16 day Greece itinerary

Old Oct 10th, 2016, 07:29 PM
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16 day Greece itinerary

Hello, everyone,

I'll be spending my spring semester studying in Oxford and I'm concluding my time abroad with 16 days in Greece with my boyfriend.

I will meet him in Greece, so his travel is the most taxing, and then I will return home to the states on his same flight. We are looking at him departing Ohio in the evening of May 9, arriving Athens May 10. We will both fly out of Athens and back to Ohio on May 26, giving us 15 full days in Greece, 16 nights.

My boyfriend is into greek history, and certainly wants to see the must see historical sights. Beyond that we are outdoorsy and like to hike and be active - we certainly don't want a trip reserved for laying on the beach or doing purely touristy stuff. Rather we are interested in experiencing as much local culture as possible.

How many days do we need in Athens to see enough, and what are your suggestions on islands and how many days in each. Fly or ferry? Use Santorini as a base for other excursions? Crete and Rhodes just seem too far away, or skip Santorini and just do Crete?

What about:
May 10: Arrive Athens from Ohio
May 11: Athens
May 12: Athens
May 13: Depart Athens for Santorini
May 14: Santorini
May 14: Santorini
May 15: Santorini
May 16: Santorini
May 17: ?
May 18: ?
May 19: ?
May 20: ?
May 21: ?
May 22: ?
May 23: ?
May 24: Depart ? and return to Athens
May 25: Athens wrap-up
May 26: Depart Athens for Ohio

Sorry for the vagueness. Trying to keep it as reasonable as possible while deferring to those that know the most about Greece.
ackarcher is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2016, 11:43 PM
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You wrote:

"My boyfriend is into greek history, and certainly wants to see the must see historical sights. Beyond that we are outdoorsy and like to hike and be active - we certainly don't want a trip reserved for laying on the beach or doing purely touristy stuff."

Nothing wrong with that, but don't center your trip around islands — concentrate on the mainland instead. The islands are all about beaches, and with a few exceptions light on historical sights.

Santorini has the views and the Minoan site at Akrotiri, so worth 2 or 3 days. The only other major archaeological site in the same island group (Cyclades) is Delos, a small uninhabited island just off Mykonos.

For your "question mark" days suggest you get back to the mainland and go to the Nafplio area of the Peloponnese, which has some of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Another place to consider is Delphi, best done as an overnight trip from Athens or part of a longer itinerary to include Nafplio.

It would be better to not split your time in Athens into two. If you can work out the logistics, meet your boyfriend at Athens Airport and take a flight together straight to Santorini, changing those first two days in Athens to two more days at the end. That way you've insured against weather or industrial action causing you to miss the flight home.
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Old Oct 11th, 2016, 02:55 AM
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Places with major historical sites:
Athens, Elefsis, Korinthos, Argos, Nafplio, Micenae, Thyrins, Epidauros, Mistras, Monemvassia, Pylos, Methoni, Koroni, Bassae, Olympia, Delphi, Dodoni, Philippi, Patmos, Samos, Delos, Rhodos, Kos, Crete
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Old Oct 11th, 2016, 08:28 AM
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I totally agree with Heimdall on saving Athens until last ... much more efficient use of time to go to farthest destination, work your way back & do Athens in final days. Another good reason is that, by that time, you'll be familiar with how Greece works, and will be better-prepared to do your thing in a big Capital city with much to see/do.

Your big choice is about those 7 precious "???" days. Two main options:
(1) I like idea of Peloponnese as well. You can get there 2 ways -- either rent a car (pick up either at airport or ferry port on return from island[s]} or take KTEL intercity bus (26 rt per person) & rent car in Nafplio... actually for 2, it's about a "wash". --- SO much to see/do and although you don't plan to spend a lot of time on beach (and BTW it's "Lie" not "lay" unless u are a hen), nonetheless, there are tons of great beaches right at hand, when you hve had your maximum daily requirement of ruins.

(2) Other option is CRETE -- that arrival-day flight to CHANIA, stunning Venitian "Old Town", after a couple days there, car rental for a "V route", driving SW to S coast, checking ruins along the way, then driving NE to Heraklion to check out Knossos & fab Museum. Again, plenty of beaches for a dip after exploring -PLUS great rugged scenery & hikes. Then daily 9:45 ferry to Santorini by noon, for 2-3 days there, then back to Mainland. If u plan it right, you'll have time to visit Delphi (do it D-I-Y NOT the big-bus tours), and enjoy Athens for 3 days or so.
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Old Oct 12th, 2016, 02:54 AM
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my friend did me the best favour ever and suggested that when I was in Athens I do an overnight trip to kalambaka meteora
I'm so glad I did...
we did a little tour but I suppose you could hire a car
its too far for a day trip but perfect for an overnighter

have a look at meteora ...google..it is phenomenal
six monasteries I think remain built on top of amazingly high rock formations
u can visit a few of them I believe
make sure you are wearing a skirt not shorts and have your shoulders covered or they will invite you to buy a skirt at the door to the monastery

truly recommend it
and kalambaka where you actually stay...down below..is a really nice village...quite big and vibrant at night

that's my big tip lol

enjoy it all!
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Old Oct 12th, 2016, 07:42 AM
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lanejohann, whether Meteora would be a big draw for this couple depends upon whether her boyfriend's interest in History includes Greek Byzantine church history... it he's mainly about Ancient Greece, maybe no -- it's always good to think first of what the OP says They want, not just what we liked best.
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Old Oct 13th, 2016, 07:06 AM
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I am a bit late on this thread but just my two cents worth, follow Heimdall and Jans advice. Get out of Athens to Santorini right away. Santorini is a must see for a first timer. It will be expensive butt eh Caldera view is amazing. We can only afford about three nights there then we hrad off to other islands Naxos and Paros are good companion islands to Santorini but at half the price. If ancient sites are the paramount drive for this trip then the Peloponnese is the place to go. A driving holiday there can take 7 to 10 days.
Peloponnese Battle Castles https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr...7645468134284/
Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632094108982/

Jan is also correct there is a lot of history on Crete as well but you don't have time to do both Crete and the Peloponnese.
Western Crete http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632115757899/
Crete Archeological sites https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr...7645085297380/
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Old Oct 19th, 2016, 08:40 AM
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We were on Santorini last month, for 5 nights. We LOVED it. Would stay there longer next time. Be sure to say on the Caldera, not in Fira or Oia, which get so crowded and are touristy. Although Oia is more upscale.

We stayed at the Gold Suites, which we loved. It's worth the extra $$$, to have a private balcony looking directly at the sea, with breakfast served to us there. The village of Imerovigli is a great location, with easy public transport and insane views.


Athens-- meh. We spent one full day in the city, two nights. Then another night at an Athens beach resort, before flying home.

I agree that it's best to see Athens on your way out. I wish we hadn't gone there twice. One full day was plenty for us to see the Acropolis and walk around the city.
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Old Oct 20th, 2016, 05:00 AM
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It doesn't make much sense "to walk arund the city". For a short visit, just go by metro to Acropolis Museum, then to Akropolis - Agora and Agora Museum - Thission - Plaka and by bus to the National Museum. Pass the evening at Philopappos hill and atend to a revue of Dora Stratous Dance Theatre.
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