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TigerAthlete12 Mar 7th, 2008 05:00 AM

2 girls, 10 days in Greece
I am going to be traveling to Greece for a period of about 10 days with a friend. This is part of a backpacking trip and so I would like some suggestions on an itinerary in Greece including Athens and some Greek Islands. We are not planning on renting a car as we are on a tight budget. If anyone has any suggestions on where to go and how to get from place to place without a car, I would appreciate all the help I can get. Thanks!

cristine27 Mar 7th, 2008 05:07 AM

It's very easy to visit Cyclades without a car as there are buses almost everywhere.
Also there are LOT of islands, wo if you could give us more information on your interests or of places that you've seen photographs and you would like to visit, that would be a big help!

lostinplace Mar 7th, 2008 08:08 PM

You can take the metro from airport to Athens and to Piraeus to catch ferries, so you don't need a car, nor would you want to drive there anyway. It will become obvious once you're there!

Hydra is an island that's an easy day trip from Athens. It has no cars, so it's a quiet contrast to Athens.

The ferries generally travel to specific groups or chains of islands, so to go to a different chain may require a trip back to Piraeus. Recommend going to the islands first, seeing Athens on the way home. You usually need to get back to the mainland a day early anyway, as ferry schedule can be impacted by weather, etc.

I also recommend the Cyclades, with the whitewashed towns that are usually associated with Greece. Try Paros, Naxos and definitely Santorini. Mykonos has a reputation for its nightlife.

You can't go wrong. Put Santorini in the middle of the trip, to keep ferry trips between islands shorter on the way there and back. Enjoy!

bozama Mar 7th, 2008 09:19 PM

My friend and I travelled around europe for a few months when we were young, we had only allowed two weeks in Greece, we wished we had allowed more!

Athens is a big smoggy city, see the Acropolis and get the hell out to the islands.

We did Mykonos and Paros, Mykonos was a great clubbing island, BUT, it also was incredibly cute, the white washed buildings etc. And every day we would take buses to different little beaches, it was gret. Paros was alot quieter but had amazing beaches.
We didn't get to Santorini because of ferry schedules and time running out, when I go again I will do Santorini and Naxos.

Heimdall Mar 7th, 2008 11:12 PM

What sort of things do you like to do, and when will you be there? The more you tell us, the more we can help. :-)

cathies Mar 7th, 2008 11:14 PM

Hi Bozama, I know you are entitled to an opinion, but we loved Athens and I don't really think it's fair to keep on referring to it as a "big, smoggy city". Perhaps you were unlucky when you were there?? :)

brotherleelove2004 Mar 8th, 2008 08:25 AM

Athens _IS_ a 'big smoggy city.' And Smog has nothing to do with luck, it has to do with the the surrounding mountains trapping the heavy exhaust fume-laden air over the city under a layer of warmer air that prevents vertical circulation. Once in August the smog was so bad that it made me sick, and I had been living in Los Angeles so I was no stranger to bad smog! It was so bad that as the ferry I was on left Piraeus the whole coastline literally disappeared behind a brown curtain of filty air.

TigerAthlete12 Mar 8th, 2008 08:57 AM

to give a little more information. We want a balance of sightseeing and relaxing. I was thinking 3-4 days in Athens and then islands...maybe Naxos and Santorini. I've heard of Mykonos's nightlife but I'm worried that might mean more expensive. I was thinking Naxos and Santorini? Is there another city other than Athens that we should look into? Thanks for all the help!

Heimdall Mar 8th, 2008 09:23 AM

Naxos and Santorini would be a good combination of islands.

You still haven't said when you will be there, which could affect advice given.

Athens only gets really unpleasant in high summer, July and August, with the combination of heat and smog. I used to live in Houston, even worse, with smells from petro-chemical plants along the ship channel and Galveston Bay.

You <i>will</i> want to visit Athens, and it's almost impossible to avoid anyway unless you are flying out of another city. You could cut your time in Athens to two days (at the end of the trip), and still see most of the important sites. With four days you would be able to add Delphi or perhaps Nafplio in the Peloponnese.

BarbaraMH Mar 8th, 2008 09:33 AM

Aaaah, memories!!! My best friend and I did the same thing about 20 years ago and had a blast! We stayed in Athens just long enough to see some things. Same experiences as posted above, very hot, very humid, and very smoggy/polluted -- so we headed to the islands from Piraeus (Naxos, Santorini, Paros) where we fell in love!! No car needed. Have a great time.

lanejohann Mar 8th, 2008 12:23 PM

athens is not a fav of mine
id certainly give it a day or two at the most...lean towards a day
and then do an overnight to meteora where the ancient monasteries are
you go through delphi
i love santorini ..its big enough to explore but easy to get around..great cheap buses

we stayed out of fira ...oia is expensive but do the walk from fira to oia along the coastal cliff there..divine and very safe ..easy easy walk//that was the highlight of my trip to santorini

cathies Mar 8th, 2008 07:14 PM

We were there in May so although it was hot it was bearable, plus we live in Sydney, Australia, so we are used to hot weather. I expect August is much worse. It wasn't smoggy when we visited - lucky I guess.

bozama Mar 9th, 2008 12:36 AM

cathies which islands did you go to?

cathies Mar 9th, 2008 01:41 AM

Hi Bozama, we had four nights on Santorini. Our hotel in Oia was pretty average (Hotel Loucas), but we had a spectacular view of the Calderra from our little courtyard. Plus our room was directly under a path in the side of the cliff so every morning over our heads we would hear the donkeys going past:) We hired a car one day and drove all over the island including the little beach towns on the other side of the island, where we had lunch and a swim. We loved it, but would explore other islands if we have a chance to return.

spinch Mar 9th, 2008 05:19 AM

Crete! Spend a couple of days in Chania and then take the bus to Omalos to hike the Samaria Gorge. We did it in 2004 and it was incredible. It's a 6 hour hike down hill to Agia Roumeli. We took the ferry from Agia Roumeli to Loutro and spent a couple of days there. It was very inexpensive in Loutro.

TigerAthlete12 Mar 9th, 2008 07:33 AM

We will be there in June if that helps.

Heimdall Mar 9th, 2008 09:05 AM

Tiger, June is the perfect time to visit Greece.

The reason it is helpful to mention dates is that earlier, say March or April, ferry schedules are reduced, and many hotels &amp; restaurants on the islands closed. Later, in July and August, the islands are hot and crowded. It is possible for us to suggest itineraries that minimize those problems.

The only thing to watch out for in June is one three-day weekend, Jun 13-16, which is Greek Pentacost. Roads and ferries will be crowded that weekend. Hotels on islands and coasts easy to reach from Athens will be heavily booked.

TigerAthlete12 Mar 11th, 2008 04:41 AM

Well it turns out that we will be going the week right after that. So we will be arriving June 15th or 16th. I'm looking at apartments in Santorini. I'm thinking that as young and hip as we are (not really though) we will want to be in Fira. Does anyone have any suggestions? The best I've found is called Scirrocco Apartments. I'm thinking an apartment might save us some money if we can cook a few meals for ourselves. Any thoughts?

Gaspard Mar 11th, 2008 06:02 AM

&quot;Cool Cat&quot; apartments in Perivolos.

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