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Would like advice

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Would like advice

We have just retired and would like to travel around Greece and/or the Gredek islands for a couple of months. Would we be ok on foot which would limit what we could carry or should we take a car or what is the best thing for us to do?

I'd like to be free to stay longer at a place we like, or leave earlier as the mood takes us so booking places far ahead is not really conducive to that.

What do people usually do if they want to travel around for two or three months at their leisure? Being in our early 60s we would want to take our time and enjoy places.

Thanks for any advice

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Greece
Greece
Europe
Lindesnes...
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for Southern Norway, Cyclades
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1. Re: Would like advice

My wife and I are happy retired since 3 years, and love Greece. This year we have spend about 90 days around on different islands. We have been there in all seasons except summer (mid-june to late august). The different seasons have their own beauty.

From feb.20th until march 20.th. we drove around the eastern part of Crete. We could easily have spend more. We visited Rethymnion during Karnivalli, walked in snow in the highlands around Spili . Did gorge walks in Zaros and Zakros. Had an electrical black-out in Chora Sfakion. Could swim in Ierapetra and at the Vai beach. And we fell in love with Sitia and the surroundings. We visited Malia and said to ourselves: Never again. In Agios Nikolaus we were a bit unlucky with the weather, so we have to give it another chance. Crete is a huge island, and we could never have done it without a car.

Naxos is our favorite island, to which we always return. This year we first visited for the Greek Easter. In end of september, we ended an island strolling through Astypalea, Dounussa, and Schinoussa in Naxos. And last friday we we returned from our first december trip to Naxos. Naxos is well covered with public buses, more buses in high season than in winther. December in Naxos surprised us by beeing extremely green, I have never seen any island that green. The temp was about 15 degrees and weather changing from bright sun to pouring rain. This gave us some good hiking opportunities, we were out on different walks 6 out of 7 days. Range between 8 km (bus from Naxos Town to Filoti, walking through hills and villages to Chalki) and 20 km at the longest (From Naxos town to Melanes and back). Naxos is also the best starting point for visiting the Small Cyclades.

We have also been with a group of friends on an island strolling in the Dodecanese in May. Starting from Rhodes, we made our way to Symi, Leros, Lipsi and back to Rhodes again. In the same group we have earlier years visited Kalymnos, Patmos, Agathonissi and Samos. All the Greek islands are well suited for walking, if thats what you like. We often book our first accomodation on arrival to Greece, and from there we take it as we go. It is seldom necessary to book ferries, out of season it is never necessary. Room renters will meet at ferry pier at most islands. If they dont, you can always go into a taverna or ask a taxi driver for help. Prices are usually better at the spot than pre-booked. Until now I have never come to an unclean room or an unpleasant host, most are excellent. Ferry prices are fixed so there is nothing to gain in early bookings. Be aware that smaller islands may be more or less closed from october to late april.

I have found Rough Guide to the Greek islands very good for most islands. For Crete they have a special edition, and a very good map. Skai maps are the only good maps for the smaller islands www.terrainmaps.gr

You find all ferry routes on www.gtp.gr or www.openseas.gr On openseas you may put in dates back in times to see historical schedules. They are often repeated. Summer schedules are never released before april/may.

You find a lot of web-cameras around Greece, my favorite is www.naxosisland.eu From their main page you also switch to ships traffic and get a picture of the actual ferries and other ships.

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Newmarket, United...
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2. Re: Would like advice

I've been travelling to the Greek Islands for many years, and have never hired a car. Most islands have excellent bus services, and its possible to get around easily that way. Naturally a car would be an advantage, but not a necessity, except perhaps on Crete. You can always hire a car for the day if there's something special you would like to see or do. Since you have 2-3 months at your disposal, there is no rush to get anywhere quickly by car.

Outside high season (Jul- Aug) it's easy to find a room when you arrive at a port, and buy ferry tickets when you are ready to leave for the next island. Greek Easter is 5th May in 2013, and that is the only time before high season when I would worry about booking in advance.

I am around your age, and like to travel with a wheeled suitcase and a small backpack, which doubles as a carry-on for flights, and a day bag when sightseeing or going to the beach. Travel light, and bring clothes that can be washed in your room & hung out to dry. :o)

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Crete
Crete
Greece
Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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3. Re: Would like advice

Hi Jayne,

and welcome to the forum.

I join the same wagon as the other two - also being in my 60's (67). I have hopping the Greek islands (and the mainland) for the last 30 years - up to 3-4 times a year.

I also travel light and share the experiences mentioned above.

To find where you would like to go look up a good guide book to make a preliminary itinerary of where to go and what to see\do. Then you can return here with some more dedicated questions, and we will be many to offer you advice and share our experiences.

For walking experiences you may also look up this link:

http://www.islandwalking.com/wordpress/

Edited: 8:58 am, December 16, 2012
UK
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4. Re: Would like advice

I have made many trips to Greek Islands usually in June and at the end of August/beginning of September. If you want to spend 2 months island hopping I suggest the best time would be from mid-May (after Greek easter is out of the way) to mid-July. The weather will be warm by then and everything will be open. It will be possible to just find accommodation and buy ferry tickets as you go at that time of year. At the end of the season things wind down more rapidly. Until the end of August things are pretty busy and you can't guarantee finding rooms. Then at the end of September things start closing down, which doesn't give you a 2-month period.

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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5. Re: Would like advice

Well I am too late in this thread to say much that has not already been said other than this. Your comment about being limited in what you can carry if you do not have a car really touches what the Greek Islands are all about.

That is, ferry hops from one island to another, moving around when the spirit takes you. Hunkering down in an island that captures your heart. You do not need many changes of clothes on the islands. People who are experienced know that you will be on and off ferrys, will be wandering in towns looking for a hotel on arrival and that all means you have to carry your luggage. Less is better particularly for those of us with wonky backs and knees.

We normally bring a wheeled cabin sized suitcase and small back packs with three or 4 changes of clothes all selected so they can be mixed and matched making multiple combinations of looks. That really is all you need.

We generally either take the local bus or on Naxos we will always rent a car for a day or two to get to the interior and the mountain villages.

You are going to have a great time.

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Naxos Town
Naxos Town
Naxos, Greece
6. Re: Would like advice

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