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Looking for a safe island for solo female's sojourn

I know the title sounds odd, but I am a well-traveled solo female trying to find a great Greek island to spend 7 days on. I have been to Santorini, Paros, Corfu, and Parga with my spouse. I love everything Greek. Travel time frame is late April or the second week of May--which is fast approaching. SInce I will be alone, I won't consider driving. I cannot ride a motorcycle either.

I guess "safe" is subjective, but I am open to all ideas. I have heard that the larger islands, such as Crete and Rhodes, have higher crime rates. I also understand that businesses may not even be open before mid to late May.

Posted by
11450 posts

Naxos.. good bus system.. nice people.. my friend and I walked around late at night and felt safe..

Posted by
975 posts

Greece is one of the safest countries in the world and just about any island will be safe. Your time frame will mean far less tourists which is good. You'll be dealing mostly with locals and from my experience (as a male, anyway) you'll be treated with courtesy, politeness and will be welcomed.

Use common sense like you would anywhere and you'll be fine.

Even though you'll be going off or low-season there'll always be shops, markets and tavernas open for locals which will give you a more Greek Experience rather than a tourist experience. The larger the island the more services will be available but even smaller islands will have businesses for locals open.

Where to go is subjective. There are numerous islands that are worth going to. My favorites are Amorgos, Naxos, Tinos, Chios, Sifnos, Ikaria, Milos, Astypalea, Crete plus several others in addition to many on my "to-go-to" list.

You can check out islands on this wonderful website:

https://www.greecetravel.com/greek-islands.htm

As far as driving it's really not that bad. Most roads on the islands I've been to are in good condition and the further away from towns will find almost no traffic to deal with. Just watch out for goats!

Posted by
891 posts

THanks for the ideas thus far. Outside Crete and the Cyclades, what do you think of the other island groups?

Lee: is there a bus system in Anti-paros? Is this small enough to be explored on foot? I have been to Paros and like it.

Posted by
2898 posts

Combine Naxos & Antiparos & y ou have ideal combo ... Naxos has superb bus network... and on Antiparos, so walkable to most areas you'd want to see at your visiting time. I've done both islands solo, people are friendly, safe safe safe ... dawn til the wee hours. I remember a day in late May in Antiparos, walking their "agora" (which there is really a winding market lane, not a square) .... and beyond the central mini-fort, it led North? West? toward a bay.... just residential... and all the folks were out on the flagstoned walkway painting the white lines of grout between the stones... happy to chat with this paint-watcher. Also in Naxos, if you stay at Ag. Giorgios (st george) beach adjacent to port town, you'll find all the locals out painting & re-potting flowers and tending their trailing bouganvillea .... a fun time because rains are over, everything's green, people are glad for fine weather, and no crowds yet, time to talk, as you know Greeks are the most sociable people ever, can spend an hour over one cup of coffee. Enjoy!

Posted by
2951 posts

Yes, Antiparos has a bus system but it's limited. The good news is much of what is interesting is within easy walking distance to the heart of the village. But take the bus to the cavern. It's worth seeing. So is this day cruise around the island: http://captainbenantiparos.com

Posted by
891 posts

Thanks, everybody.

Lee--I did join Captain Ben's boat tour from Paros. It was fun.

I saw the car ferry between Paros and Anti-paros. However, I don't know how to take that ferry without having rented a car. Is there a bus that I can take?

I heard that Naxos has been very (almost overly) touristy, because it's now on most international guidebooks' radar screen. What do you think? What I really liked about Paros was that there seemed to a real local community other than tourist-oriented businesses. Prices were down-to-earth.

Posted by
2898 posts

I always sigh when some one says "I heard" and doesn't say who they heard it from, and what circumstances the all-wise adviser was in when making this judgment .... when he/she judged Naxos over-touristed what time of year did he visit? July? August? You do not say--and perhaps you do not know, you just take his/her word for it. Yes, more people are coming --- NOT because they "hear" there are luxe hotels, platoons of staff, swim-up pools, hot-rock massages, "greek nights" with men in white skirts -- no, because they've read that you can get away into wonderful hillside villages, walk on mountain roads, buy fresh local apricots & tomatoes at little markets... and a few miles inland, they can be on actual farms.

As for local communities & populations working at things other than tourism --- Naxos is the largest Cycladic island, with more farms than any other... biggest source of best Potatoes in greece... many vineyards (and no fawncy sampling tours). .. plus, the marble industry in Paros is kaput, whereas in Naxos, it's going strong, with 18-wheelers full of Marble rolling onto ferries every week . Overly touristic Naxos Villages? In Paros, the town of Naoussa has become something of a tourism village "picturesque", not any fishermen there any more, tho lots of brightly-painted boats tied up at its waterfront ... Both islands have "beach strips" with hotels for vacationers, but Naxos doesn't have a prettified village. Down to earth prices in Paros, vs Naxos?? I dunno... haven't been for 3 years, but in Naxos town still could get a hearty dinner for €11-13, more than you can eat, & a liter of house wine for about €4-5. Paros prices more reasonable? Then how can I get a balcony room with sea view in St. George Naxos @ €40 a night in June?

Sorry for belaboring this point, but I do think that you should trust people who do know each island. I have been going to Naxos since 1999, and have stayed there 13 times ... and it has not been "spoiled". Yet. Go while you can. Same for Antiparos.

Posted by
2898 posts

PS About Antiparos ferries. One goes from the main Parikia pier, about every hour or 2, takes 30 minutes. The other, the small one, goes from Pounta, on the Paros shoreline south of Parikia, goes frequently, takes only 10 minutes. How do you get there without a car? There is a bus right at the main pier, across from the Windmill. Take u there in 10-15 minutes.

Posted by
111 posts

My favorite Greek island is Chios but the best Greek island is the one you're on.

If you do choose Chios you will want to visit Mesta, Pyrgi, Anavatos and Nea Moni monastery. Consider renting a car and staying at Volissos. From there a wild drive will take you to the Agio Galas church-in-a-cave.

There are so many great choices in this category, though. How can you go wrong?

Posted by
891 posts

Thanks. I am looking for a place where I can spend some quality time in an authentic island town to de-stress and to mend a broken heart. Life for me has been very tough and I find myself difficult to move on. Greeks are warm-hearted, cheerful people whom I like to associate with. Toxic family and private relationships have made me exhausted and I need a revival of my life.

Posted by
186 posts

The last week of April is Holy Week in Greece. You may find limited hours in non-toursity business areas as there are church services every evening. On the plus side, if you are inclined, you will have plenty of spiritual services to attend and the week after Easter is a week of celebration and feasting.

Posted by
975 posts

Some of the northern Aegean Islands don't get the crowds that the Cyclades do. Consider Chios, Lesvos, Thassos, Lemnos and if you want something different look into Ikaria. It's in the southern zone of the Northern Aegean islands and is one of the Blue Zone areas where locals live to old age without dementia, heart problems and don't get thrown into nursing homes by their families. It's different but in a good way. It use to be the dumping ground of enemies of Greek Junta from 1970s because of their anarchist, socialist and communist philosophy which makes Ikaria a very independent, progressive and welcoming island without selling out to tourism.

Posted by
2898 posts

You didn't say whether you had chosen between late April or mid-May, and I would strongly urge the latter ... better weather, longer days ... I always feel I get a bonus in May or June -- a day & a half of holiday for every day, because it's light until 9 pm or later.