Brooklyn, New York
After our 9 day escorted trip, we are trying to decide if it is too much to extend to Crete and Rhodes. Should Santorini just be a 4-5 day relaxing end or continue to one or both other islands?
Both Santorini and Crete are gorgeous places - so whichever way you choose I don't think you'd be disappointed. Is Greece a once-in-a-lifetime trip for you? If you think you could find yourself there again, maybe just relax in Santorini and leave Create/Rhodes for another time, since they could easily be a trip in themselves.
Personally though I think two days in Santorini is enough to see the island and have time to enjoy the view. While it was very beautiful and I was quite happy spending time on Santorini, if you're just looking to relax after your guided trip I would recommend Crete. It just took a couple hours by high-speed ferry from Santorini. The beaches are the most gorgeous I've ever been to (Balos Beach (pictured) was my favorite) and I easily spent a week based in Chania just driving to a different beach each day, relaxing on the sand, and then having great meals back in town every night.
Definitly try to relax! Though a good trip to one other island for 4-5 days can be magic! Each island is different and have great stuff to see. Though even if they are close to eachother, be careful how much time traveling can take.
Crete is a much larger island with even more history, so if you want to see the old towns and ruins that would be nice. If you're up for a drive and the nature the gorges are huge and worth the views. And for maldive like beaches the north-west corner will let you dream!
All traveling on the islands is half the speed and quite hard driving where it's two lanes for three cars and windy hills to cross, but worth it! Quite comparable to Santorini.
The east of crete is very young touristy and the west side from Chania on quieter. Chersonisos is where all 16+ from Europe go for summer break! Like you wouldn't recommend your friends to go to southbeach florida...
where the italians go for good food with fresh tomatoes and olive oil, the greek have the best salads (cucumbers, tomatoes, onions mmmh), so also worth the trip, don't think santorini has much farmland, so small.
Is the first part of your trip only on Santorini?
Let me know if you need further tips.
Actually Crete is pretty close to Santorini (it's 2 hours by boat from Santorini to Heraklion) so I'd definitely suggest to combine Santorini with Crete. Both islands (Rhodes+Crete) are both beautiful and interesting, but Crete being closer I think it's a better choice. And if you do go to Crete make sure to visit Knossos Palace which belonged to King Minos.
Of course Crete is large...so a little bit of research is needed on what you want to see.
To give you and idea of what you can see, here are some posts I've featured on my blog:
Crete (general) http://aspectsofstyle.com/2013/09/17/crete/
and a mini guide to Heraklion (along with other Greek cities) http://aspectsofstyle.com/2015/03/05/city-breaks-in-greece/
Hope it helps! Let me know if you need any more info!
P.S. Here's my quick guide to Santorini http://aspectsofstyle.com/2014/07/23/a-quick-guide-to-santorini/
As Gülşah said, you can take the fast ferry from Santorini and reach Heraklion in 2 hours only. You have to go to Crete, it is a spellbinding island, don't miss it! When I visited Crete, I spent 3 days in Chania and then took the bus to Kissamos; 30 minutes from Kissamos is the beautiful wild beach of Phalasarna which is less crowded and not polluted as Balos lagoon is... In Balos - which is only reachable by boat - you are forced to share your experience with thousands of people and I can tell you that it was dirty, there were big dried globs of tar on the rocks and garbage everywhere, a pain in the heart! My favourite place in Crete is Chora Sfakion however, a fabulous village surrounded by unforgettable beaches. I also visited Elafonissi (pink sand and crystal clear sea) and Pelekanos - a lively village with mouthwatering restaurants. Have fun!
Mentioned in this answer:
We felt that Santorini was over run with crowds from the cruise ships. A day or two would be plenty in Santorini (we stayed at the the Keti Hotel which was fabulous and reasonably priced). However, Creteis far away and probably worth a separate trip. We loved Folegandros an off the beaten path isle and also Naxos if they are not on your guided tour.
Mentioned in this answer:
I adored Santorini, and could have spent weeks there. We stayed in the quieter, northern side in the town of Oia. I could have spent my entire days just watching the sun change the colors on the cliff walls as it marched across the sky.
My two cents, stay there the whole time-maybe spend some time in Thira and some in Oia if you want to break it up. No sense wasting time island hopping!!
Depends on the days you can spend there.Both great places with many things to do and visit.So if you have some days left go to at least one destination and you"ll have a great time.
If you finally go to Crete then you need to go eat at Kroustas - its a village on the mountains and there is a tavern there called Stavrakakis. They probably make the best food on this planet :) (order the following: ανθούς, γίδα βραστή με το ζουμί της, στάκα, μυζηθροπιτάκια, μακαρούνες, χοχλιούς μπουμπουριστούς)
If you finally stay at Heraklion, take a look at things to do from Heraklion
P.S.> i work at Tourboks plus i am Greek, so i could help more if needed with activities ;)
Mentioned in this answer:
Hello from Rhodes. 4-5 days for Crete are not so many because Crete is a very big island. It is very beautiful island but you need more days if you want to enjoy it. Rhodes is also very beautiful island and smaller. 5 days is not enough but it is ok when you know where to go and what to see. But i do not know about your transfer from Santorini to Rhodes. Is not so easy. When will you go to Sanrorini?