We have a super last minute trip to Greece starting in almost a week. Details (whatever we could scramble and figure out in 5 days, phew!!) below:
Total 15N/15D excluding flights to/fro US
Reach Athens 24 Sep 10:30 am
Athens - 24/25 Sep 2D/2N
Acropolis etc, NAM, Monastiraki, Plaka, etc
Blue star ferry Piraeus to Paros/Naxos 26 Sep 07:25 am reaching 11:40 am /12:40 pm
Naxos/Paros - 26/27/28/29 Sep 4D/4N
Check out main towns/villages, major archaeological sites, chill out and probably do a day trip to Paros/Naxos (depending on which of the 2 islands we stay in for 4 nights)
Blue star ferry Paros/Naxos to Santorini 30 Sep 11:40 am / 12:40 am reaching Santorini 3:10 pm
Santorini - 30 Sep / 1/2/3/4 Oct 4N/4.5D
Check out main towns/village, Akrotiri, volcano hike, cliche sunset, chill out, take walks in beautiful neighborhoods and practice hand at dslr
Blue star overnight ferry (in sleeper cabin) Santorini to Rhodes 5 Oct technically (just after midnight of 4 Oct) 00:35 - reaching Rhodes at 9 am 5 Oct
Rhodes - 5/6/7/8 Oct 3N/3.5D
Fly from Rhodes to Athens 8 Oct evening Ryanair or Aegean Air flight
Athens - check into hotel at Monastiraki and have a nice dinner and take a walk around Plaka with some good views of lit up Acropolis etc
9 Oct 8:30 am fly back to US
1. General feedback on itinerary (only international flight booked yet, and some refundable hotels booked for being safe). Will endeavor to book other things asap.
2. We are planning to stay in Monastiraki area, close to Plaka / Acropolis / NAM as well as metro connectivity to Piraeus port. Good idea?
3. Haven't booked any ferries. Think it should be ok to buy once we land. Although we should buy the overnight ferry from Santorini to Rhodes as we need a good sleeping class cabin. This strategy ok? Secondly, does Bluestar ferries has an office in Athens center or gotta go to the Piraeus port to buy them? Can we buy online using US credit card and show eticket/printout?
4. Big confusion (despite reading up so much about both islands) - Naxos OR Paros? We are not party people. Husband "would like to see historically important archaeological sites but not enthu to see debris that don't excite after having visited the NAM". We want natural beauty, scenic landscapes, genuine Greek culture and locals, easy on the eyes hotel and hotel locality, walking distance good (vegetarian friendly) restaurants, easy public transportation connectivity to major towns / sites. We won't hire a car. Don't want the stress. I don't drive and husband has a license from DMV and does drive maybe once in a year for a road trip in US but has not had reasons to drive much in life otherwise. Please help - Naxos or Paros. Whichever one we pick, we do want to do a day trip to the other island just to check it out maybe for the next Greece trip (in distant future).
5. I know this is a cliche question but which area of Santorini to stay in? Oia / Fira / Firostefani / Imerovigli? Don't want to be close to day-trippers offloading from cruise ships. But it's our first visit to Santorini so we still want to be in the picturesque yet touristy popular areas. Being able to walk to good restaurants, beach, some main town squares, etc and good public transportation connectivity to rest of Santorini would be nice.
6. Overnight blue star ferry from Santorini to Rhodes - should be ok in a sleeper class cabin, right? This helps us save time because most other inter-island ferries and flights seem to take up half or most of the daytime. Chances of blue star canceling in Sep end / early Oct are rare, right?
7. I know we don't have much time in Rhodes if we compare its size to the Cyclades islands we have chosen. But it reflects our priorities and logistical practicalities for this trip.
8. Flights from islands (in this case Rhodes) don't get cancelled routinely, right? We need to get back to US on Sunday. Is my understanding correct that unless there is a super unexpected weather condition that haults the flights from Rhodes to the ground on 8 Oct, we can expect to be in Athens by the eod?
9. Ryanair vs Aegean Air - at all any preferences or words of caution?
Thanks in advance. Fodorites have always been so helpful.
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