Trying to help our daughter and 5 thoughtful college friends find nice secluded beach town for R&R June 8 for 5 nights. Sweet kids, no party atmosphere needed, love the beach and sailing, and cooking and wandering together. All 20 years old & XC athletes, they will be coming from College Abroad trip ending in Barcelona. Many thanks!!!!
I loved Nafplio... a couple hour bus ride from Athens. Charming town, nice restaurants and shopping and beautiful by the water. I would return again any time.
Golden Beach on Paros is mellow and famous for windsurfing.
With only five nights, extreme efficiency in transport is vital. And more information is needed. What TIME on June 8 can they leave Barcelona?? and -- since u seem to indicate that the end of this adventure will be the morning of Friday June 13 -- where do they have to be on June 13, in order to fly back to US? Come on Mom, share; we know lots of stuff but are not mind-readers! If they are due to leave for US from ATH airport, they have several options. First, how to get to ATH quickly/cheaply? If they can leave at 12:01 AM on June 8 they should JUMP at an Aegean Airlines flight currently offered on Mobissimus Website for $55 to ATH, arriving 4 am (they can drink espresso, then nap later!!!). IF this is feasible, several options include:
(1) NAXOS - X 96 bus (€5) from airport curbside to port of Pireaus in about 70 minutes; 7:25 am Blue Star ferry @€35 (large, modern, open decks, capac. 1500+ passengers) ARR Naxos about 12:45. June 8-9-10-11- to 6pm 12th, enjoy Naxos gorgeous beaches, water sports, hiking etc. Can find "studio" units sleep 3, on/near beaches for 35-50€. On Th 6/12, check out@noon, stow bags at hotel, have last aft on beach, take 6 PM Blue Star, arr Pireaus Midnight. Taxi to central ATH or bus direct to Airport, depending. Here's a great photo-album by "stanbr" of Naxian delights: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157634605629689/
(2) NAFPLIO -- since too young to rent car/van, X93 bus to Kissifou Intercity (KTEL) bus station; Comfy reserve-seat bus (€13) goes hourly; a scenic drive (2.5 hrs) along sea, over Corinth Canal, to Nafplio, voted the most beautiful "Old Town" in all Greece. Its on a peninsula, feels like an island, sunsets from harbor are sublime. Check great noncommercial website of Nafplio & area highlights: http://www.visitnafplio.com/visitnafplio.com/Home.html The 6 can stay near TOLO (Tolon) Beach 5 miles outside town. Because Tolo itself is mainly biggie hotels, I suggest a modest place just across from Tolo beach, on small "Assini" cove -- http://bungalows-villa-christina-assini.focusgreece.gr/en/aboutus.htm -- hourly local bus (15 mins) to Nafplio for sightseeing. Swims, boating, hikes. Feels like an island, with convenience of mainland... and easy/quick to return to ATH day or evening.
HOWEVER -- since u omit vital info like lodging budget, and Where they fly back to US, it is difficult to give advice. Do not worry about a lengthy explanation; the more facts the better! It keeps us from wasting time/effort on inappropriate scenarios.
The travelers might enjoy Rick's article about the day hike through the Gorge of Samaria on Crete, which brings you to small towns on the island's south coast.
With only 5 nights I would want to cut down on travel. They might take a look at Andros which is only 2 hours by ferry from Rafina. Rafina itself is Athen's second port and is only about 45 minutes by bus from the airport. (I assume they will fly into Athens?)
The advantages of Andros Town are an old quarter which is nice to wander around, very few tourists, and two large and very underdeveloped beaches. There is also great walking.
We've written up our visits there, with a few pictures which will give you an idea.
The people we stay with are friendly, helpful and hire out boats. You can then get up the island to even more isolated beaches. They also hire out bikes.
Wow! You all are fantastic! Much appreciated all the advice and details - very helpful in planning!!!! The kids' other plans fell through, and I am stepping in to try and help these hard working coed/xc country/track athletes plan something fun and cheap. They really have no plans yet, so the sky is the limit- their budgets are not. I have generally priced out 4 nights in Barcelona, plane to Santorini or Athens, 5 nights there, flight to Paris, 2 nights in Paris for about $975 (no transfers, food, boat rides/rentals, baubles included). They are cooks and like outdoors/water and people watching, so all low maintenance - except for not necessarily seasoned at planning a European back pack trip after their college abroad in Madrid, ending June 8. But I love them all and they are great kids! So thank you for all the transfer details, too - it helps mama a lot!!! Cheers! Please post if any more ideas! :)
Details: starting in Barcelona June 8, need to be in Paris on June 22 (to meet me!!! :) then my daughter and I got to Florence June 24, (still working that leg out), Rome on June 28-4. Trip of a lifetime for me- I've never been and always wanted to see the art in Italy :) Ciao!!!
You still did not say what they/you would be prepared to pay (in EUROS pleeez) per night for a triple, in a beach town (here is an Instant conversion site $ to € - http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ ) … until u are more specific, we cannot give good help. You/they may be Richie-Rich and able to spend $300 per triple … or hoping to get one for €75. how can we know? If we guess wrong, you are not helped, and we've expended time/expertise in vain. Please share.
As backpackers they might enjoy one of Santorini's excellent youth hostels. Have them check out Youth Hostel Oia, Caveland Hostel, Youth Hostel Anna and Santorini Camping (they have rooms too). For affordable non-hostel hotels use the filter system at http://www.booking.com to search for the right accomodations. By the end of June it's going to be VERY hot in Greece. A hotel with a pool would be a welcome amenity. Check Villa Manos in Karterados. This one will pick them up at the airport or ferry port for free (some others will too).
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You all are the best! These college kids have good options now, and can pool their pennies to go ahead an make some plans! I will post when then decide - thank you for the great links to your picts, too! Wish I were going, too- but for now I will enjoy your vacations! Cheers!