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We are hoping that the third time is the charm

Good morning,
We are finally booked for the RS Athens and the Heart of Greece tour Sept. 28 - Oct. 11, after a COVID cancellation spring 2020 and an unexpected family matter that caused us to cancel Sept. 2022. We just got on this tour from a wait list, so we are thrilled. We arrive in Athens on Sept 26 so we’ll have a little pre-tour time..

We are planning on flying from Athens (on the day our tour ends) to Santorini to stay 4 nights 3 days, and then take a ferry from Santorini to Mykonos( arriving in the morning) to stay there for 2 nights. We would then fly back to Athens to spend the night at a hotel by the airport and depart for the US on Oct 18. Our interest in Mykonos was not the nightlife or the beaches, but to visit Delos. At least this was the idea when we planned this trip over 3 years ago. Now I’m unsure about that decision. We enjoy walking, but nor strenuous hiking, as well as visiting museums and historical sites and just taking in the scenery with a good beverage. We both just turned 70 and are in good health.

So I am wondering if we should just spend our extra time on Santorini rather than try to fit in another island, OR
- still spend just 4 nights in Santorini, then go to another island other than Mykonos? Which one? We haven’t booked our flights yet so we could add on a day or two at the end. Considering travel time between islands , I’m wondering if just a 2 night stay at a second island is worth it?

Not to be morbid, but we know this will be our only trip to Greece.
Thanks for any help you can give me with this itinerary. I’m

Posted by
631 posts

Hi JMU,
Maybe check out Folegandros---its an easy boat ride from Santorini and makes a good foil as a less-overrun-by-commercial-tourism kinda place. Fantastic cliff scenery, a public bus, VG cove beaches, great food, various hikes and a very pretty Hora.
I am done. The end.

Posted by
3362 posts

NAxos would be a much easier ride than Mykonos ... there's a 10:30 CHAMPION JET ferry leaving Santorini , open back deck so y ou can stand & see the cliffs at departure.. arrive Naxos before 12 noon. Naxos has large permanent population, so it's vibranat year- round... for 2 night stay, recommend staying at Ag. Giorgios (St George) beach directly adjacent to port town easy 10-15 minute stroll along seafront to sunset dinners, fascinaiting town walks. Walking up mazey lanes to top of town, u find a medieval castle & a tiny Stunning museum(world's most extensive collection of mysterious pre-minoan "statuettes"). Out on a causeway is a gigantic arch for perfect sunset photos. Also, since Santorini beaches are well, meh, you'll get a gorgeous sandy beach or two to enjoy... besides St. George, there's a handy bus, 20-25 minutes out to 4 lovely beches -- Ag Anna, Ag Prokopios, Plaka, Mikra Vigli ... Here are a few Naxos photos from top Steves & trip Advisor Naxos expert "stanbr"

NAxos Sunsets - https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157700728046481
Back to NAXOS 2022 - https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72177720299940917
Naxos Town - http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094558042/

... of course Naxos has SO Mch ancient history, ruins, artifacts, more than most other cyclades island -- but you will have had a heavy "ruin-a-thon" on the steves tour. On Naxos, you can just have a dip in the sea, enjoy fascinating town, good sunsets. Fly back to Athens (40 minutes). Some good small St. George hotels to check for y our dates: boutique Hotel Glaros, Villa Naxia, Hotel Palatia, all a few steps from the sand. It's an easy walk along the port-town seafront promenade to St. George -- but most hotels you book will meet you at the ferry. PS: Naxos has outstanding dinng at 1/2 the price of "elite" Santorini restaurants.

As for Folegandros, it's also easy to get to, and has one very Major Asset -- a picture-perfect "Chora" (high town) -- like a painting ... and that's the main thing there. A few OK beaches, but bus sked to reach them may be v limited... Folegandros goes "off season" a lot quicker because so small..