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2 Weeks exploring Greek Islands

We will be travelling to Greece in the Spring or the Fall (haven't decided yet). We would like to see at least 2-3 islands in the same general area for ease and saving time. Our plan is to ferry between islands and then either rent a car, rent e-bikes, walk, or do tours on each island.WE like simple and not touristy. . We often choose off the beaten path for places to stay or to enjoy.
WE are interested in:
water activities - snorkelling, kayaking, swimming, sailing
lovely scenery ad viewpoints, - picnics in such areas
wine sipping and coffee drinking in small local establishments and meeting local people
experiencing Greek culture through music, festivals, food
Your input on specific islands or group of islands would be greatly appreciated.
A big caveat is that I am extremely uncomfortable around cats and I realize this is a big hindrance for me. My husband would love to go to Greece so I am trying to be brave and find out the best islands for our preferred activities and also less cats for me to maneuver around!
Thank you so much for your reply!

Posted by
11153 posts

We are not cat fans either and had to accept the fact that they were everywhere we went in Greece for a month, both on the mainland and islands.
Islands- There are many groups of islands. Do your research Paros, Naxos, Folegandros, Rhodes, Kos..
There are basically seven groups of islands. Do your research. The most visited are the Cyclades.

Posted by
1810 posts

First, know that staying in the Greek islands without meeting cats, lots of cats, is impossible. If this is really unacceptable to you, I don't see how you can do it. However it won't always be like here: (an Airbnb in Serifos)

https://photos.app.goo.gl/f4FE1EobJz7f6T3x6

https://photos.app.goo.gl/arLLVoWVwWx1DarQ8

There are around 220 islands that can be visited in Greece,

To get an overview of all the possibilities see: https://www.visitgreece.gr/islands/

The best known, photographed, visited, and close to Athens are the Cyclades islands with their whitewashed houses and blue-domed chapels (around 20 islands that can be visited) .

If your preference is for less touristy islands, in the Cyclades avoid those that are cruise destinations or have an airport:
Mykonos, Santorini, Naxos, Paros, Milos.

Tinos, Andros, Serifos, Sifnos, Amorgos, Folegandros, Kythnos, Kimolos are better choices.

Regarding the Cyclades see here:

https://www.e-kyklades.gr/travel/?lang=en

Depending on the ferry lines it is not always possible to go from island A to island B, even if they are in the same island group.

Posted by
527 posts

We went to the islands in September (pre covid) and the water temperature was perfect and warmed by the long summer's sun. While we have tried several countries' beaches many had jelly fish and the water was cold or dirty. We loved Greece. In Paros we would take the quick ferry to Kolympithres Beach where the water was so crystal clear. To me the cats were noble as they watched us but never got close.

Posted by
4317 posts

Be aware that cats are sometimes present at outdoor restaurants. Maybe your husband should do this as a solo trip.

Posted by
7026 posts

I loved the Sporades Islands of Skopelos, Skiathos, and Alonissos. There are ferries between these islands so you can go from one to the other. There are other smaller islands you can explore also. There are cats pretty much everywhere in Greece but I don't remember them being as ubiquitous on these islands as they were on Hydra and Poros. I've never been to the Cyclades (Mykonos and Santorini). Skiathos and Skopelos are touristy but not like what I've heard Mykonos and Santorini are and I don't think any major cruise ships dock at those islands - however it's been several years since I was there so that may have changed. Another thing is that they are a bit farther north so water might not be great for water activities in the Spring - would be warmer in the Fall.

https://www.greeka.com/sporades/

Posted by
1157 posts

There are too many islands to be specific about.

You'll find numerous islands that offer what you are looking for.

Cats are everywhere, especially at tavernas but won't harm you. They just stare at you while eating hoping you drop some food or feel sorry for them and give them a hand out. Lots of cats just hanging out in villages also.

My top three favorite islands are:

Amorgos
Chios
Tinos

I would recommend doing more research on islands and find what you are looking for and if any interests you come back and ask for advice on whatever island(s) appeal to you.

https://www.greektravel.com/greekislands/