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3rd Island Recommendation


My boyfriend and I will be traveling to Greece from the US in July. While I know it's a bit late to be begin booking rooms, I am happy to see there are still some great options. We plan to be gone for about 14 days, so consider ourselves to have about 11-12 days of actual playtime in Greece. We will allocate 2 days for Athens, likely at the end of our stay. He has been to Athens before (his family is from Astokos) but neither of us have been to the islands so that is where we plan to spend most of our holiday.

We are both in our early 30's, not on a super restrictive budget, and are mostly looking for what other 30 somethings desire in a Greek Island getaway.... culture (he was a history major, and some of his family is Greek), beaches, places to wander, beaches to marvel at, fun people, great food, some nightlife and a few adventures. We're both active, love to hike and I am an avid photographer. So we do plan to hit both Santorini and Mykonos as they fit our criteria but considering we will have a min of 10 days in the islands, I do like the idea of adding a 3rd island. I am thinking either Naxos or Paros, and would love to hear recommendations on either.

I am also curious about the ability to get to a "blue cave" based on the maps, I don't see any that would be within day trip distance and not sure if any of those locations are worth the travel/overnight stay, though it does look like a spectacular place to be.

Thank you for your help!


Posted by
21 posts

I would recommend you try Crete - the western part of the island. There is a daily speed ferry from Santorini every day in high season. Crete is beautiful, with great beaches but also some very unforgettable hiking trips (the Samaria gorge comes to my mind). But what makes it different is how hospitable its people are. A must try. It is a different beat from Santorini and Mykonos as it offers a more real Grecian experience.

Posted by
3130 posts

2 island and Athens in 11 days is more than enough. Don't spread yourselves to thin just because you can. You lose 'fun' time every island change you make because of how long it take to pack, check out, get to the port, ferry to the next island, find your hotel and check in. Expect to lose at least half a day of relaxation time for each island you visit.

Posted by
353 posts

Hi K+D,

I'd vote for Naxos. It's on the ferry route between Santorini and Mykonos so would be very easy to add to your itinerary. It's one of the largest and greenest of the Cyclades and has some of the most beautiful beaches. There are some atmospheric small villages, such as Halki as well as a scattering of ancient sites. Check out this recent article from CNN on Naxos:

Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guide is also a great resource for info. on Naxos and many other Greek islands:

Posted by
1378 posts

While I too would suggest Naxos, you will have to allow just three days for each of Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini. When you consider checking out of your hotel, waiting for the ferry, ferry transfer and checking into your next hotel, realistically 3 nights is really just 2 days on each island.

I would heed Lees advice and just do two islands although I would consider dropping Mykonos and replacing it with Naxos. Naxos has similar white and blue buildings, sea views, beaches, great dining and a charming main town but it will be half the price of Mykonos.
Naxos Town
Trip around Naxos