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  1. #21

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    Snap! I've got time off in July and have booked a 17-night island hopping expedition through the Cyclades and finishing on Crete.

    Now I've been to Greece many, many times. If I was going to recommend an island to start with, it would definitely be Crete - it's big enough that it really caters for every kind of tourist. The weather is probably the best in all of Greece (200 miles off the coast of Africa so it does get hot in July-August). Obviously avoid Malia/Hersonissos unless you like to party hard. Agios Nikolaos and Elounda in the east are very nice (fly in to Heraklion) as is Rethymnon and Georgioupolis in the west (fly into Chania) and I've heard Palaiochora is nice on the south west coast (close to Elafonissi beach - check out the photos).

    Otherwise there are plenty of other nice islands - Kefalonia, Santorini and Mykonos are all good, though will get busy in peak season (if you can go early July before the schools finish it'll be cheaper and less busy). These are the more expensive islands though. Crete will be somewhat cheaper depending on where you stay. For cheap deals (I know we're contractors so I'm sure this isn't relevant!) you will have to look at places like Corfu, Zante (Zakynthos is the same place, it's shortened to Zante), Rhodes, Lesvos etc. To be honest even these islands will have quieter resorts so don't be put off by the fact that they all have 'party destinations'. The flights will be cheaper and more regular, and once you get to your resort you could be anywhere and it won't be full of drunken youths.

    Any other questions I'm happy to help, Greece is my favourite place

    Edit: shameless plug but I made a short YouTube video from my trip to Crete last year. If you can overlook the cheesy Greek dance soundtrack it'll give you an idea of what the northern coastline resorts are like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkiO4T58m0U
    Last edited by Willapp; 16th May 2017 at 09:57.

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willapp View Post
    Snap! I've got time off in July and have booked a 17-night island hopping expedition through the Cyclades and finishing on Crete.

    Now I've been to Greece many, many times. If I was going to recommend an island to start with, it would definitely be Crete - it's big enough that it really caters for every kind of tourist. The weather is probably the best in all of Greece (200 miles off the coast of Africa so it does get hot in July-August). Obviously avoid Malia/Hersonissos unless you like to party hard. Agios Nikolaos and Elounda in the east are very nice (fly in to Heraklion) as is Rethymnon and Georgioupolis in the west (fly into Chania) and I've heard Palaiochora is nice on the south west coast (close to Elafonissi beach - check out the photos).

    Otherwise there are plenty of other nice islands - Kefalonia, Santorini and Mykonos are all good, though will get busy in peak season (if you can go early July before the schools finish it'll be cheaper and less busy). These are the more expensive islands though. Crete will be somewhat cheaper depending on where you stay. For cheap deals (I know we're contractors so I'm sure this isn't relevant!) you will have to look at places like Corfu, Zante (Zakynthos is the same place, it's shortened to Zante), Rhodes, Lesvos etc. To be honest even these islands will have quieter resorts so don't be put off by the fact that they all have 'party destinations'. The flights will be cheaper and more regular, and once you get to your resort you could be anywhere and it won't be full of drunken youths.

    Any other questions I'm happy to help, Greece is my favourite place

    Edit: shameless plug but I made a short YouTube video from my trip to Crete last year. If you can overlook the cheesy Greek dance soundtrack it'll give you an idea of what the northern coastline resorts are like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IkiO4T58m0U
    That's a very comprehensive answer - you are obviously our resident Greek Island expert!

    I think I probably need to take a couple of steps back and consult a map first so I can tell me Cyclades from my Ionian from my Dodecanese islands!

    One thing I didn't mention is that I shall be taking a bike with me as I plan on doing a lot of cycling. Because of the type of cycle I ride, I'm going to have to get it flown in air freight to Athens as it won't be permitted within the hold of the average 737 / Airbus A-320 that fly into the island resorts.

    The basic upshot of this is that I'll be taking a ferry out from the port of Piraeus with my cycle so I guess this narrows my scope somewhat. Paros and Kos are names that keep getting mentioned - do you have any knowledge of these?

  3. #23

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    Cycling in Greece, I like it!

    So I'm flying into Athens too, but getting a bus to Rafina which is the smaller ferry port on the east coast. From Rafina you can still get to lots of islands - Andros, Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini and Tinos. (I recommend Direct Ferries - Compare ferry crossings to Ireland, France and more for checking ferry timetables - pick Greece and it'll show you the routes from Piraeus and Rafina. Piraeus you can get almost anywhere but depending which island you pick, Rafina may be closer).

    I'm going to be visiting Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Santorini and Crete in that order as it makes sense if you view it on a map. I've not been to any of them apart from Crete before so I can't personally vouch for what they're like. Most Greek islands are quite hilly so I'm assuming you're prepared for that? Although most have coastal roads so I expect you could cycle round them without it getting too taxing.

    Paros would be a lot more convenient by ferry - Kos is way over near Turkey and looks to be around 12 hours by ferry. I'd recommend looking at Naxos and Paros, both should be good choices. Andros is a short ferry from Rafina but I believe it's a quieter island so depends if you're looking for maximum peace and quiet (i.e. fewer tourist/brits) or somewhere that's good to explore but still has decent tourist facilities (more restaurants, bars etc.) I'm not saying Andros won't cut it but from my research it's definitely on the quieter side.

    If you still wanted to consider Crete, it's achievable by ferry from Piraeus, about 6 hours so it depends how you feel about that.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Willapp View Post
    Cycling in Greece, I like it!

    So I'm flying into Athens too, but getting a bus to Rafina which is the smaller ferry port on the east coast. From Rafina you can still get to lots of islands - Andros, Ios, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Santorini and Tinos. (I recommend Direct Ferries - Compare ferry crossings to Ireland, France and more for checking ferry timetables - pick Greece and it'll show you the routes from Piraeus and Rafina. Piraeus you can get almost anywhere but depending which island you pick, Rafina may be closer).

    I'm going to be visiting Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Ios, Santorini and Crete in that order as it makes sense if you view it on a map. I've not been to any of them apart from Crete before so I can't personally vouch for what they're like. Most Greek islands are quite hilly so I'm assuming you're prepared for that? Although most have coastal roads so I expect you could cycle round them without it getting too taxing.

    Paros would be a lot more convenient by ferry - Kos is way over near Turkey and looks to be around 12 hours by ferry. I'd recommend looking at Naxos and Paros, both should be good choices. Andros is a short ferry from Rafina but I believe it's a quieter island so depends if you're looking for maximum peace and quiet (i.e. fewer tourist/brits) or somewhere that's good to explore but still has decent tourist facilities (more restaurants, bars etc.) I'm not saying Andros won't cut it but from my research it's definitely on the quieter side.

    If you still wanted to consider Crete, it's achievable by ferry from Piraeus, about 6 hours so it depends how you feel about that.
    Andros - sounds inneresting.

    Wasn't that one of those pheremone based sprays that one used to see advertised in Exchange and Mart back in the day where they claimed that in a dentist's waiting room, women flocked to the chair that had been sprayed with andros?

    Anyway, I digress....

    Something quiet would be good so I shall definitely consider that. As regards cycling, I'm going to mix it up with some vigorous hill climbs as well as some relaxing rides where I just ride up and down a sun soaked esplanade in my bikini.

    Who knows? Maybe our paths will cross - I'll be instantly recognisable as I'll have a Greek courtesy flag flying off the flagpole on the back of my cycle.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip in a Poke View Post
    Andros - sounds inneresting
    I suppose it is if you find bog paper brands "inneresting"
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  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by OwlHoot View Post
    I suppose it is if you find bog paper brands "inneresting"
    That's Andrex you fool!

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