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Crete vs. Paros for Family

New York City, New...
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Crete vs. Paros for Family

We're planning an extended family trip to the Greek Isles next summer, grandparents, children, and grandchildren (mostly 16-20ish). We're going to spend 8 nights in the islands, the last 4 on Santorini and are trying to decide between Crete and Paros for the first 4 days. We need an island that we can get to by air or ferry the same day we arrive in Athens, and that island must also have a good, relatively shortish ferry to Santorini. Crete works out well. Paros a little less so, If we go to Crete, we would stay at the Ammos near Chania, and Petres near Naousa on Paros. We're looking for a relaxed time, good food, good beaches, a little sightseeing, and charming towns to shop in. Good walks a plus, antiquities not so important.Should we throw a dart? Or is there a good reason to do one vs. the other? Or any other suggestions/ We'll probably rent a couple of cars.

Warsaw, Poland
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1. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

'Shortish ferry to Santorini' will not be that shortish if you intend to stay in Chania. You will have to add about three hours and a very early morning start to get to Heraklion to catch one of the high-speed catamarans to Santorini departing around 8-9am.

Athens, Greece
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2. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

as you have programmed to travel directly to the island at your arrival day from Athens, a good option is Chania as there are ferries late in the day,

there is also a ferry to Paros in the afternoon hours, the difference is that Paros is much sorter distance by ferry compare to Chania and you have to think this option as you will be tired from the flight coming from NYC.

If you will use an airplane you will need almost the same time for both destinations, Chania used to have more flights during the day instead of Paros.

After your first days going to Santorini it is much more easy from Paros as there are minimum 3 ferries per day, from Chania you will need to travel till Heraklio (approximately 3 hours driving) to take a ferry.

For what you want to find at the islands (good food - good beaches ...) in both destinations it will be easy

Newmarket, United...
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for Antiparos
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3. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

If you take the late ferry to Chania you will depart the same day but not arrive until the following morning. Assuming you are too late for the 7:30 am ferries to Paros, there is another at 5:30 pm that will get you to Paros around 9:45 pm. Naoussa is about 15-20 minutes from the port.

Washingon DC area
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4. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

Have you considered Naxos? You could fly from Athens and then Santorini is only a little over an hour by fast ferry. Even the slow ferry is only about 2 and a half hours.

Great beaches, good food (which you'll find on any island), and excellent entertainment options. In addition, there are a number of interesting traditional villages worth visiting.

Just my opinion, but I'd give it more time than Santorini. The beaches on Naxos are much nicer.

New York City, New...
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5. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

If we go to Chania, we would definitely fly. To Paros, or possibly Naxos, we would probably do the afternoon ferry as we could get to them at a reasonable hour. Naxos does sound like a possible good alternative to Paros. So let me rephrase my question. Not counting travel and ferry issues, why go to Naxos vs. Paros? We would be going in late july, so I suspect that there will be too many people everywhere. But which has the better towns for strolling, shopping, and casual restaurants? Which has the best beaches, and natural scenery. And does either have any great walks. (we loved walking from Oia to Imerovigli; we don't expect anything that spectacular, but it would be great to find some 3-5 miles treks.

Washingon DC area
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6. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

You won't go wrong with either of them. I loved both of them, but I find myself returning to Naxos rather than Paros.

I thought the beaches in Naxos were better - even Agios Georgios, the town beach is very nice. The beaches I thought were most attractive in Paros tended to be farther from either of the two main towns.

I'm not much of a shopper, but my wife and her sister spent hours in the jewelry stores in Naxos. The Old Market is a charming place to just wander around.

And for me one of the main appeals of Naxos is the Kastro, where they have nightly concerts in one of the most atmospheric settings I've experienced, the courtyard of an old (13th or 14th C) Venetian Castle Traditional Greek music and dancing, classical, jazz, blues - it's truly magical.

Finally, Naxos is about an hour closer to Santorini than Paros.

New York City, New...
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7. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

I think you sold me. Concerts sound great too. Any recommended hotels? I was looking at kavos Naxos and Villa Marandi, both out of town a bit.

Washingon DC area
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8. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

I wish I could help you on hotels, but I tend to stay in small places with basic rooms.

I think you might be able to find a place close to that level of comfort in the Agios Georgios area. It would be much more convenient to town. I thought the Hotel Glaros was nice, but not at the level of the two that you're considering.

If you ask for suggestions in the Naxos forum, you'll probably get some good recommendations.

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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9. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

Both these hotels are located in Stelida - out of town, and in the hills before reaching the beaches of Agios Prokopios.

http://tinyurl.com/bxsaa7

You may have to rely on car rental to get around.

If you like to stay in proximity of town there are several hotels in the St. George area which are highly rated:

http://www.naxosresort.gr/

http://www.nissaki-beach.com/

Activites on St. George may be tempting for your grandchildren. Look up the coloured spots in this link and drag down the menues:

http://www.flisvos-sportclub.com/index.php

New York City, New...
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10. Re: Crete vs. Paros for Family

We'll be in thick of things in the following days in Oia so we prefer being out of town in a more relaxed "beachie" atmosphere. We'll rent cars as we'll want to explore around. Would it be crazy to spend two days on Paros and two on Naxos rather than four on one of them?