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Greece which Cyclades islands to visit?

We are planning on spending two nights on Santorini and would like to spend 2-3 nights on another island in the Cyclades. We'd like one with the traditional white washed houses, not a huge party place, quaint. Does anyone have any recommendation of Paros, versus Naxos or Sifnos?

Posted by
2875 posts

Many people prefer Naxos but I like Paros. And from there you can take the frequent little local shuttle ferry to Antiparos if you want an even more quaint traditional village experience. Check Mike's Place on Antiparos for a good deal very close to the water.

Posted by
31319 posts

Susan,

I'll also be travelling in that area this year, and was looking at the same question. After looking over the descriptions of the various islands at This Website, I've decided on Naxos and Santorini.

Santorini is a definite visit, due to the photographic opportunities. Some of the reasons I chose Naxos are that it's perhaps not as "busy" as Myknonos or some of the others, and also it's a logical stop on the way to Santorini. It seems to be a larger island with several small classic Greek towns. I also looked closely at Sifnos, and it was a bit of a difficult choice between that and Naxos.

Happy travels!

Posted by
536 posts

Susan - The other most popular Island next to Santorini is Mykonos - A Fabulous spot and the most visited of all, including Santorini. Paros, Naxos, etc, are all nice but smaller with less to see and do.
Sorry Lee - I meant "smaller" in the sense of doing things - I like em all - As you know I live part of the year on Santorini and am currently negotiating a shop and flat on Mykonos, which has been so popular since the 1940's with Americans!!

Greg

Posted by
2875 posts

Greg, did I misread your posting? Naxos and Paros are larger than Mykonos, not smaller, and Santorini is approximately the same size. And if you're saying there's more to see and do on Mykonos than on Santorini, Paros and Naxos I will disagree wholeheartedly with you. Mykonos has excellent beaches, and the nightlife and shopping are are world-famous, but other than providing expensive ways to spend money what else is there? Santorini, Paros and Naxos all have nightlife, beaches and shopping too, and along with that are museums, archaeological sites, interesting villages and landmarks.

Posted by
2 posts

Lee,
Several books have mentioned that Naxos' architecture is more of a Venetian style. Does it have fewer of the white washed villages that are associated with the Cyclades?
Susan

Posted by
2875 posts

The architectural style of buildings on Naxos is mixed. The Venetian influence can be seen there, especially in the old town up on the hill above the port, but it's side by side with the more traditional Cycladic style. I don't have any experience with the other villages on the island as I go to Paros and have only been to Naxos town (other than one foray to the other side of the island), but my feeling is that over the years the outlying villages have not been influenced all that much by outside style. Perhaps someone with a more first-hand knowledge if the island's architecture can add more useful information.

Posted by
430 posts

we did not visit naxos or sifnos but did spend one night at paros. we were on a private sailboat and had to dock at a very small port where there was virtually nothing but 2 shops and 2 restaurants. i would definitely choose mykonos. it was big enough to explore the crazy little lanes and shops in town and there were beaches if that is your thing. i loved visiting delos which is a wonderful archeological site and can only be reached by ferry from mykonos. when you are on any of the islands be sure to rent a scooter to explore.

Posted by
2875 posts

"i loved visiting delos which is a wonderful archeological site and can only be reached by ferry from mykonos."

Delos can be reached from both Paros and Naxos by two different companies offering daytrip boat excursions that also include a stopover in Mykonos Town for a couple of hours.

Posted by
2627 posts

Here is a slideshow of Naxos ... you tell me, how much MORE can you get of the "traditional whitewashed" Cycladic housing style can you get than this?!?!?
http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/552001505EYxVYT THe "Venetian" housing is confined to the very top of Naxos Town. I don't know how much nightlife/clubs you are after... it's quieter in May/June but plenty of action July & August & NO cruise-ship mobs like Santorini & Mykonos. Paros is similar .. a little easier to see Naxos on excellent bus system, on Paros better rent a car.

But for SUPREME Cycladic housing on a nontouristic island --- Sifnos. Here is a splendid intro to that Magic island
http://www.igogreece.com/EN/Greece.asp?area=areas&id=127 I know the woman who wrote it, and every word is true... read about the stunning mountain villages, the flagstoned walkways in between, the uncrowded beaches. Amazing.