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Athens, Naxos, Mykonos, Santorini

Heading to Athens first of September for a few days then onto Naxos for a few weeks then hopping over to Mykonos & Santorini for 4 days each. Already have booked accommodations & ferries. Any recommendations as to good, affordable restaurants, car rentals, beaches, activities, etc. would be most appreciated.

Posted by
32154 posts

alice,

I generally just choose restaurants when I arrive in a destination. The desk staff at the hotel usually have good suggestions.

I contacted one of the Greek travel agencies recommended by Matt Barrett to make all the hotel and ferry arrangements for my island visits, and they did an amazing job!

One point to mention regarding "car rentals". You may have already addressed this, but you will need an International Driver's Permit for driving in Greece. I was asked for it last time I rented a car on Santorini. If anyone without an IDP is involved in a "traffic incident" and doesn't have an IDP will find themselves in a world of misery in short order!

Posted by
1609 posts

you will need an International Driver's Permit for driving in Greece

Since November 2021 Greece recognizes US, Canadian, UK and Australian licenses as equivalent to a Greek license and you no longer need an IDP to drive in Greece. In 99% of cases you will not be asked for an IDP.

The remaining 1% have not updated their website or do not comply with the law.
If you are asked for an IDP, contact another rental company.

In the Greek islands it is preferable to rent with local companies. It's cheaper and more efficient.
A rental car in Naxos should not cost more than €40 to €60 per day in September depending on the car category. It can be 20 to 30% more in Santorini which is an expensive island

In Naxos you can contact for example Naxos Rent A Car

https://www.naxosrentacar.com/

Or

Konstantakis New Car

https://new-car.gr/

Or Wheels4u

https://www.naxoscar.com/

In Naxos I recommend the Apolafsi restaurant. It is a family restaurant that cooks local specialties

http://www.apolafsinaxos.gr/en/

You have to get out of Naxos town where most tourists go to eat and have a car to get there. But the meal is worth the trip.
(reservation recommended)

The beaches of Santorini are not great compared to those of Naxos.

If you want to avoid the crowds on the beaches of Naxos you have to go down to the west coast south of Mikri Vigla beach.

Kastraki, Glifada and Alyko are large sandy beaches.

There are also a few local and family-run tavernas.

Paradise Tavern

https://goo.gl/maps/nf6ey8sZE55htSbo9

or:

Το Τραπεζακι

https://goo.gl/maps/igY8S56dNxhVSiTC9

Posted by
602 posts

Can anyone comment on the availability of automatic transmission cars vs manual? Thanks.

Posted by
376 posts

Can anyone comment on the availability of automatic transmission cars vs manual? Thanks.

They exist, if in fewer quantities than manual transmissions. Most rental companies seem tohave at least one automatic model available.

I rented an auto in Naxos a couple of weeks ago from Enjoy Rental cars. The owner is a really nice guy and easy to work with

Posted by
1317 posts

We have been renting from Fun Cars since 1996. Always had a good experience with them.
For a Shirley Valentine experience find Nicolas and Marias on Plaka beach. They have a dozen tables set up on the sand 2 meters from the sea. Watching the sunset from there is an experience.
For fun here are some images of Naxos.
Around Naxos town 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299959098
Back to Naxos 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299940917
Plaka Beach 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299954668

Posted by
766 posts

Our experience at Aktaion in Santorini was excellent. I would definitely recommend making a reservation, as the place is rather small. People without a reservation were turned away the night we were there.

Posted by
32154 posts

As I recall, the car I rented had a manual transmission. I can drive both so it doesn't matter either way. I suspect the choices on the islands may not be as varied as larger centres like Athens.

Posted by
4606 posts

While in Mykonos check out taking a short ferry ride to Delos -- sometimes called the birthplace of the Gods but can't vouch for that. Very historical and beautiful. If you stumble onto a bar / restaurant named Rhapsody, do pop it at least for a drink. Very good views overlooking the water.

Posted by
376 posts

Our experience at Aktaion in Santorini was excellent. I would definitely recommend making a reservation, as the place is rather small. People without a reservation were turned away the night we were there.

I second Aktaion - we had a great meal there a couple of weeks ago. The tomato fritters (pseftokeftedes, a local santorini dish) were particularly delicious!

Posted by
3296 posts

I've been going to Aktaion since 2005 or so ... it's only 50 yards from my dear cute little pension. Used to be able to wander by, and just plunk into a seat right by the rimside wall. Enjoy a mythos, a salad, a sunset ... wonderful people, long tradition (it's the oldest taverna in Santorini). But of course, word gets out (people like me keep praising), and now it needs a reservation. Worth it.

Posted by
2090 posts

Our favorite restaurant in Naxos last summer was Boulamatsis, near the ferry port. Wonderful food & service.

Posted by
3296 posts

Yay for Boulamatsis -- other places have got fancy, have forgotten that Perfectly Fried Very Fresh Fish FIllets, with Perfect Naxian Fries, (at a decent price too!) are Wonders to behold.. and Heavenly to eat. BOulamatsis hasn't forgotten.

Posted by
3296 posts

Pay no attention to anything Nikos says ... .his posting history is 9 posts all the same day, all promoting the same services.