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Greek Islands Reccomendations

Boca Raton, Florida
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Greek Islands Reccomendations


I am having a hard time picking islands to visit. I have two weeks and am hoping to see two or three Islands. I am 30 years old and traveling with my 50 year old sister (who is young at heart and enjoys a fun time) and my 16 year old niece.

We enjoy relaxing at the beach, beach parties (but arent into dance/techno music), vegetarian focused food, history, and natural beauty. Some activities like hiking, catamaran or jet skis, horseback riding etc. We also aren’t into very trendy commercial type atmosphere—- would prefer a more authentic local atmosphere. We are Americans and want to avoid meeting other Americans while away!

The islands I’m considering are

Two or three of Santorini, Mykonos, Ios or Crete


Corfu and Kefalonia

I think Corfu and Kefalonia look beautiful. I’m worried that Santorini and Mykonos (while looking breathtaking) could be a tourist trap?

I’m just beginning my research so I could be way off, just looking for some input from people who have been to these islands and what they would recommend! Thank you in advance!

7 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Delphi
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1. Re: Greek Islands Reccomendations

Hello and welcome!

While I understand what you try to say, I believe your desires are sort of contradictory . I mean, you can't have beach parties, catamarans and jet skis and avoid the strong commercialism now, can you? Maybe not necessarily very “trashy”, but still…

If avoiding your compatriots is important to you, head to the Ionians. On my experience most Americans head to the Cyclades, maybe with a few days on Crete and/or Rhodes thrown in. Do note that absence of Americans doesn’t necessarily mean a place won’t be touristy though…

I think some compromises need to be made here. More or less all islands rely to summer tourism up to an extent, that’s why there are tourism facilities for you to go. Often the key point is to find a suitable location for you within an island and chose the right time of the year for you to go, depending on your needs. I would research a bit more indepth on each island to narrow it down and then come back with more specific questions.

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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2. Re: Greek Islands Reccomendations

Hi Olivia,

To support your planning look up this link for advice:


To see what kind of information we would like from you look up this link:


Santorini and Mykonos seems to be the only islands Americans have heard about, and thus they are the most touristy and expensive islands in Greece, Also note that July and August are they very peak of the season, and especially the two islands mentioned will be packed daily with day excursions from cruise liners and flights.

Greece has more than 200 inhabited islands and so much more to offer than these destinations.

Edited: 17 November 2017, 08:13
Nottingham, United...
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3. Re: Greek Islands Reccomendations

I agree with mariha2912:

Santorini, and Mykonos are up there at the top when it comes to expensive Greek islands and are full of American tourists, apart from the beach resorts of Perissa and Kamari.

Corfu and Kefalonia are much cheaper with very few (if any at all) Americans. You will see plenty of us Brits here! Also don't forget Zakynthos (Zante) which is another Ionian island

Birmingham, United...
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4. Re: Greek Islands Reccomendations

Your requirements are contradictory. You want a lot of commercial facilities but an authentic local atmosphere.

All the islands you have quoted are commercialised tourist islands. Most of your fellow countrypersons will be on Mykonos and cliffside on Santorini - Corfu, Kefalonia, British and Italian - Ios, Crete, east side of Santorini, European and international.

"catamaran or jet skis, horseback riding etc" - That's on commercialised developed islands not any island with an authentic local atmosphere.

"Hiking" - can be most islands though not very organised.

Widely spaced Greek islands, random picks maybe difficult to combine unless on the same ferry route, interisland flights are very few, flights fan out from Athens to a large extent.

Internet information is distorted by European package tourists. For example UK use the phrase "authentic Greek resort/taverna/whatever" when referring to a resort/taverna/whatever full of other people from the UK. You have to read between the lines.

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Greek Islands Reccomendations

Wow "Santorini, and Mykonos are up there at the top when it comes to expensive Greek islands and are full of American tourists" We saw more Japanese pricesses in their wedding dresses than Americans,

It's one of the jewels of Greece and naturally everyone want to go and thus the reason it's expensive. There are about another 200 jewels (islands) you can choose from. Anywhere there is a nice developed beach you will find lots of tourists. 2 places you can avoid the crowds in my opinion is Paros and Crete.

Wigan, United...
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6. Re: Greek Islands Reccomendations

imho Crete has everything and no need to visit another island if you choose there. It's around 160 miles from west to east.

Fly into Chania and you'll find plenty history eg Souda Bay, Chania harbour and trips on little train - http://www.funtrain.gr/

There's plenty beach resorts along the coast for watersports and if you're fit enough you can hike the Samaria Gorge. There's a fairly good public bus service to travel from Chania to the beach areas from the bus station in the middle of town and you can stay in a small town like Kato Stalos which is not far from Chania but is not crowded and has local tavernas, a bakery and a few shops. For a beautiful quiet beach area go to Elafonissi for a day.

You could spend your second week on the east of the island visiting Knossos, Spinalonga island, Vai beach and archaeological museum in Heraklion then get flight home from there. I usually stay in Aghios Nikolaos as I love the atmosphere of the town which is not just a tourist town. There is a harbour area and a deep lake around which are many bars and tavernas as well as shops and boat trips.

Or as an alternative have a look at Skiathos which is a beautiful island and so easy to get around by public bus, water taxis or scooter/car hire. You can either stay in Skiathos town where there are really good tavernas, shops, nightlife and boat trips or a quieter beach resort like Troulos or Koukanaries. There are watersports on the busier beaches. You can then get a ferry to Skopelos, Alonissos or Volos for your second week.

England, United...
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7. Re: Greek Islands Reccomendations

Yes, we are so lucky that santorini and Mykonos are the jewels of Greece. They attract the visitors who enjoy their wealth and commercial comforts and leaves other areas more authentic Greek, maybe modern Greek, for the rest of us.

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