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Greek Islands Recommandation

My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece next year in mid September for 2 weeks. Plan is to spend few days in Athens then explore some islands. The only must see island for me is Santorini but this more of a touristy spot. So I’m trying to explore another island where we can just chill, enjoy the beach, view, great food and learn more about the culture. Ideally is to spend a week exploring Athens and Santorini then have another week to chill at whichever island we end up at. Couple of islands that came up in my search are Naxos, Lesvos, Paros & Crete. I’m trying to decide between these or any other island you can suggest. I’m ok with renting a car once we reach at the destination if that’s means easier transportation. Thanks for your help.

Posted by
1398 posts

Experienced Greek travellers recommend you get to your first island on day of arrival. Getting over jet lag on an island is way better than doing it in Athens which is very hectic.

Since Santorini is so popular there are lots of flights there from Athens. You need 2 hours to get through Passport control and onto a connecting flight.

Our favourite companion island with Santorini is Naxos. It has great beaches, mountain villages and hikes and a lovely main town capped with a Venetian era Kastro. Naxos will give you a more authentic Greek experience compared to Santorini.

You can do Naxos nicely in a week. When its over you will probably say I wish we had 10 days.

Here is why I suggest Naxos
Around Naxos town 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299959098
Back to Naxos 2022 https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299940917

Trip around Naxos https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157634605629689
Chalki and Vivlos villages https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299950915

Posted by
1530 posts

A second for Naxos. It is a beautiful island and from there you can take a day trip boat to the archeological site of Delos Island. When we did this, our trip also included three hours on Mykonos. We had enough time to explore Delos, lots of hiking. We just rested on Mykonos.

Posted by
2455 posts

I also enjoyed Naxos very much, both time in Naxos Town, and trips to various small towns, villages and other sites around the island. Various beaches too. One nice feature that Stan did not mention is that Naxos is just a short ferry ride from Santorini, about 2.5 hours or so.
I have not been to Crete, but I have heard really wonderful things about visits there. It is a very historic island with several distinct areas which offer very different experiences. Others can comment much better, including what would be the minimum number of days to make a visit to Crete worthwhile.

Posted by
2599 posts

I would go to either Naxos or Paros in addition to Santorini. Crete is lovely as well but it is a very large island and takes more time to explore. We just spent 11 days there and had to make really hard choices about what to see. Naxos and Paros are much smaller. We also choose Naxos and were happy with our choice but many people also really love Paros. You can't go wrong!

Posted by
41 posts

Thanks everyone, this has been really great and it seems so far Naxos is winning and doesn’t sound like you can go wrong with it.