Greece Beaches – Where To Go

Updated: November 27, 2017

  • Greece has the best beaches in Europe.
  • When To Visit Greece: Greek beaches are at their best from late May to early October when there’s great weather and the sea water is warm for swimming.
  • The Greek islands with the best beaches are Crete, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Milos, Mykonos, and Rhodes. But almost every island has at least a few great beaches.
  • The best beach in Greece is Elafonissi Beach on Crete. The best beach for families is St. Georges Beach on Naxos. The best beach for partying is Paradise Beach on Mykonos. The best beach for quiet and solitude is Plaka Beach on Naxos.
  • The best beach hotels for an idyllic beach holiday are Ios Palace Hotel & Spa in Ios, Iria Beach Hotel in Naxos, and Branco Mykonos in Mykonos (brand new and right on the beach).

The Best Beach in Greece

Best beach in Greece and Greek Islands.
My personal favorite is Elafonissi Beach in Crete. A magical lagoon-like setting with great sand and a wonderful swimming area. Mykonos has the deserved reputation as the a beach paradise with a vibrant nightlife. While Naxos is great for beach lovers looking for a quieter, more relaxed island. Santorini is the most magical island in Greece but not really because of its beaches. Go to Santorini for its views, tours, hikes, and food and wine.

The Best Beaches in Greece

BeachIslandBest For
Platys GialosMykonosFun & Activity
MylopotasIosGreat sand
St. Paul’sRhodesBeauty
PerissaSantoriniClear water

See Also

The 19 Best Beaches in Greece

1. Elafonissi, Crete

Elafonisi on Crete.
The best beach in Greece: Elafonissi beach on the south coast of Crete. There isn’t much else nearby besides a few small hotels so most people do a day trip from Chania. Recommended Beach Hotels: Elafonisi Resort by Kalomirakis Family • The wonderful town of Paleochora is a one hour boat ride away. Recommended Paleochora Hotels: Caravella Luxury Apartments (moderate) • Aris Hotel (budget)

2. Mylopotas Beach, Ios

Mylopotas Beach on Ios in the Cyclades.
Wonderful sand and a quick drop-off for people who like to swim. Stay at either Mylopotas Beach or in the fun main town (Chora) up on the hill. Recommended Hotels: Ios Palace Hotel & Spa (luxury) • Nissos Ios (budget) • Rita’s Place Hotel (budget)

3. Plaka Beach, Naxos

Plaka Beach on Naxos.
Naxos has many great beaches and if you’re looking for an island with a large variety of beaches it should be at the top of your list. Naxos Town is wonderfully charming and St George beach (a short walk away) is a great town beach. But down the southwest coast there are many others that are even better: Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios, Mikri Vigla, Pyrgaki – and perhaps the best of the lot, Plaka beach. I recommend staying in Naxos Town and taking the frequent buses to the beaches down the coast. Recommended Beach Hotels in Plaka: Iria Beach Hotel • Recommended Beach Hotels in Naxos Town: Nissaki Beach Hotel (luxury) • Naxos Resort Beach Hotel (moderate) • Xenia Hotel (budget)

4. Platys Gialos, Mykonos

The best beach on Mykonos: Platys Gialos near Mykonos Town.
The best beach on Mykonos and backed by hotels and restaurants. A fun mellow vibe through the day becomes a romantic/trendy vibe at night. Recommended Beach Hotels in Platys Gialos: Branco Mykonos (luxury, right on the beach) • Petasos Beach Resort & Spa (luxury) • Myconian Ambassador (luxury) • Petinos Beach Hotel (moderate)

5. Ornos Beach, Mykonos

Ornos Beach on Mykonos.
The most family friendly beach on Mykonos. Great sand and calm relaxing water with a shallow slope. It’s 10 minutes by bus from Mykonos Town. Recommended Beach Hotels in Ornos: Kivotos Luxury Boutique Hotel (luxury – great for honeymoons) • Santa Marina Resort & Villas (luxury – great for families) • Belvedere Hotel (luxury, my favorite hotel in Mykonos Town)

6. Mytros Beach, Kefalonia

Myrtos beach on Kefalonia. Myrtos beach on Kefalonia. Recommended Beach Hotels: Odyssey Villas (moderate – great place but you do need a rental car)

7. Paleokastritsa, Corfu

Paleokastritsa on Corfu.
Paleokastritsa is a series of bays on beautiful Corfu. Recommended Hotels: Zefiros Traditional Hotel (moderate)

8. Stafylo Beach, Skopelos

Stafylo Beach on Skopelos. Stafylo is one of the many great beaches on Skopelos. Recommended Beach Hotels: Skopelos Village (moderate) • Denise Hotel (budget)

9. Koukounaries Beach, Skiathos

Koukounaries Beach on Skiathos island.
Koukounaries Beach on Skiathos. Absolutely beautiful. Recommended Hotels: Skiathos Palace Hotel (moderate) • Golden Beach (budget) • Meltemi Hotel (budget – in Skiathos Town)

10. St Paul’s Bay, Rhodes

St Paul's Bay near Lindos on Rhodes.
A great little swimming spot near the castle at Lindos. The east coast of Rhodes is loaded with great beaches (including Faliraki and Lindos), but anything west of Rhodes Town will be very windy. I love staying in beautiful Rhodes Town and busing to the beaches through the day. Recommended Hotels: Atrium Palace Thalasso Spa Resort And Villas (luxury – near Lindos) • Spirit Of The Knights Boutique Hotel (luxury – Rhodes Old Town) •

11. Faraga Beach, Paros

The best beach on Paros: Faraga Beach.
Paros has many great beaches – some of them like Golden Beach, Pounda, and Piso Livadi are a bit too popular. Faraga is located in the south (protected from the meltemi winds) and away from the main towns. I recommend staying in Parikia and making a day trip to the beaches on the east and south coast. Recommended Hotels in Parikia: Argonauta Hotel (moderate) • Captain Manolis (budget)

12. Sarakiniko, Milos

Sarakiniko on Milos, Greece.
Is this a beach? Who knows, who cares. Mylos has many great little coves for swimming and sunning. Sarakiniko is one of the best spots to swim and relax. Recommended Milos Hotels: Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel (moderate) • Eiriana Luxury Suites (moderate)

13. Kamares Beach, Sifnos

Kamares Beach on Sifnos in the Cyclades.
Sifnos – a quiet island in the western Cyclades – is loaded with great beaches and Kamares is one of the best. The water is shallow and perfect for kids and there are many tavernas and hotels nearby. Recommended Hotels: Delfini (moderate) • Morpheas Pension Rooms & Apartments (budget)

14. Matala Beach, Crete

Matala Beach on Crete.
A great little town. The cliff at the end of the beach is filled with caves that you can explore. Recommended Hotels: Matala View (budget)

15. Shipwreck Beach, Zakynthos

Shipwreck Beach on Zakynthos.
Accessible by boat on a day trip. Take one of the smaller operators out to the beach and you’ll be able to explore some caves. The beach is always busy but the magical setting makes it all worthwhile. Recommended Hotels in Laganas: Castelli Hotel (moderate)

16. Vai Beach, Crete

Vai Beach on the Greek Island of Crete
The best beach in eastern Crete and backed by a unique palm forest (the only one in Europe). Vai is a good day trip from Sitia. Recommended Hotels: Petras Beach (budget)

17. Perissa Beach, Santorini

Perissa Beach on Santorini.
The nicest beach and sand on Santorini. Nearby Kamari beach is almost as good but has more restaurants and nightlife. A boat connects the two beaches (the trip takes 10 minutes and is quite fun). Recommend Hotels in Perissa: Meltemi Village Hotel (moderate) • Recommended Hotels in Kamari: Santorini Kastelli Resort (luxury) • Tamarix Del Mar Suites (luxury) • Sigalas Beach Hotel (moderate, right on the beach)

18. Red Beach, Santorini

Red Beach on Santorini.
Santorini has some of the most unique beaches in Greece. They aren’t of the soft white sand variety. Most are composed of volcanic sand and are red, black, or grey. Nearby Akrotiri has hotels for all budgets but it’s better to stay in Fira and make a day trip by bus. Recommended Hotels in Akrotiri: Astarte Suites (luxury) • Apanemo (moderate)

19. Vouliagmeni Beach, near Athens

Vouliagmeni Beach near Athens.
The best beach near Athens and about an hour’s trip by bus from the city center. Recommended Hotels on the Coast: The Westin Athens, Astir Palace Beach Resort • Recommended Hotels in Athens: Electra Palace Hotel Athens

What are the best beaches for kids in Greece?

Agios Georgios Beach on Naxos is wonderful for kids. It’s a short walk from the island’s wonderful main town and port.  A shallow shelf extends well out into the sea and the calm protected waters are perfect for children. Many places to eat and stay are in the immediate area. There are several other (quieter) beaches on Naxos that are also great for kids. As you move south away from the main town the beaches grow quieter and less developed – though almost all of them have at least 1 or 2 tavernas. The nearby islands of Paros and Antiparos have many kid-friendly beaches.

Read: The Best Islands in Greece for Families

What is the best beach for partying?

Paradise Beach on Mykonos is not for everyone. The category was Party Beach and this defines Paradise. Water sports, young people, sand, sun, and drinks wherever you look. Punda Beach on Paros has an equally established reputation for partying.

What is the best beach for quiet and solitude (on a popular island)?

Plaka Beach in Naxos and Ambelas Beach in Paros are fantastic. There are quieter beaches on less popular islands, but considering Naxos and Paros are very popular islands both beaches are downright tranquil. There are enough restaurants and hotels in the area of the two beaches so you don’t feel totally isolated. Visit outside of July and August and you could have either beach to yourself.

What is the best beach close to Athens?

Vouligmeni Beach is great for swimming and less than an hour from Athens. It can get very busy on the weekend but if you’re stuck in the heat of Athens you won’t complain once you’re here.

When is the best time to visit Greece?

Late May to Early October is the best time to visit Greece. July and August are the hottest and busiest months. June and September are nearly perfect with one small difference between them being that the sea is warmer in the fall while the countryside is greener in spring. Early May and Late October can still see warm weather and sunny days but you should be prepared for the possibility of rain and cloud – and pack a sweater for coolish nights. On the southern coast of Crete it’s not unheard of to be swimming into the first weeks of November.

What are the Best Greek Islands?

  • The Best Beaches: Mykonos, Crete, Naxos, Milos, Paros
  • The Best for Natural Beauty: Santorini and Crete
  • The Most Romantic: Santorini
  • The Best for College-Aged Partying: Ios
  • The Best for 20 to 30-Something Partying: Mykonos
  • The Best for Families: Naxos
  • The Best for Outdoor Activities and Historical Sites: Crete and Santorini
  • The Best for Quiet, Untouristy Beaches: Antiparos

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Greek Islands?

The Greek Islands have great beach weather from late May until early October – the weather is hot, the skies are blue, and there’s very little rain. July and August are the hottest but also sees the largest crowds and the highest prices. By favorite time to visit is September and early October when the weather is still consistently hot and the sea is at its warmest. Swimming and sunbathing are possible in early May and late October but you are taking a bit of a risk if you visit at these times with the intention of hitting the beach – but they’re great times if you’re here to hike, sight-see, and wine and dine.

I Only Have 1 Week in Greece, Where Should I Go?

I would spend 4 days in Santorini and 3 days in one of the less touristy islands. Probably Naxos, Milos, or Folegandros. (Or if you wanted a few nights to party and dance then Mykonos or Paros.)

I Have 2 Weeks in Greece, Where Should I Go?

I would still spend 4 (or 5) days on Santorini. Then 3 days each on 3 of the following islands: Naxos (beaches, hikes, traditional villages), Paros (beaches, partying), Antiparos (beaches, tranquility), Mykonos (beaches, partying, beautiful port town), Folegandros (hikes, beaches, non-touristy island), and Milos (beaches, full-day boat tours, unique scenery).

Booking Hotels on the Greek Islands

As you can tell from the comments below, I get more questions on hotels than any other topic. From late June to early September islands are packed and hotels often full. Book early.

  • Book your hotel before your ferry – The large conventional ferries rarely sell out even in the peak summer season. Hotels, on the other hand, fill up weeks and months before the date. Buying ferry tickets just a few days in advance from your current location in Greece is usually always enough time to secure a basic economy ticket. Some people buy ferry tickets first and then can’t find a hotel they like and have to compromise. Hotel first, then worry about the ferry.
  • is the best website for finding hotels in Greece. It has the best selection and I love it because you can book and cancel rooms without any charges. This allows you to reserve multiple hotels, finalize your plans, then cancel the rooms you don’t need.
  • As ferries arrive at an island port there will usually be owners of small hotels and private rooms there to greet passengers. If you don’t have a hotel booked this can be an easy way to get a cheap room. The downside is that the rentals are usually located far out of the way (that’s why they come to meet the ferries). But it sure beats sleeping on the beach.
  • When to book hotels in Greece? The popular islands get fully booked in the summer months. Try to book hotels at least 3 to 8 weeks in advance. In the last decade Greece has gone from a popular summer vacation destination to a very very popular summer vacation destination. Every year it gets harder to find hotels by just showing up and hoping for the best.
  • The larger your group the farther in advance you should book. A single backpacker might able to find a hotel in Corfu with little notice. A family of 5 will have a very hard time if they haven’t booked well in advance.
  • is great for finding villas and house rentals on the Greek islands.
  • For many islands you don’t need to book in advance for travel outside of July and August. When you arrive on the ferry there will likely be a handful of hotel owners waiting for you. This works well for single or couple backpackers. Not so well for families, groups, or luxury travelers looking for the best hotels.
  • Santorini – Book hotels well in advance for June to September
  • Athens – Book hotels well in advance for April to October
  • Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, Crete – Book hotels well in advance for late June until early September
  • Naxos, Paros, Milos, Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Kefalonia – Book hotels well in advance for July and August

I hope that helps. Good luck.

See Also

photo credits

201 Questions and Comments

  1. Santorini and Corfu?

    First of all, congrats on an amazing travel guidance site. Well done. Now down to business, my wife and I are planning a trip to Greece in September. We will spend one week in Santorini and we are thinking of one more week somewhere on the Ionian side using Athens as our hub. We love beaches and nature but we also need to have stuff to do for a week. Is Corfu the right island? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Corfu is an excellent island, but the right island is ultimately reflective of who you are and what you like to do. Gut feeling says that it is the ying to Santorini’s yang and that it will suit you nicely. Corfu is a sizeable, well vegetated (read green) island with a well-established tourism infrastructure. It has a quite different atmosphere to the Aegean island scene given that all the Ionian Islands were under Italian (Venetian) control for quite a long time. This is particularly apparent in the Old Town of Corfu, where the pastel coloured sandstone buildings remind more of Rome than the blue and white cubist mid-Aegean island villages.

      You’ll need to pick your base with a degree of care. The North is considered the ‘tourist’ side of the island – start from Benitses on the east side and Agios Gordios on the west side upwards. The prettier yet colder water beaches are along the west side (with Paleokastritsa being a popular base) and the more touristy ‘resorts’ with warmer waters run from Corfu Town northwards up to Kassiopi. The very north coast has a few centres that are more rural in feel and the strip of coastline centred on Kalami is Durrell family (and animals) territory. Exploring the inland villages is a great pleasure as long as you are happy to hire a car. So yes, Corfu might just be for you.

      A quick word about the other Ionian islands: Paxi (running south) is a miniature Corfu without the trappings. Rather exclusive and perceptibly quieter, it is still a very attractive destination. Lefkada – an island with a causeway across to it is often under looked, but is a quite alluring place with centres based on Nydri and Vasiliki that are popular with both Greek and foreign tourists. Aristotle Onassis’ island of Skorpios is just off the coast here.

      Kefallonia of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin fame still pulls in the punters and has a nice beach strip running along the south-western coastline centred on Lourdata. Fiskardo in the North is the popular classic-looking Ionian fishing village. Ithaki (Ithaca) doesn’t feature highly on travel itineraries because it is rather hard to get there, but if you are fascinated about the stories of Ulysses then you may opt for this left-of-centre, but admirable choice.

      Zakynthos has the famous ‘shipwreck’ beach of worldwide postcard fame, but it also has some rather drab, dreary and un-Greek package tourist ghettoes. Give it a miss. Finally, the distant sibling of the Ionians is Kythira a mystical, sometimes misty island that can really get under your skin. Good beaches (but you will have to drive to them) and excellent sense of place. Accessible by plan from Athens and by boat from Crete and the Peloponnese.

  2. Things To Do in Agios Nikolaos

    Hi Dave,

    Great site and information! Just a little question. Our family of four (two children 6 & 8) are going to Greece late July/August. We want to go to Crete for 5 nights (leaning towards Agios Nikolas) and then we have already booked Naxos for four nights and last Athens to see family for four nights and staying in an Air B&B near Kallithea or Moschato. What would be the top two places we must see in Crete when staying in Agios Nikolas?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Top things to do would be a day trip to Spinalonga Island (from Elounda) and visit Knossos (near Heraklion).

  3. Itinerary for Greece Honeymoon

    Hi Dave,

    Quick questions for you.

    I am planning on spending 5/6 nights on the greek islands for my honeymoon this summer. Last summer I had been to Santorini & Mykonos over 9 nights and loved it so much that we are considering doing the same Santorini / Mykonos (3 nights / 3 nights).

    We are also looking into alternatives: Corfu for 5 nights. Or else Santorini & Crete (3 nights / 3 nights). We are looking for good food, beaches, and decent night life. What would you recommend?

    Ryan M.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Since you did Mykonos, then yeah, I would do Santorini and Crete. Corfu is wonderful but not as magical as the Cyclades and Crete.

  4. Best Greek Island with Teenagers

    We will be going to Greece for about 10 days next July. Two families, with a total of 3 kids (teenagers). We were thinking about spending 4 days in Athens, then the rest of the time in the islands. We thought given the short time that we should stick to just one island. We are looking for a relaxing beach vacation with great food, and were hoping to avoid the more touristy islands (although, yes, I know it will be july). We were mostly considering Milos and Naxos, but then I was drawn by the beautiful pictures of Crete. argh. Suggestions?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Yeah, go with Naxos. Awesome island for families. Great food, great beaches, interesting inland day trips, small and easy to get around. 4 Days is a long time in Athens (for most people).

  5. What Island After Mykonos with Good Beaches

    Hi Dave, love your advice! I have learned so much from reading your advice to get ready for our September trip of 9 days. We would spend two days and a half in Athens then we hoped to go to Mykonos for 3 days then another island for 2 days then return to Athens. We are thinking of flying from Athens to Mykonos. But from Mykonos we would like to take a ferry to another island. What island do you recommend that we can take a (not so long) ferry ride that has a beautiful beach, easy bus transportation, nice views and that we can get back to Athens from? Thanks!!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both Naxos and Paros would be great: direct ferries from Mykonos and to Athens, and great beaches (Naxos a little better than Paros).

  6. Crete or Corfu in Late June

    Hi Dave, thank you for your beautifully informative website! I am thinking to go to Crete, last 10 days of June, as it is so big I am not sure which side is best to stay? I like lovely unspoilt no tourist beaches, with absolutely warm water but I get bored quickly so I like some hiking (not too difficult as I have mobility problems). Is Crete too big to travel by scooter? Otherwise with my needs do you think Corfu is more manageable and interesting (I fear the water in Corfu is not going to be warm enough)?
    Cinzia Taffagli

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      A decent-engined Lambretta, or Peugeot scooter would be just fine, but you will need some grunt in form of an engine in excess of 125cc. You can hire scooters locally in most places in Crete. However, their viability as longer distance tourers is questionable as you won’t be able to carry much in the way of luggage – unless it is a customised touring scooter. The smaller wheels of a scooter are generally considered less stable or safe than the larger wheels of a motor bike. Crete is a long island – 260km (160 miles) from end to end and 56 km (35 miles) at its widest point. If you are a scooter rider then you will be able to assess what that means in terms of practicalities and doability.

      If you are still insistent on using a scooter, you would want to limit yourself to the north coast – where it is flatter and there are more, wider straighter roads – but bear in mind you will share them with a lot of fast-moving four and six-wheeled traffic. You best base would probably be Rethymnon – a smaller city and easier to get around by scooter and plenty of beaches to choose from. Riding a scooter to Chania the bits in between – the Akrotiri Peninsula and the peninsula land between Georgoupoli and Kalyves – would be an easy day run. The distance to the south coast to say Plakias from Rethymnon is not too far (35 kms).

      Corfu while possibly more interesting (it is greener and prettier overall) presents other challenges for scooters: many narrow winding roads and few main, straight highways. Once again you can hire scooters locally, but for touring (with luggage) you will need some kind of bag carrying platform. The waters of Corfu are certainly cooler than those of Crete by late June, though the inner east side tends to avoid the chill of the more open Ionian west side. The terrain of Corfu lends for slower driving overall and for a scooter – despite the bends and frequent hills – the island is probably more conducive to a scooter tour than Crete. There are beaches aplenty and many, pretty, populated villages dotted around the island with traveller facilities.

      Of the two choices: Corfu probably wins as it is smaller, more compact, prettier, slower and is nearer to Italy where scooter is king and the people of Corfu are more used to this popular form of two-wheeled transport.

  7. August Weather in Mykonos and the Greek Islands

    Hi Dave,

    I have booked a family holiday to Mykonos this August. I had assumed that the temperature on all the islands would be similar, However I have read that in August Mykonos average temp is 25C and it can be very windy.

    I would appreciate your comments.

    Thank you,
    Kam Sangha

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      All the Greek Islands can be windy in August (when the Meltemi blows). It’s also the hottest month on the islands so the wind can often be a relief, though sometimes it’s strong enough to be a real nuisance. The wind usually blows from the north so beaches along the south of the islands (like the most popular beaches on Mykonos) will be more protected and more calm.

  8. Best Beach for Snorkeling in Greece

    Hi Dave
    Please forgive me if you answered this somewhere in this awesome blog, I wasn’t able to find much on snorkeling here or on any other sites for that matter. While I understand the Greek Islands are not a “snorkeling destination”, have you heard or experienced any particular Beach that you think is the best for snorkeling from the beach shore? You mentioned the bay in Rhodes, but it also sounds like Ios, and and naxos also might have good options?

    What do you think?

    Thank you! Kimberly

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Kolymbithres Beach on Paros is pretty good.

  9. Athens, Crete, and Santorini in March

    Hi Dave,
    W are planning to go for a winter honeymoon in Greece from 8th March to 20th March.We are planning to stay 4 overnights in Athens, 3 overnights in Santorini, 2 overnights in Heraklion and 2 overnights in Chania. We have the following queries:
    1. We are not planning to hire a car on the islands i.e. Santorini and Crete (since we both cannot drive) and are relying on public transport. Can we cover the major tourist locations using buses?
    2. If we want to hire a car with driver or rent a cab what will be the approximate cost per day?
    3. Are the beaches accessible in winter?

    Thank you so much!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      1. Yes, all major tourist destinations are accessible by bus.
      2. To hire a car and driver (most likely just getting a taxi for the day) would run €100 to €150.
      3. Are the beaches accessible in March? If you mean can you walk along them, then yes. If you mean can you swim, no it’s too cold (unless you’re very bold).

  10. Is Island Hopping Hard in the Greek Islands?

    Hi Dave

    Is it hard to island hop? Meaning, if I wanted to go to Santorini, Crete, Naxos, Milos, and Paros, would I be able to get around via ferry?

    Sandy Falcon

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Yes, it’s easy and fun – as long as you come in the summer months (roughly May to October).

  11. Best Islands for Snorkeling in Greece


    My husband and I will fly into and out of Athens June 10 – June 19 for the purpose of enjoying a snorkeling trip.
    We are looking for a colorful, underwater area that is near a hotel, preferably AT a hotel so that we can simply step into the water and begin snorkeling. We are looking for something nice in a medium price range, if possible.

    Any suggestions?

    Thank you,
    Lacye Schmidt

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Greek Islands are not known for snorkeling. The beaches here are too sandy for good snorkeling.

  12. Good Beach Restaurant on Mykonos

    Hi Santorini Dave,

    Your website has been an absolute saviour. I’m planning a wedding in Mykonos and this has really helped put a lot of things in perspective. So firstly a thousand thanks!

    I was hoping to see if you could recommendation a beautiful beach taverna or casual restaurant in Mykonos for the day after the wedding for everyone to have some food and spend time at the beach. Everything I have been looking at seems very expensive and not authentic. We don’t mind a slightly less organised beach as long as it’s got some great food and beautiful beach (which should be a given in Mykonos!)

    Would you have any suggestions at all?

    Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Nicolas Taverna in Paraga would be perfect. Quiet, semi-secluded, small beach, and great food.

  13. 3 Weeks in Greece – Where To Go

    Hi Dave,
    It’s great to read this site. My boyfriend and I have planned a three week trip to Greece in July. We arrive and leave in Athens. We haven’t planned anything yet, we’re quite impulsive (but I read that some planning is necessary). We will stay some days in Athens and then we want to go to some islands. We like nature, beaches, but mostly non touristic local places. We also like to rent a scooter to see the area. With this knowledge in mind, if you had the choice for three weeks Greece, how would you spend it? What do you recommend? I first thought that the Ionic islands are the best option (greener, snorkeling, not that busy) but I saw your comment that snorkeling isn’t that great in Greace and that the Cyclades also have much to offer.

    Christine Jans

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      If you plan to arrive in Athens in July, then some planning is definitely in order. Greece’s high season begins around mid July and runs to the end of August. Prices in general for accommodation go up and bookings for boats, planes, and buses can be tight. So the first advice is get some ideas down on paper and at least make some core bookings – particularly your entry and exit accommodation and core travel plans. You can wing it once you are on the ground and given that you have a good three weeks, it would be a pity to be bound by a fixed itinerary as half the fun of a Greek holiday is the knowledge that you have so many islands to wander among.

      Here are a few pointers to help you gel your planning. A Greek holiday for many people is typically a combination of mainland and islands. The mainland is usually included for the archaeological sites (Acropolis, Olympia, Delphi, Mycenae, Epidaurus etc) then combined with a beach and relaxing holiday on the islands. That said, the mainland has some excellent spots to relax and beach it. Three weeks gives you that flexibility so you may want to consider a mainland tour first, say for 5-6 days, then relocate to maybe two or three islands within easy travel distance of each other.

      You mention the Ionian islands – yes, greener, some decent snorkeling spots, though the water tends to be colder and they have a quite different feel to the more southerly islands of the Aegean. Of those islands Kerkyra (Corfu) and Paxi might make for you an attractive package – especially the latter as it is small, non-touristic and a little bit exclusive. The Italians love Paxi! If you love your myths and legends from Greece, then why not tack on Ithaki (Ithaca) Odysseus (Ulysses’ legendary home). You could easily manage this trio of islands in your two-week island block.

      Of course the Cyclades have a lot to offer – as do the other distinct, geographically determined other island groups: the Sporades, the Islands of the NE Aegean, the Dodecanese islands and the islands closer to Athens the Argo-Saronic group. Since you mentioned the Cyclades, let’s focus there. Jumping off the page are Mykonos and Santorini. You can’t go wrong with M&S. So why not start from here? Islands that match the M&S duopoly are the hub islands of the Cyclades, Paros and Naxos. The MSNP mix gives you groove, beauty, beaches, and culture all in a neat package. These four would happily fill in your remaining two weeks and they are all well-interconnected.

      However, it seems that you prefer less touristed places. So here is a potpourri of island combinations that you may like to investigate further and that can be done without too many transport snafus.

      Kythnos, Sifnos and Serifos (maybe Milos too, if you have time). A logically-connected island chain that gives you that less-touristed, but still immensely popular Aegean Cycladic passage. A bleached rock and archetypically Greek island experience with a little less buzz and movement than you will find on MSNP

      Ikaria, Patmos and Lipsi (Dodecanese Islands+one island from the NE Aegean group). Idiosyncrasy, spirituality and get-away-ism to the max. Few consider Ikaria, but it is a hidden Greek island gem. Think NW coast based on Armenistis. Patmos the spiritual island where the light is possibly blessed. Suave, understated and ever-so-nice. Lipsi – remote and all yours. Even the leader of Greece’s (now defunct) 17th November terrorist group chose to hide here and the Italians (si!) have discovered it too!

      The Sporades – another scenically endowed and interconnected group, comprising Skiathos, Skopelos, Alonnisos and folksy, yet little visited, Skyros. Best done as a group of islands. Skiathos has long been discovered by European packaged tourists, but the packaging unravels as you move outwards and by the time you reach Skyros, you may feel that you have landed upon your own special Greek island.

      Finally, the islands of the NE Aegean are for the seriously untouristy set. They comprise the islands (running from north to south) of Samothraki, Limnos, Lesvos (Lesbos), Chios, Ikaria and Samos plus the quirky satellite islands of Oinousses, Psara and Agios Efstratios – the latter wearing the monicker of the remotest island of Greece. Of these Chios (+Oinousses and Psara), Lesvos match well as a bundle while only serious island hoppers venture out to Samothraki and Limnos.

      In summary: you are advised to keep your tour to island sub-sets as described above. Don’t try to do more than four islands in the two (or even three weeks) that you have at your disposal. If you forego the mainland tour, you will have a bit more leeway to tack on an island or two more. Greek waters are very clean and clear and snorkeling is good in a couple of select spots – just don’t be expecting the Caribbean. Rocks and reefs = interesting and sand = boring, so the catch is to get away from the sandy beaches that most people are attracted to. Finally, scooters aplenty everywhere. Just be aware that many a traveller comes a cropper after a bit too much sun and ouzo. Take heed and above all, happy planning: it’s half the fun!

  14. Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, Zakynthos, and Kefalonia

    Hi Dave

    We are planning a trip to Greece from September 17th – 30th. Looking at Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and then maybe Zakynthos or Kefalonia. We want to see the Melissani Cave and Shipwreck Beach (Navagio).
    1) What would be the best way/order to structure it.
    2) How many days would you recommend at each place?
    3) And what are the best transport options from one place to the other.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      This sounds like an exciting trip and you’ve done your homework. Let’s see how we can best tweak your itinerary. First up you are pairing two distinct sets of island groups: the Cyclades (Mykonos and Santorini) and the Ionians (Zakynthos & Kefallonia) so you are going to have to be prepared for a bit of intermediary travel and lost time (via Athens) and I shall assume that you don’t mind flying by preference. You don’t have many days to fit it all in (just under two weeks, right?) so you’ll have to skimp on stays and be prepared to move swiftly.

      Best structure would be arrive Athens and ‘do’ the capital. Two full days would be enough. Then I would take a fast catamaran to Mykonos (you can fly, but it is more fun to go by sea!). Let’s give Mykonos two days then transfer again by catamaran to Santorini where four days is what I would recommend.

      You can get to Zakynthos in one day from Santorini via a combination of two flights: Santorini-Athens; Athens-Argostoli with Aegean Air. There is no other way as no boats run to Zakynthos from the Aegean Sea. The shipwreck beach is best visited by boat, though you can access the beach via a winding road. Have a look here for some enticing information on how to do it and it is a truly magical place, said to be the most photographed spot in Greece.

      At this point you only have five days left to departure and you still have Zakynthos to finish off and Kefallonia to get to, so apportion your time as you see fit. Depending on the time of your departure flight you may or may not need to get to Athens a day earlier. Either way you are not going to get a lot of time for the one island or the other.

      Now here it gets interesting. Getting to Kefallonia requires taking a local car ferry from the small port of Agios Nikolaos in the north of the island to the equally small port of Pesada on the south side of Kefallonia – then you have to get to your preferred overnight destination. Lourdata, which is near Pesada, has a nice beach scene. From there to get to the Melissani Cave you are realistically going to need your own car as it is about 27km to the town of Sami which is where the cave is located.

      The cave really is magical too and is worth the effort to get to it. You go in a little boat inside the cave and the waters are absolutely stunning (photos here). That leaves the question of what else to do on Kefallonia. Since you’ve got the car, carry on up the coast to picturesque and postcard pretty Fiskardo for lunch and return to Lourdata via the western coast road taking in some stunning coastal views. That would be a good day’s trip and if you don’t do much else in Kefallonia, you will have covered some worthy ground.

      You can fly back to Athens from the airport at the island’s capital of Argostoli. With airlines in Greece in full season, pre-bookings are absolutely necessary so you’ll have to do your planning tightly – especially for the Santorini-Zakynthos and Kefallonia-Athens legs.

      So, there you have it: a 4-islands+capital itinerary that would work well if you do the initial legwork and make some bookings. I hope it all works out. Good luck!

  15. Best Island for Beaches and Historical Sites

    Hi Dave,
    It is pretty amazing how you are giving individual advice to all the comments. So I thought I would give it a shot. My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon for the first week in August. I know it is high season but we want some nice beaches and a few historical sites/adventures. We are definitely wanting to hit Crete but are wondering what other island to go to. We have thought about Naxos and Santorini. I think I am wanting to avoid crowding as much as possible.
    Any suggestions?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Personally, with just a week, I would stick with Crete and not waste valuable time (and a travel day) getting to another island. Crete has everything you’re looking for and some wonderful beaches. Spend 4 nights in Chania and explore Western Crete, then spend 3 nights in Agios Nikolaos (or the upscale Elounda) and relax for your final few days.

  16. Town for Two 70 Year Olds

    Hi Dave, two seventy year olds and we plan to visit a Greek island early September. Can you suggest somewhere
    that has a harbour, easy walking (bit arthritic), and possible easy access to beaches for a little snorkelling.
    Any suitable hotel recommendation would be most appreciated.

    Kind Regards David Carr

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Both Naxos Town and Mykonos Town are lovely towns that are very walkable. Naxos Town has a good town beach. For Mykonos you’ll have to take a bus or taxi. Not a lot of great snorkeling in Greece so don’t be expecting the Caribbean.

  17. Which Island for Active Family

    Alright Dave … you seem to be the Greek connection. Question: we went to Oia last summer for a week, rode four wheelers, stayed in a beautiful family owned villa on the caldera, have 2 daughters 14 and 11, love to eat and drink wine, love the beach (of course), love to hike/trail run and all that type of stuff. Where would you go next? We don’t like the chaos that there was in Fira.

    Any opinions would be awesome!

    Anthony Zimmitti

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      While Santorini is a magical island, it is only natural that visitors like yourselves will want to go further afield and sample more of that Cycladic/island magic and Santorini can get a shade chaotic at times. In Greece you are blessed with an enormous range of options – at least another 75 islands where you can hike, run, ride four-wheelers and savour splendid food and wine. Taking into account your profile – family of four with pre and teenage daughters, here are a few options to consider. I have selected one island from each of the main island groups with something that might just tempt.

      Paros is close to Santorini and in the Cyclades group. It is almost the ideal Cycladic island: compact enough to circumnavigate on 4-wheelers (the Greeks call them “gourounes” i.e. sows and you can circumnavigate the island in an easy day, stopping off at at least four beaches on the circuit. Naousa is the place with an Oia-like atmosphere, but the harbour water is next to you when you dine at night, not way down below. Piso Livadi on the east coast is a slowed-down resort with good beaches and eating options: you can also take in a day cruise from here to the Caribbean-esque and to-die-for Koufonisi island complex.

      Skopelos in the Sporades island group, is wooded, beached, and well-represented on the culinary side. The island has great walks. Some of the scenes from the movie Mama Mia were shot here; other scenes were shot on Skiathos and on the mainland at the Pilion village of Damouhari. South-east diagonally across the northern Aegean to the last of the NE Aegean island group and you will hit the island of Icarus (Ikaria): the wild card choice on this listing. Not everyone’s choice, unless you are south of centre. Oddball, quirky and ever-so-Greek. Plenty of walks – no “gourounes” from memory – but find out why people regularly live to be over 100 in this blue zone island. Ever-so-Greek … so give it patience.

      Here’s another wild card that you probably would never have thought about. Tilos, a mainly un-noticed by the masses, compact speck of rock and surrounding waters in the Dodecanese. Walkers and bird-watchers in the know have been coming here for years. Visitors tend to keep the secret to themselves and then come back the next year. You can rent a rustic villa with a pool in the hideaway village of Megalo Chorio from ex-UK residents Rob and Annie and feel that Greece belongs to you alone.

      The Ionian islands off the west coast of Greece are an atmosphere unto themselves. Italianate, verdant, Europe-looking and a excellent alternative to the drier Aegean. Corfu (Kerkyra) is the Queen of the group and has lots on offer: beaches, food, and beautiful scenery. My tip though: seek out also the little islands of Paxi and Antipaxi. Very secluded, very walkable, very foody – the Italians come here and they like their food.

      Greeks love to vacation on long weekends (and longer) in the closer to Athens Argo-Saronic group. No motorised vehicle of any sort on Hydra, but classy, style-conscious relaxation in a compact yachtie-friendly port. Yup, you can (and will) walk to your beaches because you will have no other choice. Crete is another story unto itself: almost a separate country.

      Lots of thoughts in here – but plenty to chew and think over. Good luck! Come back if you want more specific pointers. Always happy to help.

  18. Corfu to Santorini and the Cyclades

    Hi Dave! Your site is such a gem. Do you have any info or opinions about Corfu or Lefkada? If I’m coming to Greece and start my trip in Corfu, what is it like to travel to the Cyclades (how to approach it/how difficult is it/how expensive)? Thanks for any help – it’s much appreciated!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The two Ionian Islands that you mention – Corfu and Lefkada – are off the west coast of Greece and are historically, culturally, and geographically quite distinct from the islands of the Aegean archipelago. They are greener and milder in climatic disposition than the Cyclades, or other island groups in the Aegean. Historically they are more akin with Italy as they were under Italian rule for many years. Corfu (known as Kerkyra in Greek) is the jewel in the crown and is very popular for good reason. It is large enough to encompass a variety of environments: wooded beach coves, wide, sandy beaches, mystical villages hidden in among groves of tangled olive trees and relatively raucous tourist strips that see many of its clientele from the UK.

      Corfu is far enough away from the mainland to feel like an island destination, yet is exceptionally well connected both domestically and internationally both by air and by sea. It is about 90 minutes from the mainland by ferry and most ferries from Italy call in here too. You need to be choosy where you stay though as it can be touristy. Cosy Corfu town with its Venetian architecture is, actually a great spot to base yourself if you don’t want to spend your time by the beach. Buses run to most popular beaches daily. Some good beach locales you may consider are Paleokastritsa (on the West coast), Glyfada (also on the west coast) and a little closer to Corfu Town Benitses on the east coast. The north coast sports rather less appealing resorts of Agios Stefanos and Sidari, while there is an extended and geographically very pretty line of small village to full-scale hotel strips along the north east coast from Corfu Town to Kassiopi. Author Gerald Durrell lived with his family and animals in a white house in the little bay of Kalami along this stretch of coast.

      Lefkada is similar to Corfu in topography, but is a bit of a ‘cheat’ island because though it technically is an island you can drive there by crossing a narrow channel that separates Lefkada from the mainland. It is green and lush, boasts some fine beaches and similar sequestered villages as Corfu, but is not as touristy as its big sister further north. The only ferry serving Lefkada runs south to the islands of Ithaki and Kefallonia and its airport is actually on the mainland near the town of Preveza. Thriving and pretty places to stay are the main strip of Nydri on the mainland side where a popular pastime is to hire a boat and cruise among the off-shore islands including the private and Onassis estate-owned island of Skorpios where you can disembark and have a picnic on a private beach. Vasiliki on the south coast is a popular resort for wind surfers and beach lovers alike. Finally the north west Ionian coast boasts two pretty stunning beaches Mylos and Kathisma the former accessible only on foot while the latter is approachable by car.

      Getting to the Cyclades from either Corfu or Lefkada will involve a bit of work. There are no direct flights nor ferries. Period. From Lefkada (Aktio) you can fly to Athens and fly or sail onwards to your chosen Cycladic island. If you sail, you will incur the added travel link of getting from Athens Airport to the port of Piraeus or Rafina (closer). It’s much the same from Corfu: no direct flights to the Cyclades and the only onward ferry south is as far as Patra where you will be essentially stuck. The only other low-key alternative is by bus to Athens and ferry or plane thereon. It’s certainly not difficult to fly and expense will depend on when you fly and whither. A quick look and quote search brings up a fare €159 for a one-way flight from Corfu to Santorini via Athens in June. Bussing and boating it will involve transits in Athens from either the airport, or the bus station which is rather inconveniently located out in the middle of the north western suburbs – though there are bus transfer options to both the airport and the port of Piraeus.

      As a rule most travellers tend to stick with either the Ionians or the Cyclades – particularly if time is short, but there is no reason why you can’t mix ’n’ match if you do the homework. Good luck and happy trails!

  19. Best Beach Hotel on Ios

    My friends have raved about the beaches on Ios. What’s the best hotel on the main beach there? Want a pool and easy access to the beach.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Ios Palace Hotel is right on Mylopotas Beach (the best beach on Ios). It has 2 great pools and the Chora (main town with clubs and restaurants) is a short bus ride away.

  20. Best Snorkeling Beach in Greece

    Hi Dave, so happy to have stumbled upon your site! Please could you recommend your favourite sandy beaches for snorkelling (with kids!) Thanks! 🙂 Rosa

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Greece is not known for its snorkeling. When it comes to coastline you either have beach and sand, or rock and sea life – and Greece just has too many darn great sandy beaches. Kolymbithres Beach on Paros is one that has a little bit of both. It’s always fun (especially for kids) to throw on a mask and have a look around but just don’t be expecting the Caribbean.

      1. Rosa

        Thank you! I’ll def check it out! 🙂

  21. Cyclades Weather End of May

    Hi Dave!
    I was hoping I could pick your brain- we are looking at traveling to Santorini for 9-10 days at the end of May of next year. These dates are the ones most convenient for coordinating with some other family members, but in the reading I’ve done it sounds like it may be a bit cool for the beach? I was wondering, is there any particular island or beach in the Cyclades region that might be any warmer than the others, or should we try to recoordinate everyone’s schedule to try a slightly warmer slice of summer? Also to note, we will have 4 adults and an 11-month-old girl. Any insight is greatly appreciated!
    Thanks so much,

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      By the end of May the weather is pretty consistently warm/hot and I’d be surprised if you didn’t have some very nice weather perfect for suntanning. The water can still be cool though, so there is that consideration. All the Cycladic islands have similar weather. Crete is warmer and the beaches on southern Crete the first (and last) to have good beach weather in Greece.

      1. Emily

        Thanks so much for your reply. I appreciate the info!

  22. Best Greek Island for a Wedding

    Hi Dave!
    Thank you for such a wonderful site, and all of the comments listed. My fiance and are in the process of planning a destination wedding to Greece. It will only be ourselves and a few friends and family joining.. Maybe 15 people at most. We are looking for somewhere fairly easy to get to from Athens (our family have never traveled to Europe before), and also somewhere with traditional villages, somewhat lively and fun with several things to do, and delicious food, yet a very beautiful location for a ceremony, we’re hoping something on a cliff or overlooking the beautiful island/s. We seem to have narrowed it down to the islands of Santorini (although we’ve heard it’s very touristy), Naxos, or Folegandros. Do you have a strong recommendation for a fun, yet beautiful, village-y, and cliff-y location for the actual ceremony, and/or places to stay once there?
    I know that’s a lot, but we’d really like to start looking and seem to be a little lost..

    Thank you in advance! We look forward to hearing from you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Santorini is the most beautiful and busiest. Naxos has the best beaches and some very cool inland towns. Folegandros is more picturesque than Naxos is the least busy but is also very quiet (perhaps too quiet for even a laid-back wedding party). If it was me I would do Santorini but early in the year before the larger crowds arrived (say, late May). But even in high season, if you go to less visited spots you can trick yourself into thinking you’re the only one on the island.

  23. Beach Party on Santorini, Ios, and Mykonos

    Hi, We will be a group of 5 boys and will be visiting Greece from 30th september to 9th october.

    What will be the best places to visit for having a nice beach party?

    Which amongst Ios and Mykonos would be the better for party scene at this time of the year?

    Would you suggest the Pink Palace Corfu at this time of the year?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Perissa is the best beach for a party on Santorini. Ios will be very quiet by late September and early October. Mykonos will have more going on (but big beach parties end by mid-September). I would not recommend the Pink Palace at any time of year.

  24. Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Milos

    Hi Dave, Love your site. I’m planning on visiting Greece Sept 7-21 arriving @7:10am in Athens. I want to include Mykonos, Santorini and Milos (not necessarily in that order) and I am a solo traveler. I have not booked my flight out of Greece yet as I wanted to figure out my itinerary first so the 21st is not set in stone. Can you suggest what order to do my desired destinations in, what is the easiest route and via what mode of transport and how many days each. I have a couple of ideas but was hoping for your input…i’m looking for scenic, beach, and budget conscious.
    Idea 1:
    7th arrive Athens sight see for the day and fly out to santorini that night (3-4days)
    ferry either to milos (3days) or mykonos (2-3days) then ferry to the other and finally ferry to athens (2days)
    Idea 2:
    7th arrive Athens sight see for day, ferry next day to mykonos (2-3days), ferry to santorini (3-4days), ferry to milos (3days)…then back to athens(2days) but not sure how.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would do some variable of Idea #1. Flying a portion of the route is a good idea. It saves time and Athens to Santorini is a long way. Then ferry to Milos. The ferry to Mykonos. Then ferry to Athens. But check to make sure you like the ferry schedules for that route, e.g. Mykonos to Milos ferries arrive after 9pm but take 4.5 hours; Milos to Mykonos ferries arrive earlier but the ferry takes over 6 hours.

      1. Ferry Codes

        Thanks for the info Dave but one more quick question…I was using the website you suggested but I can’t figure out the company codes for example what ferry company is IJ?

        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          IJ is Seajets
          MF is Hellenic
          ST is Blue Star

  25. Which Greek Island for Snorkeling, Cafes, and Bars

    Hey, love this article!
    Just trying to find the best place for me and my boyfriend to go end of this month? He wants snorkelling and I want it to be near by cafes and bars. Where would you recommend?
    Much Thanks Claire

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere


    2. The Beach House

      The beach Leftos Gialos in Alonnisos. You can see other people opinions here.

  26. Hiking in Naxos

    Hi Dave,

    I love your website, it has helped me and my boyfriend out a lot planning our upcoming trip to Greece this August! We are heading to Naxos for a couple of days and was wondering if you had any good hiking recommendations?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Tragaea area of central Naxos is great for hiking. Catch a bus from the port to one of the small towns and walk between the different villages then catch a return bus from wherever you end up. The distances are pretty manageable between towns. Get a map of Naxos in Hora (and I think there are even some Hiking Naxos Books that are available too). Obviously, take lots of water before heading out.

  27. Apostolos

    Are you kidding me? Vouliagmeni beach is awfullllll! Cant challenge Greek Island’s beaches. And for goodness sake Santorini has awfull beaches, because of the volcano. The best beaches are on 1) Paros, 2) Mykonos 3) Naxos, 4) Corfu, 5) Lefkada. I have been to over 50 islands in Greece, and here are ther results of the best beach–> Paros, Marchello Beach.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I listed Vouliagmeni as the “Best Beach near Athens” – it is not one of the best beaches in Greece but that’s not why I included it. It is ok/good but certainly not awful. And I like the beaches of Santorini – as I say often, they are not the soft sandy beaches of Mykonos, Naxos, or Paros but there’s something special and unique about them. The lack of sand makes the water crystal clear and refreshing. I prefer swimming in Santorini over any other Greek island.

      I like your strong opinions though. Thanks for sharing. Cheers.

  28. Ibiza or Mykonos

    Hi there,

    Im thinking about going on holiday in August to Mykonos after reading some of the reviews. Never heard of this place and I normally do Ibiza in August as i love the music etc.

    As im going with my girlfriend im looking for somewhere there is still nightlife but things to do and see during the day.

    She has always fancied Greece so is this the best place to get what we both want? We are both 28.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Mykonos is great and lots of parties, DJs, clubs in August. (But easy to avoid the party if you need a break.) Much more to do through the day (tours, sightseeing, traditional villages, great food) than on Ibiza.

  29. Best Things To Do in Crete and Santorini

    Hi Dave,
    My family & I are coming to Greece in August. We are spending 4 nights in Crete and 3 nights in Santorini. We have a rental car in Crete. In crete we are staying in Chania and in Santorini we are staying in Oia. As our time is limited, what would you suggest the top things to see on each Island?

    Jennifer Ellis

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      In Crete the highlights would be wandering around the old towns of Chania and Rethymnon, visiting Knossos (near Heraklion), walking the Samaria Gorge, swimming at Elafonisi Beach, and boating between the towns along the south coast of the island (you probably won’t have enough time for the last one which is best done staying a night or 2 at each village). In Santorini the highlights are walking along the caldera between Fira and Oia, a day trip into the caldera and a walk up the volcano, and visits to Ancient Thera and Akrotiri. Of course, eating great traditional food is a must for each island too.

  30. Ios or Mykonos Best for Partying

    Hey, I’ll be in Greece for just under two weeks, I am wondering whether Ios or Mykonos would be better for a party scene in early September?

    I’m 20 and will be travelling alone, will only be spending 2 days in Ios or Mykonos.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Ios quiets down earlier than Mykonos, so while Mykonos will still be at almost peak party, Ios will have quieted from August – but both will have plenty of partying going on. Seeing as you’re 20 years old I would go with Ios.

  31. Milos, Santorini, Ios, Naxos

    Hi Dave
    I have a few questions and always find myself back on this page as you’ve given amazing advice.
    I plan on doing the Greek Islands from October 1st to the 14th roughly.
    My plan at the moment is vague and continuously changing but
    Milos 2/10 – 5/10
    Santorini 5/10 – 9/10
    Ios 9/10 – 12/10
    Naxos 12/10 – 15/10

    Is this a good order to do them? or could you suggest a better island?
    I am worried about going to Ios in October, will there still be a lot of activities and parties on?

    I am 20 traveling with my boyfriend 23 we want to see abeautiful scenery, outdoors, water sports, parties, history, hiking, amazing beaches. Basically we are not fussed and like to do a bit of everything.
    Hoping you can help me out, thank you very much.
    Darcy Maxwell

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      That looks great. Ios will be quiet (not dead, but quiet) in early October so no worries about too much partying (unless you’re worried about there not being enough – hard to tell from your question).

  32. Kalymnos and Naxos

    Hi Dave!

    My family and I will be traveling to Greece in early October. My daughter is in her early 20’s, so no children are on the trip, but none of us are into the nightlife scene.

    We will be visiting Kalymnos for a few days and then are hoping to spend time at some lovely beaches. We love relaxing and aren’t concerned with being close to any water sports. What is the best place to access from Kalymnos with the most beautiful beaches?

    We loved powdery, white sand beaches and clear blue water in the Naxos photo. We also loved the beautiful rock formations from the Mylos photos. Is there an island that combines the two?

    We were also hoping to go to an island that isn’t incredibly crowded, but has activities. Similar to Maui of the Hawaiian islands.

    Thank you for having such a great website, we have already learned so much and are really looking forward to our trip!

    Lisa Blair

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      It’s best to rent a car on Kalymnos to get around as the bus service is not as good as on other islands. There are also boats to get you around to some of the better beaches. The best combination of Naxos and Milos is Milos as it also has great beaches just like Naxos. Though once again, the best way to explore the island is by rented wheels or boat.

  33. Santorini and Meteora

    Hi Dave,
    I love your tips for Greece. We are going in June! I just want to know if we can do Meteora from Santorini? We only have 10 days. Planning to do 3 days in Santorini and 2 days in Athens. Was thinking of doing Meteora or Mykonos, is it doable? thanks. Mai.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Santorini is a long ways from the Meteora but yes, with 5 free days, it’s definitely doable. The best way to get there is to take a train from Athens to Kalambaka (about 5 hours) – the bus requires changing buses in Trikala. Do this the night before and then visit the Meteora early the next morning – get started before the tour buses arrive. Then train back to Athens in the afternoon or evening.

      Mykonos is obviously closer and easier to visit from Santorini.

  34. Which Island for 30something

    I am looking into going to Greece for my 30th birthday at the end of May with three friends for 7 nights. There are too many great islands to choose from. We are looking for nice beaches and reasonably lively nightlife minus the craziness of the young party scene. Also somewhere that is pretty with other activities to do also as I am not a huge fan of sitting on a beach all day.
    I would relly appreciate your advice. Would you recommend visiting more than one island if we are only away for a week?
    Thank you

    1. Santorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      With one week, yes I would do 2 islands. The end of May will be early in the tourist season so all islands will be quieter (and have less nightlife than in high season). So for example, Mykonos has a ton of nightlife in July and August but in May it’s just getting started and while there is some partying there’s nothing crazy. Naxos has some good nightlife in Naxos Town in July and August but in May there is very little going on. So if you want any nightlife in late May go to Santorini or Mykonos. Naxos and Mykonos have the best beaches. Santorini and Naxos have the most to see and do.

  35. Ferries in September

    Hi Dave,
    My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Greece in early September. We would like to spend 2 days in Athens and the rest of the trip exploring the islands. When do most of the ferries stop in September? We are trying to avoid the summer crowds, but stil want to make sure that we can visit several islands on the ferries. Would the second week in September (staying 14 days) be a good time to go?
    Kevin Akrey

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      September still has very good ferry connections throughout the island (not much different than August) – it’s a great time to tour the islands.

  36. Which Island in the Cyclades?

    Hi Dave,

    I hope you can help us with a bit of insight here. My girlfriend are looking at which island to speand 5 nights on in September after we have been to crete. We really like the look of Paros and Antiparos but are worried that by Sep 20th when we arrive everything will have closed down. What are your thoughts? Are we better sticking to Santorini where we can guarantee more will be open?

    Other thought was Naxos but we’d like something with a bit more going on for us in our late 20’s.

    Thanks for your help!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Antiparos will be very quiet by the end of September, Paros should still have lots going on, Santorini will have the most activity and will still have plenty of nightlife in September.

  37. Corfu or Paros

    Hi Dave, my husband and 2 daughters (24 and 22 yo) and I will be going to Greece in July. We are staying one night in Athens and then heading to an island(s). We were thinking of Corfu or Paros. We won’t have all seen each other for 12 months so looking for somewhere we can all relax, catch up, swim, eat/drink, and walk/ride around towns. We are coming from Australia and London and have 1 week together. What would you suggest? One of my daughters is staying in and heading to Mykonos and Santorini.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      It sounds like you want Paros. Corfu is a long way from Santorini and Mykonos (as in 2 flights, or 1 ferry and 1 flight). Paros is an hour or two away from both Santorini or Mykonos. Paros has great swimming, beaches, restaurants, and things to do.

    2. Apostolos

      Hi I’m from Paros ,

      I can say that the island suits you better its Paros. Paros has the best beaches, friendly people, traditionall greek food and it’s suitable for families likee you. Paros is suitable for young people too.

  38. Milos and Karpathos

    hello Dave,
    Together with my boyfriend we’re planning to spend 2 weeks on 2 of the islands – we’re both very much into snorkeling, hiking, local cuisine and nature. Do you think Milos and Karpathos will do the deal? Also, what would be the best travel arrangement – we will be flying from the UK and we’re thinking early to mid September and would rather avoid crowds.
    thank in you advance!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Those are both great islands. Early September would be perfect. If you wait much longer both islands will be very quiet/too quiet.

  39. Town or Island for Older Crowd

    Hi Dave,
    Can you suggest a good city/town or a specific beach on the islands for adult travellers, (one that generally attracts FEWER families with kids). I know this may be an impossible question to answer, but I thought I’d give it a shot. I’ll be travelling solo (I’m 48) and would love to swim, snorkle, explore but ideally be in a town of a reasonable size, to possibly meet others….but I’m not looking for a young party scene, either.

    Thanks a lot!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Santorini attracts an older crowd (though they do tend to be couples more than singles). The towns of Oia and Imerovigli don’t typically have a lot of children and families. Naoussa on Paros is another place that has a higher adult to child ratio.

  40. Weather in May

    Hi Dave,
    My husband and I are wanting to go to the greek islands the first two weeks of May this year, but are unsure now because of weather. Is that time ok for being on the beaches and swimming? Or would it be better another time?
    Itinerary I was thinking of doing Santorini, Crete, ???, then Athens on the way out. Suggestions?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      May is a transition month. You can get great weather and by the end of the month usually do. But it’s not hot and you’ll still likely need a light sweater at night. The sea is still cool in May and though you can swim it’s not a relaxing dip in the water (for most). Crete gets the warmest the soonest and Santorini is more about sightseeing than visiting the beach so you could certainly have a great visit in May but if you want consistently warm weather with swimmable water then June through September are the best months to visit.

  41. Best Snorkeling in Greece

    Do you have any recommendations for beaches with great snorkling? My husband and are headed the Greece May 16-27, 2015. We want to spend a few days in Athens then the rest on the islands. He’s an also avid scuba diver though I’m just a beginner so islands with easy dives may also work. He want beaches, great food & relaxation, while I’d like to add some shopping and ruins to the itinerary. Any and all suggestions are welcome. Mandy

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Karpathos and Milos are the best islands in Greece for snorkeling. Both have good beaches (Milos especially) but neither are known for their shopping. Paros is probably a good compromise having a bit of everything (beaches, shopping, good snorkeling).

    2. Apostolos

      Paros suits you perfect. Traditional food, best beaches, water sports and snorkeling. Paros its cheap and I think it’s ideal for you.

  42. 8 Nights in Greek Islands

    Hi Dave, thanks for all of the great information. For my honeymoon, I will be flying into Santorini the evening of June 3rd and flying out of Paros on the afternoon of June 11th. We are a couple in our early 30s who enjoy great food and drink, lounging on beaches and enjoying the local culture. Like to go out at night and have drinks and listen to music, but not really dancing or super touristy stuff. Looking for an amazing experience, not really concerned with budget. Can you offer advice of how to allocate time in Santorini and Paros and whether or not you would advise adding a stop in Ios or Naxos in between (or possibly day trip to Mykonos)? Also, struggling to decide where to stay in Paros…seems like mostly budget hotels, but would like a comfortable place to stay.

    Thank you so much for any help you can offer!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Given your schedule I would spend 6 nights on Santorini and 2 on Paros (or 4, 2 and 2 with a stop on Naxos). Naxos is very worthy of a few days but at the same time it has a similar feel to Paros so skipping it would not be a huge loss. Just depends on how much you want to relax in one spot or keep on the move. On Paros the better hotels are found at Naoussa. Take a look at Astir of Paros, Lily Residence, and Kanale’s Rooms and Suites.

  43. Milos or Mykonos

    Hi Dave. My husband and I are staying 5 nights in Santorini in July. We have 4 more nights and were planning on staying in Mykonos at Ornos Beach. However, I keep reading that Mykonos is touristy (like Santorini), expensive, and has a party atmosphere. I know this can be avoided in Ornos, and we could go into Mykonos town a few times to check it out. I am worried that they are very similar in terms of appearance and experience (busy, touristy, etc).

    We are from the US and this will likely be the only time we ever visit Greece. Keeping that in mind, would you recommend going to Santorini and then Mykonos, or would you recommend Santorini and then an island known for its beaches and somewhere less touristy to experience the Greek islands in a different way and experience a more authentic/less touristy place.

    I keep seeing images of Milos and am amazed at how beautiful it is. I just don’t want Mykonos to be too similar of an experience to Santorini (busy, touristy, beautiful cliffs, etc) so am wondering if visiting a smaller, more picturesque island would be better, like Milos. This is a once in a lifetime trip and we are looking for something unique and want to feel like we experienced the Greek islands.

    If you recommend Milos, what part of the island would you recommend staying on?
    Also, can you fly into Milos or would you have to take a ferry from Santorini? Right now we have 5 nights booked in Santorini but no flights. So would it be better to fly into Santorini, take a ferry to Milos, and possibly back to Santorini to fly back to the US? Or could we fly into Milos? I am not sure if we could fly from Milos. Thank you so much!!!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Santorini and Mykonos have a similar tourist feel but very different architecture and geography – so on that front you’d be getting two very different experiences. But yes, Milos is overall more different from Santorini than Mykonos. Milos you really have to be prepared to get out and “do stuff” – take an excursion, go for walks, drive around the island and explore. While Mykonos isn’t what I’d call relaxed your day to day experience is one of just waking up and letting the day unfold at its own pace. Does that make any sense? Not sure myself.

      In Milos – if you’re really looking for a different feel than Santorini and Mykonos – then stay in the Plaka village up in the hills. A traditional Greek village where (outside of the hours around sunset) you can feel like the only tourist. Some great traditional restaurants there. Adamas is the port town and where you’ll find the most tourists and nightlife and where most of the boat tours depart from (and the ferry to Santorini). Pollonia is a beach town and the 2nd most lively spot on the island with good restaurants.

      Milos has 4 flights per day to and from Athens in July. There are 2 ferries a day in each direction between Milos and Santorini from mid-June until early September. There are no flights between Milos and Santorini.

      1. Jamie

        Thank you so much for your reply! I do have another question. We were planning on flying into Santorini, staying 5 nights, then heading to Mykonos for 4 nights. Would you recommend this, or would you recommend reducing Santorini to 4 nights and doing 3 in Milos and 2 in Mykonos? Would that be too hectic? We would fly into Santorini, ferry to Milos, ferry to Mykonos, then fly out of Mykonos. Do you know where I could get information on the times it would take to ferry to those islands and the price? I have no clue, so I am not sure that it would be worth it if they are long trips or very expensive. Also, I saw you mentioned waiting to purchase tickets once we are in Greece. Would that be okay for any of these ferry trips or would you recommend doing them in advance? We will be there mid-late July. Thank you again for your time!

        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          I think it would be fine to do 3 islands in 9 days. Go for it. Use for ferry schedules. Then look up prices (and buy tickets) on the individual websites: Blue Star, Hellenic, SeaJets. I think you’d be find buying ferry tickets at the first chance you get after your arrival in Greece. But if you will worry about it (which is no fun) then buy in advance online.

  44. When To Book Flights and Hotels

    Hey Dave! I love your web page! It’s been a great help for me! I am planing to go in July to Athens and Santorini with my husband. Do you think is a good idea to book hotels and flights now? Or is it better to wait a couple more moths? I want to get good prices but I’m not sure if 5 months ahead is too much… What do you think? And in which area of both places would you recommend me to stay? Thank you VERY much!

    Celi Tintori

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      With hotels the earlier the better – nearly always. For flights from North America, Asia, and Australia you can (sometimes) book too early and miss a seat sale. So I would aim to book 4 to 8 months in advance. For flights within Europe it’s much like hotels, earlier is almost always better.

  45. Greek Island with Good Nightlife

    Hi Dave,
    My friends and I (4 girls) are planning to go to Greece this summer, but still don’t know wich Island choose, we want something with beautiful relaxing natural beaches for the day, and with a good night life but not in the “IBIZA STYLE” .


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Ios has awesome beaches and very good nightlife – energetic but relaxed and nothing too crazy.

  46. Santorini and What Other Islands?

    Hey Dave,
    My fiance and i will be going to Greece on 18 Oct for our honeymoon and are intending to spend 4 days across 1 or 2 islands before ending with 3 days at Santorini. Which islands would you recommend?

    We want to party and experience interesting stuff other than only beaches.. Any recommended activities?
    Any chance of hitting a nude beach as well?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Mykonos for the beaches, partying, and nude beaches. Naxos for small greek villages, hikes, and “interesting stuff”. (Great beaches too.)

  47. Nude Beaches in Greece

    Hi Dave – great site! My wife and I are flying to Greece for two weeks in September. We’re doing a couple of days in Athens to see the sites then we want to hit the islands, to see some ancient sites, but importantly we’re looking for the most beautiful beaches we can find. In Spain last fall we tried ‘natural’ (nude) beaches and loved it, so we’d like to explore that option as well. Can you recommend some good islands & beaches, both clothed and nude?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Mykonos has the most nude beaches in Greece though they’re not as popular as they once were. Beaches with some nudity include Paranga, Paradise, Super Paradise, and Elia. It changes with each season so you may need to ask around for the current trends. Strangely August sees less nudity on the beaches because it’s so busy (and more families). September will (likely) see more nudity though it might be largely topless woman and gay men.

  48. Which Ferry? High speed or Slow

    Hi Dave,

    Great site. Just wanted your advise about the ferries in Greece?

    My husband and I are travelling to Santorini for 5 nights then thinking 4 nights in Paros then 5 mykonos. What is the best way to travel in between these islands? My husband gets sea sick and I don’t really want to catch a slower ferry. Are the hi speed 5 ferries very rough in the sea?

    If we decide to fly should I chose different islands? We are in our 30’s . Would like to eat at traditional tavernas, beaches , some bars but not overly partying.

    Thanks in advance


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The Highspeed ferries can be rough. The Seajets are the worst – so avoid those. From Athens to Paros by Highspeed is 3 hours by the more stable Blue Star it’s 4 hours – so not a huge difference. If someone is prone to seasickness the Blue Star can still cause nausea. The Highspeeds are more bumpy, the Blue Star tends to sway. I would recommend the Blue Star from Athens to Paros then Highspeed to Mykonos then Blue Star back to Athens. Both Mykonos and Paros have airports and so flying is an option. Mykonos also has international flights, Paros only domestic.

      1. Vanessa

        Thanks Dave, we have decided to fly. i dont want to risk the sea sickness.

        We are flying from Athens to Santorini and then at the end of the trip athens to Mykonos

        We are trying to work out which island to visit in between as we will be flying now it doens’t have to be in the cyclades. Can you recommend another island? An island with traditional Greek that offers soemthing different than santorini and Mykonos. with nice beaches.

        Can you make any suggestions?

        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          Naxos has wonderful beaches and some very interesting traditional Greek villages.

  49. 9 Days in the Greek Islands

    Hi Dave,
    Tons of great info here!
    My husband and I are heading to Greece for the first time mid to late June this year for my husband’s 50th. We are booked in Athens for two nights at the beginning of the trip and that’s it so far. We were thinking 2 islands in Cyclades and then Crete, then fly back to Athens to return to Boston.
    We are interested in beautiful beaches and towns with lots of tavernas and lean towards the upscale/higher-end in hotels but not resorts or spas. We wouldn’t be interested in places with a lot of kids or partiers. Although we’d like to see Santorini, we’d probably avoid it and Mykonos due to the crowds. We also don’t want to waste a lot of time traveling from place to place and would fly when possible.
    So, with 9 nights to spend outside of Athens, what would your recommendation be?
    Thank you in advance!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      In 9 days I would do either 6 days in Crete and 3 days in Santorini OR 4 days in Santorini, 3 days in Naxos, and 2 days in Mykonos.

  50. What Island Besides Santorini?

    Me and my wife are planning to visit Greece from the States for 8 days in late May. 2 days Athens, 4 santorini and 3 in another island. Need your advice for the third island. Looking for something secluded (less touristy), with great beaches for swimming, and where we can get acquainted with local Greek life. What would you recommend? Also, is the breakup in days in each destination reasonable or too compressed? Would greatly appreciate any advice.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would visit Naxos as well. Easy ferry connections with both Santorini and Athens, great beaches, interesting and vibrant local culture (if you seek it out).

      1. Weather in Late May

        Thank you for your response Dave. We were planning our travel between May 21st -31st. Is this a warm enough time especially with water temperatures, or should we plan a little later?
        Also, we are now planning to be a little more active, with 2 days athens, 2 days mykonos, 2 days santorini and 3 days in naxos. Is this too aggressive?


        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          Late May usually has good sunny weather but the sea water will still be chilly. Visiting in June will make hot weather a bit more of a sure thing and the water will be a little warmer. Your itinerary sounds fine as long as you’re up for a busy schedule. Ferry trips between the islands are short so I’m sure you’ll be fine.

  51. Greece in February

    Hi there! we are two families with young kids planning to visit Greece in February. I would be very keen to know if February is going to be ideal on weather and attractions, especially wanted some kids activities to keep young ones busy. My impression is Athens and rest of Greek islands have little activity for kids, but I may be wrong. Would certainly like to know for a 7 day trip, how much is doable if we have to select an island or two. Thanks !

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Greece is very quiet in February. It’s winter. The beaches are closed, no swimming, no suntanning. Unless you’re here to see the cultural sights postpone your visit until the months between May and October.

  52. Which Island Best for 2 Month Stay?

    Really in need of advise for 2015 a 2 month stay Aug – October. We want to stay in an apartment or studio, doing day trips to the other islands. I’m overwhelmed by the possibilities. Can you help me with suggestions on which islands we absolutly need to visit knowing that this might be our only trip to Greece. We like to hike, botanical gardens, art, museums, beaches, bus travel is fine, good food, restaurants nearby, not necessary interested in nightlife and really want to emerse ourselves in the culture. Lori

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Most islands are too far apart to make day trips between them practical. If you’re on Naxos (for example) then a day trip to Paros is doable. But there is not one island that would allow multiple day trips to multiple islands. And day trips aren’t the best way to see the islands anyways (they tend to come alive at night by which time you’d have left). Naxos and Crete are 2 islands that are large and diverse enough to offer lots to see and do over an extend stay. I’d start my search there if you’re committed to one island. But if it were me I would pick 4 or 5 different islands and spread my time around. Or maybe one island for 5 weeks and then 3 islands for 3 weeks each.

  53. Wedding in July

    Hey Dave,

    Big fan of your site -thanks for all the information you post here! I’m looking for a possible wedding venue at the moment and considering Greece. The wedding would be in July 2016 -hot I know but we have no choice as we need to accommodate guests who only have school holidays.

    We are looking to have a simple wedding on a sandy beach, within walking distance to the reception venue (could be a beach bar or a resort), close to a nice beachside town. We want to avoid Mykonos and Santorini. We were at a friend’s wedding in Paros this September and we really liked the town of Naoussa -that’s the feel we are going for, and we would love a place with a variety of restaurants and hotels, to suit our guests’ different needs and budgets.

    Have you been to Naoussa? Do you know any places (island or mainland) with a similar feel? We’ve been looking at Crete, Corfu, Chios and Chalkidiki -but it’s hard to know how the towns are there.

    Thanks so much!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I’m not sure I would recommend the beaches of Santorini for a wedding location. The beaches here are not the typical white-sand beaches found throughout Greece. They are composed of dark volcanic sand. It makes for incredibly clear and refreshing swimming and it’s an unique setting but some might be disappointed by it. It also gets incredibly hot to walk on. Yes, I’ve been to Naoussa. It’s an enchanting and wonderful town. Hard to find something similar. Naxos Town comes to mind. Great island, great town, and a very good nearby beach (and better the farther from town you go). Antiparos has a pedestrian only main town and great beaches. It’s quieter than Naxos though most places will be busy in July. Rethymno, Chania, and Paleochora are all great towns on Crete. Lesvos, Ikaria, and Karpathos are other good candidates. There are many great islands. Not sure I was much help but there you go.

      1. Alison

        Thanks Dave, I really appreciate it! I’ve looked at Rethymno but hadn’t heard of those other ones, will check them out. Have a great weekend!

  54. Greece in December

    Hi Dave
    What to do in Greece if we visit in December. Thanks

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Greece is an underrated winter destination. There’s lots to do as long as you don’t want to hit the beach or go swimming (too cold). The buses and ferries (for the islands) are on winter schedules so getting around and between the islands is more difficult. The only islands I would recommend visiting in the winter are Santorini, Crete, Rhodes, and Naxos. But even those will be very quiet.

      The mainland is likely where you’ll want to spend your time. The historical sites of Athens along with the Meteora, Delphi, Mycenae, Olympia, Kalambaka, and the idyllic small town of Nafplio are all great destinations. Athens in particular is great around the holiday season – all decked out in Christmas decorations and quite festive. You’ll often have the ancient sites all to yourself – great for pictures and having a more intimate visit.

      It can be very cold during in December so bring warm clothes.

  55. Where to go in Greece

    Hi Dave,

    My husband and I are finally going on our honeymoon. My dad is Greek and I have been a few times. I really want to see Kefalonia, Rhodes and Santorini. Maybe throw in another island (Naxos) if time allows. We are planning on going for two weeks, maybe two and a half. Can you recommend an itinerary for me. Definitely want to see acropolis in Athens when we get there. Also can you recommend hotels in the islands I mentioned or a website.

    Thanks so much,

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Kefalonia, Rhodes, and Santorini are all wonderful islands – the problem is they are in 3 separate and distant areas of Greece. It would take a lot of time (or a full day of flying) to get from Kefalonia to Santorini or Kefalonia to Rhodes or even Santorini to Rhodes. So, to start, I would pick 2 of those 3 islands and focus on them. Depending on the time of year there are sometimes direct ferries from Santorini to Rhodes (but not always, and sometimes you’ll need to go via Syros or Crete). If you fly you’ll still need to go through Athens as there are no direct flights between any of those islands. Naxos is great too and it’s an easy stop from Athens to Santorini so I’d consider adding that to the mix.

      For finding hotels use

    2. Mykonos Beaches in September/October

      Hi Dave,

      Thank you so much for the information. My wife and I are planning to go to Mykonos on end of September early October. I personally have experienced Mykonos few years back on July and it was beautiful. I realized from some people on few forums that it would be very different in Sep/Oct. I understand it would not be completely dead. However it will be good to know how quite and to what extend? and what’s available in terms of restaurants, bars, lounges, shops, etc (general speaking). Will there be any beach parties or at least any music on the beach during day/night time? We are afraid that it could be boring! That what people on some forums sound like, and some people recommend not to go at this time! We are mainly going for the beach but we also want to enjoy some music and good food. Any suggestions beside Mykonos? We have around 7-12 days.


      1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

        The final beach parties will take place in early September on Mykonos. After that it will be quieter – but still lots of places to have a good time. Perhaps not the “scene” you’re looking for. Santorini will definitely have plenty of nightlife into October. (I’ve been there in November and had a blast.)

  56. Where to Go in Greece in March?

    Can you please recommend the best islands to visit in March? We are planning a trip for next March and look forward to minimal crowds. Santorini seems like a must! What other Two islands would you recommend? Where is the best place to stay that is open in the off season? Any recommended activities would be greatly appreciated too!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      March is a very quiet time on the Greek Islands. This can be good as there are few tourists. The challenge is getting between the islands as there are not many ferries running. The two islands I would recommend would be Santorini and Crete. Santorini is quiet in March but will have a modest amount of restaurants and hotels open. Crete has a large resident population (especially the towns of Heraklion, Rethymno, and Chania) so it won’t feel dead and deserted like some of the Cyclades will in March. Crete also has the warmest weather of any Greek island though you won’t be swimming in the sea in March. Both Santorini and Crete have lots of non-beach activities and attractions so you won’t be at a loss for things to do. There will likely be 2 ferries a week between Santorini and Crete in March but the schedule is not out yet so keep checking at for the days they will run and plan accordingly. If you’re looking for another island in the Cyclades rather than making the journey to Crete then Syros is a good choice: great capital town, large local population, lots of activity outside of tourist season.

  57. Beach and Night Life in Greek Islands


    Looking to visit the Greek Islands next July for 3 weeks. We are 2 mid 20’s couples from Canada looking to set up shop on one or 2 islands during our stay and live the “beach bum” life. We are hoping for an amazing beach somewhere close to shops/restaurants/bars for great night activities. Hopefully you can help steer us in the right direction. Cheers.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Paros, Ios, and Mykonos should be at the top of your search. Naousa on Paros is a great mix of beaches, hip restaurants, and great nightlife. Mykonos has a bunch of lively party beaches. Ios has one of the best beaches (Mylopotas) in Greece and a fun party scene.

  58. Direct Fligths to Skiathos and Naxos

    We’ve travelled to San Stefanos (or Aghios Stefanos North if you prefer) on Corfu for the last 3 years, but we’re looking for somewhere different with a safe sandy beach for us and our 5 year old. Ideally we want somewhere with a few restaurants, shops and evening entertainment but not noisy or obnoxious. I keep seeing Naxos and Skiathos on your blog; would you say they’re the best option and can we fly direct to there from the UK?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      They are both great islands with fantastic beaches (but there are many that have those attributes). Naxos does not have direct flights from Europe (you have to go through Athens, Mykonos, or Santorini). Skiathos does.

  59. What Are the Best Greek Island for Beaches and Shopping

    First, I would like to thank you for this amazing site- really great info! We are planning a trip for next summer- family of 5(mom, dad, 3 girls- ages, 21, 19 and 19). We were in Greece in 2004 and visited Santorini, Crete and Athens. Would like to see a few more islands and cant imagine not going back to Santorini(maybe 2 nights). We are interested in relaxing, beautiful beaches and shopping. Hoping to keep the trip to 12-14 days, including 1 night in Athens before we fly home. Which islands do you suggest?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Paros, Santorini, and Mykonos have the best shopping in the Cyclades. Naxos, Milos, Paros, Mykonos all have great beaches (and many others). So maybe a mix of those.

  60. What Greek Islands Do You Recommend

    Hi Dave, My wife and I are traveling to Greece from August 25- September 4. We’re going to spend 1-2 days in Athens and then would like to see a couple of islands. How many islands would you recommend in this time frame? We’re thinking 2, maybe 3 max? What islands would you recommend? We would love to see beautiful beaches and have a lot to do during the day (site-see, hike, etc). Night life isn’t a HUGE concern, but would love to have lots of good cuisine choices. I was thinking 2 days in Santorini, 2 days in Folegrandos and 2 days in Milos. What are your recommendations? Thank you for your help!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Those are all great islands. Folegandros has some great walks, Milos has great beaches, Santorini has some fun stuff to see and do – a great walk along the caldera and boat tours of the volcano. Naxos is also a wonderful island that has a lot of what you’re looking for so I’d put that near the top of my list. For any island 2 nights minimum but better to have 3 nights.

  61. Corfu or Zante

    Hi I’m wanting to go to an island on the west of Greece and have it down to corfu or zakynthos. I am after a bit of a party scene but at the same time able to enjoy the beauty as I will be traveling alone. ( nothing like Mykonos’ party scene) if I could only choose one which would you recommend for a 2/3 day stay? Also is Zante easy to get to Athens from?


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I would recommend Corfu – beautiful island and Corfu Town is wonderful. From Athens to Zante requires a 4 hour bus ride and 1 hour ferry ride.

  62. Which Island in Greece?

    Hi – I was wondering if anyone could help me or offer an advice.
    We are looking to holiday on a Greek island next year ( sad I know but we are self employed and have to book holidays very early !)
    We like very rural – access to sandy beaches, and would like to hire a boat for a few days to explore.
    Last year my husband and I went to a Kefalonia and stayed in an amazing villa 10 mins out of Fiskardo which was idyllic !!
    Kids want sandy beaches!! Any ideas? We were looking at Skiathos but became worried that the reviews of Skiathos town was a bit disco/lively – we want more harbour, taverna.
    Probably being a bit fussy but we get one week away a year so want it to be good.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I’d take a look at Lesvos, Ikaria, or Antiparos. Good luck.

  63. Budget Trip to Greece

    Your Blog is so great! My Daughter and her boyfriend are currently travelling around Europe,and have asked me if I would like to meet them in Greece for her Birthday . They will be in Patras around June 3- and are Pretty open to where we should go. I would be flying from Vancouver. What would you recommend? I have found some o.k. flights to both Athens ,and Mykonos- ( They have train Passes ) Where else has international airports ? We would like to be able to cook, and hang on the beach. Any help is so appreciated !

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Patras is an easy train connection from Athens (and the train goes over the Corinth Canal which is cool). So you could meet up in either city. From Athens go to Cyclades (Naxos, Paros, Ios). You could also meet in Mykonos though this is one of the most expensive islands – not that you have to stay there long. If you meet in Patras then go to the Ionian Islands of Zakynthos, Corfu, or Kefalonia. All of the islands I’ve mentioned have great beaches.

  64. Greece Holiday with Daughter

    Love your input!
    I am the mom and planning on taking my 14 yr old daughter for a trip to Greece this June. I just decided to go and can get a round trip flight into Athens and want some culture, great food and lodging and all around great memories in the making without too much stress. Will we feel safe traveling around? Thinking of going for 9 days and love authentic experiences but don’t want to go far off course. I don’t like crowds and loud parties..any ideas would be great! Also would you suggest renting a car once we arrive at these great islands? Mylos sound great but want more ideas?
    I don’t see myself spending more than 2 days in Athens, the islands sound like my style!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Naxos (lots to do) and Antiparos (more quiet) are 2 great islands that are easy to get to from Athens. Both have great beaches. No, I would not recommend renting a car on the islands – no need, most have good bus service. Mylos is a wonderful island too. You almost can’t go wrong so just relax and have fun. Greece is very safe – Athens has a few sketchier spots but most places that any tourist will end up will be safe through the day. At night stay in the Plaka area and you’ll be fine. Good luck.

  65. Greek Island for Beaches and Good Food

    Hi David,

    My partner and I are travelling from Australia and looking to go to Greece in May and are wanting to spend 8 days on a Greek Island. I am hoping you can help point me in the right direction as we were thinking of going to Rhodes or Crete but I have now read so much on the Cyclades that I am not sure the best option for us. We both love beaches and great food. We aren’t into partying but do enjoy quirkiness and unique spots and also a couple of good wines. I also love Greek mythology so would like to visit a few sites during my visit. Thanks in advance

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Yes, the Cyclades are great. Lots of great islands that are a short ferry ride from each other. My favorites are Santorini, Mylos, Naxos, Paros, and Folegandros – but they all have their charms and you can’t really go wrong with your island choices. Delos (a day trip from Mykonos) is the best historical site in the Cyclades. No inhabitants so you can’t stay the night. Mylos, Naxos and Mykonos have the best beaches.

  66. Girls Holiday to Greece


    We are organising a girls holiday to a Greek island in September. We want a beautiful beach, not sure if we want a hotel, villa or an apartment but it must be in walking distance of a small town with bars and restaurants. We’re not looking for party central just somewhere with a bit of life. Already been to Mykonos ands Rhodes so would like to try somewhere different….. Any suggestions welcome!!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Paros, Naxos, and Chania and Rethymno on Crete would all be great.

  67. Greek Island in Late June

    Hi David, your advises are great for us who don’t know the Greek islands from inside! I thank you in advance for your precious suggestions! I’d like to spend 5/7 days in Greece at the end of June. I am not looking for crowded places and nightlife I am looking for nice views, beaches and enjoying a typical Greek island atmosphere. My search focused on two islands, Milos and Mykonos. Am I doing a good job ? What would you suggest ? I am also planning to visit by boat an other island for a day trip. Should I share my time between two different island instead ? Daniela

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Milos has incredible beaches – maybe the best in Greece. Mykonos has very nice beaches but they’re busier and the island has a definite party vibe. With 5 to 7 days you could easily do 2 islands – and that’s what I’d recommend. Nearby islands from Milos good for day trips (or a longer visit) would be Sifnos and Folegandros – both wonderful islands. Be sure to do a boat tour around the island of Milos that visits some of the island’s remote and very unique beaches. Good luck.

  68. Greek Islands in October


    My wife and I are thinking of going to Greece in early October for 12 days, what islands would you recommend this time of year? Warm enough for the beaches?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The best islands for October tend to be the ones farther south: Rhodes, Karpathos, Santorini, Crete (especially the south coast of Crete). Every year is different but in general early October will be great for the beaches, mid-October the weather will be getting cooler and you could have some rainy/cloudy days. By the end of the month beach weather is a 50/50 proposition on most islands. Hope that helps.

  69. Holiday in Crete

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! For the amazing site, I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent on it…awesome. Thanks for sharing.
    If you have a moment to respond, I would love your input:
    We are going to Crete for 10 days in June (me, husband, two kids and an infant). We need family friendly beaches, but I’m a history lover so I would like to see Knossos and maybe Phaestos. The beaches I’m considering are: Georgiopouli, Paleochora(w/Elafonissi), and Matala. We want some major relax-beach time, but want to see a little of the city (Rethymno?) so we can walk the markets, etc. Any input on how I can make all, or most, of this work? I’m frustrated with trying to figure out a route where we’re not backtracking too much, and REALLY want to minimize road time (infant traveler and all.) Thanks in advance for any input you are able to give!!

    forgot to add, we fly into Chania.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      The trouble with getting around Crete – as you may have figured out – is there are few roads along the south coast of the island. So, to visit multiple places on the south coast you need to jackknife back to the north, move east or west a little ways, and then return to the south. If you’re renting a car and driving yourself the roads that run north to south are tricky to drive and precarious in spots. Getting along the north coast is very simple and quick, so a drive from Rethymno to Heraklion, for example, is on good road and takes just over an hour. A good way to skirt some of this inconvenience is to take a ferry between some of the south coast towns like Hora Sfakion, Loutro, Paleochora, and Elafonisi – which will save you from long drives. Matala is a good deal out of the way from the other places you want to visit so I would strike it and focus on Chania, Rethymno, Knossos, Paleochora, and Elafonisi – which would make for a great 10 day itinerary. Buses are modern and reliable and you should be able to show up at the bus station, buy a ticket, and be on your way within an hour (depending on the schedule, of course). Paleochora, Rethymno, and Chania are my favorite towns in Crete. Elafonisi is my favorite beach (though there are many good ones).

      Hope that helps.

      1. Kathryn

        Yes, the north-south roads are few and far between! Thank you for your reply, now I am deep in the planning stages! I want to take your advice and ferry-hop from perhaps Chora Sfakion to Paleochora..but the schedules are hard to read and I fear we may be ferrying all day long. Would you recommend taking a bus back to Chania (from Reythmnon) and then down to Paleochora? Thanks again!!

      2. Crete and Santorini

        Hi Dave, your site is just PHENOMENAL!!!! So much info!!!

        Like Kathryn, my BF & I will be visiting Greece from 29aug-06sep.

        Our itinerary: Chania Crete 3ngts, Santorini 3ngts & Athens 2ngts.
        We’re thinking of booking our hotel in Chania (center) and visit the old city rtc and also visit different beaches: Balos (by bus), Elafonissi (ferry day trip).
        Or do you suggest something else to keep our trip simple?
        In Santorini, stay in Fira and walk around, then maybe visit Red Beach or Mamari beach. What do you think?
        I may have the opportunity to add another day, would you suggest I add to Chania and do another beach or add to Santorini???

        Thank you 🙂

        1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

          That sounds good. I assume you’re getting the high speed ferry from Heraklion to Santorini. If so, a day (or half-day) there to see Knossos would be worthwhile. Rethymno is also a great little town. If you’re keen on beaches then the added day would be best used on Crete. If you’re more into sightseeing, the volcano, wineries, views then add that day to Santorini. Fira is a fun town and the most efficient base to explore the island (it’s in the center and is the hub of all bus routes).

  70. Transportation Between Greek Islands

    Hello again David
    Thanks for the advice
    We are looking to book Naxos and decided that for our 2 island we would go back to Crete-Chania. However, we are having trouble trying to find flights to and from. After a little research I know that Olympic seems to be the only airline from athens to Naxos, but I can’t find a flight from Naxos to Crete. Could use transportation suggestions (would prefer flights.) Should I rethink the destinations?

    Thanks again

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      There are no direct flights from Naxos to Crete. Some years there are flights from Santorini to Crete with SkyExpress and MinoanAir – but they are seasonal schedules so you won’t see anything yet. If such a flight runs you could ferry from Naxos to Santorini and then fly to Crete – though then the benefit of flying is far less. Also some flights from Ikaria to Crete, so that might be an option too.

  71. What Greek Island

    I really enjoyed your website and advise.
    My husband & I will be traveling to Barcelona mid July for 4 nights. (Could use beach tips if you have any in Barcelona) and make our way to Greece. We’ve been to greece many times and usually go to a different islands. However this time I cant seem to decided where to go and could use some advise. I was thinking: Naxos, Amorgos, Andros, Ikaria, Hydra and Speteses. We love beautiful landscape, crystal clean water but would prefer a beaches that aren’t too crowed but organized. Naxos is at the top of my list. Could also use some advise on where to stay, though we usually rent a car to get around, I would like to know what part of the island has better beaches north or south. side note: our stay in greece will be a total of 13 days, Would like to do 5/6 nights in one island and the remainder somewhere else. So maybe if you could suggest other island if the above choices arent “too great.”
    places visited thus far:
    Crete: Chania & Rethemno


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Naxos is a great choice and one of my favorite islands. Base yourself in Naxos Town (the Hora) – or just to the south of it around St George’s beach, then you can walk into town at night and be close to the beach. The rest of the Naxos’s best beaches stretch from St George to the south, but are not walking distance to the main town. Good luck.

  72. Greek Island Itinerary

    We are coming to Greece for our honeymoon and have 9 days 9 nights. I know to truly get the full feeling of what Crete is like, we would need months, but such is life. We would like to see 3 places on our trip and it would be spread like this.

    Crete for 4 days (over May 3rd night to May 7th/8th) spending one day at Elafonisi beach and surrounding area, 1 day hiking in Samaria Gorge, 1 day at palace of Knossos. And 1 day will probably just be consumed in moving around these places. I know this plan seems like we are leaving out so much, but these are the things we would like to see. My proposed itenerary consists of this. We wouldn’t mind renting a car (but due to the road closures feel worried about driving on the coastal roads). But I need someone to say this is impossible, since my heart was set on seeing these things after much research.

    Day 1 (Friday) Evening: Hania airport arrival, make it to hotel, enjoy dinner and walk around the city

    Day 2 (Sat) Morning – rent car/taxi to leave to elafonisi beach, spend the day there, and stay at a hotel near there

    Day 3 (Easter Sunday) Morning – use rental car or bus to make it to Samaria gorge, hike all day, stay there or make it back to Hania

    Day 4 (Monday)Take Bus or drive to Heraklion to see palace of Knossos, maybe some of wine country

    Day 5 (Tuesday) afternoon Ferry off to Santorini

    I know this is a hectic schedule, but my main issue is understanding how to get around Crete. When looking at the Buses, many of them say “not on the weekends” and this is during Greek Easter. Secondly, if not the bus, renting a car seems to be trickier due to the road closures. With all these things in mind, though my heart is set on seeing at least a glimpse of Crete, I am starting to feel that this is impossible and I should instead go to another island in the Cyclades though after seeing all the sights, nothing seems to compare to Crete.

    Is it possible to land on Crete and there is a tour group that goes to these locations? Thanks for all your help and your time. Hope all is well!


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Your itinerary sounds fine but I have a few suggestions:

      You could easily get a cool or cloudy day in early May that would not allow for swimming – it’s a long trip if you don’t even get to swim.

      Don’t take a rental car to Samaria Gorge. This only adds the hassle of returning to the start of the trail to retrieve your rental car instead of going directly on to Chania. I’d take a boat from Ayia Roumeli (at the end of the Gorge) to Paleochora (a great little town on the south coast of Crete) and spend the night there. There are lots of buses from Paleochora to Chania. Use a KTEL bus to get to the Gorge (25 miles from Chania). In summer it can be better to buy a tour from Chania to the Gorge to ensure a return seat on the bus but in May it shouldn’t be an issue – and if you go to Paleochora won’t be a concern anyways.

      The bus from Chania to Heraklion is easy and takes about 2.5 hours. Start early so you have time to visit Knossos on the same afternoon. Knossos is about 3 miles south of Heraklion so easy to get to. A taxi from Heraklion to Knossos will cost €12 and Knossos is open 8am to 8pm (from April to mid-October) so you should be able to swing it.

      Good luck.

  73. Kos and Rhodes Holidays

    Hi David,

    I’m planning a 14 – 17 day honeymoon in mid-June and we are looking for an island (or islands) with a mixture of good semi-secluded beaches, historical sites, fun activities (sailing, snorkeling, maybe a bit of diving), and great food. I have some Hilton points socked away and their hotel on Kos appears to be quite nice. What are your thoughts on Kos, Rhodes, and Kalimnos? I was thinking we might spend 2 – 3 days in and around Athens, 5 nights on Kos, and the remainder between other islands and possibly Bodrum, Turkey.



    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      That sounds great. I’d suggest doing a loop through Turkey so you wouldn’t have to retrace your steps (and waste time). So take the Kos–Bodrum ferry spend 1 to 3 days in Turkey and return to Greece on the Marmaris – Rhodes ferry. One note: the ferry from Kos or Rhodes to Athens is a long one, plan accordingly as you can fly one or both ways. Good luck.

  74. Quiet Beaches in Greece

    Hello David, thank you very much for giving us this kind of information! It’s really helpful!
    I’m going to Greece this summer, june to july, and I’m looking for a really quite beach, with white sand and really crystal water. I’ve been looking a lot of islands, because I don’t have too much money to change places, so I want to find an island and stay there, doing some camping. I saw Karpathos, Naxos, Ikaria, Lefkada, Antipaxos, but what would you recomend me? The beach has to be very quiet, with the less number of people… I really hope you can help me, thank you very much.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      All of those are great choices. Naxos is the busiest of those but even it has some quiet beaches as you move south from the main town. June will be much more quieter than July (and very quiet on Ikaria and Antiparos). Good luck.

  75. Kalafatis Beach in Mykonos

    Hi David,
    My husband and 3 kids have come across a great offer at Aphrodite Beach Resort, at Kalafatis Beach.. Do you know anything about this beach or hotel?

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I don’t know the hotel but it’s a nice beach. Not the typical suntanning beach – more of an active/watersport beach with jetskis and windsurfing geear to rent. It’s a fair distance from the Mykonos Town so if you wanted to be eating and shopping there very often you might get tired of the drive.

  76. Honeymoon on Greek Islands

    Hi David,

    My fiance and I are looking for a Greek island to honeymoon at after spending a few days in Italy. We are looking for a place with soft white sand beaches and beautiful blue waters, where we can sunbathe and swim. We’re planning to go in mid-September. What would you consider to be an undiscovered gem in the Greek isles, relatively easy to get to?

    Thank you so much! Your blog is awesome.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Ikaria would be at the top of the list. Great beaches and fairly quiet (especially in September).

  77. Family Holiday in Greek Islands

    Hi, great photos and reviews. My husband I are planning to go to the Greek Isles with our two boys (5 and 3) in mid June for about 6 nights. We really want to have a nice family friendly beach vacation so I am looking at Mykonos, Naxos and Paros since they are close together (and we don’t want to be spending our afternoons on a ferry). We do want to see Santorini since it is such a “must see” place in Greece, however it looks quite far from the other islands on a ferry. How would you plan a 6 night stay with two very active energetic boys who love the beach? Should we just forgo Santorini? Or in the case we do not make it back to Greece again, is it really a MUST SEE as everyone seems to think? Thanks!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Rebecca. Santorini is pretty unique. Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos would be my top picks for islands in the Cyclades – so definitely base yourself at one of those. Most years there are day trips to Santorini from Naxos and Paros (one boat stops at both islands). Don’t try to book in advance (too difficult) as you can easily get tickets once you’re there. It’s a full day however and might be too much for a 5 and 3 year old. You could also fly into to or out of Santorini (at the beginning or end of your trip) so in that regard you could visit Santorini and only spend one night there. Santorini has the most flights of almost any island to and from Athens and other big cities in Europe.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

  78. Greek Islands During September

    Hi David,
    My girlfriend and I will be going to the Dodecanese islands on September 22nd for 9 days, and would highly appreciate your suggestions about these islands of the mediterranean since it seems they have not been mentioned on your website as must see islands.
    I’m from Barcelona but live in Istanbul and we just want to relax in white powdered sandy beaches and swimming in turquoise waters. is this possible in this part of the Mediterranean (Kos, Kalymnos, Karpathos… or would be better off to change our plans and head for Milos, Paros, Naxos?
    We´d also like to spend some of our time in hotsprings and have read that Kos, Chios and Lesvos have really nice ones.
    Thanks for your website, it is the best I’ve found. I believe you are the most competent authority regarding greek islands!!
    take care

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Kos, Kalymnos, and Karpathos all have great beaches so you could have a great vacation there. From Kalymnos or Kos to Karpathos will take more than 8 hours to get to by ferry (via Rhodes) as there are no direct ferries from Kos. (Milos, Naxos, and Paros are all quite close to each other.)

  79. NYC to Greek Islands

    Your blogs is the most helpful I’ve found!!
    Planning a romantic vacation with my GF, were both in late 20’s, but NOT looking to party. The vacation is getting out of NYC for 12 days.

    Neither of us have been to Greece. Of course we’d like to see as much as possible, but the main purpose of this trip is vacation…

    What are the islands we MUST see as a first time trip to greece islands with the intentions to getaway from NYC’s non stop environment..

    Dates going are septemeber 14-27th.


    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Sebastian. I think most people would say Santorini is the one must-see island. Unfortunately it’s very busy and a little hectic (though those terms are relative) so if you’re looking to get-away-from-it-all then maybe not the best choice. Then again it’s easy to get from Santorini to some other islands that should be pretty quiet by late September.

      After all my rambling, I’d suggest flying one way Athens to Santorini and then island hop back to Athens for your flight home. So you could spend 2 or 3 nights on 3 or 4 different islands. There are good ferry connections along the western Cyclade islands of Folegandros, Milos, Sifnos, and Serifos making it an easy route all the way back to Athens. And all 4 of those islands are great in very different ways. Serifos and Folegandros known for their hikes and rugged beauty. Sifnos for its traditional Greek culture. And Milos for the moonscape landscape, incredible beaches, and a few hot springs.

      Hope that helps. Good luck.

  80. Beaches of Northern Greece

    I very much prefer the sandy beaches of the Sithonia peninsula in Halkidiki, Northern Greece. The waters are amazing (as they are all over in Greece), the sand beaches are gorgeous, and best of all – not overcrowded. My favourite beach would be Agios Ioannis by Nikiti, or Kriaritsi beach by Sykia.

  81. Solo Trip to Greece

    I am planning a five to six night trip to Greece sometime in the next week (short turn around time!). I am alone, looking for beautiful sandy beaches where I can take long walks, but be close enough to some activities that I don’t feel isolated. Based on everything I read, I am thinking Chania in Crete.

    My flight would get into Heraklion about 8:00 p.m., so am thinking it might be a good idea to spend the evening there, rent a car and set out to Chania in the morning. Maybe day trips to Sougia and Elafonissi (although based on what I read, the drive to Elafonissi sounds a little harrowing!). Is five full days in Chania too much? I am basically looking for a little get away, want to keep it simple, and be someplace where there might be some other things to do, if I am in the mood.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      I think 5 days in Chania with a few side trips would be perfect. I’d suggest using Crete’s excellent bus lines that will get you from Heraklion to Chania in just a few hours. Driving in Greece is stressful. It would also make getting to Elafonissi easier if you weren’t worried about driving yourself. And the bus is cheap too.

  82. Favorite Greek Beaches

    Favorite Beaches:

    Porto Katsiki (Lefkada)
    Myrtos Beach (Kefalonia)
    Platys Gialos – Makris Gialos (Kefalonia)
    Antisamos (Kefalonia)
    Bella Vraka (Syvota)

  83. Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort

    Mykonos Island has indeed some the best beaches of Greece. Ayios Yiannis, where our hotel is located, is also known as the Shirley Valentine beach and definitely offers the best sunset – as seen in the movie – behind the sacred island of Delos. To ensure a peaceful and relaxing environment, no water sports are organized at the beach. Hotel beach attendants cater to guests’ needs with towels and cooling amenities.

  84. Best Website for Booking Hotels in Santorini

    Can you recommend a website to search for hotels for Oia and Fira, Santorini? We’d like to stay a few nights in both towns if it works out. Thank you.

  85. Greece Itinerary

    Great Blog! I’m planning a trip with my wife and 2 boys (ages 7 and 4) to Greece for 12 days. I could use a little input on my itinerary. We’ll arrive in Athens on May 4th. My plan was to fly directly to Crete (Hania) for 5 days (where we’ll rent a car), then depart Iraklio via ferry to Santorini for 2 nights then Naxos for 2 nights. Then 2 1/2 days in Athens before flying back to the States. We’re not huge beach people and the weather will probably be a bit cold. I was thinking about hitting Rhodes as well – but that seemed to be too much. How does that sound?
    ps: drop in for a homebrew if you’re ever in Wenatchee!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Jeb. Thanks. That sounds like a great itinerary. I wouldn’t add Rhodes myself. You’ll already be a little stretched to do justice to the islands you’re visiting and Rhodes is a long way off this route. Stick with these plans. And yes the weather could be a bit chilly (and maybe some rain) but it could also be fantastic – so you’ll have to pack for a wide range of weather. Have fun!

  86. Travel to Santorini, Mykonos, Athens

    Hello! Two questions. We arrive in Santorini at 7:30pm on a Wednesday and leave Mykonos at 12:30pm on Monday. With 5 nights is it best to do two nights in Santorini and 3 in Mykonos or the reverse? I am concerned that one full day and a half in Santorini is not enough time to see everything in a relaxed manner. But if we do three nights in Santorini, will we feel frustrated having only Saturday afternoon til Monday midday in Mykonos?

    Also, not island related but if you happen to know I am grateful for your input….if our flight lands at 12:50pm in Athens and leaves for Santorini at 6:30pm, is there time to race to the Parthenon and back?

    Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Not sure what time of year you’ll be there. If it’s in the summer months when you can swim I’d probably err on the side of Mykonos. Otherwise Santorini has a pretty cool vibe in the off or shoulder seasons. As for Athens, I think you’ll probably be able to swing it though undoubtedly it will be tight. Taxis between the airport and downtown Athens can take between 30 and 80 minutes. It will be in the middle of rush hour on your way back to the airport so you’ll probably need to leave Athens by 4:00 or 4:20 at the latest. So with a bit of luck you should have 2 hours to make a quick run up the Acropolis to the Parthenon. I think it’s worth a try. If you miss your flight just head straight to Piraeus and grab a night ferry to Santorini 🙂

      Good luck.

  87. Ikaria Beaches

    Livadia Beach in Armenistis on Ikaria. Completely deserted and the most amazing aquamarine blues ive ever seen. Limnos has some really nice beaches to, especially Platy and the little bays around towards Thanos. Love Greece! Wish i never left….

  88. Very Best Beaches in Greece

    The best beaches in Greece are in Skiathos, Corfu, and Mykonos. For quiet beaches I like the ones in Ikaria. For party beaches I’d say the ones in Ios are great. In July I will be in Milos for the first time and hope they are as good. Everyone has told me they are fantastic.

  89. Karpathos Beaches

    The best beach is the fifth one on your article Apella beach in Karpathos!

    1. Gabriele

      Wonderful Karpathos! Apella was amazing, I totally agree…

  90. Best Greek Island for Tour

    My friend and I are heading to Greece in a few weeks. We plan on going to Mykonos, Paros (Naoussa), Santorini, Rhodes and Crete.
    Which would be the best island to rent a vehicle and tour the entire island?
    Thanks guys!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Hi Tina. Crete — as the largest Greek Island — certainly has the most to offer. You can visit Knossos and some great little villages — not that far from Iraklion — do the Samaria Gorge, check out some of the great beach towns along the south coast and finish off in either Hania or Rethymno (both really cool small cities). So if you’re looking for what island has the most to do, then Crete is it.

      If you’re looking for an island that suits one day of driving then Rhodes or Santorini are probably better choices to splurge on a rental car. The tour through Crete that I recommend would take at least 3 or 4 days. The other islands you could get around in one long day of driving and sightseeing.

      Hope that helps.

  91. Greece Islands Fully Booked

    One year on Mykonos couldn’t find a hotel – the whole island fully booked. Had to sleep on some guys, some shop’s roof. It was great. Really great. Seeing the stars. Had a few drinks that night. Mighta helped a little. Got kids now, so not planning on that. but looking forward to getting back there. The Greek people are great and friendly, even in the tourist islands. This time will probably visit Mykonos and Santorini (for my wife) and then 1 or 2 quieter ones. Cheers!

  92. Zante and Mykonos Beaches

    Zante and Mykonos have the best beaches in Greece that I’ve visited. I still have a lot more to see. I went 8 years in a roe, but have missed the last 2 summers. I’m hoping September of next year will get me back there. September is great if you’re island hopping because you don’t have to worry about hotels and reservations so much or at all.

  93. Kefalonia Beaches

    Kefalonia isn’t as popular as the other islands but it has some great beaches.

  94. Most Incredible Beautiful Beaches in Greece

    I’ve been to Greece about 5 or 6 times so have seen a number of beaches. Most of the great. And the ones that aren’t postcard worthy they tend to be pretty quiet. I’ve had a couple of pebble beaches on Mykonos, Folegandros and Corfu all to myself (with my husband of course). Great for swimming.

    The best? probably Koukounaries on Skiathos, Balos and Vai on Crete, some on Naxos that I did on my first trip but haven’t been back to. I’ve really liked a few beaches on Santorini too. I’ve been to probably 20 islands so I could go on and on. The beaches on Milos have probably the most striking setting. Kefallonia island has some really nice ones – Myrtos probably the best. And the Halkidiki has whole stretches of almost deserted beachs. That’s where we went the last time with our daughter – first time to Greece with children – and it was wonderful. Salonika is much nicer to go through than Athens.

    You really can’t go wrong – unless you ferry over to Turkey ha ha – I’m sure it has great spots and cities but the beaches that we visited were really packed with holiday package tourists.

  95. Honeymoon Beach Holiday in Greece

    Hello David,
    My fiance & I went to Greece last summer & we fell in love with greece. We only got to visit Athens & Mykonos (loved the beaches in Mykonos). I thought going back to Greece would be the perfect destination for our honeymoon this summer.

    My fiance & I both love traveling, siteseeing, old towns with lots of character & I especially love great beaches. We are definitely going to visit Santorini for 4-5 days. Do you have hotel recommendations that would be great for a honeymoon that are moderately priced in Santorini?

    Also, I am looking for another Island that has a beautiful beach, we’re NOT big party people. looking for more quiet and picturesque beach with white powdered sand & clear turquoise water! I am thinking Naxos or Rhodes, do you have other recommendations that would great for honeymoon?

    thanks so much!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave Greece, Italy, and Everywhere

      Naxos and Rhodes would be great. Honestly, I don’t know any islands that would be bad for a honeymoon. Folegandros is an awesome island that for some reason comes to mind just now as having some appeal if you’re looking for a quieter island for a few days. Great for walking. Milos has awesome beaches and a very unique geography – sort of Santorini but with great beaches.

      Good luck.

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