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First trip to Greece, need advice on island to visit convenient to Santorini

We have our first trip to Greece in September. We'll be staying 2 nights in Athens, then flying to Santorini for a 3 night stay, then we'd like to spend another 3 nights on an island within a ferry trip from Santorini (and an island where we can fly back to Athens).

I'd love to get some advice/suggestions on our final stop in Greece (we'll be traveling there from Santorini).

Thanks!

Posted by
11119 posts

Crete, Naxos, Paros, Mykonos. If you look at a map, you’ll see that Santorini is the farthest south of the Cycladic Islands so not as easy to get to the other islands as others are. You can also fly from Santorini to Athens.
I am guessing that Santorini will be your least favorite of the three islands you visit. Over touristed, and it’s small so can’t handle the crowds. We were very happy to leave for other islands but you do need to see Santorini once.We visited the island of Paros after Santorini and loved it there.

Posted by
1383 posts

Naxos would be a good island to visit from Santorini.

Posted by
3118 posts

Naxos and Paros are the closest islands to Santorini that have airports. I prefer Paros because you can take the little shuttle ferry from the port of Pounta to Antiparos for a daytrip. There are frequent daily crossings that only take 15 minutes. From Paros you can also take a daytrip from Naoussa Town to Delos Island which also includes a short stop on Mykonos. Naxos also offers this same daytrip but your time at sea will be up to 2 hours longer if you leave from Naxos.

Posted by
1077 posts

We were at Santorini, Naxos and Mykonos last September, and loved all three. I would recommend that you take the ferry to Mykonos because the main town is wonderful and the restaurants and beaches are excellent. While on Mykonos, book a sailboat tour over to Delos, the ruins are interesting and snorkeling is a great experience.

Posted by
1593 posts

We visited Santorini and Naxos and loved both islands. Take the Blue Star Ferry from Santorini to Naxos. Two-hour trip. Easy peasy. I don’t agree that you will be eager to leave Santorini. It’s crowded for a reason - it’s beautiful, unique and stunning. Rent a car for a day to visit the Akrotiri archaeological site, red sand beach, black sand beach, etc. Try to plan your trip so that you are on Santorini when there aren’t any cruise ships in port, or at least not a lot of them. There was only one in port when we were there in May 2022. I think if was a weekend.

If you choose Naxos, also rent a car for a day to journey around the island and visit mountain villages and seaside fishing villages.

Posted by
174 posts

We visited Oia/Santorini in June and were underwhelmed. One imagines Santorini to be a seaside village with scores of whitewashed buildings with blue domes. In reality, there seemed to be probably 3-4 with blue domes, and when we visited Oia there were many Chinese couples in line to take engagement photos with the blue domes in the background, starting at 7 am! Things got super crowded later in the day everywhere. If any of our friends ask us about Greece and Santorini, we tell them to avoid Santorini and instead visit Nafplio.

I realize that there are people on this forum who may have had a different experience on Santorini than we did, but thought I would also share this article: https://travellemming.com/skip-santorini-overpriced-overcrowded-overrated/