Any suggestions for a beautiful island off the beaten path but still with nice hotels and activities?
We'll be spending a few days in Athens and on the mainland and a week in Crete. We thought we'd also spend about 4 days on one of the Cyclades islands but I can't decide which one we should go to. We'd rather fully explore one island than do any island hopping. We are not big partyers. We'd like to hike, snorkle, rent mopeds, explore historic sites, eat good food, drink good beer and wine. We'd prefer to stay off the popular tourist trail, but don't want to miss anything. Santorini sounds awesome but I'm afraid of the beaches being over-crowded - is that true? Any suggestions? Naxos? Paros? Andros? Syros? I'd love to hear any suggestions! We are going at the end of June. Thanks!
For me...one and only one choice, Santorine. Try to stay in Oia, it is a quieter village. It's an amazing place.
Congratulations to both of you!
Hi Jaime, there are many choices. Santorini is beautiful, but in my opinion a victim of its success, expensive and not so Greek anymore as it has been restored to cater to rich tourists visiting for short trips. The beaches aren't great, black volcano sand, possibly crowded. Other suggestions: Andros is very laid back, has very little tourism (comparatively) and many interesting places to visit plus nice beaches. Kythira is a little known island between Peloponese and Crete, a hidden gem. There is no charter tourism on the island but there are the normal hotels/rooms/tavernas etc. Beuatiful beaches, waterfalls, gorges, old deserted cities, lot's of churches. A very different island. Naxos is also a good choice, I would avoid Paros which is heavily exploited. Syros has a well preserved 19th century town and people say it is very nice (haven't been myself). With only four days you may want to figure out which island is easiest to get to (Andros and Syros are closest to Athens, if you are going by boat). Have a nice trip and don't miss the Acropolis museum in Athens.
Thank you for this great advice. It's a hard decision...we want to avoid tourists but it's hard to pass up Santorini! I've been looking into Naxos and the beaches look awesome, although the hotels are not as cool. Your advice is a great help!
Hmm, take a look here. Maybe you'll find something interesting... Santorini maybe?
Paros island is a beautiful island to visit!
[Edited: 2014 Jan 28 15:56 - sakratif:282680 ]