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Any small Greek village to recommend for doing little or nothing?

We want to spend a month or so in Greece doing nothing but reading, viewing, writing, painting, and also mixing with the locals. Any ideas for us? We'll be delighted.

Posted by
1309 posts

The Best of Greece tour spends 2 nights in Kardamyli.
It is a beautiful little village on the coast. Rick's Greek video shows a bit of it.
If I remember correctly, Brits like to come there in the winter. A lot of the locals speak some English and they were friendly.
I'd spend more time there in a heartbeat.

Posted by
7659 posts

Of the places we have gone in Greece, if we went back to just "do nothing" we would go back to the island of Koufonisia.

There is not much there, just some of the best beaches in Greece, a laid back town with a few restaurants. Even getting there winds you down, taking a slow, small, ferry from Naxos town.

Posted by
3335 posts

Do not base your choices on "mixing with the locals." Greeks are about THE friendliest, warmest, naturally kind people I have met in my life, during my 12 extended trips since '99. I've stayed on 25+ islands, on beaches, in towns, have bussed many isles and thru the Peloponnese. NO organized tours. I stay in small family-run places (8 - 20 roooms), and come to know the families ... we e-mail, send photos, etc. And i've had spontaneous long conversations with shop owners -- once in Sifnos, a guy painting his coffee-house told me all about leaving his Athens hi-tech job and moving home. In a Nafplio craft shop one evening, the owner & I talked forever about jazz jam sessions. When business is slow, an taverna owner may sit down & share a Raki and -- as in Crete -- tell you how his own sheep produced your dessert yogurt. All it takes is showing interest, and asking questions (I was a journalist for a long time: questions are what I do). Sometimes you can happen on a celebration and be invited to join in. However -- a big however -- don't expect to rent in a village and suddenly be dining with neighbors. Greeks are friendly, as I've said, but there's a reserve.

If you want this relaxing "immersion" time, do NOT go in July-August!! TOO hot... and besides, all Europe jumps into jumbo jets and Dumps on Greek Isles and coasts -- they'll be Jam-packed. Afterwards, in September, exhausted from high Season, locals are a tad burned-out. Still friendly, of course, but tired, a little distracted... getting kids back in school, scheduling dental appointments in Athens, closing down shops etc. It feels like the end of the party. The BEST time is May-June, actually mid-may to Mid-June. PERFECT weather, long days, the sea is swimmable, locals are energized, painting their boats, tending gardens, prettying up premises, but still plenty of time to chat.

I'd suggest you visit several places ... get "self-catering" 1 BR units on or near beaches in islands with good public transport. Some places I always enjoy coming back to -- SERIFOS (Coralli bungalows on Livadakia Beach -- only 2 accommodation on whole beach); SIFNOS (I stay up in the hills, Nikoleta Geronti Pension in Ano Petali); AMORGOS, at Askas Pension & camping on beach at Aegali; and any of many places on ANTIPAROS (a 10min ferry from Paros; go there for day-trips). And of course my beloved NAXOS, on St. George beach, a 10-minute walk to the port town. All are Cyclades isle, the calendar-famous white "sugar-cube" houses, blue shutters & red flowers, well linked by ferries.

A contrast is far away --N.E. Aegean -- best to Fly there on arrival, maybe Hop back via Ferries. SAMOS -- Dramatic mountains, roads, valleys, beaches. There are package-holiday "resorts" to avoid, but Western Samos is a Land That Time Forgot ... check Studios Joanna on LImnionas beach; you'll have to rent a car but there are plenty of great hikes. And how could I forget??? Western CRETE ... Start in Chania, then go down to the Libyan sea, a village like Sougia. And The PELOPONNESE -- if you want a place on the water with NO Europeans, look ACROSS Argos Bay from Nafplio, to Paralia Astros or Mili, where only Greeks vacation. Finally my secret West Coast gem, just N. of Pylos: Gialova. 4 blocks long, 2-3 hotels, 6 cafes & restaurants. In front of hotel Zoe, on a divine beach, at 5 PM, Greek daddies drive up from work with kiddies, to play in the water before dinner.

Please don't rely solely on internet websites or forums for planning & learning; for pretty pix, fine, but for insight, get a GOOD guide book (I find ROUGH GUIDE to Greece the most detailed & candid). Browse the library & buy used on Amazon. I read forever before I first went to Greece, and it was worth every minute of research.

Posted by
3132 posts

Check the port village of Alopronia on Sikinos. It's a very quiet island with only 2 villages and it's a perfect place to relax.

Posted by
2145 posts

I also would suggest that you visit several places. We have spent a month in Greece many times, and usually stay in four different places ... either different islands, or once, four spots on one large island. The key is to choose places that are easy to access from each other. By spending about a week in one place, you can become a "regular" in a coffee shop or taverna. You have enough time to see all the sights and also time to enjoy just being there.

For our trips, we always fly right to our first island when we arrive in Athens, ferry to the others, and fly back to Athens from the last island. You need to be back a day or two before your flight home, so If it's your first trip to Greece, you could do your Athens sightseeing then.

Our favorite itineraries were:

Naxos> Amorgos> Antiparos> Milos ... the latter three are relatively untouristed. Amorgos was very inexpensive (Porto Katapola = 35/euros night last May). Antiparos has just one main town and a real "village" feel. Naxos is bigger, and busy, but we loved it too. Milos is gorgeous.

Rhodes> Kastellorizo> Tilos> Nisyros ... Kastellorizo is one of the most spectacular places we've ever seen. Tilos is very laid back. Nisyros has an active but not erupting volcano in the center, and you can walk into the crater. Very cool. Lots to see on Rhodes.

Samos> Ikaria> Patmos> Lipsi> Leros ... From Samos we took a day trip to incredible Ephesus in Turkey. Leros and Ikaria were very untouristed, inexpensive, very scenic. Patmos has the famous monastery of St. John.

Lesvos ... this is a large island, so we visited 4 spots in one visit, one on each side of the island and each totally different. One of our favorite trips ever. Started at Patera Beach, then Skala Erresos (with a gorgeous beach), then Molyvos with its castle and hot springs, then our very favorite place in Greece, Hotel Votsala near Mytilene (the main port). If I were to pick one place to spend a month, it would be Hotel Votsala. We met a writer there once who was spending the summer, finishing his book. Fabulous breakfast by the sea under the olive trees, classical music playing, free water toys, about a 5 minute walk to two tavernas at the nearby port.

So get a guidebook, or look online (Matt Barrett's site is good) , and design a trip that works for you. Wherever you go, you'll love it.

Posted by
1396 posts

We really like Andros Town and often spend a couple of weeks there doing very little. We've written up some of our thoughts

http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Andros.html

Janet mentions the area opposite Nafplio and one option there is Kiveri. I spent a pleasant few days there a couple of years ago. There's very little going on but some really nice accommodation with sea views on airbnb.

Of the two I prefer Andros which has more of the feel of a working Greek village.

Alan

Posted by
1172 posts

Janet's suggestions are rock solid. We book our own trips (flights, accommodations, transportation, etc.) and find it much cheaper than a travel agent or a third-party booking agency.

Some of our favorite islands are Amorgos, Astypalea, Tinos, Sifnos, Milos, Naxos, Crete (very large and needs days if not a couple weeks to experience).

We also spent a good amount of time in Nafplio in the Peloponesse and think it's one of Greece's loviest towns and a great base to explore that part of Greece.

When you go may make a big difference on what type of Greek Experience you will have. High Season (July-August) will be crowded, especially the "Big Name" islands but if you research you can find some of the islands I mentioned not as touristy.

Off season will give you more options and more opportunity to get a more traditional feel for a Greek Island.

Lots of options but it will mean more research on your part.

Check out the books Blue Guide to the Aegean Islands and Greek Island Hopping or Matt's Greek Guide (http://www.greecetravel.com/) for lots of options.

Posted by
1 posts

Hi! I would recommend to fly to Kos and then mouve to Lipsi, Leros and Patmos. It's really easy to reach those islands with fast boat and except august( from 1st to 22nd ) those places (Leros especially) have not tourism and are Paradise on earth. Have a wonderful summer

Posted by
46 posts

Stayed on Hydra Island during our trip in September 2016. Hydra was obviously a RS recommended destination.. Was a nice break from the prior 4 hectic days spent seeing the sites in Athens. We stayed at the Cottomatae Hydro (beautiful, loved it). We spent two days and two nights there. Really was very relaxing and loved it.

Posted by
211 posts

Greece is so wonderful that there is almost no limit to good answers to this question. Anybody who's spent any time in Greece can rattle 'em off, so I'll tell you some of the places we've stayed. Melissourgi - small village in mountains that look like Switzerland. 1 hour from city of Ioannina. Volissos - village on island of Chios. There are numerous other villages on Chios that are wonderful, too. Monolithos - village on SW coast of island of Rhodes. Very relaxing with great days trips and beaches nearby. This town is about 500 feet above the ocean with winding road to beach about 4 miles away; nifty castle). I can vouch for all three of these places. Crete would seem to be rich in candidates. Any island, of course, will have some. Southern Peloponnese? Epirus. Or, pick a region and drive around until you come to something you like. Gonna be great.