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Greek Island choices for 7-10 days

My significant other and I are planning for next summer. We will go on RS tour of Greece in late May/early June and want to spend some time afterwards (7-10 days) in the Greek Islands. We are thinking we will go to Santorini and possibly Mykonos, although we are not big party-people so I'm a little concerned about the latter based on its nightlife reputation. After reading the forum posts I am leaning toward Naxos too. There were some positive comments about Rhodes. One article I read said nature-lovers should go to Ikaria.

We are both in our early 60s and are very active. We love hiking, walking beautiful beaches, and definitely sightseeing, learning about history, cultures, and geology. We know we need to consider the locations of the islands and the ease or difficulty in getting there, plus the order we go in and flying home afterwards. We will fly to islands we can fly to, although ferry rides of 2-3 hours is not a problem. What would you all recommend, and do you have favorite mid-price lodging on these islands?

I've been on 4 RS tours and love them all! The most recent is always my favorite, and it was Turkey. So I know I will love Greece! Neither he nor I have ever been to Greece. Thank you!

Posted by
123 posts

Santorini is really incredible. It's just so unique and really magical, even if that is a cliché word to use. It's good for historical sights, hiking, wineries, food, and the white-washed buildings are stunning. Nice sunsets, good beaches, it really has it all. And if you like geology, there is really nowhere better than the top of a volcano for that! I would spend 4-5 nights there and then it's quite close to Crete, which is also a really neat island. It's much bigger and so you might want to rent a car but it's got arguably the best food in all of Greece. Mykonos is definitely the party island but you would still enjoy it as there are plenty of areas that are not all party-oriented. I spent three nights there and that was fine for me. I would devote more time to Santorini between those two and then Crete probably deserves a week. It would definitely be tough to do all three though so two of those three would make a nice combo.

Another option is the Ionian islands, which many people forget overlook. Corfu is the most well-known and that can be combined with Kefalonia, which is very underrated so has a quiet, rugged, untouched feel to it.

Posted by
931 posts

We are both in our 60's, and like to do lots of sightseeing, hiking, etc. In mid May We flew from Athens to Mykonos and spent 3 nites there. One day we took the guided tour to Delos; don't miss it. We are not party people, but we loved the island. We would go back in an instant.

Then we ferried to Santorini. (2 1/2 hrs) OMG, what a beautiful place. 4 days was not enough. Like others in our small hotel, we would sit by the edge of the pool and just gaze at the was just amazing. We rented a car one day, explored the island, and beaches, and did a tour of the Pompeii like city of Akrotiri with a fantastic guide. We stayed in Firostefani, right along the caldera walk. We had a great time hiking this path.

The we ferried to Crete (1hr 35 min) for our 7 nite stay. The local rental car people met us at the boat dock, and did the same when we left the airport at the end of the week. We stayed the first 3 nites on the East side in a little seaside town called Sissi. It was a great base to use to explore the East side. One day we took a short boat ride over to the old leper colony of Spinalonga. We also explored the ancient Minoan city of Knnosos.

Then we packed up and headed over to the far west side and stayed 4 nites outside Kissamous. Western Crete is amazing with mountains for hiking, beautiful beaches, the beautiful old Venetian port of Hania, etc The archaeological museum in Hania is a must.

No matter where we were we ate lunches and dinners at lo-cost restaurants right on the water. The fresh sea food was to die for. And the people; the friendliest we a have ever met . Driving; easier than any other European country. Almost all of our lodgings included BFast, and most were less than $88 US, except in Santorini where we splurged and spent $150/nite.

We like Crete as our last stop because of the many of options for our flights back home.

PM me if you would like more info on Hotels, etc.

PS Turkey is on our short list.

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you all for your ideas!! Your replies were wonderful. I just read them to Mike and he was impressed! Sounds like Santorini and Mykonos stay on our list and for a week+ those may be our only islands after the tour (plus the day tour to the other island). We will continue our planning!

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you for all the great info on Crete. We are saving Crete for another year! We just booked our Greece tour for 2015!!