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Greece - Chania, Patmos, Naxos

We are visiting other islands too.
How long should we plan on for Chania (Crete)?
How long should we plan on for Patmos?
How long should we plan on for Naxos?
We enjoy churches and historical sites. We are fluent in Greek :-)

Posted by
6125 posts

What is total length of trip and where else are you going?

Posted by
2416 posts

If would be helpful if you said WHEN you plan to go, and how many days you will have (not including arrival or departure days). Also, have you looked at a map? Patmos is waaaay out of the way for the 2 other destinations.... it's the northernmost island of the Dodecanese chain, has no airport, you either must go to Rhodes or Kos (fly or ferry) then ferry North. Or fly to Samos & get ferry (not daily) to Patmos.

Also, how can we tell how many days you should spend in each, if we don't know your interests??? If you just want to look around Chania, browse the city, shop a bit... 2 days. If you want to use it as a base for driving out to ruins or beaches or scenic areas, a lot more. If you're going to Patmos mainly because of the Monastery and the (purported) site of the writing of the Apocalypse, it's a day trip... or are you going for a beach vacation? For Naxos -- there are SO many activities, hiking opportunities, museums, visits to hillside villages, concerts etc... you could easily spend 6 - 10 days and not see it all.

For the best advice, it works best to be very specific about trip timing, length, all destinations, and Why you've chosen them. It's also helpful to give an indication of budget (i.e., planning to have private guides? or a group bus tour? or D-I-Y using guidebooks & your smartphone?) Of course, that would require your doing some research. But then we can address your interests, without having to write everything we know about your wish list.

Posted by
18 posts

I realize that the geography is not tightly knit. We have other islands that we are visiting in between the ones listed. Those itineraries are set. We mostly fly rather than taking ferries even though we will be in Greece for several weeks. This will be our 5th trip to Greece so we are not "newbies".

Posted by
2416 posts

Obviously you do not need our help. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
18 posts

I am in earnest looking for accurate advice. Patmos is more difficult to get to, but from a religious curiosity, worth the effort. Is 2 days enough? Is more needed?
David Willet (Rick Steves guide) speaks about it glowingly in the Audio Europe app. Can anyone who has been there recommend how long to stay?
I am told that one could stay Chania. I am looking for a realistic time frame for a stay to enjoy its beauty. We plan to rent a car. We have seen the other end of Crete (Heraklion) but have never been to Chania.
Thank you.

Posted by
742 posts

Chania is a delight. Be sure to find a hotel in the old town/ Venetian harbour area. We always spend 3 to 4 nights in Chania just taking in the atmosphere. We love walking around the old town.
Chania is also a good base for sightseeing in the surrounding area. Day trips to Ancient Aptera 18 km east of Chania will give you magnificent sea views plus 5,000 years of history on a mountain top.

Other recommended places are the excursion to Gramovossa beach with its pirate fortress and Balos Lagoon all included in the boat excursion. You might also be interested at the ancient harbour and beaches at Falasarna and the famous pink sand beach at Elafonissi.

Rethymnnon makes a good day trip for its old town and the Fortezza.

Gramovossa, Balos Elafonissi

Ancient Aptera, Melidoni Cave and village.

If you are hikers Chania is the primary jump off spot for the famous Samaria Gorge hike. Its 16 KM down a gorge through the mountains.
You can easily do a week in Chania. In fact you could just concentrate on Crete for a whole month and probably will not be able to see all of it.

For Naxos I consider a week to be the minimum as well. After a dozen trips to Naxos we are still finding new things to see and do.

Here is Naxos.
Naxos Town

Trip around Naxos

Naxos trip 2019

Naxos sunsets

I can pretty much assure you you will not see all of these places in just a week in Naxos.

Posted by
1803 posts

As for Patmos — you could really see the important religious sites in one day: the monastery of St. John and the cave of the apocalypse. However, for the effort it will take to get here, you will want at least 2 nights.

With more than 2 nights, it’s a pleasant island with some beaches you can visit by boat. Or you could day-trip to the tiny nearby island of Lipsi.

You don’t say how you’re getting to Patmos — or what time of year — but from spring through fall there are two options: ferry from Samos, or island hop up through the Dodecanese. If you have time, I recommend the latter if you can make the ferry schedules work (some only run 2-3 times per week). Lots of great little islands to see.