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Athens and which island in mid-November?

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We're planning a sort of last minute trip (mid-November, 9 nights) to Greece. We have never been to Greece. We will fly in and out of Athens. We would like to spend a couple of nights on an island.

I know the weather won't be real warm and the islands may be quiet. Quiet is fine, we're middle aged, enjoy wine, but don't really party. I love history but my husband loves scenery (sunsets and ocean).

I would really like to go to Santorini. Is it possible to get there from Athens on a ferry? How long would it take? We need to keep costs down and flying doesn't look possible.

If going to Santorini is not feasible by ferry, what island would be good instead?

I understand that we should probably go to an island on the first part of our trip to allow for delays due to weather. Is weather that big of concern? If it is, we should probably go to a closer island. I get motion sick easily.

We have been to Venice in mid-November and really enjoyed the fewer crowds.

Also, any help with public transportation in Athens would be great. I saw they have trains (subway)?

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