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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Honeymoon Help for Greece in August :)

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My fiance and I are finally coming close to booking our honeymoon trip. But, I would like to get some insight to see if our plan makes sense and if we are not leaving too much out!

Our Honeymoon is planned for Athens, Santorini and Mykonos for August 3, 2015 to August 14, 2014. Those dont include the days traveling to get to and from the US, (we are leaving the US on August 2 and Departing in the afternoon on August 14th).

So I know this is a crazy busy summer in Greece and Santorini and that is absolutely perfect with us. I am looking to see if I am staying at each Island enough time or if we should consider one more island? Or if you have ideas of exursions or things to do at each island.

So we will be in Athens from August 3 (check-in) to August 5 (checkout)...

Then we will take a ferry to Santorini August 5 (check-in) to August 9 (check-out) we are looking at hotels in Oia.

Then we will take a ferry to Mykonons August 9 (check-in) to August 13 (check-out). Any suggestions of best places to stay in Mykonos?

Take a ferry back to Athens August 13 (check-in) and August 14 (check-out and fly back to the states.)

I am just looking for recommendations on "not to miss" experiences in each area, and tips for honeymooners :) and if you think there is another island we should include? I just dont want to go too many places and not take the time to enjoy each island.

Thank you

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    If Athens is a must and makes sense because you fly into the place, then my inclination would not be to "do" both Mykonos and Santorini. I'd choose one or the other and add a day onto Athens.

    You also should remember that Athens to Santorini is about 8 hours on a ferry, whilst Mykonos is between 4 and 6 hours depending on the ferry, so you need to build in the transfer times to your schedule.

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    Unless missing a return flight home is a "not to miss" experience, ferrying back to Athens and flying home on the same day is the riskiest of all the possible connections.

    You itinerary would have been ok if the connections inside the Greece were done on Swiss train. However, you are using Greek ferries. There are delays and cancellations.

    If you had to leave island the same day as your return flight, the least risky way would have been using Mykonos-home flight as one reservation so that the carrier is responsible for missed connection. However, I presume you already have the home bound flight, this option is no longer available to you. In which case, you need to return to Athens minimum of a full day ahead so your return to Athens can be delayed by one day.

    However, if you think about this, this requires second stay in Athens. One easy way to avoid this, if you arrival in Athens is early enough, is to fly/boat to an island on arrival day. You can fly to Mykonos or Santorini, or a boat leaving that night (zzz....)

    If you look at connections, Santorini-Mykonos connection is the segment that is best done by boat. Planes require returning back to Athens. Athens to Mykonos/Santorini done by planes would save you time and less impacted by the weather.

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    As I read it, the OP intends to take a ferry from Mykonos to Athens on Aug 13th, then fly back to the US on the 14th, so that's the next day, not the same day.

    I agree it would be better to fly out to Santorini the same day as arrival in Greece, then save the two days in Athens for the end of the trip. You are already at Athens Airport on the day of arrival anyway, and the flight to Santorini takes only 45 minutes, about the same length of time as to travel from the airport to central Athens.

    Taking the ferry from Athens (Piraeus) to Santorini will cost you a full day of travel, and the only really interesting part of the ferry trip is entering the Santorini caldera. If you choose to travel by highspeed catamaran you won't even get that view, because you are seated inside the cabin. That's why I prefer flying to Santorini as opposed to taking the ferry.

    It does make sense to take a ferry from Mykonos back to Athens, because journey times are much shorter. From Mykonos you have a choice of two different ports, Rafina or Piraeus. Rafina is closer to the airport, while Piraeus is closer to central Athens.

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    Thank you so much on your responses!

    Luckily I have not booked anything yet so I can still move flights vs ferries around :)

    Heimdall: Is correct in that I will be returning back to Athens a day before the Flight back to the states on the 14th :)

    So... Maybe if I fly to Athens (arriving on the 3rd) then straight to Santorini...

    Then Santorini to Mykonos by Ferry?? Or would this be easier by plane too? I think we would enjoy the views of at least one ferry transport.

    Then Mykonos by Ferry to Rafina (Athens for touring the last 2 days?)

    would this be a better idea for us?

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    There are no flights between Santorini and Mykonos. Both are on the same ferry line.

    Since you're staying in Athens at the end of the trip, I'd suggst taking the ferry from Mykonos to Piraeus, which is much closer to central Athens.

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    Also,

    Would it be smarter for us to stay near the beach or town in Mykonos? How long are the bus rides to the beach if we were to stay in town? What would be more romantic for a honeymoon?

    Thank you everyone for your help it is greatly appreciated!!

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    With flying into islands first, you are two approaches: Mykonos first or Santorini first. Each has many factors you need to look at.

    First, you are traveling during the high season.
    Good you can also use seasonal summer only flight flying direct into Greek islands from various European cities by-passing Athens. This is an option in addition to via Athens flights. Inter island ferries are at peak frequencies also.
    Bad You are competing with European and other vacationers for availability at higher prices.

    For each of the two options: home-JMK-JTR-ATH-home vs. home-JTR-JMK-ATH-home, look at

    1. Long haul flight situations. Can you include flights into Mykonos or Santorini without significantly adding to the overall airfare or convenience, etc. If not, are there into-the-islands flights that connects to your long-haul with enough buffer time to account for long-haul flight delays, needing to retrieve and recheck luggage? Minimum, for separate reservation flights, I want to be transparently absorb one hour delay, easily eat two hours delay, and make three hours delay with if I rush.

    2. Accommodation situation. Suspecting tight availability on islands, sequence differences of island might give you different accommodation options.

    3. Mykonos to Santorini trip: You only have a few choices. Certain direction might match you timing better. But unfortunately, you will not find a credible schedule until about a week before sailing and planning usable schedule a few months before. There will be at least one way to travel either direction in August each day, but you need to be flexible with schedule at both end of the trip. This is the reality of Greek island hopping, it would be frustrating for people expecting Swiss train type of punctuality.

    4. Activities with day of the week limitations. If Delos is on your agenda, it is closed on Monday. If the weather is bad, the boats don't run at all. What it means is you need several possible days targeted if you are doing this kind of activity.

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    Yes, I would recommend the last two days in Athens. That way you are back on the mainland well before your flight home, with no stress about weather or other unforeseen circumstances.

    Last summer for the first time (during July and August) there were Olympic Air flights between Mykonos, Santorini, and Heraklion (Crete), but I haven't seen anything for this summer yet. Nevertheless, there is no real advantage in flying, as it takes only about 3 hrs by catamaran to get from Santorini to Mykonos, and a flight (when you add in transfers, check-in, etc) would total nearly that much time.

    For Mykonos back to Athens I would recommend the Blue Star ferry to Piraeus. Blue Star docks just opposite the Piraeus metro station, and it takes only 20 minutes from there to central Athens. There is a footbridge across the street from the docks to the metro.

    Mykonos - Rafina is a shorter ferry trip, but about an hour by bus from there to central Athens. Alternatively you could take the bus to Athens Airport and metro from there to central Athens.

    A highspeed ferry to Rafina and bus to central Athens might save you an hour or so, but I prefer the Blue Star to Piraeus. After leaving Mykonos it stops at Tinos and Syros, then sails along the Attica coast to Piraeus Great Harbour. If you wish, you can sit on the outside deck to take in the views and get a few more hours of sunshine. It's fun to stand at the stern when the ferry makes its stops, and to see all the cruise ships and ferries in Piraeus Harbour.

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    A couple more posts appeared while composing my last reply.

    Firstly, Mykonos is a very small island, and buses to most beaches take only 15 minutes, give or take, so you may as well stay in town (IMO). That way you can choose a different beach each day, and be in town in the evenings where you can walk to shops, restaurants, and clubs. If you would rather stay at a beach, that is okay, too.

    Don't worry too much about ferry schedules in August, apart from booking your tickets in advance. The routes you are planning to take are among the busiest in Greece, and there will be multiple choices every day. Strikes are rare in August, and most ferries can handle all but the worst weather. The exceptions are small catamarans like SeaJet 2, Superjet, and FlyingCat 4, which are sometimes cancelled in Force 7 or higher winds. Try to book a conventional vessel like Blue Star, or a large car-carrying catamaran, e.g. Hellenic Seaways Highspeed 5 or Sea Jets Tera Jet.

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    Hello WVUAlum_2012 and congrats : )

    I know this is contrary to what many people do, but I do not like cramming too many destination on a limited time frame. I feel you could pleasantly allow all your island time on one island and enjoy in leisure rather than rushing on two different islands. Yes, your potential itineray is better than other we see here when people try to fit 2 islands+Athens in 5 nights, but I still feel one could easily spend a week even on the tiniest island, esepcially been a honeymoon and especially been high season, when some flexibility might be important. Chosing those two islands without providing a reasoning, I feel you just chose by popularity. There are tons of other options, it does not has to be always Santorini+Mykonos.

    That said, the above depends a lot on your traveling style and what you plan to see and do on each island. Make some research and dismiss mine or anyone's advice if you feel otherwise.
    I find it a pitty that people decide on a destination often just name-throwing, then come and ask what is there to do and see. Why you pick a destination if you have no idea what it is about? Knowing you want to do specificaly this activity or visit that site or allow 2 days on the beach or in a spa or whatever, helps you put things into purspective. "mariha said one week is a must for Santorini" or "I heard 3 nights on each Mykonos and Santorini are more than enough" or "Those two islands are a must on a visit in Greece" is of no use. The point is what is suitable to YOU, YOUR traveling style and YOUR interests. And I see no mention of those at all!

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    Thank you everyone!

    So to answer why we chose the islands we did...

    1. Santorini- it is known as one of the most romantic places in the world, this is our honeymoon and I would like to see the views of Santorini, specifically Oia. The cliffs, volcano tour, donkey rides, wine tours, scuba dive the underwater wrecks and amazing food are just some of the things we are looking forward to here.

    2. Athens - I have already been here once but my fiancé hasnt. I went when I was in high school so i did not appreciate the history. We both decided to go here to see the Acropolis, Olympus, etc to get a couple days of the Athens history.

    3. Mykonos- this was chosen because of the windmills and excursions and beaches. We would like to jet ski and rent scooters and tour the island and honestly I would like 1 day at a beautiful beach. Now this being said we were really hoping to go to Corfu or the shipwreck island because the water is noticeably clearer. But Satoroni and Athens are absolute must for us and traveling from Santorini to an Ionion (not sure spelled correctly) island is way way out of the way from numbers of hours of researched hours. So Mykonos seemed so have the "fun" upbeat advenuture we were looking for on one portion of the trip. We would have romantic/beautiful views, amazing history, and fun adventure! I think that is an awesome balance.

    Now we are concerned that Mykonos will be extremely crowded and the beaches aren't as clear water as we hoped for a beach on our honeymoon. So if anyone has a recommendation of an island with excursions with atv riding, horseback riding, jet skiing, boat dinner cruises ad clear water that isn't too difficult to get to from Santorini we would love feedback on an alternative island.

    Thank you

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    I've never been to any island in the Aegean (including Mykonos) where the water wasn't crystal-clear, and I can't imagine the Ionian would be any better.

    You are travelling to Greece in the busiest time of year (1st half of Aug), and Mykonos will be absolutely jam-packed. Frankly anywhere you go will be busy, but if you aren't set on beach parties and all-night clubbing, consider another island such as Naxos, which is very easy to reach from Santorini.

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    All the islands have excursions and sports activities (windsurfing, kiteboarding, etc). Here is an example from Naxos Tours, a reliable tour company: http://www.naxostours.net/en/excursions/.

    Paros has similar type excursions, plus the popular Antiparos round-island boat trips. Golden Beach is the main centre for windsurfing, while Pounta (port for Antiparos) has a well known kitesurfing centre.

    I don't know Milos very well, but understand there are boat trips to some spectacular beaches.

    All these islands are easy to explore on your own, although you would need to rent a car on Milos. Naxos and Paros have excellent bus systems which I make full use of.

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    Hi WVU, Congratulations! You have picked a wonderful spot for your honeymoon. I agree with you on Santorini and you might try to go there first. It is indeed an amazingly romantic spot and will be a respite from the excitement of your wedding and travel. Paros is a wonderful island - as you might tell it is my favorite island for many reasons. You will not go wrong there - Mykonos is lovely but is much more of a party atmosphere and can feel well trodden by August. It has some beautiful beaches - take the bus or rent a car for a day. Paros is a wonderful alternative to Mykonos unless you are determined to see the most famous islands.On Mykonos, we enjoyed Poseidon Hotel-Suites. It is moderately priced, walking distance to town, has a lovely salt water pool. Ask for a sunset view. If you go to Paros you will have plenty to see and do and lots of beautiful beaches. Lots of great places to stay. Everywhere in the isles the water is beautiful, so I don't think that will be a problem. Saving Athens for last will give you a chance to relax first and have time for any return transportation glitches.

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    "Santorini- it is known as one of the most romantic places in the world, this is our honeymoon and I would like to see the views of Santorini, specifically Oia."

    Other people may spend 10 minutes, other people weeks staring at the view.
    "The cliffs" hmmm, I guess ditto

    "volcano tour" Some excursions last a few hours, some best part of a day

    " donkey rides" available only betwwen Fira and Oia and the ports bellow, a very controversial topic, badly treated by their owners, google and research this issue if you pay attention to animal welfare and the like.

    "wine tours" a couple of hours or more each

    "scuba dive the underwater wrecks" at least one trial section is required before any decent company sign you up for the ship wreck diving, then for ship wreck diving its self, At least a good part of a day spent for this.
    If you haven't prebook, lots of flexibility is required on every activity on high season.

    "amazing food" of course plenty, eating out is not a wuick deal in Greece, allow time for some loooong meals.

    Obviously you need at least a few days for the basics...

    " Athens - I have already been here once but my fiancé hasnt. I went when I was in high school so i did not appreciate the history. We both decided to go here to see the Acropolis, Olympus, etc to get a couple days of the Athens history."

    This is why I mean you need research to get specific ideas, too generic a statement and there is no Olympus in Athens, this is a mountain in Northern Greece.

    " Mykonos- this was chosen because of the windmills and excursions and beaches."
    Windmills are to be found more or less on nearly every Greek islands, ditto beaches.

    "We would like to jet ski and rent scooters and tour the island and honestly I would like 1 day at a beautiful beach."

    Possible on nearly every other island with mainstream tourism development but please think twice of renting a scooter or ATV if you've never hire one before. And make sure you hold appropriate docementation and get full insurance.
    If you've never ride a jet ski, check carefully the location and safety conditions.


    "Now this being said we were really hoping to go to Corfu or the shipwreck island because the water is noticeably clearer."

    Shipwreck island is I guess Zante. The clearer water statement is no sense. I think you get confused of the post card pictures and colour of water, sea around well-known beaches on the Ionians have shallower water/sandy depth so colours are lighter while on Aegean it is mostly very deep water so dark blue. This has nothing to do with pollution.

    "But Satoroni and Athens are absolute must for us and traveling from Santorini to an Ionion (not sure spelled correctly) island is way way out of the way from numbers of hours of researched hours."
    Fair enough.

    "So Mykonos seemed so have the "fun" upbeat advenuture we were looking for on one portion of the trip. We would have romantic/beautiful views, amazing history, and fun adventure! I think that is an awesome balance."

    Up to you, but please try to make more indepth research before taking final decisions.

    "Do you know if Naxos has excursions as well? Like et skiing and atv-ing? Why about Paros or Milos?"

    What previous posters said.

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