). – Is Mykonos worth visiting if not interested in the nightlife? My sister (32 years young) and myself (28 years young) are traveling to Greece from 22nd August – 6th September. The mountainous interior, all sleepy stone villages poking out of pine forests, is great for hikes and bikes. (I’m coming from Boston). I am taking my daughter to Greece for 12 days in late May this year as a grad gift (yeah I know…, I think my Dad gave me a Timex watch, but I digress) and we are flying into Santorini expecting to spend 5-6 days there then ferrying over to Mykonos (not really sure why?) My wife and I aren’t into nightlife, just looking for relaxation, great beaches, beautiful water and amazing food! So is Naxos a better idea than Mykonos? Repeat the exercise. The Best Greek Islands to Visit Paros. Located: in the Cyclades between Tinos, Syros, Paros and … 9/2 – Mykonos And two, they have frequent ferry connections with each other. A meal for two that includes a starter, two main meals, salad and a litre carafe of local wine will cost you around €25-35. The 5 Best Greek Islands 1. We would like somewhere with a nice town to walk around, upmarket, more couple less family, nice bars and things to see during the day bit also nice beaches etc? Little Venice in Mykonos Town. Kalymnos is one of the best Greek islands to visit for outdoor adventures, including hiking and climbing. I love exploring and figs, the husband would love to see ruins and explore history. And if you’re really looking to narrow it down then mid-September is the absolute prime. If you had an extra half-day then visit the Archaeological Museum in Exarcheia. Night 5: Santorini We’re not interested in the party scene, but definitely want to explore amazing restaurants. 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. Aristotle Onassis bought the satellite island of Skorpios here as his own bit of getaway paradise. We are a family of 4 adults (ages early 50’s and early 20’s). We’re going the last week in August. There's a nascent surfer scene on Kolibithra bay, where a VW camper van has been converted into a cute beach bar. Crete, Santorini, and Naxos look quite doable within the 12-day block, but Crete’s beaches are scattered throughout a very LARGE island, Santorini really only has Kamari and Perissá (and some southern coast bays) and Naxos does have nice places to swim. – If we stay in Naxos can we take day trip to Paros (and vise versa)? Back to Naxos (we didn’t really move from the town last year unlike in Paros where we rented a car and saw the whole island)? Set in the rocks above Agios Nikolaos bay, Papalagi serves big fat prawns and whole grilled octopus on a wooden deck aligned with the horizon. FOR THE ROMANTIC. Hi Dave, In favor of the Amorgos itinerary is that you’re visiting during the peak of the high season and Ios and Naxos will be very busy, Amorgos less so. My fiancé and I are interested in the Greek Islands for our honeymoon in early August. Ideal for: Greek cuisine aficionados and those seeking a more laidback lifestyle. 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. Its beaches are very peculiar, due to the black and red volcanic sand. I’m planning my honeymoon for early September, starting from Santorini. With its picturesque cliff towns, family-friendly beaches, archaeological ruins, and wonderful wineries, Santorini is my favorite of … Where to stay in Symi: Hotel Aliki, right on the waterfront, is a throwback to the 19th century, right down to the creaky floorboards. We are a bit apprehensive because we are from Canada and have never been to Europe before. Be as specific as you like Dave, gimme a road name if something comes to mind. Thank you for putting together such a great site. One side is calm, the other choppy - a metaphor for this island of two halves. 20 best Greek islands for the most beautiful holiday in 2020 1 Corfu - Best Greek island for Durrells fans. Crete. Which is the cheapest Greek island? Personal Travel Manager. We’re planning a Greece trip to celebrate our 25th anniversary in September next year. (Whatever you decide don’t do a day trip to the other island as it’s not worth the time and effort.). We can probably take up to two weeks. The palace of the Grand Masters is the most significant attraction of old town of Rhodes. This is the kind of island where you go to get away from the other islands. It is classy, clean, green and still pretty Ionian Greek. Hi Dave, great website, I’m glad I found you, your expertise and knowledge has blown my mind. Hi Dave! Our original thought was to visit Paros but I’ve since heard/read that this could be quite windy in July as well as a mini-Mykonos in terms of price. Crete usually has the warmest weather in April but I wouldn’t call it hot. Rethymnon has a cool old town and good beaches walking distance from most hotels. White Key handles some beautiful rental properties, such as Villa Orelia, which comes with its own private open-air cinema. As you round the headland, neoclassical mansions in every shade of apricot and peach rise like a mirage from the sea. Should we stay longer in Santorini? You won’t find sandy beaches lined with sunbeds; only limpid, pebbly coves, such as Katergo, Ambeli and Livadaki. We’re a family of 6 (all adults) traveling to Greece for the first time…and most likely the last time. Blue Sand hotel hovers on the hillside above Agali beach; space and privacy are a little limited, but those views and steps leading straight to the water make up for it. What order should we visit all three islands (in terms of convenience of ferry/flight availability) and how many nights do you recommend allotting to each? Five Star Greece also has some exceptional villas on Paxos, including Paxos PTR, a huge estate with 360-degree views and wonderfully idiosyncratic interiors. Where to stay on Milos: With a wooden deck and sunbeds shaded by billowing sails, Salt is like staying on a boat floating above the bay of Pollonia. 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. The big draw is the medieval citadel in Rhodes Town: : stroll along the battlements and you'll spy Byzantine churches, Roman ruins, synagogues and minarets. Hi dave – very cool and informative site! Any suggestions? Sunshine is pretty much guaranteed year round, but spring is especially lovely for rambling and sightseeing. From Samos, there are usually direct ferries to Mykonos and Syros. 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. That all sounds good though I would recommend Naxos over Mykonos in March as there’s more to see and do there when not beach weather. One of the tiniest Ionian islands, Paxos packs a big punch. Hi Dave, An incredibly helpful site for pinning down the details…what a jewel! Top 5 Best Greek Islands to Visit from Athens. Old Town of Chora on Andros Island, Greece, Chora village of Astypalea island in Greece, A bridge to Cameo island, Zakynthos, Greece, Greek island of Symi in the Dodecanese, Greece, In partnership with Hotel Ploes, a palazzo on the rocks, is the next best thing. Best Greek island for: Culture and off-season cachet. From Vasiliki there is a regular local ferry that runs to Fiskardo on Kefallonia (via Ithaca/Ithaki). Crete is a destination unto itself but is commonly linked with Santorini and Mykonos and with daily catamarans between Crete and these islands it is easy to see why. While development might have caught up here by now, it should still be a pleasant beach scene and focus for a relaxing stay. 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. I have ample time planned in Athens, and the Peloponnese (with rental car). 2 days (2 nights) Santorini Print + Digital Unless you happen to like wet T-shirt contests. Basically we just want to see the best bits in a VERY small window…. Also we like nice restaurants, calm and remote places. Great beaches and the main town is crammed with wonderful tavernas serving some of the best food on the Greek islands. My husband is staying on for an additional week near Thessaloniki. Lifestyle › Travel 20 stunning Greek Islands to visit Incredible beaches, crystal-clear seas and great food, summer in Greece is unparalleled, says Laura Hampson You could, for example, take the Blue Star Ferries and map an island-hopping route that essentially heads in the same direction. But if you can, it would be hugely appreciated! No. Transport to them is easy enough with at least four airports receiving international flights (Corfu, Aktio (Lefkada), Kefallonia, and Zakynthos). Sorry, I don’t know of any website devoted to large group villas. The rest of the island is stark and wild. They are different from the point of view of flora – they are greener and less barren than their Aegean cousins and they share a different history to the rest of Greece and the other islands, having absorbed much Venetian and Italian influences over the years. That’s because the best beaches (Kalo Ambeli, Vagia, Skala) are only accessible via bone-rattling dirt roads or donkey tracks. 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