1st time to Greece.....need tips

Dec 29th, 2008, 08:59 AM
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1st time to Greece.....need tips

My husband and I are going the 1st 3 weeks of May. We are flying into Athens and from there moving on to Crete for 2 weeks and then Rhodes for 1 week. Would 2 nights be enough in Athens on the way in and 1 night on the way out? Do you have any suggestions for accomodation in Athens that is reasonably priced. I am also wondering the best way to travel from Athens to Crete? At this time, I have no plans made other than our accomodation on Crete and Rhodes. Being that we have 2 weeks on Crete is it possible to do a daytrip to any other island? Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you
anabelle is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 09:16 AM
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You can see most of the highlights of Athens in 2 days.

If you can arrange your arrival in Greece so you can take an outgoing flight or ferry to Crete that same day it's best to save Athens until the end of your trip, which serves to give you a couple of extra days in case of cancellations or breakdowns, so you don't have to worry about returning to the mainland for your flight home.

The best way to travel from Athens to Crete is to fly. Both Aegean and Olympic Airlines offer flights to Chania and Heraklion. Both have websites for e-tickets. There is also an Hellenic Seaways highspeed ferry from Athens/Piraeus to Chania.


"Reasonably priced" means something different to everyone. Please state your daily room budget in euro or dollars.

Daytrips from Crete are not possible. It's too far from any other islands for that, but you can take the Hellenic Seaways morning ferry from Heraklion to Santorini and return the next afternoon. That's the closest island.


brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 09:42 AM
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Are you beach people? Do you just want to plop on the beach all day and really do nothing?

I ask this because I know I would be bored out of my mind with one week on Rodos.

I was there July 2007 for 5 days, and whilst I really liked Rodos, there was not enough for someone like me to do.

Cries_Van_Notebook is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 10:13 AM
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Wow thank you for some good info. I would say reasonably priced would be in the area of $150-200 u.s. per night.

And yes we do love the beach but equally enjoy meeting local people and learning the customs and spirit of the culture.
anabelle is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 10:27 AM
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The Electra Palace Hotel used to be fairly reasonable but it has gone way up in price since a major refurbishment.

You might want to give it a look, though, due to excellent location in the Plaka and rooftop bar, pool and incredible view of the Acropolis.

There are many more reasonable hotels in the Plaka--for a short stay that's where I would want to be--pedestrian streets, easy walk to the Acropolis, Syntagma Sq., lots of bars and restaurants, etc.

Ferry from Heraklion to Santorini is roughly an hour and 45 minutes.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 10:36 AM
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$200 is approximately 142 euro.

In Athens, check Attalos Hotel, Cecil Hotel, Pan Hotel, Metropolis Hotel, Arethusa Hotel and Amazon Hotel. These are all centrally located, very near to the Plaka and Syntagma Square. Access to the Airport and Piraeus (ferry port) Metros as well as the Airport Express Bus is close by.

brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 10:49 AM
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anabelle - we just got back from our first trip to Greece 2 weeks ago and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

As for the time in Athens, it would depend somewhat on your interests. We spent a full day in the Nat. Arch. Museum and the Benaki Museum, which may not be how you'd spend your time. But there's certainly plenty to do for several days. [If you'll click on my name, you can read the trip report I recently filed (which also explains why we spent more time in Athens than most people].

We stayed at the Athens Gate Hotel. We got a rate of E125/night (including a very nice breakfast buffet), which would be in your range at the exchange rate we had. But note that we did get a discount due the # of nights we were there (6) and it was offseason. The hotel and its staff were first rate and the view of the Parthenon from the 8th floor restaurant is spectacular.
dfr4848 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 12:59 PM
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The well located Hotel Plaka - http://www.plakahotel.gr - is showing a rate of E135 inclusive of taxes and full buffet breakfast.
worldinabag is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 08:57 PM
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Last May we stayed at the Cypria Hotel in Athens, www.athenscypria.com, very near Syntagma Square and the airport bus stop. They are showing rates of 117 euro (approx. $165) including taxes and big buffet breakfast. The hotel is a 3-star, is air conditioned and quite comfortable, and they have pleasant and helpful staff. We easily rolled our luggage from the airport bus stop to the hotel and back for our flight. We were able to walk to the Plaka area and to the Acropolis from our hotel.

We flew to Crete on Aegean and found the crew and equipment first rate. We purchased cheap tickets on line several months prior to the trip.

Yes, try to plan your trip so that you fly into Crete first and save Athens for the end of your trip. I think 2 full days in Athens is adequate although 3 wouldn't be too much IMO.

crckwc1 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 07:58 AM
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Your description of what you want to do; "And yes we do love the beach but equally enjoy meeting local people and learning the customs and spirit of the culture." makes me think of Karpathos more than Rodos although Crete has all those things. Karpathos can be reached by ferry from Crete. The ferry also goes from Karpathos to Rodos although in May it would not be a daily ferry. I have reached Karpathos by air from Athens and taken the ferry to Crete from Karpathos. It has some great beaches, friendly people and a village, Olympos, where life is still operating as it did ages ago. It had operating windmills. The main town has lots of hotel options in different price ranges and a nice port. Just a suggestion. I would say you don't really need more than a couple of days for Rodos. Outside of the main town and Lindos there is not allot to see.

Chania is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 10:18 AM
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There is one company offering day trips from Crete to Santorini: http://www.greekislands.gr/cruises/searunner.htm

Personally, though, I would consider taking the FlyingCat 4 mentioned in brotherleelove's first post, then spending a couple of nights on Santorini before going on to Rhodes. If you time it right, you can even take a Blue Star ferry directly from Santorini to Rhodes: http://www.bluestarferries.com/dromo...id=4&lineid=16
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 30th, 2008, 02:48 PM
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the best tip i got in regards to greece was from a friend at the very last minute

we were on a tour of greece and decided to follow my friends advice and forego the last day of the tour and head off on another overnight trip to kalambaka/ meteora in the inland of greece

now that was a memorable sidetrip

as for athens

id not do it again

yep you see the acropolis
and you go to the plaka area for a bit of a poke around
but id much rather spend it on the monasteries up in meteora ( google it cos i really cant describe the incredible feats of engineering and architecture these ancient people masterminded with their monasteries perched high up on these amazing rocks)

have fun
santorini was wonderful
lanejohann is offline  
Jan 4th, 2009, 02:40 AM
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In Athens chose to stay in a hotel in Plaka, Syntagma or Acropolis area, where the main tourist attractions, shops and restaurants are located
Attalos is a nice budget hotel located in Athinas str. Also very nice hotel is the Central in Apollonos str next to the Metropolis – Athens Cathedral, Esperia Palace in Panepistimiou str. few meters from Syntagma square.




Papas90 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 10:02 AM
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I have a great hotel recomendation - my husband and I stayed there as part of our Honeymoon trip to Greece last October - acropolis museum botique hotel. It's new, clean, trendy, near an excellent pastry shop, very close to the new museum, Acropolis, close to the Plaka and Syntagma Square. The breakfast was fine - nothing fansastic - but adequate - and they made us frappe even though it was not being offered. I remember the prices being very affordable - we thought it was a bargain!
We flew fro Crete to Athens. So, I suppose I would suggest you fly bewteen the two - short, comfortable flight. In my opinion 2 weeks may be a long time in Crete, especially when you would be missing out on Santorini! I agree with the other poster who recommended cutting Crete a bit shorter and taking the high-speed to Santorini before you're off to Rhodes.

Caramia is offline  
Jan 5th, 2009, 10:08 AM
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here's the link: http://www.acropolismuseumhotel.com/
Caramia is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 11:56 AM
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Some useful info I have just found while sorting my own booking for June: Airotel Parthenon, right on the southern edge of Plaka, is a 4* hotel & showing a special rate for certain dates which is better than all of the 3* in the same area. If no bargain is available for your stay check out Hermes, Central, Plaka, Attalos, Cypria, Achilleas, Pan & Athos.
Check for your dates on http://www.airotel.gr/index.asp?a_id=177
This is probably the only time I will disagree with BLL!! I would spend as much time as I could in Athens, I have been 4 times this year & still have a few things left on my list!. There is a lot more to see than just the Acropolis & a couple of museums, but it does boil down to what your interests are. I would say at least 3 full days to see the Acropolis, Lycabbetus Hill, Keramaikos, the Ancient Agora, at least one museum (NAM, Benaki or the new Acropolis museum if it's actually open!), then some time to wander around Plaka & Monastiraki to soak up the atmosphere.
I would not choose the Arethusa or Metropolis hotels myself without seeing the rooms, I've heard some very negative reports. The hotels I have stayed in & would use again are Airotel Parthenon, Attalos & Hermes.
yiassas is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 01:07 PM
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Totally agree, Yiassas! The more time I spend in Athens, the more I realise I’ve barely scratched the surface – and I LIVE here! And the Parthenon is a wonderful hotel – maybe even more comfortable now than when we used to stay there, years ago, when prices in Greece were so low that most hotels were affordable. Sigh ….
NikolettaG is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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I will see you in June Nikoletta! It's me that's going to meet Jan in the Peloponnese in May before she moves on to Athens & Sifnos(?), then back to Athens for the International meeting in June!
Just so you know what bargains are out there, I got the Parthenon in June for 95.40 euro a night, with breakfast!
yiassas is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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We stayed at the Attalos last June. It's a very basic hotel priced around 90 Euros per night within easy walking distance of the Plaka. What makes this hotel great is the rooftop terrace with a spectacular view of the Acropolis.
Lily is offline  
Jan 6th, 2009, 01:35 PM
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YOu can fly or ferry from Athens to Crete. Me, I'd fly every time. I think you've pitched enough time for Athens. I wouldn't miss the Acropolis for the world, and we STILL haven't managed to see the archaeological museum, but it's not a city I really want to spend more time in

You can't really do another "proper" island from Crete, but if you want to visit the island of Gavdos, then you take the local ferry from Paleochora or Sfakia. The same applies if you want to travel from Kastelli (Kissamos) in west Crete to Kithira island or the south Peloponnese.
sheila is offline  

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