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Santorini and Mykonos

We have 10 full days. Do we need 4-5 days in Santorini and 4-5 days in Mykonos? We are beach and restaurant people. Love to walk the beach; love to have coffee/drinks on a balcony with a sea view/town view. Having that many days, any suggestions on another island? Can go latter September; or any time in October ... any comments on that time of year?
Thanks so much. Dianne Budget is $300/night max for a room.

Posted by
2875 posts

Dianne -- First of all, it's key to know, is this 10 full days on the ground? Don't count arrival & departure day... and u should be back in Athens area the night BEFORE your homebound flight. Now, to your destinations:

99% of the time, first-timers from USA only know about Mykonos & Santorini; I can only think it's because they haven't yet looked at a good guidebook, and tours/cruise lines unrelentingly promote those 2 islands; lovely but over-hyped and the costliest places in Greece. From May thru early Oct, midweek sees 2-4 huge cruise liners docking in each, so thousands of cruisers in main towns. Please do broaden your view. Thumbnail Advice -- Go in September -- October, even these 2 isles have a "closing down" feeling.

SANT: book room with caldera View (Oia, Firostephani abound it hotels); beaches r on other side of isle, not notable (black volcanic grit/pebbles). Main activities: Akrotiri archeological dig, dining, shopping. If u stay in Firostephani, u can walk to Fira (town) where in Fall there's more nightlife & more restaurants in fall. I say 3 days enough; honeymooners stay longer.

MYKONOS: also many hi-end shops. Lovely mazey port-town, lined with luxe shops (Hermes, Cartier, Calvin etc). Sandy beaches (windy in fall); good hi-end restaurants. Nightlife active longer than other isles. In Fall, Myk-Vets advise, stay in town, bus to beaches, not vice versa. Activities: Delos (the holy isle), swims, shopping. I say 3 days is plenty, but that's just me.

ISLAND #3: Right between the 2 - NAXOS, a 2+ hr enjoyable ride from Santorini on deck of modern large Blue Star Ferry 3:15 - 5:30. Isle has major year-round population, so port town always lively; it's also much more interesting not so focussed on Crui$$e crowds (no large ships can dock here, no jumbo jets). You can have balcony on St. George beach adjacent to town for a fraction of Santo/Myk rates ... array of friendly tavernas w. sea view, serving authentic Greek fare & fresh produce from Naxos farms. For beach lovers, there's 12 miles of golden-sand beach in a row, to stroll .. Excellent bus system, or u can rent a car for a day (30€) to zip around entire island. History galore! (ancient ruins, statues in orchards, castle atop town). My friend "Stanbr" has a photo album I love, of Naxos highlights: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157634605629689/ There are daily ferries to Mykonos (NOTE: choose car-carrying catamaran over plain catamaran; larger, more stable ride). From mykonos, ferry or flight back to Mainland. BTW: Do you plan ANY time in Athens? Or have you already been there?

Posted by
77 posts

thank you for so much information. 10 days on the ground - no Athens except to fly in and out. My dream has always been San and Myk, so really didn't think about other islands. We have no goal except to have coffee on balcony overlooking a beautiful sea view; need a great walking beach; good restaurants and bars that we can walk to, or at least take a bus/taxi. We are definitely willing stay in a place with "action and a great walking beach". However, would want to be able to take a ferry (or whatever) to San and Myk. Thank you for all of your help ! Dianne

Posted by
2934 posts

Both main beaches on Santorini, Kamari and Perissa, are quite long. Walking on them is different than walking along the waterline of a fine sand beach since you'll tend to sink a bit into the looser grit. Both have promenades along their length. Vlichada Beach and Monolithos Beach are both a bit easier on the feet but I do recommend beach shoes/reefwalkers to make it easier. Santorini is also great for hiking along the clifftop between Fira and Oia. It's about a 3-hour hike, which should satisfy the walker in you. Take water, sunscreen, sunglasses, a snack and your camera.

For accomodations on Santorini check Scirocco Apartments, Loucas Hotel, Tzekos Villas, Porto Fira Suites, Villa Ilias, Blue Dolphins Apartments, Rimida Villas, Olympic Villas, Strogili Houses, Kima Villas, Filotera Villas, Golden Sunset Villas, Caldera Villas, Chelidonia Villas, Fotinos Houses and Thea Studios (the one in Oia).

I haven't stayed here but if you want someplace quiet with a nice beach on Mykonos check out http://www.mykonosthea.com.