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Athens & the Heart of Greece -advice about adding on islands not included on tour

Booked Athens/ Greece tour for April 2024 and would like advice from others who have done this tour re: visiting islands not included on this tour after tour over. Thanks for any tips.

Posted by
848 posts

Naxos had been recommended by a RS guide we had on another tour. We flew there after our BOG tour ended and spent 4 days. Lovely quiet island with great seafood restaurants on the waterfront.

Posted by
2252 posts

Not after but before-Santorini. We stayed 3 days at a place caldera-side in Firostani and enjoyed every minute. What a wonderful introduction to Greece and a terrific place to recover from jet lag.

Posted by
626 posts

Hi Sandy,
I do not know the itinerary of your tour but...from Santorini one may easily access Folegandros, our fave isle of all.
I am done. The end.

Posted by
41 posts

We did the RS Greece tour last month and added Naxos on before the tour started for a few days. It was a great island to relax and chill. My personal feeling is the tour is so packed with activities we were ready to fly home afterwards. Naxos in my opinion is well suited for the typical RS traveler—there were no large cruises, whatever you choose you will enjoy.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks for the responses - may I ask the best way to get from Athens to Santorini or Naxos?

Posted by
7643 posts

Both can be accessed by plane, which is best for Santorini, Naxos is about as easy by ferry, which you should do at least one way.

Posted by
280 posts

I had the same questions about my tour next year. We were thinking of Santorini and not sure of what else. So ferries are not the best way to get from one to the other? I wouldn't have thought of a flight.

Posted by
1129 posts

Lois- we went to Mykonos and Santorini after our RS Greece tour. Trust me, you will want to relax after the tour as it was very active! Mykonos was perfect, we got massages, soaked in a jacuzzi and just relaxed before hitting Santorini. We flew from Athens to Mykonos, ferried from Mykonos to Santorini, then flew back to Athens for our flight home. We decided to fly because ferries typically left early morning and we just did not want to get up that early plus there were more flights available. It depends on what island you decide in and how long the ferry ride is as well.

Posted by
7643 posts

Ferries to and from Santorini run about 8 hours from Piraeus. There are fast ones, but those can be a gamble. Flying is just much more dependable and quick.

Posted by
280 posts

Claudette--Mykonos and Santorini were the islands we were thinking of! Getting up really early isn't something we'd like, if there is an alternative, so we will definitely look at flying. How long did you spend at each island?

Posted by
2455 posts

Sandy, I spent a few days in and around Athens before my RS tour back in 2017, then after the tour spent 3 nights on Santorini and 3 nights on Naxos. All wonderful! On both islands, I would encourage anyone to spend at least one day visiting the various towns, sites and scenery in the interior of the island, whether by tour, car or public bus. Very different than the more touristed coastal towns. I flew Athens to Santorini, then short ferry ride to Naxos, then flew back to Athens on a short early morning flight. I left most of my luggage at the RS tour hotel while visiting the islands, then spent my final night at that hotel before returning home to the States.

Posted by
77 posts

I've also booked Athens and the heart of Greece for 2014, but I've booked it for sept 28 to Oct 11. Is that getting too late in the season to head to various islands after the tour?

Posted by
15 posts

We did not do the RS Greece Tour but followed the itinerary on our own.

We added Naxos and LOVED it! Stayed at the Galaxy Hotel on the edge of Naxos town, short walk to the main area. Get a car, see Chalki, Alyko beach, Viglou Beach. Stop on the way to the center of island. Panagi Drossiani, 6th c church with Bysantine frescoes. Take a flashlight and explore every nook and cranny.

We also went to Crete and loved it. Stayed at an airbnb in Chania. Such a great town!

We stopped in Heraklio for a night. The Archaeology Museum is excellent for Minoan history and artifacts. Stunning gold pieces. Knossos is a bust. They tell you in the literature that it was not preserved properly. All frescoes and important pieces are in the museum.
We stopped in Rethymno for a walk and a lunch, University town, vibrant.

We hated Mykonos for the crowds and obnoxious "influencers" and it was filthy. The town was covered in discarded bottles and garbage, Went to the north part of the island saw beautiful beaches and took a swim. Hotel Poseidon was excellent. Exceptional breakfast. Sits on the edge of town near the windmills. Get a car and get out of town.
Islands I would have liked to see, Milos, Rhodes.

Posted by
241 posts

Thanks for this topic. We just booked the tour starting April 1. We usually need a couple days to get over jet lag, so this information is great.

Posted by
17 posts

Thanks so much for all the great tips.
Sandy
Athens and the Heart Of Greece April 15,2024