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best greek islands for relaxing

Salt Lake City...
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best greek islands for relaxing

Hi friends,

My wife and I are going to Europe in late summer 2014 (London -> Paris -> Greece) and are going to go all out in London and Paris and will be tired by the time we get to Greece. We want to sit on a nice beach, get some nice blue water, rent a scooter to drive around and see the island, maybe get some history, go snorkeling (maybe, the wife isn't a fan of wet hair), maybe some cool cliffs, and just all around scenic stuff. I am not a foodie and she doesn't particularly like Greek food, so great food isn't a must, either. We may want to go clubbing, as well. What are suggestions for the best island for all that? It would be great if it was easy-ish to get to as well. Thanks in advance and let me know if my question is to specific, as I can cut out certain parts of it. We are 25 and 26 and I like to take a lot of pictures, although I am no good at it.

Thanks!

Carson

Warsaw, Poland
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1. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

>>>Thanks in advance and let me know if my question is to specific, as I can cut out certain parts of it.

On the contrary - it is too vague. If you start cutting bits and pieces out of it, you may end up with advice to spend your vacation at Athens airport (easy to get to, no great Greek food, you can probably rent a scooter and it's close to history, too).

I suggest you do some research on your own, starting perhaps with the big ones like Rhodes or Crete

http://www.greeka.com/

Edited: 18 December 2013, 03:56
Devizes, United...
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2. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

Hi there

Mykonos and Ios are generally regarded as the two party islands although both can also offer a lot more besides. I have to say though that if your wife doesn't like Greek food, I wonder what she's going to eat whilst in Greece? - Burgers?

It also depends how late "late" summer is. If you're talking about October then head for an island that's as far south and/or east as you can, Rhodes, Crete, Kos, etc where the good weather hangs on for longer. Crete has a huge variety of resorts, ranging from secluded and fairly rustic right through to full on party resorts. Kos Town offers a wide diversity of history, beaches, nightlife and the island is fairly scenic with its ridge of mountains along the south centre. Rhodes has the lot and Rhodes Town sounds like it would also fit the bill.

Any Greek island with an airport is a maximum hour's flight from Athens, some are much nearer.

But you really need to do some reading first, and make sure that you go to an island that appeals to you rather than one we suggest. Choose 2-3 islands based on your preferences and then repost for specific info.

Edited: 18 December 2013, 06:48
Athens, Greece
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3. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

hi and welcome..i understand that trying to find the right island for you among the 200 plus greek islands may be overwhelming.. ..if you want to visit more than one choose islands from the same island chain,as moving between them is much easier ..

here to give you a first idea of the major island chains..

Cyclades:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclades

Dodecanese:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodecanese

Ionian:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_Islands

North Aegean:

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Aegean_islands

Sporades:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporades

ps.. take a look at paros..paros is a typical island of cyclades ..seems right for a young couple that wants nice beaches ,a nice nightlife ,and just a nice vibe to relax and enjoy themselfs..

paros

http://tinyurl.com/qjqd5n4

moving from athens to the islands is a piece of cake,you can catch a corresponding flight from athens airport and be there in less than an hour..

here are the two domestic flight companies for the flight from athens to the island and back..

https://www.olympicair.com/en

http://en.aegeanair.com/

and here are the two best sites for ferry schedules if you want to move to the island and back with a ferry..ferrys take longer though,if i had the chance i would always use the plane

http://www.openseas.gr/openseas/index.html

http://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp

you don't mention when exactly you will be in greece..for example early to mid august is the busiest time...between that and late august to early september there can be a big difference regarding the number of tourists that will be there,so if you clarify that we can propose a island knowing how busy it will be at this time of year

Edited: 18 December 2013, 14:01
Toronto
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for Mykonos
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4. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

Mykonos certainly offers what you're looking for -- more than two dozen great beaches, clubbing if and when you want it (provided you go to the island before the middle of September, when the club scene shuts down), and some history (day excursions to nearby Delos island will treat you to some of the most historic ruins in Greece). It's a great island just for relaxing, but does have a vibrant main town for when you want to spend time shopping, dining, going to galleries or museums, or partying in bars.

As far as eating goes, Mykonos would be the place to go for someone who doesn't particularly like Greek food -- it has hundreds of places to eat, and you can get everything from burgers and fries to pasta and pizza (there are tons of Italian restaurants on the island), steak & seafood (including oyster and sushi bars), and ethnic cuisine (Thai, Chinese, French, Mexican and more). There's probably more choices of food on Mykonos than any other island I've been to. It is a foodie paradise, but you don't have to go to high-end gourmet restaurants (of which there are many on Mykonos) to get good food.

I have posted literally thousands of photos of Mykonos on my Flickr page, so check them out to see if the island appeals to you. There's hundreds of pics of almost all of the island's major beaches, as well as photos of Mykonos Town and other parts of the island. There's an album of Delos photos as well. Here's the link: www.flickr.com/photos/mygreecetravelblog/

My Flickr page has photos of other Greek islands that might interest you, too, including Naxos and Ios.

Edited: 18 December 2013, 14:42
Washingon DC area
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5. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

As has been suggested, there are dozens of islands that would meet your needs. Cool cliffs? If you're interested in climbing, then look at Kalymnos, which like every other Greek Island has nice beaches and clear blue water. Also has a lot of interesting history.

And GB had a good suggestion about Kos. I made my first visit to that island last Oct and was surprised to discover how much I liked it. A great town with some of the best antiquities in the islands, and easy to visit the volcanic island of Nissyros.

Or you could just head to Poros, which also has some really beautiful beaches and is within easy reach of the mainland where you could rent a car and visit Epidaurus and Myceneae.

One point - if you want to rent a scooter, make sure you have a motorcycle endorsement on your license.

Athens, Greece
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6. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

indeed mykonos provides many options but it is one of the two most expensive islands (the other one is santorini),..so budget plays an important role here..you haven't mentioned how tight your budget is..i am not saying you can't go to mykonos with a tight buget but you have to be careful and well informed before you arrive to avoid the tourist traps

Edited: 18 December 2013, 14:48
Salt Lake City...
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7. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

Thanks for all your input so far. To answer some of the easier questions up front:

We are planning on being there in late August and maybe flying back on Labor Day (September 1)

I guess what I meant when I was talking about is that I am not a foodie, and my wife, who is, doesn't long for Greek food so I am more concerned about cheap food than delicious gourmet food

For budget, we definitely aren't millionaires, so we will be on a limited funds. I will look to spend around $100 a night on hotels (is that feasible? I don't want to stay in an absolute dump, but I don't need luxury).

I don't have a motorcycle license, but I used to drive a scooter around in college, so maybe I will have to get it.

Again, thanks for all the all the help and the helpful links. I will go through the links (and the flikr pictures) and come back with a little more specific questions. One question that I did think of was what island(s) are easiest to get to from Athens? I understand that the flights are all short, but which islands have the most and cheapest flights? Is it considerably less expensive to take a ferry? How much longer? I am going to go look at those websites and get more of a specific query.

Carson

Warsaw, Poland
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8. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

Most of 2014 air and ferry schedules are already out. You can check the times and prices yourself, island by island

Flights:

https://www.olympicair.com/en

http://en.aegeanair.com/

Ferries:

http://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp

http://www.openseas.gr/openseas/index.html

Athens sea ports are Piraeus, Rafina and Lavrio.

Harbin, China
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for Kanchanaburi
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9. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

Hi,

Another link to read over if you haven't already done so:

http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_islands

The easiest islands to get to from Athens/Piraeus are the Saronic Gulf ones. That is, the likes of Aegina, Agistri, Poros, Spetses and Hydra.

Athens, Greece
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10. Re: best greek islands for relaxing

sign up for olympic air and aegean's newsleters..every now and then there are offers with very cheap flights and they alert you with an email..if you get one of those the flights can be very cheap.eitherway the cost is not that big comparing with the ferrys and the whole process is much more comfortable and quick..like previous posters said the quickest and easist islands to get to via ferry are the saronic golf ones,some near an hour away from athen's main port,pireaus