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15 days split between Italy and Greek Islands July '14

Dear RS Traveler's helpline, A year from now (July '14) my wife and I will be honeymooning in Europe and have 15 days we plan to split between Italy and Greece. In Greece, we have a connection in Naxos and plan to spend time in Paros (we're interested in spending time in less touristy, islands). In Italy we wish to spend time in Lucca, Siena, Pienza (tour other Tuscan hill towns), maybe Cinque Terre, but not essential. We're Americans but will be starting our travel from London where we'll be for a family affair. We don't want to be in big metropolis's this trip. Both of us have been to Venice, Rome, Florence (we could be talked in to Venice for a night or two if it makes sense as a hub to get to Greece) multiple times. Our wish is for a week in Greece split between the two islands I mentioned, and a week in Italy spent in the towns I mentioned. Would love to get feedback, ideas, inspiration, travel tips from fellow TA travelers of these two beautiful countries. Thanks. AT

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Naxos and Paros are both lovely islands but don't fool yourselves. They will both be very busy in July. It will be very difficult to find a 'less-touristy' island at that time of year. Even the more remote and less-publicized islands will be busy relative to what they have to offer in the way of accommodations. By the way, when you're on Paros you can take a fast daytrip across to Antiparos. It's a charming, small island with one main village and some nice beaches. Rent a scooter on Paros and take it with you from the port of Pounta for just a couple of Euro. Check with Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines for flights to Athens from Venice. There is also a ferry that will take you to Patras where you can catch a bus to Athens. I believe it's operated by Anek Lines. (Greetings from Cottage Grove!)