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Help me with our Greek Cyclades Mom/Daughter (18yr) trip!!

Help me with our Greek Cyclades Mom/Daughter (18yr) trip!!

Old Sep 5th, 2022, 07:16 AM
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Help me with our Greek Cyclades Mom/Daughter (18yr) trip!!

I am taking my daughter to Greece for her graduation gift in June 2023 (10-12 nights) and trying to decide on islands and thought you all could help us narrow it down! Also, if you can spam me with any must see/do recommendations, that would be fantastic!!

Right now, thinking of flying in/out of Santorini and Mykonos, trying to pick another island or two that have a slower pace and not as touristy (Milos, Paros, Naxos, Koufonisia). So we would start at one, ferry to a few other islands and finish at the other. Which one would you suggest for her wish list?

Her Wish List:
- Beautiful views (think Instagram worthy)
- Amazing food (local hidden spots, not on the main tourist drag)
- Beach clubs and remote beaches
- Catamaran or small boat tour to other islands
- Adventure things to do (she loved Costa Rica and Hawaii)
- Explore quaint villages, soak up the greek culture
- Shopping, shopping, shopping

My Wish List - Added to hers
- Vinyards
- Farm to table meal
- E-bike adventure or something similar, even just renting a car for a day and explore the island
- Relax and enjoy this time with her before she goes off to school.



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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 08:22 AM
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I recommend Paros. We loved our stay there slightly outside of the town of Naoussa. Good dining, beautiful villages around the island. We rented cars for a few days on each island, arranged by our hotels. This is how you will find less touristed, charming towns.
It was so nice after Santorini which was so over touristed. We had been in Greece for two weeks and felt like we had left when we arrived in Santorini. Enjoy the views and there is a winery there. Santorini is not known for itís beaches, much better on other islands but best on the mainland. We did not see any of the party life on Mykonos, nice beaches.
But we spent a month on our first trip filled with wonderful sights and have returned again as we love Greece. Two weeks in Western Crete based in Chania was wonderful too. There are so many places you can choose from in Greece! We went in late September on our first trip to Greece.
In the Cyclades we have visited several more islands, each one different. We also have spent time in the Dodecanese( Rhodes, Kas etc).
We love the food there, huge Greek salads( share) and fresh fish, grilled with lemon. We had excellent lamb a few times but ate the fish almost daily.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 09:48 AM
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Happy Traveler had 2 wonderful trips -- but one was for a month, the other for 14 days. By contrast u are talking max 12 nights -- and earliest arrival will be mid-morning, max 11.5 days -- So you need to strategize Big-Time -- in terms of TIming, destination choices, itinerary, and transport. here are some basics:

TIMING - Go as Early as POssible in JUNe -- the day after Graduation if possible!! Both because of Heat (every year Greece gets hot earlier) and Crowds (Greece has been "discovered"!! and end of June now can be jammed) Both will seriously impact your enjoyment
DESTINATION CHOICES -- she has a long wish-list... and SANTORINI answers only 2 -- the Famous Caldera View, plus Shopping (tho prices are SKY-high to profit off rich cruise-crowds). It's all about the Caldera View, so I recommend a max of 48 hours... see sunset, take pix, maybe have a vineyard tour, then scram... and go to NAXOS. Happy Trav plugs Paros, but speaks for a couple who rent cars, not a mom-daughter situation. In Naxos, excellent bus network links all beaches, enables daughter to be independent safely, lots of other young singles around. A swell one-day small-bus tour of island highlights - http://www.naxosbustransfer.com/ - a fascinating port town (nicer than Parikia) to explore (and better value shopping than Santorini!). Naxos ticks ALL the items on BOTH of your wish lists. And by long-range planning, you can snag lovely sea-view balcony rooms affordably. For Santoirni I can also recommend affordable cliff-view place that are bypassed by cruise mobs. As for MYKONOS - Why why why? Only ONE item on her list - Shopping -- Mainly Famous Luxury goods -- Chanel-Hermes-DKNY-Burberry-Boss- etc etc - for the Cruise Crazy Mob scene. If she insists, there's a day-excursion from Naxos/Paros. But spare yourselves the Mykonos disillusion...

ITINERARY STRATEGY -- Don't waste time by doing Athens 2x. - save it till last. Strategize! If you pick an airline with a Europe connection to save a few bucks, you can lose almost a day, so bite bullet and book flight that's nonstop from USA (available from Atlanta,Phl, JFK, Newark, & I thnk now Dulles). All these will arr ATH between 9 - 11 AM -- so you can allow 2-hr layover, & board a domestic 50-min flight to SANTORINI..with luck u can be on caldera-view balcony by 2-3 pm. Book a sunset-view restaurant (NOT In Oia), get to Oia EARLY next AM to beat the cruise invasion, explore rest of island, do a vineyard tour, then on AM of Day#3 (or 3pm) take Ferry to NAXOS. Spend 6 days there -- time for those e-bike adventures, quaint villages, farm-to-table meals, amazing beach sunsets. fly back to ATH stay in area near Acropolis, for 3 nights 2-days of Major SIghtseeing (and final shopping).

LOGISTICS FIRST -- Don't book rooms until your transport plans are solid. INVOLVE DAUGHTER -- make her be part of the planning... beyond looking at photos on her phone. Get some guidebooks from library for her to look at during college vacations - she should know that Santorini is NOT the place shown in that "traveling Pants" movie.. just the way that Mykonos is Not the "Shirley Valentine" place any more if iti ever was. This advice is for both of you -- Greece is more wonderful the more you learn about it beforehand.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 12:07 PM
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Thanks for all the helpful tips!!! We are skipping Athens all together and flying through LHR. We have watched lots of You Tube vlogs etc on all the islands together and still can't choose LOL!!

I want to skip Mykonos too, but for some reason, she has it on her list, my guess is the party scene and the lux shopping. I may be able to convince her otherwise. If not, then we would fly in/out of Santorini.

Last edited by iuaustin; Sep 5th, 2022 at 12:09 PM.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 01:12 PM
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Youtube doesn't really tell the story. Will she be shopping in Mykonos with her own money or yours. Are you OK with her going w.o. you to Mykonos clubs after midnight? If that's the case, fine. I had veto over my daughter, others do not.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 01:59 PM
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Iím one of those people who enjoy Mykonos in small doses. June is a good time to be there, before the party scene of July and August. As you plan to route your trip through London, you can fly from there to Santorini and back to London from Mykonos, or vice-versa. That is a very popular route for British travellers who fly BA or easyJet nonstop, and from either take a ferry to Naxos, Paros and other Cycladic islands. A good friend and his wife from England go to Mykonos every year, staying at Platis Gialos, a beach resort, and combining Mykonos with another island.

Most ferries between Santorini and Mykonos stop at Naxos or Paros, making them natural islands to add to your itinerary. Paros has Naoussa, a beautiful former fishing village often used in scenes for Greek films. Naoussa has gone upmarket recently, but not as expensive as Mykonos. Naxos has some nice beaches and pretty mountain villages, but somehow I donít think thatís what your daughter is looking for.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 02:28 PM
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Ha Ha, she wants me to go to a club WITH her LOL! And she makes her own money, but I may splurge and treat her to something.
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 02:29 PM
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That was my thinking ORD -> LHR -> Mykonos and then on the way back Santorini->LHR->ORD. We are planning the first week or so of June so hopefully not too crazy crowded yet!
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Old Sep 5th, 2022, 02:52 PM
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June is fine, even for Mykonos. Some of the clubs and shops aren’t even open yet, but it’s a great time for the islands.

If you can stay up later than me, Skandinavian Bar in Mykonos Town might be the place for you to go clubbing with your daughter. I’m too old to advise, but if you want to check it out it has a Facebook page. Earlier in the evening there are beach bars with DJs on Paradise Beach and other beach resorts.

Naoussa on Paros, like Mykonos, gets very busy in July and August, but relatively quiet in early June.

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