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Overwhelmed :) - Need help winnowing last choice

Attempting to pitch in on the planning for our last island choice and feeling overwhelmed by the choices!

Quick sketch of what has been planned:

  • We'll be there early July with two other adults (4 total).
  • Will have done Santorini and Mykonos, with two days in Athens at the end before headed home.

So just need to pick that last island. Time there will include afternoon of our arrival day via Mykonos Ferry, one full day, and another half day (or as long as we can stay before catching ferry back to Athens...with no real pressure to be in Athens at a certain time).

I'm guessing there are some limits to our options so we aren't spending a ton of time traveling between islands (and flights are certainly an option to avoid 4+ hour ferry rides)

As far as what we are looking for: a bit of sightseeing love the quaint village feel; don't really need beach time; but not bad if options exists to watch sit and watch sunset and put feet in the water; we're all food/wine lovers...

Crete is one of our group's top list...but after that, wide open to ideas.

So much to read, so just wondering if there is something unique or off the beaten path that previous travelers recommend we should be considering? At least it will help narrow the research!

Thanks in advance, and happy to answer any further questions.

Posted by
91 posts

I don't think that practically, you have time for Crete. The ferry journey would take most of the day, so you would have 1 day on the island. Crete needs 2 weeks minimum to do it any justice at all - it is a large island, with a different feel & culture from many others', like another country.

I don't have enough expertize on the islands near Mykonos to suggest a specific one, but your visits to Santorini & Mykonos will show you 2 of the most touristic, busy, & expensive places ... albeit very beautiful. Perhaps a less populated, more natural, quieter island would be a nice contrast.

Posted by
1350 posts

I agree that Crete isn't practical. You might like to look at Sifnos or Serifos which are both in the direction of Athens.

We've written up a visit to Sifnos. Although it was a while ago I doubt it's changed much.

The bus service is good which means you can get into the interior easily.

Serifos is also nice but there is less there.

Have you actually checked ferry times? They may be less frequent / at different times of the day than you seem to be assuming. This site is worth looking at for info.


Posted by
3141 posts

In early July, there is Nothing "off the beaten path" that is remotely reachable from Mykonos With your VERY limited time (less than 48 hours). BTW, when you want the best advice, please try to give exact dates ("early July" not enough) because ferry service varies by the day, and with your tight schedule it matters.

You really haven't much choice -- Naxos, Paros, Ios are about it -- and Naxos is closest, plus it gives you the best chance for what you say you want.... a glimpse of hillside villages (please don't use the word quaint), a port town that is fascinating, a beach that's directly adjacent to town, and 3-4 others along a bus route that goes every 30 minutes. Naxos town also has a ton of tavernas (the Greek word for nonfancy restaurants), including a couple of new finds (tradition + innovation). Naxos sunsets are superb ... not that manic phto-clicking crowd scene of Santorini's Oia or the pricey pubs of Mykonos town.

REGARDING FERRIES - this website tells all; Study It - - CN = reg. ferry (open decks) CC = Car-carrying Catamaran (large, sometimes small open deck) CM = psgr-only Cat (avoid, very rocky on windy days).

BEST for MYK- NAX: 12:50- 13:45 (Reg nonstop) 13:00 - 14:20 (Reg nonstop), 13:35 -14:50 (CC 1-stop) the 13:35 only 1 thats daily.
NAX - PIREAUS(Ath port): Take a REG ferry... its a 5-6 hr trip: u want open decks, cafes, corridors to stroll -- book a "reserved economy" seat, specify SIDE section. Sit on deck for sunset then go to reserved comfy seat inside to read, snack, nap.
SAILINGS: Nissos-Samos 15:20 - 21: 25 **Blue Star 18:00 - 23:15 (this one gives you a full day #3 with my "strategy"; check out @noon, stash bags @ hotel desk, swim or wander, return @5 to wash up & change in a lobby restroom, go to pier.

NAXOS SUGGESTIONS -- Book rooms at St. George/Ag Giorgios beach next to town (hoteliers will pick up at pier) • DAY #1 spend aft & evening wandering amazing "old town" & out to ancient arch for sunset pix... reserve car for next day • DAY #2 - zoom around Island for dramatic mountain scenery, villages, ruins in orchards, vineyards, beaches. DAY #3 - See Top of Town Kastro, amazing tiny museum w. world-treasure prehistoric art, shopping (fraction of prices in Santo/Myk).

HOTEL SUGGESTIONS - Go to, Specify Naxos St. George Beach, anything w. rating of "8" or better will be fine; DO study google-map, to see its not too far from beach or on busy road. Much easier to get 2 rooms than 2-br unit.