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1st Greek trip Jun 07; Santorini-Paros-Athens

1st Greek trip Jun 07; Santorini-Paros-Athens

Old Nov 24th, 2006, 12:49 PM
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1st Greek trip Jun 07; Santorini-Paros-Athens

HI. I have been reading a lot of posts and want opinions about my planned inteniary and any suggestions. We have 11 actual nights in Greece and I am thinking of dividing them like this: 4 nights Santorini, 4 nights Paros and 3 nights Athens. When we arrive in Athens we will have a 4 hour lay over until the 1800 Aegean Air flight to Santorini. Is there anything to do at the airport other than sit or eat? We will be dog tired having traveled Dallas-NY-London Heathrow-Athens, but we wanted to wake up in Santorini. We will be traveling with our ten year old son and that rules out a lot of the hotels in Santorini. We plan to stay in Oia and I am looking at the Stogili Traditional Homes and Hotel. Has anyone stayed here? We definitely want a swimming pool, caldera views and fewer as opposed to more steps. ( I am asthmatic and steep ascents are doable, but really unpleasant for me.)
We plan to take the ferry from Santorini to Paros. Which one should we take? High speed or slower? Friends recommended the Kalypso hotel, a 10 minute walk outside of Naoussa. They were there 3 years ago and liked it so much they extended their stay from 3 to 6 nights. These friends could easily afford any hotel, but this was their choice. They also recommended the day trip to Delos and Mykonos. Leaving Paros for Athens should we fly on Olympic or take the ferry? I have a professional meeting at the Athens Hilton July 6-8. Does anyone have experience with this hotel? What would be sites to see in Athens that might be of real interest to a 10 year-old boy; outside of the usual mist-sees.
Any help or comments are greatly appreciated.

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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 01:39 PM
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Hi, I don't know the hotels or info on the ferries I'm afraid, but I so would shorten your stay in Athens and lengthen it for Santorini. Athens is incredibly noisy and in June it will be hot and noisy - a bad combination. We flew to Athens and originally planned to stay three days there but we left after one and a half. We did the Acropolis early in the morning, fantastic in the early sun, and then got out fast. Perhaps you could be flexible about your intinary ie book places where you can leave early if you want.
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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 02:03 PM
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Sorry to say, there's not a lot to do at Athens airport other than sit and eat or check out the shops in the departures area.

Regarding Paros, Naoussa is a beautiful fishing village, probably the best place to stay on the island. The excursion boat Alexander leaves from Naoussa for Delos/Mykonos, so you are ideally located for that particular day trip.

There are three flights per day in the summer from Paros to Athens. Due to the shortness of the runway, the Dash 8 airplane can take only about 20 passengers to Athens. These flights are booked up very quickly once the Olympic summer schedule is published in March.

There are several ferries leaving Paros for Piraeus every day, including The Blue Star, which takes about four hours, and a Hellenic Seaways highspeed, taking about three hours. Since you will be staying in Athens, the ferry might be just as convenient, as there is no wait for luggage, and you are closer to the city in Piraeus than at the airport.

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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 02:11 PM
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I agree, cut one day from Athens and add it to either Santorini or Paros. And since you have a meeting to attend in Athens I'd definitely book the plane back from Paros so as not to get stranded in case of high winds or choppy seas. The planes are seldom affected by this. There's nothing much to do at the airport, so I suggest you bring a book and relax. You don't have enough time to go into town.

Have you considered the Volcano's Villas in Oia? They have a pool and there aren't very many steps.

http://www.volcanosvillas.com/

Naoussa is often compared to Mykonos as far as its ambience. I went to Paros last year and spent a little time there. Although it was charming I preferred the main village of Parikia for the variety of activities. Inside the harbor there is a very calm beach where your boy can swim and play safely.

The highspeed ferry is enclosed, which means no deck access, so I recommend that you take the car ferry. Although slower, it's much cheaper and will allow you to stand out on deck and watch the ferry dock at Ios and Naxos before getting to Paros. Your son will enjoy that. You can wait until you're on Santorini to book passage. Just go into any travel office.

In Athens you have the obvious, the Parthenon/Acropolis, as well as the National Archaeological Museum. But you can also take your son up Lycabettus Hill in the funicular that operates from the Kolonaki District. It's a great way to see the city from above, especially at sunset.
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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 06:38 PM
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Wow - this looks a lot like plans my wife and I are making for next Sept.
- We have 11 nights in Greece in our schedule (first Greek trip)
- We are arriving on Aegean Air from Rome and going straight to Santorini (a 4 hour layover at Athens airport)
- Our present plan has Santorini (3 nights), Paros (5 nights) and Athens (3 nights)
- We plan to take the Alexander trip to Delos & Mykonos (Heimdall - I thought most times the Alexander leaves from Parikia - do I have this wrong?)
- While in paros we are also considering a day trip to Antiparos

From some of the good input here, we may rethink the Athens part as there appears to be a limited amount of sites to see.

I will be interested to keep in touch with this thread and see how your itinerie ends up.

Larry
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Old Nov 24th, 2006, 08:03 PM
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Thanks for these 4 replies! I was counting on brotherleelove to reply, as I have read many of your postings, both here and on Trip Advisor. Do you recommend Volcano Villas over Strogili? They seem comparably priced. I do want a place where children are welcome and perhaps other families will be staying. I did send VV a inquiry tonight. I have to get to Athens for my meeting so we will take the Olympic flight. On their website I can book it now, but should I wait until after March since the times of fligths may change? I am pretty much committed to three nights in Athens because I have two days of meetings. Is there a day trip from Athens (Delphi, perhaps) that my husband and son could without me? Our any other recommendations for day trips from Athens? I am worried that Delphi would involve more travel time to and from in one day than my son would enjoy. If we stay in Parika instead of Naoussa does anyone have recommendation for where to stay? I read a post recently about the Sunset Villas so I will look into them. In Santorini do you have a recommendation for a boat trip with swimming and/or snorkeling?
Many Thanks,
Laurie
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 12:38 AM
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Never having toured either hotel I can't make a recommendations based on anything more than generalities. They both look fine to me. Hopefully I will be able to inspect both of them next trip.

Because the plane from Paros is small, only about 20 passengers, I recommend that you book as soon as possible, then keep checking their website for any changes that might occur. That way you can contact them immediately if necessary. Olympic has an office in NYC: 1-800-241-6522. (I had to do this with Aegean last year. They were very accomodating, but I was the one who discovered the change and contacted them immediately.)

Do some research on Sounion Bay, a short distance outside of Athens, where there's a temple for Poseidon.

http://www.athensguide.com/sounion/index.html

On Santorini you can take a half- or full-day cruise out into the caldera that will include a hike out on the volcano as well as a dip in the sulphur hotsprings out there. Any tourist office can set you up with tickets, and you can catch the boat from the wharf at Amoudi right below Oia. Snorkelling is not at all worthwhile. There are no colorful schools of fish or colorful coral formations. All you'll see is rock and sparse marine vegetation.

brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Nov 25th, 2006, 01:19 AM
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Kilgore97, you may as well go ahead with your Olympic booking straight away. During summer there are three flights per day, and if timings change when the summer 2007 schedule comes out in March, you will be notified of the change and your booking will remain firm. I take that flight once or twice a year, and have never had a problem.

TOG_58, the Alexander leaves from Naoussa, as you can see in http://www.erkynatravel.com/cruises.htm. You can book your excursion from most travel agents on the island, not just the one in the website.
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 03:23 AM
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TOG_58, regarding Antiparos, it's a very easy day trip. Excursion boats leave directly from Parikia harbor, taking about 30 min to Antiparos. There is also a car ferry from Pounta, which you can reach by bus from Parikia.

In September the frequency of excursion boat sailings decreases week by week until it ceases at the end of the season. The car ferry is the year-round link between the two islands, and runs every half hour in September.

For things to do on a day trip to Antiparos: walk up through the village to the Venetian castle, stopping on the way for coffee or lunch, or browsing in one of the many shops; walk to one of the many nearby beaches (recommend Psaraliki); take the bus to the cave (last bus returns early afternoon); take a round-island cruise on the Theilla or Alexandros - both leave at 10:00am and return around 5:00pm.
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 03:25 AM
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BTW, Alexander and Alexandros are not the same boat.
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 12:01 PM
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Heimdall - thanks for your corrections re. the Delos/Mykonos tour. I got lead astray by this website (http://www.excursions.gr/excursion.php?oid=65) where it advertises these tours on the Alexander with the origin in Parikia Town. Checking many other websites, it would appear that Naoussa is more likely the origin. Do you know if it is difficult (other than getting up a little earlier) to catch this tour by morning bus from Parikia?

Also, thanks for the suggestions for Antiparos.

Larry
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 12:57 PM
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Larry, I enquired about the Alexander when in Antiparos last September, and was told that it does sail out of Naoussa. It could be that the company in your link provides their own transport from Parikia to meet the Alexander.

I'm sure you could get a bus (or failing that, a taxi) from Parikia in time to make the 0900 departure. It's been a couple years since I was in Naoussa, but as I recall it takes about 30 min or so for the bus ride. Check the KTEL schedule at the bus stop near the ferry docks.
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Old Nov 25th, 2006, 05:35 PM
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The Alexander actually sails from Naxos and calls in at Nauossa on its way to Delos.
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Old Nov 26th, 2006, 01:02 AM
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You are correct, stanbr, but Larry wanted to know whether to meet the Alexander in Parikia or Naoussa.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Nov 26th, 2006, 01:47 AM
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4 days in Santorini should be fine. You can look at Mykonos & Delos instead of Paros.
Don't miss Napflio. It's magical, mystic and stunning. You can do 2 very interesting day trips from Athens-- a. Delphi b. Sounio -Apolo Temple.
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Old Nov 26th, 2006, 12:30 PM
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Thanks for everyone's input. I have gone ahead and booked our Olympic flight from Paros to Athens. We will be traveling with two friends who will be going to the same meeting in Athens and since the 5 of us would constitute 1/4 of the plane we all now have our seats.
RE: booking the flight from Athens to Santorini. Aegean Air does not have the Euro 19 fare. Instead it is Euro 54, which with taxes adds up to US$ 321. Does this mean all the Euro 19 fares are gone and I might as well go ahead and book the Euro 54 fare before it too goes up? We are booked at the Kalypso in Paros, but I am still trying to decide between Stogili and Volcanos Villas in Oia. Are they close together?
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Old Nov 26th, 2006, 12:53 PM
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If you don't see any 19 Euro fares from Athens to Santorini you can assume they've all been sold already. They will go as high as 99 Euro, so you'd better book now.

Strogili and VV are both out of the center of the village, with VV being the furthest out. They are fairly close together, and both are within an easy and pleasant stroll to the main square.
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