This month, I will have a two-week tour of the Cyclades area including Athens, Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, and Crete. I have extended my time to explore Greece for a week. I will have seen many of the historic and archaeological sites. I love to hike and walk and the islands of Andros and Naxos were recommended as being less touristy, with lovely water falls, forests, and possibilities, even organized outings, for exploring. Who has knowledge of these areas? Recommendations?
How many nights are you planning in the original five places? By "a two-week tour" do you mean a group tour? I'm wondering particularly about how much time you'll have in Crete, which is a very large, interesting island. I don't see how the time in Crete can be very long. I suspect if I had the details I'd be recommending that you stay on there for a few days after the tour ends.
I've been to Naxos (but long ago) and liked it a lot; I have never been to Paros [I meant to write "Andros" here; I've never been there, either}.
It’s a long time since we’ve been to Naxos, so I’ll leave others to comment.
We go to Andros every couple of years and really like it for walking. There are lots of small villages and well marked paths between them. A local association has made a real effort recently to clear an to signpost trails.
Chora, the main town, is pedestrianised and on a scenic headland, and a good starting point for a number of walks. It does get some tourists but they’re numbered in the dozens rather than the hundreds or thousands.
Wherever you decide it’s worth looking at this great site on walking in the Cyclades. We’ve always found it really accurate.
Thanks craven, the two week tour will visit the cyclides I named. The tour leaves and returns from/to Athens with time there too. I am considering a location for my additional week: Andros or Naxos and seek information on those or other areas for walking, hiking, nature-enjoyment opportunities.
I was curious most especially about the tour time in Crete. Crete isn't in the Cyclades, and I'm guessing you won't get much time there. It's worth a lot more days than Santorini or Mykonos. But since the tour dumps you back in Athens, you'd have to give up the return transportation to stay on in Crete. Actually, that's what I'd do first, before returning to the Cyclades.