We will be traveling to Greece in mid-late September. Aside from Athens, we would like to stay off the beaten path and really experience Greece. We enjoy beaches, hiking, biking, and beautiful scenery and are not interested in shopping. We would like to avoid any places where cruise ships go. AirBNBs would be great. What areas of Greece do you recommend? Which islands do not have cruise ships? Thanks!
We also share a love for staying on the coasts without cruise ship mobs. You may find a few small ships but not those large ones in Syria, Paros, Naxos, Chania Crete. Avoid Santorini or at least the caldera areas, Fira, Oia.. Rhodes Old Town. You can check what ships come into the ports online.
Napflion on the Peloponnean Penisula may have a small ship or two but not mobs.
I recommend time in Napflion, Athens, a few islands and Chania, Crete.
Last April we stayed in a delightful beach town less than a 45 minute easy drive from the Athens airport - Porto Rafti. Check it out!
If you're interested in spending time on a quiet little island consider taking the ferry from Athens/Piraeus to Sikinos. Aside from a few rooms to rent and a couple of tavernas down at the waterline there's no tourist infrastructure there. I enjoyed it a lot.
You might like to look at Andros, the most northern of the Cyclades. It gets very few foreign tourists - certainly no tour ships! - and has excellent walking and beaches.
We go regularly and have written up our thoughts and some walks
There's accommodation there but, as far as I know, no airbnb. In general there isn't much airbnb on the islands although there is a lot in Athens.
You may also want to consider Amorgos or Astypalea, two of the most loveliest of the Greek Islands, especially off season. Astypalea has one of the best Chora's in the Aegean, is really laid back, few tourists that time of year and a number of great tavernas at the entrance to Chora. It's a small island, not a whole lot to do, most of the activity is center around Chora and the extended area of development around it, but certainly not Santorini.
Amorgos is a gem, one of our favorite island. So is Tinos, another favorite island. Then there is Skyros with another beautiful Chora and a little more going on than Astypalea.
While I've never used airbnbn I always have had great experiences with traditional accommodations' owners. Check out Porto Katapola on Amorgos, Onerio Studios on Astypalea, Athos Studios on Tinos. All were clean, safe, centrally located and provided a basic studio in a lovely location with views.
Lots of options for Greece other than the Big Name Islands.
Thank you all SO much for these suggestions - very much appreciated!
We are headed to Greece in June and lots of folks gave us advice for traveling across the Peloppenese Peninsula. It looks like things get pretty sparce once you are south of Nafpoli. We are hoping what we experience is real Greece or a summer vacation the way Greeks do it. I know we are getting to famous places but I hope stops in small towns like Areopoli and Gialova will help us understand the citizens of the ancient and special place.
We won't get to the tip of the Pelepponese but the bottom of the Peninsula looks beautiful and still very Greek.
We also notice the main road that runs up the west side of Greece from Patras to Ionnina. Looks like there are interesting spots along the way, and then mountain beauty on the ride across to Meteora.
Have a safe and wonderful journey.