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GREEK ISLAND suggestions?

GREEK ISLAND suggestions?

Old Aug 29, 19, 1:35 am
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GREEK ISLAND suggestions?

Never too early to start planning for next summer...have been to Mykonos, Crete, Santorini, Naxos. Currently on Koufonisia, heading to Paros and Antiparos next.

We absolutely loved Koufonisia and would like some suggestions on small, beautiful islands that are similar and not too crowded.

now that we’ve seen a decent chunk of the Cyclades, we were thinking perhaps Ionian or Dodecanese next year. Open to all suggestions though. We are primarily interested in great beaches, pretty landscapes, nice food and a chill pace of life. Nice hotels are a bonus but anything comfortable will suffice. Not at all against nightlife, but do not want to be in some Geordie Shore hellscape.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 29, 19, 6:39 am
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You'll be very happy with any of the Ionian islands you choose: they're all great, green and groovy (well, that last one is sort of "very 60s" ). I would avoid July and August, though, as they're all overcrowded. Best time is May-June and late September. The only, minor problem is that they're all a little expensive (~10% higher than the rest of the country) when it comes to food as they have to bring a lot of stuff from the continent.
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Old Aug 29, 19, 7:56 am
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Try Karpathos - it has perhaps the most dramatic of scenery of all Greek islands. There are some excellent beaches on the east and southern shores (some are pebbly beaches though). Olympos has cliffside views which rival those of Santorini (with the additional benefit of having almost no tourists - especially if you overnight you might be very well the only foreigner left in town). I'm not sure however if it fits the 'nice hotels' bit as the places where I stayed in were all the standard Greek pensions (cheap, good enough quality, but nothing fancy) although some of them have jaw dropping views. Best in September in my honest opinion. You would need a rental car to do the island justice. There are some more tourists in summer (June-September), but these tend to be mostly Greeks and a few charter planes from Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia, which in general is a very civilised public.

If going in Spring (let's say May) try perhaps Serifos in the Cyclades. The island will be full of wildflowers with an amazing scent everywhere. There are some lovely (sandy) beaches on the south and east coast. The island capital (Hora) is one of the loveliest in Greece and has a stunning mountaintop setting. That said, locals told me that even in Summer it really is not crowded at all as all foreign tourists (stupidly!) remain on the ferry towards the next stop of Santorini... (not that I complain - I hope they continue to do so and leave all other Greek gems in peace)
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Old Aug 29, 19, 3:50 pm
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Any difference in the recommendations for fall? Just for a long weekend while I am in Athens in October?

1st time to Greece - will have 3 days/2 nights with my SO...best suggestions for a short, couples retreat weekend?
We are 50/40...so not looking for the party nightlife. Nice scenery, relaxing time & good food would be our choices.

Thanks...
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Old Aug 29, 19, 6:24 pm
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@rwm818: Well, there are a lot of islands to choose from, but in your case, given the limited amount of time available, I'd choose one that could be reached by plane (e.g. Biggies such as Crete, Rhodes, Cephalonia and Corfu, or smaller ones like Karpathos, Milos, Paros, Naxos, Ikaria, etc.) or ones that are really close (e.g. Poros, Hydra) to Athens. No purpose loosing much time, i.e. 8-10 hours each way on the ferry. You can still find open restaurants and hotels in October on most, if not all islands, but you run a risk of spending a rainy weekened on your destination.

@Romanianflyer: I leave for Karpathos for a week tomorrow (by ferry, taking my own car) and again in 3 weeks (with my own boat), west shore combined with Kassos: the advantages or retirement!
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Old Aug 29, 19, 10:53 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
@Romanianflyer: I leave for Karpathos for a week tomorrow (by ferry, taking my own car) and again in 3 weeks (with my own boat), west shore combined with Kassos: the advantages or retirement!
You probably have been already there countless of times and know everything - but if you can, overnight in Olympos or at least stay until darkness falls, when all tourists are out of town and just a handful of talkative locals remain in the one or two taverns of the town telling strong tales of the past while the wind is blowing through the streets. I'm not Greek like you so it might be obviously different for me, but this town is just how I imagine traditional Greece from decades ago, even though modernity has even made the old grannies in town in traditional clothes speak English!

Talking about winds, I have never seen such strong winds as on Karpathos last autumn.. It didn't really interfere with my stay, on the contrary, plenty of sheltered bays to swim, and the strong wind gusts made the island feel even more remote and rough! But I hope for you and your kaiki that the winds will be kind as I cannot imagine with such winds going out on sea in a small vessel
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Old Aug 30, 19, 7:13 am
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Originally Posted by Romanianflyer View Post
...{snip}...I cannot imagine with such winds going out on sea in a small vessel
Which is why we take the ferry tomorrow (gusts of about 70 km/hr yesterday), come back and then prey to Aeolos for kind and friendly winds after the 14th, when one of my sons joins us. If not, we'll stay in the Far East () of Crete and try to get some small tuna and/or dolphinfish.
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Old Sep 1, 19, 11:47 am
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My way too early pre-deep dive research take on next summer was to do the following:

Zakynthos
Fly from Zakynthos through Athens to Rhodes
Rhodes
Kos
Kalymnos
Karpathos

Thoughts on this? Are Rhodes and Kos irredeemable? Was heartened to see Karpathos suggested, similar feeling on Kalymnos? Thanks!
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Old Sep 10, 19, 5:09 am
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Just came back from my week+ in Karpathos! Windy, windy, windy, I would have never made it using my boat. In spite of that, 80% of the island is still absolutely gorgeous (the southern-most 20% is ugly and for everybody, with the exception of wind-surfing fans, not interesting) with many small and beautiful beaches. >90% of the tourists were Italian, the majority of the remaining ones were Scandinavians. I'd consider a rental car a must and by all means, avoid mopeds or bikes (winds and too steep roads). By the way, people are very nice and friendly and they all seem to speak English. I may go back next week, wind-permitting.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 6:25 am
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
Just came back from my week+ in Karpathos! Windy, windy, windy, I would have never made it using my boat. In spite of that, 80% of the island is still absolutely gorgeous (the southern-most 20% is ugly and for everybody, with the exception of wind-surfing fans, not interesting) with many small and beautiful beaches. >90% of the tourists were Italian, the majority of the remaining ones were Scandinavians. I'd consider a rental car a must and by all means, avoid mopeds or bikes (winds and too steep roads). By the way, people are very nice and friendly and they all seem to speak English. I may go back next week, wind-permitting.
Is it too windy to enjoy the beach? With a car is parking a problem?
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Old Sep 12, 19, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Is it too windy to enjoy the beach? With a car is parking a problem?
1) Not at all. Most beaches are small bays/coves that are, in their majority, scenic or simply cute and wind-protected. Usually sand or small pebbles and very, very clean waters. There are a couple on the southeast edge of the island (very close to the airport) that are extremely windy, and these are full with wind-surfers going at amazing speeds: certainly not suggested for swimming.

2) Again, not at all. You may have to walk 50-100 m maximum to the beaches or the centre of most mountain villages with only one "exception": the amazing village of Olympos, where we had to walk about 200-300 m: peanuts! Even in the city of Pigadia you can find a spot close to the restaurants or the shopping street.

Mind you, all of the above is valid for early September. No experience how it is in July and August.
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Old Sep 12, 19, 4:57 pm
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Originally Posted by KLouis View Post
1) Not at all. Most beaches are small bays/coves that are, in their majority, scenic or simply cute and wind-protected. Usually sand or small pebbles and very, very clean waters. There are a couple on the southeast edge of the island (very close to the airport) that are extremely windy, and these are full with wind-surfers going at amazing speeds: certainly not suggested for swimming.

2) Again, not at all. You may have to walk 50-100 m maximum to the beaches or the centre of most mountain villages with only one "exception": the amazing village of Olympos, where we had to walk about 200-300 m: peanuts! Even in the city of Pigadia you can find a spot close to the restaurants or the shopping street.

Mind you, all of the above is valid for early September. No experience how it is in July and August.
Sounds great! Thanks!
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Old Sep 16, 19, 6:06 pm
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I was also considering: Zakynthos, Kalymnos, Kos and Rhodes. Does anyone have any input on these? Looks like Karpathos is for sure in. I planned to go to Zakynthos, fly through Athens to Kalymnos and then continue by ferry.
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Old Sep 17, 19, 8:20 am
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Zakynthos: Great island, I simply love it (it was even better before a major earthquake and an ensuing fire destroyed 90% of the houses in the 50s, I've only seen pictures ). Rather touristy.
Kalymnos: no idea, but my son says it's very nice and not very touristy.
Kos: again, based on my son's experience (6 months of his military service there), nice but very, very touristy.
Rhodes: Big island, nice places but very, very, very, very touristy, including places you should avoid (e.g. Faliraki, full of Brittish youths that are drunk whenever they're awake).
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Old Sep 18, 19, 6:36 am
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For a first-time Greek islands visitor would people recommend Santorini or Crete (Chania) for a couple of days? I am interested in good views (so the caldera is very tempting) and chilling with a good book. Don't really care for beaches as would be visiting outside peak summer season. Any other suggestions also welcome but ideally one that has a flight from Athens. Thanks!
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