Post # 1
For those of you who have taken trips to the Greek islands, what are your recommendations? Our priorities are crystal clear water and beautiful beaches. We also love to eat, but I’m pretty sure finding good food won’t be a problem… We’re not into clubs and bars, so somewhere quiet is perfect.
Where have you had good experiences? It doesn’t need to be fancy, and we’d usually take a quirky b&b over a resort (but any advice is welcome).
Post # 2
All the Greek islands are going to have good food, good beaches and fantastic views. Some of the islands will have shingle beaches on one side and sand on the other so it will just be researching where you to stay on that particular island. Car hire is another option so you can visit the great beaches.
I think somewhere that would easily tick all the boxes would be Santorini. I’ve never been but it’s high on my wish list. It’s really popular as a honeymoon destination so there’s loads of boutique hotels catering to couples. We considered Santorini but it’s not really got the weather in March when we went on honeymoon!
We’ve also had great holidays on Kos, Crete, Ios, Leros. DH’s family visited Leros a lot and would go snorkelling pretty much constantly. Our first holiday together was also to Thassos which is one of the most northern islands. We stayed on the southern side of the island where it was a shingle/sand beach but the east side of the island had some gorgeous beaches and it was an hour to drive around the entire island. We spent most of our time on a beach in an old gold mine so whilst it had some shingle it was so secluded and quiet.
Post # 3
I’m going on honeymoon to Kefalonia. The pictures look amazing. Friends of ours went on holliday there two weeks ago and they loved it. We’re going to a little town called Assos.
I’ve also been to Paros. It’s a small island in the Cyclades and it was (until now I hope) the most amazing holiday I’ve ever had. I think any island in the Cyclades will do. Santorini is also beautiful but I heard it get’s a bit boring after a couple of days but you could always go island hopping.
Post # 4
I just came back from a week in Mykonos, the place is absolutely beutiful!
We stayed at a resort hotel with several pools and a private beach.
I could not recommend it enough!
Post # 5
We’ve been to Kos last year (5 star Resort, but we’re not fans of hotel beaches) and as soon as you’re looking for a beach not overran by tourists it is so frickin dirty there. I’ve never seen so much trash on a beach before. The food indeed was very good, but very expensive aswell. The views were fatastic. Fun thing: Greeks put fries on everything. I even ate a sandwich with fries IN it. You would think they’d put it next to the sandwich, but nope.
You wouldn’t believe it, but the most expensive thing you can eat there is fish (!). I paid about 17 Euros (must be around 20 Dollar) for Spaghetti with Fish and the same amount for a tiny tiny plate of octopus, even in the smallest restaurant in the smallest village. A gilthead (which I love) would have been about 22 Euros (~26 Dollar). As soon as you jump into the sea, you can see hundreds of giltheads wimming around.
Sadly, due to financial crisis in Greek, there are not many museums on the islands you can visit anymore as most are closed. And they’re still struggeling with refugees. You will probably see people sleeping/sitting on the ground in or next to tents, trees or ancient buildings while you eat your icecream. That’s quite disturbing. We even saw a mother and her child sitting on cardbox, begging for money, right next to the famous plane tree.
By the way, the greeks have interesting ways to present their places of interest: Most mosaics are buried so they don’t get damaged and you don’t even have pictures of them but only a little sign where the name of the mosaics is written on.
The Hippocrates Plane Tree and Pavillion is fenced in a way you can’t even take proper pictures of it. This list goes on and on.
So, if you really love culture, be aware that there isn’t enough for 14 days, but for maybe 7 there’s plenty.
Post # 6
Milos is beautiful and much emptier beaches than the others I went to, but the best food is undoubtedly in Mykonos (although there are too many bars / too much nightlife for my liking). Santorini is beautiful too, but very crowded in the most touristy places.
Post # 7
Just got back from Crete (we’re getting married there next year). There are some seriously stunning beaches on the south coast – check out Elafonissi. We stayed in Rethymno on the north coast, a large working town full of cobbled lanes, ancient Venetian and Turkish architecture and a wide, sandy beach running alongside the town. It’s nicely buzzy at night with plenty going on, without all the “18-30’s” craziness. High-end restaurants alongside great quality affordable tavernas and lots of little boutique hotels in the old stone buildings. The food was amazing, without exception, and the people were so hospitable.
Also, with Crete being the largest Greek island, there’s lots to do to suit everybody. Lots of history, art and architecture as well as your beaches and boat trips.
Edited after seeing Aventurin’s post – This couldn’t have been any more different to my experience. I think the refugee situation varies massively on each island but we didn’t notice any in Crete. Actually there were a lot less homeless/beggars than there are in the UK. We weren’t served chips (fries) with anything you wouldn’t expect them to be served with. Far from being in crisis, the island was thriving, again probably less empty shops/closed museums than my town in the UK – again, this will vary on which island you opt for. We had a week’s worth of full, long days out and I still don’t feel like we even scratched the surface of the island.
Post # 8
Honestly, you should not limit yourself to one island since they are all so beautiful. Island hop to at the least 2 islands. FWIW, I LOVED Mykonos and Santorini but look forward to returning to explore other islands in the future.
Post # 9
We went to Santorini and Milos and loved both. We looked into Mykonos, but thought it was more known for party atmosphere and was looking for more scenic islands. Santorini of course for Oia and the beautful white cliff side dwellings. Milos was a very quiet island compared to Santorini with a few amazing beaches. My favorites were Paleochori, Tsigrado and Sarakiniko. Sarakiniko didn’t have a great beach, but the landscape was great. We did a all day sailboat tour and it was amaaazing!!
This is Paleochori
We stayed at Fanari Villas in Santorini and I LOVED it. This was teh view from the room of the Oia Castle.
And of the windmill from our private roof deck
Post # 10
Check out Karpathos! I just got back from there, and the beaches were amazing with crystal-clear azure waters. 😍 Food was fantastic also, and even seafood was very reasonably priced, fresh fish was usually 12-14 euros.
The islands closest to Turkey, like Kos, are the most affected by the refugee crisis. However there were no refugees in Karpathos.
Post # 11
I wasn’t the hugest fan of Crete (driving from the airport to Rethymno was about an hour), but there are big sandy beaches, where as many other places have large stones which are hard to walk on.
Santorini has 3 different coloured sand beaches, but they were very busy. The views are spectacular from the Caldera. Very romantic.
Myknonos has a reputation for a party island, but its also pictureque and romantic too.
Corfu looks amazing, we didnt have time to go, but you can’t go wrong with the smaller islands. They will be less popular and less busy.
Post # 12
We went to Santorini a few years ago and loved it. Personally, I preferred the mainland, but we wanted to do one of the islands and Santorini has a lot to offer. If I had a whole week to spend on one island, I’d go to Crete – I’ve heard amazing things!
Post # 13
I second jl2017
– Mykonos is amazing!! I did a trip to Mykonos and then boat over to Santorini and in all honesty I prefered Mykonos. Santorini is very pretty but very very touristy & busy and I actually felt that Mykonos Town was actually prettier in some ways than Fira/Oia. It has the lovely white walls & windey streets, tonnes of restaurants, cats, beaches… I’d go back in a heartbeat!
It does have the party island rep but to be honest unless you actually go to the clubs/bars you wouldn’t know they were there.
Post # 14
I just got back from Crete. I’ve been before, and I’ve also been to Corfu a couple of times and Kefalonia (check out Myrtos Beach and the underwater lake if you do Kefalonia. So dreamy). We wanted to go to Santorini or Rhodes this time, but Crete was incredible as usual. Have a look at a place called Koutouloufari. A gorgeous village with amazing tavernas and bars, but no wild nightlife. It has just the right amout of hussle and bussle, but locals are so relaxed and so lovely. I can recommend you an incredible hotel if you’re interested. It’s family run, with a beautiful pool and the best customer service.
There’s a lot to do on Crete if you fancy. I spent most of my time enjoying the pool and the sun, but we also walked down to the sea and checked out some incredible beaches and drove through the mountains. Loved every second. We had a super childish day where we went to the water park and then played pool and crazy golf after. I wish we’d played golf because the course looks stunning, but we’ll be back again next year anyway.
The food is unreal, but I also recommend you talk to people. Speak to locals and find out where they eat when they go out to dinner.
It is evident that there’s a financial crisis, but it isn’t a problem for holiday makers at all. Small local businesses will generally prefer you to pay in cash because it’s better for them financially and when it comes to accessing their money, but they’ll never try to deter you from paying by card. I did not see any refugees sleeping rough at all, but I wouldn’t have been put off if I did. All I feel is compassion for those in that situation.
There are wild/feral cats everywhere on Crete, but you’ll often find that kittens just want a cuddle and some TLC, so I went everywhere with alcohol hand gel and washed my hands thoroughly when I could. I was in my element with them though, but pretty sad when some were too skinny or a little but hurt. I found a kitten with a broken leg on the top of a mountain but there was no way I could get it down and off the mountain to see a vet. He just wanted to be cuddled and hated me for putting him down. I feel so guilty.
Anyway, I recommend all the islands I’ve seen. I can’t wait to see more. But I thoroughly recommend Crete. It’s just stunning. There is a beach with pink sand and another with a stream leading to it and waterfalls. So dreamy!
Post # 15
don’t know if you’re still around but I looove your photos!