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10 Days in Greece - Athens, Crete, Santorini?

10 Days in Greece - Athens, Crete, Santorini?

Old Jan 15th, 2015, 08:41 AM
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10 Days in Greece - Athens, Crete, Santorini?

Hi All,

My husband and I (30 and 29) are planning a trip to Greece this summer for my 30th birthday (shh it's actually my 29th birthday for the second time ) Anyways we want to go in July and will have 8-9 days to work with. We heard Santorini is a must and heard Crete and Athens are worth it to but what are the biggest tourist attractions in each of these places? I'm guessing Athens is all historical, and as this is a birthday trip I would like some of it to be leisure vs just all touring... I also read the book the Island by Victoria Hislop so would like to visit Spinalonga if possible...

Any advice would be much appreciated!

Thank you!
Tania_Jeremy is offline  
Old Jan 15th, 2015, 10:34 AM
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We spent 14 nights in Greece a few years ago:

Santorini, 3 nights (was enough time)
Crete, 7 nights (not enough time but ok)
Delphi, 1 night (not necessary to stay overnight but it was nice)
Athens, 3 nights (enough time)

Crete is a big island, and you don't have enough time. I suggest that you do it some other time and replace it with a smaller island. I can't recommend any because I have only been to Santorini and Crete but I would definitely take it out.
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 10:54 AM
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If you click on "destinations" in the bar at the top of the page, you can get a pretty good overview of Athens, etc. I don't think someone is going to type the up the myriad tourist attractions for you, haha. A guide book will help you a lot.
Presumable you will be flying in and out of Athens. If other options are available to you, let us know, but I would guess that Athens will probably be included in your plan in some way, leaving you time for 2 close islands. If you can fly to Crete, then 9 days would be a good amount of time--it is a big island.
happy 29th! (I am going on my third 39)
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 01:46 PM
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I've been to Santorini and all around mainland Greece but never Crete. I agree with Gina_07 that 3 days is enough for Santorini: 1 day Fira, 1 day Oia and a day at the beach. I'm not a big museum traveler but I love wandering around Plaka and Monastiraki in Athens (area below acropolis). Worth a day or two. I grew up in Greece and I try to visit as much as I can. A great website for Greece is http://www.greektravel.com/ this is not an advertising plug- I don't know the guy- but he gives a great synopsis of the greek isles and Greece in general. I've always wanted to go to Crete, rent a car and just explore the place. Hope you have a blast! Btw - a town that I absolutely love that's about 2.5 hours from Athens by local transport is Nafplion (I typically rent a car when I go). Worth the trip!
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Old Jan 15th, 2015, 03:53 PM
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Chosing destinations by what you heard is not so wise. Greece is not only Athens+the islands and islands are not only Santorini, Mykonos, Crete and Rhodes.
The key for a succesful trip is research research research... After knowing your options, then customise a visit according to your interests and logistics. This includes homework on each destination too, for example zanakis mentions 3 days on Santorini, 1 day Fira, 1 day Oia and a day at the beach. Other people would mention different things, say 1 day caldera boat trip, 1 day for a winery and Akrotiri Archeological site, 1 day hiking and so on... It is hard to allocate how long you need on each destination if you have no idea what is there to see and do and what of those are of interest to you.

That said, unless you plan to spend at least a week on Crete, I think it has to wait for an other time. For example, you may get a boat from Plaka area or Elounda or Agios Nikolaos to Spinalonga, but those locations are about 80 kms away from Heraclion alone, Heraklion been the city you will quite likely arrive on Crete, either flying either ferrying it.
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Old Jan 18th, 2015, 08:22 AM
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Hi Tania, Greece is big country and there lots of different areas. You certainly want to read and make some choices about what is most important for your holiday - visiting historic sites on the mainland or spending most of your time seeing an island or two and relaxing on the beach. You do not have enough time to see Crete unless you fly directly there as your only destination. If you fly to Athens, you can see a few important sites and still get out to an island or two. Nafplion is a lovely town on the Pelopenessus, but needs 2-3 days. Delphi can be a day trip if you race up the mountains and back. While in Athens, if you pay homage to the Parthenon, walk around Plaka, and get to the National Museum you will easily spend 2 days. Santorini is long ferry ride - you can fly or book a high-speed if possible. 2 days there are enough to see the beauty, but I'd recommend 4 in order to savor it. Other islands on the route are Paros and Naxos - a visit to one will give you a sense of a more typical island atmosphere. Happy Birthday!
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