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12 nights in the Cyclades - late April-eary May

We are beginning to plan a trip the Greek Isles, we have frequent flyers in and out of Athens locked in. Our preliminary plan is to;
- fly to Santorini for 2 nights and look to stay in Firostefani
- ferry to Naxos for 6-7 nights
- then 3-4 nights in Amorgos or Paros/Antiparos
- ferry or fly back to Athens

We know it's not ideal beach weather in April and May but we enjoy hiking and exploring towns. Any help on our itinerary options or places to stay and explore is appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by
989 posts

For Naxos I would suggest you stay at St George beach. It has lots of small family run hotels with a nice sandy beach where you can enjoy the sunshine. Perhaps the water will be too cold though.
St George is part of Naxos town so you get the beach and the activities of town. Its also the transportation hub for the island so you can easily walk tot eh bus station and ferry port.
Here is what you can expect in Naxos.
Naxos Town
Trip around Naxos
Naxos sunsets

Posted by
1726 posts

We stayed 3 nights in Santorini after flying to the island the same day we arrived in Athens. Two nights will give you one day which is enough to explore Oia and Fira and get the view. We rented a car a second day and drove to Akrotiri and around the island. We felt it was very worthwhile, even though overall we liked Naxos better.

Posted by
1917 posts

That sounds like a wonderful trip. On our last visit, we arrived in Greece on May 11 and spent almost a week each on Naxos, Amorgos & Antiparos — ending in Milos. So you’ve picked some of our favorite islands.

On Naxos we stayed right on the sand at St George Beach at Studios Kalergis. We had a ground floor room with a private patio surrounded by lush flowers, just steps from the beach. Great place. No breakfast but it had a little kitchenette. Highly recommend this island. For sunset happy hour, walk down the beach (away from town) to Flisvos Sportscenter where you can settle with your ouzo on comfy couches on their front porch.

We also loved Amorgos. It’s a short ferry ride from Naxos. There are two ports — we chose Katapola, staying at Porto Katapola pension. We had a large room with huge balcony overlooking the busy harbor. The owner, Giannis, is one of those smiling hospitable Greeks who can’t do enough for you. The island had lots to see— lots of walking — rent a car for a day or two. A highlight is the famous Hozoviotissa Monastery built into a cliff.

We went from Amorgos to Antiparos, an even smaller island! Here we stayed at Mike’s Place with the lovely owner Lillian. Not as much to do or see here but a lovely place to relax. We did have a great boat trip — Lazy Day with Captain Ben. Spent the day sailing around Antiparos — good food & drink.

On both Amorgos and Antiparos, we were just the second guest in our hotel that season. The islands were definitely open for business, but quiet. It was a perfect time. All of the places we stayed were amazingly inexpensive, and each island had great restaurants.

If I had to choose between Amorgos & Antiparos for your third island? I’d probably pick Amorgos, if you can stay at Porto Katapola. That hotel really made the island for us.

Posted by
24 posts

Thanks for all the input. After reviewing everything we'll do 3 nights in Santorini giving us 2 full days, 6 in Naxos and 3 in Amorgos. Unfortunately, the hotels in Naxos and Amorgos are either closed or under renovation until mid-May. The question for Amorgos is do we stay right at the harbor or the small town just around the bay? Thanks!

Posted by
2864 posts

When you say "the hotels" in Naxos, and Amorgos ... what ones do you mean? Unless you say, we cannot know what you want, and suggest alternatives. In Amorgos in May, the beach at Aegali is wonderful, and Pension Askas is delightful ... just off the beach vrey friendly, also runs a small camping area ... has a small cafe for breakfast, also things going on at night.

What hotel in Naxos?

Posted by
24 posts

Janet, the hotels that Charlene had suggested in the previous post.

Posted by
2864 posts

OK, I can recommend on Naxos a number of hotels right near Studios Kalergis, on the sands or right off them:

• If you want "studio unit" (this just means has small kitchenette/ kitchen "ell" so u can fix breakfast etc) -- then look at Studios Thomais, Diogenes Studio (also has cafe out front, on sand), Lefkes Studios, Palatia Hotel, Hotel Kymata -- on all these, "map view" shows actual locations, and indicates if available units have sea-view balconies. Some have sea-view balconies from all floors, others from upper floor.

• non-studio, on sands or just off: Hotel Asteria; upscale - Hotel Naxia, Ippokampus Hotel

Posted by
925 posts

Hello from Wisconsin,
Before you go to far into your planning make sure that air or boat transit is offered during your desired travel days. These islands may have reliable service. But April-May is next year and it is very likely that when boats or planes will be operating are not posted. And it will seem as though service doesn't exist. So you might have to ask the hotel/cottage owner if they can tell you what has been normal over that last few years.

I went to a small island and could find no information for the time I want to travel there, but knew in my heart and mind that it would have to exist once the spring season started. So I booked into Athens for several days using cancelable bookings. That way I could leave when the boat did. Same for my return to Athens. I booked days of rentals that could be canceled and used what I eventually needed.

Hopefully, your islands have year round posted service.

wayne iNWI