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Naxos & Santorini in late-Oct/early-Nov

In late-Oct/early-Nov, my hubby and I will be in Athens for a few days, and then we'll have 7 days to visit a couple of islands. Based on my research, we're thinking Naxos and Santorini.
1. What is the best way to travel from Athens-Naxos, Naxos-Santorini, and Santorini-Athens during that time of year?
2. Do you recommend we rent a car on both Naxos and Santorini?
3. Do you have a recommended place to stay, or area to stay in?
Thanks in advance!

Posted by
3130 posts

Fly to your first island from Athens, ferry to the 2nd, then fly back to Athens. I recommend you do this when you first arrive, and save all your time in Athens for the end so you aren't left stranded on an island if something goes wrong at the last minute, such as a cancellation from a strike, a mechanical breakdown or if the weather goes wonky.

Posted by
84 posts

I agree with Lee's recommendation. We were there in 2022 and flew to Santorini, ferried to Naxos, and then flew to Athens. We rented a car for a day on both islands through where we were staying after we got there. It was reasonably priced and nice to drive around for a day.

Posted by
1382 posts

Santorini and Naxos are very good companion islands.
As already mentioned experienced travellers to Greece recommend that you save Athens to the end of your trip and get out to your first island as soon as you arrive in Greece.
This makes sense given the time of year you are going. Santorini will still be busy in October so fly there first. There will be several connecting flights on Aegean and Sky Express. You will have to check ferry schedules to be sure there are still ferries between Santorini and Naxos by this time of year. Look at openseas web site for ferry schedules.

The season will be pretty well finished in Naxos by November, You will want to find a hotel in Naxos town or maybe St George beach.
Naxos has a permanent local population so infrastructure will be open for the locals.

You probably do not need to rent a car in Santorin bus and taxi are fine. Naxos has a good bus system and on a short visit you can take the bus up into the mountain villages, Aparanthos and Chalki are two not to miss visits. A car is not necessary on such a short visit.
Here is what Santorini and Naxos are like.

Posted by
1652 posts

I also agree that Santorini and Naxos are a good combination, and that you should save Athens for the end of your trip. That is exactly what we did in May 2022. So fly to Santorini, ferry to Naxos, fly back to Athens from Naxos, where you can take a taxi or public transportation to your Athens hotel.

We sailed on Blue Star Ferry, a 2-hour ride from Santorini to Naxos. We rented a car for one day on each island to drive around the islands. In Santorini, for example, we visited the Akrotiri Archaeological site, Red Sand Beach, and Black Sand Beach. On Naxos, we visited mountain villages, such as Chalki and Apeiranthos, and fishing villlages, such as Moutsouna Bay and Apollonia. And the Temple of Demeter. We had an awesome trip!

On Santorini, we stayed in Firastefani at the Blue Dolphin Suites, and on Naxos, we stayed at Hotel Palatia on St. George's Beach. Both places were recommended by Janet on this forum.

Posted by
870 posts

I recommend staying in Firostefani while on Santorini. Lithies Traditional Homes was fabulous. We chose their "Eros" home and it was just the right size for the two of us. Maria is the ultimate hostess and you can't beat breakfast on your terrace or a glass of wine at sunset. Highly recommend! On Naxos we stayed at Hotel Grotta which a small, family owned property. Easy walk to town, and Mama's breakfast is like nothing you have ever experienced. They also have a lovely rooftop with beautiful sunsets. Their staff was warm and welcoming. It was also a very enjoyable stay.

Posted by
1466 posts

On Naxos, restaurants, tavernas and even some hotels begin closing down at the beginning of October as the tourist season winds down. The odds of rain and windy days also increase each day in October, so you are better off weatherwise by visiting the first week of October rather than the last.

Posted by
280 posts

We too stayed at Hotel Grota in Naxos. This was our second time there and loved it. It is a low key small family run hotel with super friendly folks and Mamas Breakfast is fabulous... homemade Greek specialties along with a lot of other high-quality items. The rooms are not fancy, but immaculate. Book direct for the best price. Sea view rooms with balcony are best. All rooms are on the small side and it is a 10-15 minute walk to the town and port area. Good for walking off that breakfast! and the cake they often left for us in our room.

We were there this past Nov 6-11 and closed down the hotel. Some restaurants were closing but there were enough for us to have choices for good food as long as you ate in town or at the port. The St. George beach area was pretty much closed up

. The weather was mixed. Some days sunny and mild, some rain, some wind. Not very crowded. We loved it and much prefer to deal with the weather issues than crowds.

We were in Santorin immediately before for 4 nights (3 days). It was indeed very windy on 2 of the days. We took the ferry to Naxos and it was calm that day. Santorini still had lots of cruise passengers but otherwise was not that crowded. Plenty of places to eat although some were closed, We stayed in a small studio apartment in Firostefani in a quiet area with no caldera view. It was simple and quiet but not what most people expect view wise. If interested PM me.