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choosing a Greek island

We have 8 days in Greece - 2 nights in Athens, and we want
to choose a quiet relaxing beautiful island or two to visit. Suggestions? Thank you. Sally Isham

Posted by
473 posts

Your best bet would be to pick up a guidebook or two, read about the various islands, and see what strikes your fancy. Each island has its own flavor. When researching our Greece trip, we found Frommers and Lonely Planet to be very useful. We really liked Naxos, but we were looking for something a bit more low-key, not a party place.

Posted by
5301 posts

I agree with the previous post about looking at guidebooks, the options are many, some of my thoughts: Shy away from Mykonos, Rhodes, and Santorini; if the Party crowd doesn't get to you, the crowds will. Naxos is big enough that you can avoid the crowds, but still have the main town and other sights. Paros is well recommended. For true remoteness, we loved Koufonissia. one small town, cheap rooms, a couple good eating options, and fantastic beaches. Scenery was typical rugged Greek Island...rocky, sparse trees, dry; but the water was great.

Posted by
1 posts

Sally, For quiet and relaxing Paul is spot on with Koufonisia, we went last year and planned to stay 2-3 days and still didn't want to leave after 5, it has some popular beaches but if you walk a little further we found one that we had all to ourselves. If you've never been to the Greek Islands, I would disagree with Paul and definately recommend Santorini, but you must arrive by the slow ferry to fully appreciate it! Other quiet islands we went to included Milos, Folegandros and Naxos all of which had there own unique style. Stay well clear of Ios though, unless you are in your teens, want to be harassed as you pass every bar and like to roll home as the sun comes up drunk on alcopops! Enjoy your trip.

Posted by
4 posts

I was in Naxos with my NE Oregonian parents in 1998 (wow, that's getting to be a long time ago!) and it was wonderful. Felt rural, serene, and quiet--all welcome characteristics to us after being in busy, wonderful Athens. We also loved Santorini, but, of course, that is a completely different experience! I don't think one can go terribly wrong when visiting the Greek Islands.

Posted by
5301 posts

To Rich's point; Santorini is a definite "do not miss" if you are doing the islands, although the night and a day we spent there was plenty. For that matter, we really loved Mykonos, the beaches were a blast, the town wonderful, Delos great, and timed it for a yearly wine festival that was a highlight of the trip (My wife and I show up in Samantha Brown's Mykonos episode of her TV show!) just neither is my definition of relaxing.

Posted by
80 posts

Sally, we spent 2 weeks in Greece in 2005 and spent 4 days in Athens, then tooled through the Pelloponese. We spent the last 5 or 6 days on Andros. This is an island about 2hrs by ferry from Athens. Its where all the Greeks go for vacation. We had a great time. It was quiet, inexpensive, has 4 mountain ranges, beautiful monasteries, and good restaurants and shopping. The beaches range from rocky with amazing rock formations to beautiful and sandy with bars and cafes right on the beach. Try Mike Barrett's Greek vacation guide web site. He has info regarding every Greek island there is including nightlife, hotels, ferries, beaches, etc. Have fun!

Posted by
152 posts

I read about Milos on the AOL message boards. It was posted by a Greek. What a wonderful island. We loved all the small towns. We rented a car and went a different direction every day. We loved the food and the people were the best. The boat trip around the island is great for the first day. It gives you a feel for the whole island. It does take up the whole day. We only saw two Americans while on the island and they were both doing kiak trips. We went for two days and stayed for five. The room was about 35E per night. If you want more info, let me know.

Posted by
80 posts

If you really want relaxing, without a lot of tourists or major sites to see, try Andros. This island is about 2hrs by ferry from Athens and as we found, this is where a lot of the Greeks go on vaca. We were there 9/05 and it was pretty much us and the locals or other Greeks on vaca. There are a few sites to visit like monasteries, castles, etc. but the island is the main attraction. We loved it, but we are not in to wild night life.

Posted by
1 posts

Andros is not of the best choices (I have been there). You can find the information you are looking for yourself with the Greece vacation search website: http://www.greecevacationsearch.com/finder.php You simply enter your search criteria and you instantly get the list with all Greek islands that qualify. The search criteria include drop-downs, check boxes and cool drag-and-drop sliders!

Posted by
2862 posts

Alexandros, you answered a 5-year-old posting.

Posted by
32 posts

It also depends on when you are going. I went to Rhodes for a week last year in the off season. We stayed right outside of Lindos, which during the tourist season is packed, I'm sure. But it was almost like a ghost town when we were there, and finding places to eat was often a challenge - or if I did they had a very limited menu. BUT, we loved the fact that it was quiet, we had private beaches, and when we did find a place that was open we were able to really connect with the owners. If you like hiking, Rhodes was amazing for just making up our own paths that lead to unmarked monuments or fantastic views - especially at the very southern end where the Mediterranean meets the Aegean. I fell in love with Rhodes Town, but again, I'm sure it's packed with tourists during the season. After my trip I was ready to move to Rhodes for good, but I know it's a completely different experience at different times of the year. I recommend a shoulder season for sure.