My husband and I will be in the Greek Isles May 15-May 25, prior to a RS Greece tour from May 26 - June 8. We are a mature couple, who enjoy nature, and will be traveling independently using ferries and public transportation. This is our first trip to Greece but we have traveled independently in several places in Europe. We enjoy hiking, cultural activities, and having more authentic experiences. Avoiding the cruise ship crowds is a plus, but not always possible we know.
We need advice from those experienced in Greek Isles travel:
1) Is Tinos worth the effort it will take to get to at this time of year? Any recommendations on where to spend 2-3 night that would have a beautiful view but be moderate in price?
2) Our temporary plan is this:
Arrive in Athens May 15; acclimate ourselves in Rafina May 15 & 16; ferry to Tinos for 2-3 nights;
ferry to Naxos for 3 nights; ferry to Santorini for 2-3 nights; return to Athens and connect with the tour.
3) Is Santorini not to be missed? I know the crowds will be there in full force. Any recommendations for a moderate priced place to stay with a view? I know it is expensive but maybe well worth the effort.
Any advice from experienced Greek Isles travelers is greatly appreciated.