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14 nights in Greece

After having to cancel trips to Greece twice I’m looking for a great itinerary. Comments on my schedule please.
Fly to Santorini for 4 nights.
Ferry to Naxos for 3 nights.
Ferry to Mykonos for 4 nights.
Fly to Athens for 3 nights.

Please send any thoughts on this. Thanks so much

Posted by
2812 posts

Do y our 14 days include travel to/from?? Should not count arrival day unless u arrive by mid-morning - then count as 1/2 day. Cannot count departure day at all.

What Month? Advice can be v different for May vs August. R u solo, a couple, a group, a family?? how many people, age range -- advice could differ depending on this, too. R you choosing destinations because you've heard/seen the most mentions of these, or do you have must-sees & must-do's for each? Just asking these q's because without knowing a bit more, we may give vague ideas that are not relevant to your situation. Do share more!

Posted by
842 posts

I would substitute Paros for Mykonos. Otherwise your division of nights looks fine.

Posted by
1199 posts

Maybe 10 island nights and 4 in Athens?

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks so much. Traveling in May with adult children. Pretty much chose islands based on online reviews.

Posted by
964 posts

Personally I would drop one day from Santorini. Three days is perfect amount of time and about the capacity of my wallet on Santorini.

The ferry hop from Santorini to Naxos will get you to Naxos around 12:30 in the afternoon, Each ferry hop eats up a half day. So your hop from Naxos to Mykonos while just a short hop will also get you there in the afternoon.

Mykonos and Santorini are the most expensive destinations in Greece. Santorini is worth it. Mykonos brands itself as a high end destination so you are paying for a marketing department even though Mykonos can not compete with Naxos for hiking, beaches, mountain villages the Venetian era old town and Kastro. Unless you plan to go to Mykonos for a visit to Delos I would respectfully suggest you pair Santorini with Naxos. Three nights Santorini and a week in Naxos. We have been going to Naxos since 1996 and every time we find something new.
Here is Naxos
Naxos town https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632094558042
Trip around Naxos https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157634605629689

Naxos 2019 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157711294807761

Posted by
2812 posts

Totally agree with Stanbr ... and this is based on experience by both ... Mykonos has become a superluxe shopping mart ala Rodeo Drive -- 100+ €€€€ boutiques Hermes - Cartier - Calvin - Gucci - Fendi - Prada - designer boutiques for the cruise crowd, plus a post-midnight €€€ clubbing scene. Once upon a time Mykonos attracted artists, creative people, but now it's mainly an overpriced overpromoted port crammed with package tourism, a place no artists now can afford or visit.

If your "young adults" want some nightlife, they can find it in Santorini's Fira town in 2 nights stay... and Naxos port town has a lively evening scene. If any of you are ancient-history buffs & long to see Delos... or if any just wish to say they saw Mykonos town or a beach there -- in normal times, there several day-excursions from Naxos/Paros. These offer a few hours in each place, and return to Naxos in time for sunset. Here's a link: http://www.cycladicruises.gr/en/routes-delos-mykonos ... it's good to inquire, because Covid-19 has upended all normal schedules.

Since your Naxos visit is in May, ahead of crowds, I think Stanbr & I agree that a great place to look for accommodations right on a beach is at St. George (Ag. Giorgios), directly adjacent to the Port Town... an easy 15-20 minute stroll along the seafront to all the attractions there -- dining, shops, museums, quirky maze-like lanes, ancient sites etc. Other beaches are reachable via frequent bus service -- so u need rent a car only if/when you want to zoom around the entire island, for its dramatic inland landscapes, villages, mountains of marble, ancient sites... the list goes on. Check stanbr's fab fotos.

SANTORINI? Agree with shortening stay, not only for expense, but because it's mainly about the Famous Caldera View (the beaches are, well, meh) & you can gaze your fill in 2 days. Look for caldera-view hotels or pensions (airbnb or villas are seldom located right on view). Rather than staying village of OIA (too crammed w tour crowds by day & at sunset), or FIRA town (mega-traffic), I favor FIROSTEPHANI -- on the view-path, but away from Hubbub. Book NOW - best values going fast.

ATHENS? Depends on whether u r trying to use "points" -- the "points" hotel chains are not in easy walking distance of most sightseeing highlights. I favor places near the South side of the "Acropolis precinct" or just East - away from Syntagma Square traffic ... quieter, more no-car lanes, lots of greenery, & close walk to major landmarks. TIP: booking dot com these days lists pvt apts as well as hotels... and you can often find apts housing 4 for short-stays, near to Acropolis, @ v moderate rates; if u click "show on map" icon, you can see exact locations -- AND u get the safety of free-cancellation policy, etc.

Posted by
7495 posts

Take a night away from both Santorini and Mykonos and add them to Naxos or Paros.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks for the amazing info and beautiful pictures. For the first week it will be my daughter and I. The second week my son and his wife will join us. Currently I have 3 reservations in Naxos. All can be canceled. One is on Agios Georgios, one in the center and one on the beach near the port looking towards the Portara. Would you agree I should stay on Agios Georgios? Thanks again

Posted by
935 posts

I stayed in St. George Beach for 9 days back in 2013 and loved it.

Decent beach and a short walk to waterfront and Old Town.

Wonderful area to base yourself to explore the island.

Posted by
964 posts

Can you give us the names of the hotels you have booked we can give you better advice with that information.

Posted by
2812 posts

Keep Kalergis Studios .... right ON the sands, and residents have free use of all their sunbeds/umbrellas. All units have seaview balconies & kitchenettes. Dining out is SO reasonable, no one would want/need to cook. However, it's handy to have kitchen & fridge, if you want to cut up fruit, or make a salad lunch... the town bakery & other places make yummy takeaway sandwiches for lunch or picnics. For breakfast, There are cute little grocery stores on the lanes behind the beach, where u can get fruit, yummies, yogurt etc. THere's nothing like sitting on one's balcony in a robe of a morning, having coffee, greek yogurt w honey, and gazing at the ocean. Sigh.

PS: St. George is a shallow beach -- In May it's delightful because of all the toddlers it attracts, waddling around with sandpails at the water's edge. However it's fine for grownups too, I love it for a handy dip an AM or a refresher after sunbathing or running around sightseeing... you just wade out, the water is calf-high for about 100 yards, then drops off to deep for good swims. FOr a "mainly beach day" we bus out to one of the outer beaches. The bus takes u to Ag Anna, Ag Prokopios, Plaka, Mikra Vigli, miles of golden sand, all in a line. Board bus in port area, next to the ferry pier -- or at a stop at edge of St. George (ask hotelier to show u on google map). Which Beach? My experience, others will differ -- Anna's main beach segment too narrow IMO & crowds up even in May ... Prokopios has wider beach, more sunbeds, deep right from edge ... Plaka is my fave, so long, so much room, many hotels have lovely sunbeds @ no fee if you buy food or bevs while using.

Posted by
964 posts

While we have never stayed at Kalergis we have visited people who stayed there and it is quite nice. As Janet says it literally is right on the beach. It has a good reputation. One thing about St George is it is quiet at night for sleeping. I think the hotel in Naxos town proper might be a bit loud.

The hotel at Grotta looks nice and the view is amazing. Grotta is uphill from the harbour. At my age and with a bad knee I prefer the gently walk along the headland from St George to Naxos town.

Posted by
1 posts

Did much the same itinerary last year, although only flew into Mykonos and stayed for one night. You will have an amazing time. I would agree that I would swap a night from Mykonos or Santorini and add to Naxos just because it is much relaxing vibe there. The beaches are great and food is very reasonable priced. Stayed at Hotel Grotta which was great. Loved the breakfast buffet and views at Grotta and easy walk into town. Buses to beaches is very easy back and forth as well. We went to Plaka beach two days.

Posted by
284 posts

October 2021, we did 3 nights Santorini, 4 nights Naxos and dumped Mykonos from our plans. This was based on input from this group. We were extremely happy with our final decision. Santorini views are stunning, and Naxos (Plaka Beach) felt like an old beach village where could hide and nobody would ever find you. It was wonderful. We put the extra days towards Peloponnese and finished in Athens.

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks again for all your suggestions. I took a night from Santorini and added to Naxos. Would have liked to take a night from Mykonos but my son is flying into there so not possible. Would love any other suggestions on activities,etc. Thanks

Posted by
1645 posts

A nice day trip would be to go to Delos by ferry from Mykonos.

If your son is flying into Mykonos, can you leave a day earlier and have 4 nights in Athens instead of 4 in Mykonos? We had 3 in Athens but would have really enjoyed one more.