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Which island to combine with Athens trip?

North east
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Which island to combine with Athens trip?

We (husband and myself) would like to visit Greece in May/June 2012 and ideally combine 4 days in Athens with a few days visit to one of the islands. Our preference would be for a quiet-ish island with sandy beaches and the possibility of scuba-diving.

I was wondering which island would be most accessible from Athens, ideally by ferry, as I cannot travel on coaches.

Many thanks in advance for any advice you can offer- this will be our first visit to Greece.

Harbin, China
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1. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

Aegina is the closest island to Athens worth visiting. However, I don't know about scuba diving since I tend to keep my feet on the ground and go hiking. Anyway, there are frequent ferry connections. If you go at the end of May/June it should be quiet but Aegina does get quite a few visitors from the mainland at the weekends.

Athens, Greece
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2. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

Poros and Hydra might be considered also. But do not know about scubadiving there.

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

If you don't want to use coaches, then you should limit down your choices to the Saronic and Cycladic islands, all of them are connected to Athens (ports of Peiraias or Rafina) by ferry. I personally prefer the Cyclades much more than the Saronic.

The question is, how many days do you want to spend on the island?

For 2-3 days you can have a look at one that is closer to Athens, Andros would be a good choice although quiet large, Kea (Tzia) as well, both quiet and not so touristic. If you have more than 3 days, the best sandy beaches you can find on Milos, together with beautiful sceneries, an overall wonderful island.

Paros and Naxos are also nice, more developped, with very good ferry connections, nice beaches and plenty to see and do.

Mykonos is beautiful and the most touristic of them all, but end of May still quiet with lovely sandy beaches.

For best views, all time classic, Santorini beats them all on the caldera side. Touristic, but still end of May shouldn't be too busy yet. Here you will not find the white sand beaches like on the other islands, they are dark due to the volcanic soil.

All depends on your personal taste and interests, time and money to spend.

About scuba diving options, many islands have organised diving centers, but I have never used one so can't help with that, maybe someone else has more info.

Good luck and enjoy whatever you choose!

Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

I know there are a few scuba diving places on Andros. And the boat only takes two hours from Rafina port...

stockton on tees
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5. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

A possible option may be Andros which is a 2 hour ferry ride from Rafina,the second port of Athens .Again not sure about scuba diving but it a nice large island with good beaches and normally pretty quiet apart from weekends when there are lots of visitors from Athens

Newmarket, United...
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6. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

Antiparos has what you are looking for.

http://www.blueisland-divers.gr/

Cincinnati, Ohio
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7. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

I concur with sbgath that Milos fills the bill for lovely sandy beaches and scuba diving and not full of day-visit cruisers. (However, I do not know about its ferry accessibility from Athens.)

Princeton,nj
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8. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

If you don't mind a short 40 minute flight I would suggest to go to Mykonos. The town is beautiful and the beaches are lovely. Not sure about scuba but I have seen diving boats on paradise beach.

Harbin, China
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9. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

If you wish to travel further afield you could look at Kithnos, Milos and AntiParos (one of my favourites).

Timaru
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10. Re: Which island to combine with Athens trip?

We spent time in Naxos and Santorini in late September early October and our adult son did scuba diving on both islands. He had a great dive on Naxos down to an old shipwreck, but the dive he did in Santorini was pretty average. Both islands were great to stay on, Santorini is stunningly beautiful.