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Greece and Greece Islands for 10 days, critique my itinerary:

ysb

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Hi,
Taking my wife and her mother to Greece in September, and did a quick search but didn't see much on the Greek Islands. I've been doing my research but was wondering if people could make any under the radar personal recommendations for a 10 day trip that will be focused mainly on the island experience. Don't want to spend too much time island hopping so I thought that I'd maybe pick a couple of different islands and spend 2-3 nights at each of them.
How does this sound? any recommendations for either of these places?

Thanks!~

Athens (2 nights,
Hydra (3 nights,
Santorini (4 nights
Athens (1 night, 9)
 

celery

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Athens - 2 nights
Hydra - 2 nights
Santorini - 2 nights
Crete - 3 nights
Athens - 1 night

Crete has the temple of knossos and the best collection (imo) of Greek artifacts that I've ever seen. Hydra and Santorini, while beautiful, are both pretty small and you might feel like going somewhere with more to do.
 

fritzl

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Originally Posted by ysb
How does this sound? any recommendations for either of these places?

Thanks!~


member binge is very experienced on this topic. shoot him a pm or invite him to participate.
 

zoneahead

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Originally Posted by ysb
Hi,
Taking my wife and her mother to Greece in September, and did a quick search but didn't see much on the Greek Islands. I've been doing my research but was wondering if people could make any under the radar personal recommendations for a 10 day trip that will be focused mainly on the island experience. Don't want to spend too much time island hopping so I thought that I'd maybe pick a couple of different islands and spend 2-3 nights at each of them.
How does this sound? any recommendations for either of these places?

Thanks!~

Athens (2 nights,
Hydra (3 nights,
Santorini (4 nights
Athens (1 night, 9)


It may be worth looking into to see if you can arrange your travel so that your time in Athens is not split into a sandwich at the beginning and end of your trip. It would be pretty easy to fly straight into Santorini on arrival in Greece and leave all your days for Athens at the end of the trip.
 

binge

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Fritlz is too kind...I've been to Greece three times in the past 12 years, but my last visit was in 2009 and can give some opinions.

Let's say you depart the US on a Saturday, arrive in Athens Sunday.

01 Sun Athens - 1/2 day with jet-lag and hotel checkin
02 Mon Athens
03 Tue Athens
04 Wed Athens-Santorini travel
05 Thu Santorini
06 Fri Santorini
07 Sat Santorini-?? travel
08 Sun ??
09 Mon ??-Athens
10 Tue Depart Athens

Between the Acropolis and its new museum, the other museums in the area and just exploring central Athens, you can fill two days easily. If you do arrive on a Sunday, lots of things may be closed. It'd probably be better to depart the US on a Tues or Wed so that you can have Wed-Fri or Thr-Sat in Athens, then go to Santorini.

Santorini is not to be missed for sure, but I think 4 nights is too much. You can take the high-speed (hyrdofoil) ferry from Athens to Santorini. It's fun to do once, especially coming in and circling the caldera. Then a harrowing taxi ride up the cliffside to the town. That's how I did it in 2005: arrive by ferry and depart by plane. While there, do take the bus up to Oia, a town on the tip of the island crescent, and stay for the sunset.

Getting from Santorini to another island can be a hassle, you pretty much have to go back to Athens first. Back in 2005 I wanted to go from Santorini to Rhodes and the only way was first back to Athens. It may have changed since then, but do check into it when planning. And if most of Greece is on holiday in August, the ferry schedule could be reduced.

I did go to Hydra back in 1999 and I don't have any particularly strong memory one way or another, it kinda blends together with the other 4 islands I visited on that trip. It was nice and all, but I don't know if it was memorable enough to recommend it. If you're intrigued by it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

As for Crete, I visited there in 2009 and had an ok time. Knossos is is interesting, but a lot of it is a "restoration" based on the imagination/speculation of Arthur Evans. I guess I had something more academically rigorous in mind. The main city of Crete, Heraklion, is a dump, I don't recommend staying there. I did a day trip to Rethymno, which was much nicer. Crete is such a big island, you really need a car to enjoy it I think. I didn't and the bus system wasn't adequate. So, maybe my experience is unfairly colored by that.

Greece is fantastic, and an easy place to enjoy. I'm sure that with Athens and Santorini you'll have very enjoyable time and whichever you pick for your third stop will be just as good. IMO, since it's a relaxing vacation, take your time and don't try to jam in too many stops. And it might take longer than you think to get from island to island, depending on ferry schedules or flights.
 

Sazerac

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Don't know if you're set for a hotel in Santorini, but we stayed in both the Aressana and the Katikies. The Katikies was infinitely better, and totally unique. It's built right into the side of a cliff -- architecturally, think M.C. Escher. I recommend it without hesitation. Also, it's on the more charming, less touristy part of the island. (Less touristy is relative, though.)

In Crete, I've stayed at the Elounda Beach which was great, but very much a gilded cage. Everything is very pricey and there's not much around there unless you go to the nearest town. The time you're going should be fine, but it has an eerie, though not unpleasant, air about in the off season.

Enjoy your trip. I was married in Santorini and regard the Greek Islands as some of the most beautiful places on earth.
 

celery

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Hania in Crete is quite nice, Hraklion seems to have undergone a small amount of gentrification. Also, if you do end up in Hania, ask about where the best Bourek is. It's probably the last place on earth why they make phyllo dough by hand every morning.
 

brlfvr

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Leave next week mysel:

London 2 days
Athens 2 days
Santorini 3 days
Athens 1 day
Hydra 1 night
Athens 2 days

It's been five years since I've been. Sooo looking forward to it. Have a great trip to those of you going as well.
 

roryben

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Oia in Santorini is a beautiful village - it's at the north west tip of the island. It's the place with the postcard-esque whitewashed buildings with blue dome roofs, windmills etc. Very chilled out - and most of the village is pedestrians only. If you head up there I can recommend a good restaurant.
 

Kid Nickels

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Originally Posted by roryben
Oia in Santorini is a beautiful village - it's at the north west tip of the island. It's the place with the postcard-esque whitewashed buildings with blue dome roofs, windmills etc. Very chilled out - and most of the village is pedestrians only. If you head up there I can recommend a good restaurant.



my grandmother is Greek... great grandpappy came from there back in the day...never been...dying to go! I'm just jealous! Have a great time & rip some ouzo for me!
 

yarnsforth

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OP, does your wife's mother get around on foot well?

Both Hydra and Santorini have hills, some of them steep, and lots of steps.

Also, I've found after my trips to Greece that I enjoy going to fewer places and staying longer in each. I think two islands plus Athens in your time frame is more than enough variety.
 

aj_del

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Thinking of doing this this summer. I would be my first time to Greece. Travelling with wife and 4 yr old son

Day 1 - Arrive in Athens around noon, take ferry to Paros

Day 2-6 - 5 nights in Paros with day trip to Mykonos and Delos and another to Naxos

Day 7-8 - Folegandros

Day 9-10 - Santorini

Day 11- Fly back to Athens

Day 12-14 - Athens

Thoughts please ...
 
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