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Solo travel in Naxos and Athens this fall

Hello, all! I'm planning a solo trip to Greece for my 40th birthday this year, arriving on September 30th and leaving October 15th. I majored in classics in college so I'm very much looking forward to finally seeing the country. Currently my plan is to split the time between Athens and Naxos, with some day trips in each area but also plenty of time to relax and read on the beach or in cafes. I've been reading up on the Greece subforum and have saved a bunch of threads, but I had some questions and would appreciate some experienced travelers' answers. I consider myself a reasonably confident traveler as a woman on her own, and I'm not really interested in clubbing or nightlife.

  • I'm not planning to rent a car in either location, and I usually take public transit at home. Any strong recommendations or anti-recs for areas to stay in Naxos when not driving? (I know people on this forum love Hotel Grotta but it looks like the smaller rooms are all booked.) Ideally I'd like to be close to the beach, and I'm hoping it will still be warm enough to swim. I've seen recommendations on here for St George's beach. Similarly, what are good neighborhoods to stay in in Athens when relying on public transit and walking? I do plan to stay in hotels rather than AirBNB/VRBO apartments.

  • Are there any companies still running boat tours from Naxos to Delos after October 1st? It looks like Alexander ferries stops on September 30th, but I don't know what other options might exist.

  • Would love to hear people's favorite guides or tour companies for day trips around and outside of Athens, especially to Delphi. But I'm definitely also interested in non-ancient sites and tours, so suggestions for those are welcome!

Posted by
85 posts

Hi Naomi

I can recommend Hotel Galini on Naxos. Hopefully you can go to Delos. When we went, the boat also took us to Mykonos. I am seeing a similar boat excursion to both islands from Naxos on Get Your Guide available for October 2, 3, and 6th-10th. The provider is listed as San Med Travel Hub.

In Athens, I like to stay in hotels like these three: Hermes Hotel, Plaka Hotel, and Economy Hotel.

As for tours from Athens, I can HIGHLY recommend a 4 day, 3 night tour that we took through CHAT tours. It will take you not only to all these amazing historical sights, but you will also see the beautiful countryside of the mainland. Our guide combined comments on Ancient history with Mythology as we drove from point to point. Really made everything we'd ever read come to life.

Here is an excerpt from the tour listing on Viator:

Delve into Greece’s rich history on this 4-day tour from Athens. Discover the UNESCO-listed classical sites of Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, and Delphi; and pay a visit to Meteora to explore its spectacular rocktop monasteries. Take a guided walking tour at each site to learn about its past, and visit other top sights, such as the Corinth Canal. Overnight accommodation in 4-star hotels, breakfasts, dinners, and coach transport are included. Including a trip to medieval Meteora, this unique ancient Greece tour is great for all history buffs. See four UNESCO World Heritage sites with an expert guide.

Explore important archeological sites at Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, and Delphi. Visit monasteries atop the rock towers of Meteora.

I hope this helps. Enjoy Greece!

Posted by
1397 posts

I am going to suggest you look far a hotel at St George beach. Galini is about 50 meters up from the beach. St George is a good sand beach and is lined with lots of hotels in every price range. Personally I want to have a hotel with sea view. You might want to look at booking . com It will show you all the hotels at St George with prices and availability. I always do my research with them but often contact the hotels directly for booking.
St George is part of Naxos town so you get all the benefits and activities of the town just a 10 minute stroll along the headland into the heart of Naxos town,

The public bus KTEL was offering 3 different tours of Naxos last time we were there. You may want to explore Naxos on one of those tours.
Alexander and Naxos Star are the two ships that do the Delos excursions. You are late in the season but its worth while inquiring if one of them may have enough people who want this tour to allow them to extend the season. Check with any travel agent.

Some images may help you decide
Saint George Beach https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632113170279
St George Beach https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299943096

St George beach hotels. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632162394787

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks, both of you! Very helpful information, and I'll definitely check out those tours you have recommended and the Hotel Galini. I appreciate it!

Posted by
3 posts

Following the Naxos info since we are going in 2025……I can recommend Athens gate hotel 100%….good convenient location. NLH Monastiraki is also good, although area was a little grittier since is between the square and the city market…..but great hotel and no issues in the area.

Posted by
3362 posts

Hurray for you! I did my first trip to Greece essentially solo (after decades of books/films/classes) and loved it so, I went back 12 times. You will have a Fab time.. a great place for women travelilng solo. Vets like us always recommend doing Island FIRST -- on arrival, allowing 2-hr window, take afternoon flilght to NAXOS, for at least 6 days/7 nights. Then, back to Athens (flilghts are 40 mins, big ferries are 5.5 to 6 hours... study & choose). Island time helps u acclimate, learn Greek ways, you'll be more savvy for naviagting athens & Day trips (omor on those later).

NAXOS ROOMS -- As Stanbr suggests booking.com is great for browsing -- rquest Naxos St George Beach, put in your approximate Naxos dates ( & when a list pops up, instead click "show on Map" -- that way you see blue "balloons" showing available places in Exact locations. BTW Galini has a nicebreakfast but only 1-2 rooms with sea v iew b alconies, and they are booked solid years ahead. Take a look at Hotel Palatia ... its upper floors have sea-view balconioes .... Aso avialable right on beach 1st week Sept is Thomais Studios and a real treat, Flisvos Beach Studios (latter are little rooms right behind the beach Sport Center -- it has terrace bar that's a v friendly sunset hangout. But don't dither! All are bargans & will go fast; book for free cancellation/no risk.

NAXOS ACTIVITIES -- Going Solo, I highly recommend Naxos TRansit's 1-day tour - http://www.naxosbustransfer.com/ - 9-5 it covers all island's amazing scenic/historic highlights w a noonday SWIM ... and you'll also meet other interesting independent travelers you can do other things with. As sequence I suggest for evening #1 a sunset walk to town/arch, day #2 explore port "maze" to castle/museum/cathedral etc +swims & day 3 - bus tour. Plaka beach is my fave outer beach -- Plaka sunset dining at edge of sea @ Niko & Maria's. the best. That's just a start.

ATHENS - I'd suggest doing yourAthens time the last 4 days of your visit ... when those world-famouos landmarks, and the museum treasures, will resonate with you most... and you can just get a super-early x95 bus or a flat-fee car service back to airport in less than an hour for your homebound flight. For lodgings - again recommend browsing booking.com for Oct 11-15 ... I tend to favor hotels SOUTH of Acropolis -- handy to everything but away from busy traffic, more greenery, lovely long promenade. And booking.com now has besides hotels, many Private rooms/apts available in that area w balcony views & great room prices. And with the safeguard of booking.com rules about cancellations etc. For moderate hotels around there, check Hotel Hera, Airotel-Parthenon, hotels Phillipos & Herodion. If my darlilng budget Hotel Phaedra has magical room 323, grab it & tell them Janet sent you. .. besides room balcony w Acrop view, has amazing rooftop canopied terrace open 24/7... great to bring snacks & a book.

BEYOND-ATHENS -- The BEST trip for a classics buff is 3 days in NAFPLION -- Gorgeous -- considered THE most beautiful Old Town in All Greece ... at tip of peninsula, susrrounded by sea, in the heart of Greece's Most Historic Ancient sites (Mycenae, Turins, Epidaurus, Nemea, etc )... and yet its only 2 1/2 hrs away by modern reserved-seat intercity bus! This amazing noncommerical website -- http://www.visitnafplio.com/ -- tells you all you need to know, how to get there, what to do, what to see, where to eat and more! Website & I agree, top hotel choice (and not superpriceY) is Agamemnon right on seafront -- another great choice is Omorfo Poli. I suggest coming from Naxos, going straight tto KTEL Kifissou Bus Terminal from Airport... and having 3-4 glorious days.

That's all I can include now, but if this plan appeals, come back for more...

Posted by
14 posts

Thanks for the additional comments, hadickson and janet! So far I've booked a flight to Naxos the day I arrive from the US and will spend about a week there, and then head back to Athens. And my hotels are all set, although I might try to edit my Athens reservation if I do end up going to Nafplio. I figure with the big things taken care of I have a little time to figure out my day trips and other things that require pre-booking! I appreciate everyone's helpful replies and the links to useful sites.

Posted by
3362 posts

Sounds good, Naomi As for Athens hotels, they are Very used to clients leaving for 1-2 nghts for short side trips on tour busses and then returning,.. It's part of being hoteliers in Athens. Thus they are often amenable to "tweaking" the reservation (especially since you are thinking & asking months ahead). Sometimes if one just wants to stay elsewhere for 1 or 2 nights, a hotel will keep your Big Bag in its "luggage room" and you just go on your side trip with an overnight "shoulder bag". I've done that twice... when I returned to my hotel, I picked up my big bag... I had a different room but similar, no problem.

In fact, the only group tours I recommend are the 2-day tours that take you to Mycenae, Nafplio, and Epidaurus -- because much of the tour is FREE Time in Nafplio... no group meals... afternoon & evening and AM of day 2, to explore & enjoy sunsets & beautiful Old town -- here's a typical one -- https://www.greecetours.com/package/mycenae-epidaurus-days-tour/ -- and not that expensive. If you do book such a tour, I recommend one that has a hotel IN Old Town Nafplio, because an evening in the central marble-paved square under the moonlight is Magic.