Hi Everyone! This is my boyfriend and I's first traveling to Greece. We are arriving in Athens for one night, then flying to Crete for 3. After that we have a week to wander our way back to Athens! We were looking to stop in Santorini, however no clue on the rest. We were really looking for islands that are not too touristy, yet with old-world charm! Any suggestions??
The closest islands to Santorini that have not succumbed to the package tourist industry are Folegandros, Anafi, Antiparos, Sikinos, Naxos and Paros. Connections back to Athens/Piraeus by ferry from these is not too difficult, especially in the high season summer months.
Thanks so much! I think we are going to go from Crete, to Santorini, to Paros, and finish in Mykonos! If anyone has any hotel/restaurant recommendations for any of these we'd love to hear it! I appreciate all of your help!
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Santorini is amazing, and worth the visit, even though it's touristy. So beautiful.
I LOVED Sifnos for a less touristy island. We stayed in Fira, in the middle of the island. There was a bus to ride.
Paros/Naxos were not as small. More tourists, but still much less touristy than Mykonos.
Mykonos is WAY touristy, and nothing special in the way of scenic beauty.
Of course this was 1997. Things have probably changed now.
Santorini is breathtaking in its beauty. We broke away from our tour group to spend 3 nights in Oia in a gorgeous place with an incredible view. We decided just to spend our time in Oia on this trip since it was sos lovely. As I understand it, Fira is the town where most of the tourists from the cruise ships go, so we didn't see any reason to go there.
The islands are great, but be sure to plan a full day in Athens to see the Acropolis/Agora,the National Archeological Museum and a walk through the Plaka.
Thank you all SO much for your help! We are narrowing down the trip finally, the main chunk of it in Crete and Santorini! If anyone has any restaurant suggestions, let me know!
We are visiting Santorini and Crete late Aug/early Sep. Am trying to decide whether we really need a car on Crete or not? We are staying in Chania and the last night in Heraklion to fly out the next morning. Can we just take the bus? We aren't concerned about touring too much, intend to take tours or simply take a break from Greek ruins (we will be in Athens for a few days).
Thanks--also if anyone knows how to order fish without the head attached, please let me know!
The bus from Chania to Iraklion is really frequent (hourly from memory) and takes only a couple of hours, so no problem using it if you don't want to tour.
If you're in Chania it is worth doing a morning trip to Rethymnon, which is half way between there and Iraklion.
Have a good trip.