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  • Wiseoldman 125 posts

    Hi

    Hoping for some advice on Greece from all the experts here. Looking to go there on a last minute trip 2nd week of June for 7 days max.

    From all the choices and hundreds of islands where does one start!!!

    What we would like is;

    1- A welness/spa type location
    2- A reasonable price upto £1000/pp

    Help appreciated

    NorthernLass 8,204 posts

    What travel arrangements are you looking at? Package or separate bookings? I think you’re going to be constrained a bit by price – you could try pricing up BA Holidays, for example and see what it comes up with in your price range.

    Places like Crete and Cyprus tend to have a lot of accommodation (and flight departures) so likely to be more of a bargain, but obviously bigger and busier than some islands. Both have plenty of spa/wellness resorts.

    Neil 17 posts

    At short notice may be easiest to do a quick search via one of the package firms like Jet2 or tui etc. as they usually have last-minute deals and you can usually filter easily to get near to what you want. Many of the package companies will transfer you via ferry to nearby islands as part of the package which can sometimes get you a slightly quieter island

    NorthernLass 8,204 posts

    Jet2 do look to have some decent deals at the moment. Flying from Stansted there seem to be a few 4-star options with spa facilities in Crete (for example) for under £1k pp, some with HB thrown in as a special offer.

    Grant 116 posts

    Purely because I am staying here at the moment, have a look at the Angsana on Corfu. Good spa / wellness facilities and decent restaurants within the hotel. Local village a 15 walk away for more traditional Greek tavernas.

    Budget may be tight if it needs to include travel, but there are plenty of LCCs flying in to Corfu. Check out accommodation pricing on Kenwood Travel vs booking direct because they were substantially cheaper for my half term dates.

    Angsana is part of the Accor Group if that is helpful to you. My lowly silver status was recognised at check-in despite booking via a third party.

    Domes also have a couple of properties on Corfu, one of which is adults only, which may fit the bill.

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    Hi

    Thank you all for your quick responses. Open to package or separate bookings whatever offers the best solution.


    @Northernlass
    ; Crete seems too big and busy and urban. Appreciate the suggestion and will take a look again.


    @Neil
    ; looking at the packaged holidays just cant figure out which island/hotel combo is good. Too much choice and not enough time to investigate so was hoping for some insights


    @Grant
    ; thanks for the suggestion will check out Angsana and Corfu

    Misty 291 posts

    The various Ionian Islands are pretty and more green than some of the more southerly Islands, however they may have less clement weather at the beginning of June.I’ve only been to Corfu and Kefalonia though not Zakynthos. If you want something less touristy you may need an Island that has no airport and travel by ferry to your finally location, but this could be a pain if you are travelling with kids.

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    The various Ionian Islands are pretty and more green than some of the more southerly Islands, however they may have less clement weather at the beginning of June.I’ve only been to Corfu and Kefalonia though not Zakynthos. If you want something less touristy you may need an Island that has no airport and travel by ferry to your finally location, but this could be a pain if you are travelling with kids.


    @Misty
    thanks for the advice. No kids but ssome mobility issue due to recent medical issue. Walking/climbing is challenging but transfers should be fine

    JDB 4,620 posts

    @wiseoldman the west (and south) of Crete is much less busy and urbanised, still rather wonderful. Heraklion and east is now awful. Also, as above, those islands that don’t have airports (or at least those only with flights from Athens) are just infinitely nicer than those that do, but seven days slightly limits that option. Sifnos, Serifos, Patmos, Limnos, Lesbos, Andros, Tinos, Naxos are but a few options if you have a little travel time. Crete is a large enough island to absorb the direct flights as most of the sheep head east.

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    Purely because I am staying here at the moment, have a look at the Angsana on Corfu. Good spa / wellness facilities and decent restaurants within the hotel. Local village a 15 walk away for more traditional Greek tavernas.

    Budget may be tight if it needs to include travel, but there are plenty of LCCs flying in to Corfu. Check out accommodation pricing on Kenwood Travel vs booking direct because they were substantially cheaper for my half term dates.

    Angsana is part of the Accor Group if that is helpful to you. My lowly silver status was recognised at check-in despite booking via a third party.

    Domes also have a couple of properties on Corfu, one of which is adults only, which may fit the bill.

    No Rooms at Angsana on our dates

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    Thermal springs would be great!

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    @JDB thanks. It is this time limitation and too much choice with no real way to know without people who have been. All website info is really useless and it all seems the same which they are not likely to be

    jj 533 posts

    My guiding principle in Greece is to avoid any island that either has an international airport or is associated with any iconic, Instagramable images. To be fair, there are exceptions: Kefalonia, for example, has both an airport and one of the world’s most recognisable beaches, but it’s large enough to hide some idyllic corners and the capital, Argostoli, is a lovely place. But the JJ principle will stand you in good stead in your search.

    The problem is that many of the remaining islands have strict planning laws that prevent wellness/spa type places from springing up. Naxos, suggested by @JDB is a case in point – it’s easy to access from Athens with multiple ferries and small internal flights per day, but I don’t think it has a single large hotel or any building more than three storeys tall. The really idyllic islands don’t even allow sun loungers on their beaches.

    The Aegean or Ionian seas provide the spa for most visitors to Greece. Are you happy to sit on a lounger on the sand instead of by a pool? If so, one of the myriad family-run beach hotels on the white sands of Naxos’ west coast could be ideal if you want something that’s not ‘too big and busy and urban’.

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    @jj thanks for the advice. No lounger needed! Will look at Naxos as you and @jdb suggested. Appreciate it

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    Hi

    Any comments on CORFU – GREECE
    KERKYRA BLUE HOTEL & SPA

    OR

    AGIOS NIKOLAOS – CRETE – GREECE
    Wyndham Mirabello Beach & Village

    thanks

    jj 533 posts

    @Wiseoldman, Naxos gets gradually quieter as you head down the west coast. The first few beaches, Agios Georgios, Agia Anna, and the north have of Plaka are fronted by ribbon development of low-rise hotels. Central Plaka is quieter, while the southern half of Kastraki and Pyrgaki are pretty isolated. Some of the beaches around Alyko are also very quiet, but the area is a nature reserve so has no hotels. The satellite view of Google
    Maps is a good way of seeing what’s going on.

    Naxos town is lovely, being super-pretty and full of interesting shops selling local crafts. So you have a choice – stay on the busiest beach, Agios Georgios, where you can easily walk into town, or stay further down the coast and travel into town by bus/taxi/car from time to time. Both options are good. For the first option, Nissaki Beach Hotel is a great place but may be outside budget.

    squawk7700 84 posts

    TUI sell package holidays to Skopelos (flights to Skiathos followed by a ferry) and I’m lead to believe it’s much quieter than its neighbour. It’s on my to-do list at some point.

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    Much appreciated @jj. Looking at these places

    Richie 1,032 posts

    Phew! @JDB didn’t name one of my favourite islands!

    NorthernLass 8,204 posts

    Agree re southern Crete – you can drive around for hours and not see anyone, and just wander around deserted Greek and Roman ruins if the fancy takes you! Also Elounda is quite nice and not too busy. When we stayed there some years ago the clientele was heavily Russian, so it may be even quieter just now.

    We stayed at the King Minos (?) which had a pool for every 4 suites but we were the only people in that section so had it our to ourselves. There was also a massage service which would send a therapist to your terrace.

    Misty 291 posts

    The various Ionian Islands are pretty and more green than some of the more southerly Islands, however they may have less clement weather at the beginning of June.I’ve only been to Corfu and Kefalonia though not Zakynthos. If you want something less touristy you may need an Island that has no airport and travel by ferry to your finally location, but this could be a pain if you are travelling with kids.



    @Misty
    thanks for the advice. No kids but ssome mobility issue due to recent medical issue. Walking/climbing is challenging but transfers should be fine

    If you want somewhere with guaranteed good weather (of course you can get unlucky anywhere). The Dodecanese might be a possible, but Rhodes and Kos the only two I have been too, & may be a bit over commercialised for you as they were getting that was 15 years or so ago. I would imagine Rhodes has Spa hotels.

    The Dodecanese weren’t officially part of Greece until 1947, they were actually Italian, so tend to have more of a Venetian/Genoese feel, they also liked to rebuild the old castles in a Gothic style.

    Same for most of the northern Aegean island. The Ottomans hung on to them a little longer then the Italians broke them away bit by bit but the North Aegean’s were Greek long before some of the other islands as their locals tended to be more involved in the war of independence.

    Sorry I am blathering on a bit.

    I like Kefalonia it’s the 3 largest Island I believe and due to the topography of the land, hasn’t been able to build high rise concrete hotels in any great number. I think there is a Spa Resort called FZeen, but this isn’t a recommendation as such as we always stay in villas.

    Ithaca is on my wish list it’s close to Kefalonia and is supposed to be beautiful, but you have to get the ferry, maybe no Spa Hotels either ?

    Greece is a bit of a mindfield when trying to choose an Island/resort. Hope you manage to find something suitable.

    NorthernLass 8,204 posts

    That’s very interesting @Misty, I’m probably a bit anchored in the more ancient history! I’ve enjoyed every Greek holiday we’ve had (Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Marathon, Athens and off to Athens again in October), it always blows my mind when I hear Greek spoken that it sounds so like Spanish, but of course is largely unrelated so unintelligible to me!

    I don’t think 7 days would be long enough for me to be getting ferries to the smaller islands, it would eat into too much of the holiday but definitely on a longer trip.

    Misty 291 posts

    That’s very interesting @Misty, I’m probably a bit anchored in the more ancient history! I’ve enjoyed every Greek holiday we’ve had (Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Marathon, Athens and off to Athens again in October), it always blows my mind when I hear Greek spoken that it sounds so like Spanish, but of course is largely unrelated so unintelligible to me!

    I don’t think 7 days would be long enough for me to be getting ferries to the smaller islands, it would eat into too much of the holiday but definitely on a longer trip.

    Yes I think the same really if you want to go off the beaten track you probably need 10 or maybe 14 nights.

    It’s unintelligible to me as well:-)

    jj 533 posts

    I don’t think 7 days would be long enough for me to be getting ferries to the smaller islands, it would eat into too much of the holiday but definitely on a longer trip.

    I make it work by catching the late flight on a Friday, staying overnight in the Athens airport hotel, and getting a morning transfer to an island of choice on the Saturday. For the return, I leave the islands on Saturday afternoon, flying home on Sunday. So, if the 7 days is constrained by annual leave, it’s possible to get 7 nights on a relatively quiet island. If the primary constraint is cost, the two extra nights in Athens naturally eat into the budget, though.

    Wiseoldman 125 posts

    I think we are down to two choices based on flight/hotel availability and our limited time; Santorini and Crete. Now looking at options at these places. Appreciate the input. Need a PHd in Greek islands and lot more time to make it work.

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