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Feb 2, 2010 06:42 AM

Looking to stay on a Greek island with great food - any suggestions?

We'd like to rent a small apartment - should I do a search on google? Is the food pretty much the same island to island? We love fresh seafood and Greek food. Does anyone know the best time to rent and stay there? (cheaper). We can go any time, need advice....

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  1. I'd go in late May, when it's not crazy hot yet, and the main season hasn't started (should be cheaper). As for the food -- while many islands have their own little special dishes (fava from Santorini comes to mind), all of them will have seafood & the usual suspects.

    I really liked Mykonos, Santorini, Siros, and Korfu, but I last visited in the 80s when they weren't completely overrun by tourists. That said, if you don't go in the middle of summer, you should be fine.

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood

      Thanks. It'll fun to look into it.

    2. You will be able to find great fresh seafood in most greek islands. Have you thought of maybe island hopping, at least to two different places to have some variety?
      As linguafood mentions, Santorini has great fava, and also white eggplant, the best capers ive ever tasted...but its a little more expensive (although you can find deals).
      My cousin told me Kouffonisi has amazing seafood dishes for great prices, the beaches are to die for- its just not a very lively place, much more quiet...
      Each island usually makes their own special cheese. Crete has great food too.
      I could go on and on, but all the islands is too much to cover :)

      3 Replies
      1. re: eviemichael

        Quiet is wonderful; will look into that island. What we thought of doing was to land in Athens for a few nights, then go to one island for a few nights - but we could make it two, easily; thanks for the help!

        1. re: bayoucook

          Since you're likely to take a ferry from Athens, you'll have the chance to get to a number of islands, and could stay a couple nights on one, then move on.

          Did that once -- Tinos, Siros, and finally Mykonos. Island-hopping is much fun!!!

          1. re: linguafood

            We're going to talk about that tonight! Thanks.

      2. Nope- the food is different on different islands. There are some similarities between dishes in certain regions ie Northeast Aegean Islands, Mykonos/Santorini, islands closer to Athens, etc.

        My favourite islands foodwise are Crete, Mytilini and Rhodes, but then again, I haven't had a chance to visit Ithaca, Corfu, Cephallonia, or Zakyntho.

        Authentic Cretan food is quite distinct from the food you'll find elsewhere in Greece. Only problem is that you have to get off the beaten path to find the authentic stuff. Most of the meals we had in Chania & Rethymno unfortunately fell into the tourist trap realm. Try to find out where the locals eat, and beware of the hotel employee who recommends a nearby restaurant.

        The food is cheaper in the islands with less resorts, and less charters. I ate better in Mytilini for 20 Eu (with better quality seafood, more interesting preparations, and more generous servings) than I could eat in Mykonos or Santorini for 40 Eu.

        Found most of the restaurant food in Mykonos and Santorini to be overpriced tourist trap krap.

        4 Replies
        1. re: phoenikia

          I agree with you phoenikia about Crete.

          Karpathos is also a great island for food, untouched by a lot of tourism with specialties like "makarounes"- a homemade pasta and "psilokouloura"- a wood-oven baked crispy bread that is so addictive...

          But I just have to add that I spent a long time in Santorini last year- And although most of the restaurants are overpriced tourist traps- there are several in Oia and Fira that were well-priced with great food, where locals eat. There were also a few restaurants that were slightly higher end but worth it, like Saltsa in Firostefani.

          1. re: phoenikia

            We always try to avoid touristy places. So much good info here, thank you!

            1. re: bayoucook

              here is an older thread on a similar topic:

              If you like calamari, make sure you ask for the calamari freska (fresh- not frozen). Usually both are offered, but the cheaper, pre-frozen calamari doesn't taste anything like the fresh stuff. If the calamari isn't labeled fresh/freska on the menu, most likely it's pre-frozen, rubbery imported squid. Many restaurants serve both. And most people want to save money these days, so if you don't specify fresh, they'll serve you the cheaper stuff, making the assumption you want to pay less. Same goes for the shrimp. The fresh wild shrimp from Greece (I had them in Rhodes) are nothing like the mostly farmed shrimp sold in North American supermarkets.

              If you decide to visit Crete, I found this guide quite helpful:
              Syntages in Heraklion served me a great upscale contemporary Greek meal. And we were the only tourists in the restaurant that night.

          2. Although I have not been to any other islands, I can highly recommend Lesbos (referred to below as Mytilini). It is one of the largest Greek Island, and therefore quite diverse, at least geographically, and not beholden to mass tourism. We stayed in the town of Molyvos and it was a great base. The food everywhere we went was exceptional, significantly better than in the Peleponese, on the mainland, where we also spent a week.

            1. Hi; if you want to taste authentic Crete, head for the east. In lovely low key resorts stretching from Makrigialos, to Sitia you'll find great local mezes served with drinks at no extra charge and some great dining opportunities in May with hardly another tourist in sight. eastcretemagazineDOTcom is a good resource for more info. Kalo taxidi!

              2 Replies
              1. re: eastcretemagazine

                thank you! I'll check that out and all the suggestions here -

                1. re: bayoucook

                  Bayoucook - have you taken your trip yet, and where did you end up visiting + eating?