We'll frolic and play the Mediterranean way...
November 9, 2018 6:30 PM   Subscribe

I will have the opportunity to be in the eastern Mediterranean region of Europe in early January and am looking for recommendations for some of the best places to spend a very low-key holiday during the winter season. Details inside.

I've got aroughly a week to spend in the area with Mrs Potato and the young spud. For health and child reasons, intense, non-stop tourist site hopping isn't practical this time, though the occasional plaza/colosseum/cathedral/seaside vista/etc would be welcome.

Ideally, the best location would...
- be worth spending roughly a week in
- be easy to walk around
- have good food, and plentiful coffee
- have an agreeable winter climate (Cool weather is ok! Pure misery in rain form all week is probably not)
posted by elected_potato to Travel & Transportation (7 answers total)
The Greek Islands! Spend a day in Athens so you don’t feel like you missed something important, then head to the islands. I’d recommend as far south as possible since it’s January. Maybe Crete since it’s large enough that you won’t constantly be wind-swept. You’d also want to check that wherever you go won’t completely close for the winter. (I’ve heard that Hydra, though farther north, is good year round because it’s popular with people from Athens.)

Also, I found Santorini to be a crowded tourist trap, but apparently it’s not crowded at all in the winter, and it is very beautiful.
posted by lunasol at 8:09 PM on November 9, 2018

It's a while ago now (1991) but we had our honeymoon in Venice (mid-December). It was cold (probably nights down to -8C), but dry and not foggy, we had many brilliant sunny days and incredible evening Sky's. Very walkable - there's no other option!

Almost no tourists, so museums, gallery's all to ourselves. We could still get a gondola, and a choice of accom. Many restaurants/cafes open on the main island. Smaller islands like Torchello tho' were like wastelands, we spent a whole day there and no-one save an apparent headless monk! in a crypt.
posted by unearthed at 9:50 PM on November 9, 2018 [1 favorite]

Santorini is lovely in the off season.

Istanbul is wonderful for wandering and eating. January can be rainy but last time I was there then it was cool but sunny.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 10:23 PM on November 9, 2018

Crete if you’re willing to drive, Istanbul and the Prince’s Islands if not.

Alternately: what about Israel?
posted by mdonley at 1:20 AM on November 10, 2018

What do you mean by Eastern Mediterranean? If Italy is east enough, I think Sicily would be perfect. If not, I've just been to Athens for the first time in ages and it was surprisingly lovely. Much more walkable than I remembered it, and excellent public transportation too. The city is very safe and child-friendly, the food and coffee is excellent and there is obviously a lot of interesting stuff, both from ancient times and now and in-between. We made an excursion to the island of Aegina, which turned out to be a great idea.
Tel Aviv - Yofa is a lovely place for a holiday as well, with a day trip to Jerusalem as an option. I personally don't like Jerusalem much, but I'm glad to have seen it and will go again.
posted by mumimor at 5:07 AM on November 10, 2018

The island of Cyprus fits the bill. Great food, great weather, and the sea will be cool but not freezing. Loads of love for coffee too including Turkish coffee if that’s your kind of thing. Better if you rent a car but there’s ways to dodge that including staying in one of the villages by the mountains and walking down to the beach or else choosing a seaside town and hanging out there, taking taxis to places. Memail me if you want to know more as I hail from there :)
posted by mkdirusername at 10:56 AM on November 10, 2018

Istanbul does get snow at that time of year and when i lived there about 10 yrs ago, wasnt really well set up for it traffic wise. It's a very hilly city and because it doesn't get a lot of snow people just drive around, have the odd accident. It is beautiful but it is not warm in the way you might imagine a southern european location to be.
posted by jojobobo at 10:33 PM on November 10, 2018

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