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Travel recommendations for trip to Greece

I love this forum and it was very useful in planning a trip to Turkey! My husband and I are now considering a trip for 2 weeks to Greece mainland and possible Islands in either early November or late March 2023.

We love off the beaten path and less tourist areas and authentic experiences. We love local cuisine. My heart is with refugees..Has anyone been to Lesvos?

Has anyone explored North eastern Greece? Has anyone been to Thessalonki? My husband has never been to Greece. Ive been to Athens and Mykonos years ago.

Thank you so much!

Posted by
1949 posts

We've been to Lesvos many times, and can highly recommend it, but your timetable makes me hesitate. The latest we have visited was mid October, and already hotels and restaurants were beginning to close. I think the island begins to "open up" again around Easter. Of course there are year round residents, but many in the tourist industry return to Athens from November through about April. And the weather can be dreary.

If you can move your trip to mid-September, I can give you many suggestions. One place we stay on every trip is Hotel Votsala, near the main town of Mytilene. The owners were (and likely still are) deeply involved with the refugees. Wonderful people.

Let me know if you'd like more information about Lesvos.

Posted by
102 posts

Thank you so very much Charlene! I will definitely look up the lodging you recommended. I have been reading in the books about Islands closing down around the time you mentioned. We are considering your recommendation for mid April.. What do you really like about that Island? Where else do you love in Greece? We would be independent travelers not with a group. Any information you share is very appreciated.

Posted by
993 posts

I've been to Lesvos, the home of my grandparents.

The island is lovely, not over-the-top touristy like the Big Name Islands and really enjoyable.

I would also recommend Chios as it's one of the last large islands that hasn't gotten the hype of the tourist islands. Also close to Lesvos if you can manage to combine both islands.

I was there the first half of October and it was perfect for me. Not many tourists and numerous beautiful villages including the Medevil Mastic Villages and the spectacular abandoned hilltop village of Anavatos which is a must to see!

It's one of my top three favorite islands.

Check out my photos of Chios:

https://tinyurl.com/ycgkrqza

Posted by
102 posts

Your travel photos of Chios were beautiful and so enticing to visit Chios. I sent you a private message. Thank you-

Posted by
102 posts

I just heard there are very bad fires near Vatera near the tourist area on Lesbos (Lesvos)..

Posted by
1274 posts

We did 11 days on the mainland, and the Deep Mani. We really liked Lemini. I have a Trip Report posted in the TR forum, if you are interested.

Posted by
116 posts

I have extensive experience working directly with refugees on the neighboring island of Chios.

I could even put you in touch with the NGO volunteer org that I worked with. These days they are limited to conducting Europe-wide collection and distribution of resources for the island's refugee population who live inside fenced camps. Which is a far cry from 2015-2017. Then we were daily sending out eight to ten teams of people to areas of regular need as well as meeting landings at all hours.

The conditions today are still bad for the people in the camp. They are able to come and go but the main camp is kind of far from the island's population centers. Hence little access to services or goods.

Anyway, both Lesvos and Chios are good off-season islands because they have significant year-round populations.

LMK if you have questions.

Will

Posted by
102 posts

Thank you so much AMann. I really would like to read your travel report. What forum is it on-I wasnt quite sure.

Posted by
102 posts

Thank you so much Will! Sadly I hear the fires are bad on Lesvos now. I will write you a private note as I am very interested in the work you have done with Refugees. I have questions that I would love to ask you! Your work is appreciated...

Posted by
102 posts

Thank you for sharing your travel adventures AMann. Maybe I missed it but did you take a ferry or fly to the Greek Islands?