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20 days in Greece (Delphi, Meteora, Athens, Naxos, Santorini)

20 days in Greece (Delphi, Meteora, Athens, Naxos, Santorini)

Old Feb 27th, 2018, 09:07 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 6
20 days in Greece (Delphi, Meteora, Athens, Naxos, Santorini)

Hello everybody, I'm new at this forum. Just want to thank you in advance for all your help... I've been reading this web for a while and it got very good inputs.

We -me and my girlfriend- are a couple from Buenos Aires (Argentina) and we're planning a Europe trip during June 2018 (almost the whole month). It's our first trip overseas together and the main goal is to visit Greece (we've never been there) and also add a pinch of Italy and a couple of days in Barcelona (where we flight home to/from).

She's 28 years old and I'm 35. We're into history (classic and medieval are our favourites ages), mythology, visual arts and music, languages, nature places with water (seas, lakes, rivers). We're not interested in clubbing, nor in luxury stuff. We also like food, try new dishes, etc. but we're not fancy 'foodies': we prefer "real" places, i.e. tavernas or street food, where locals hang around, and where you can eat well and cheap.

After a lot of research, here's the journey we've planned:

June 4: Arrival to Barcelona, late flight to Rome.
June 5-8: Rome.
June 9-11: Naples, daytrips to Pompei, Herculanum & Vesubio.

June 12: Flight to Athens, rental car in airport (possibly with Athens Rental Cars, since I've read good reviews), drive to Osios Loukas (visit a few hours) then drive to Delphi town. Visit arch. museum if there is time/energy.

June 13: Delphi site (in the morning, before crowds). Visit museum if not visited the day before (or if it's a combined entrance ticket site & museum). Drive to Meteora. If we have time/energy, go up hill with the car to see the sunset.

June 15-16: Visit Meteora monasteries, do some trekking nearby. I've read it's better to stay in Kastraki (over Kalambaka) We're going to have a car but for the typical route of monasteries, I think maybe it's better to take the bus up and then walk down trough the monasteries back to Kastraki. Seems a right plan to you?

June 17: Drive to Cape Sounion to see sunset, return car at Athens. In case we're very tired, just drive back to Athens without visiting Sounion. Do you think that visit it's worthy? Don't get me wrong, I've seen beautiful pictures of sunset there but as we're going to see beautiful sunsets at Naxos/Santorini...

June 18-19: Athens. We still have to narrow the daily plans but mainly Acropolis (Parthenon, Odeon of Herodes Atticus, theatre of Dionisio), maybe Acropolis Museum?, National Archeological Museum, Agora, Plaka, Anafiotika, Monastiraki, Exarchia (alternative lifestyle, street art, etc.), climb Mount Philopappos. Hopefully we get tickets to the Greek Festival (Athens & Epidaurus) and see an orchestra at Herodes Atticus (if I understand it right, tickets' selling starts in May).

June 20: Take ferry from Pireus to Naxos. Base in Chora (Naxos Town).

June 21-23: Naxos. Beaches (Ag. Georgios, Ag. Prokopios, Plaka, Orkos), rent a car/scooter/bicycle for a day and visit some town of the hinterland (could be a round tour: Kato Potamia, Ano Potamia, Chalkio, go south to Sangri & Temple of Demeter and return, or maybe go north to Kouronochori & Melanes).

June 24: Take ferry to Santorini. Make base in Oia, Firostefani or Imerovigli (we still have to decide).

June 25-28: Santorini. Beaches (including red and black ones), walk trip from Oia to Fira, Amoudi bay, maybe visit Santorini hinterland, maybe Akrotiri.

June 29-30: Direct flight to Barcelona at 4am (so don't sleeping that night). Make base in Barcelona.

July 1: Flight back home.

Seems a good plan overall? Any thoughts? All kind of advices you have for us, are most welcome! Thanks in advance.


conpdepabl0 is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2018, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 14,272
Make Bronze Age Akrotiri a must see on Santorini. Highly recommend a seafood lunch down at Amoudi Bay too, below Oia.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2018, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,790
Welcome to Fodor’s!

I can see that you’ve done a lot of research to plan this trip – kudos! I must admit that parts of this trip sound extremely rushed to me, but whether it will work for you depends entirely on what, exactly, you want to see and do and at what pace. If I’m reading correctly, though, you have only 1 day for Barcelona, only 2 days for Athens, only 3 days for Naples, etc.

If you haven’t already seen them, you might find some useful information in my trip report on Greece – I visited all of the places you mention:
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece

and the section of this report on Barcelona:
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
Old Feb 27th, 2018, 08:06 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,915
You see very organized, and energetic so yes, you can do it. There are a few "tweaks" I would suggest --
• Drop Sounion in favor of a less-rushed time in Athens -- you could also have time for a perfdormance of the Dora Stratou dance theatre -- remarkable collection of lively folk dances & authentic costumes! It took me til my 10th trip to get there, but SO worth it (and I'm not a dance-buff!).
• The BLUE STAR 7:25 am daily ferry gets to Naxos 12:30. You could gain half a day by a ferry new this season ... leaves Piraeus 23:55pm arrives Naxos 5 Am. You can book 2 bunks in a 4-bunk all - women's cabin, OR a cabin for 2 ... because your fare also is "hotel for the night."
• In Naxos I suggest staying in Ag. Giorgios beach... it's only a 15 minute stroll to all the attractions of the port town, but much nicer place to stay at night, a stroll along beach under stars before sleep, and balcony breakfast with a view. I've stayed in town several times in May-June but much prefer beach lodgings. Check booking.com-Ag. Giorgios, and CHECK MAP.
• In Santorini, I suggest FIrostephani as the "goldilocks" location -- not too far, not too near. It's at N. Fringe of FIRA, but no tourbus groups or cruise crowds are around. You can walk down the rimside path to Fira attraction in 10-15 minutes, and there's a handy BUS stop to get to OIA in 20 minutes (go 8 am, to avoid Cruise mobs that arrive at 10).
• Everyone talks about the Oia-Fira walk, but it's a looong trek. I really like going up on Ancient Thira on High-high bluff above the eastern beach towns (Take a taxi 3/4 way up, walk to top, then walk down road & et a bus back to Fira). A stunning view of whole island from there. If you go to black beaches, wear Water Shoes! The volcanc grit gets burning hot. IF u go to Akrotiri, afterwards you can scramble up a hill to see Red Beach, but they don't advise going there recently -- lots of rockfalls.
travelerjan is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2018, 02:07 AM
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Since you want to visit the Greek Festival at Epidaurus, recommend spending a couple of nights in Nafplio to see the other archeological sites in the area: http://visitnafplio.com. That would suit your interests in history, and give you a chance to see one of the most beautiful towns in Greece. You have a well thought out itinerary, so I won't impose my ideas on what to cut out to make room for Nafplio.

I agree you should visit Akrotiri if you go to Santorini, and that Red Beach is best seen from above or offshore from a boat rather than on the beach itself.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2018, 08:39 AM
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Hello! Thank you for the advices and responses.

@HappyTrvlr: Thanks for the Akrotiri advice! I was in doubt about visit it, but now I know we have to go there.

@kja: I've already read your great Greece's report, was very useful and with a lot of detail! I took some tips from it Yes, I know some parts are a little compressed (like Athens, I wish we have an extra day) but we've also have as a priority to do some beach time, that's why some cities are just a basic glimpse. Naples is just as a base for visiting Pompei and the other sites, with 3 days we're okay for that (we're also going to visit the Arch. Museum and tour the city a little). And Barcelona is just a buffer for plane reasons, and for shopping (cheap clothes and lots of books I cannot buy in Argentina). I hope we can do a Spain trip in the future and give Barcelona more time (and also to the Catalunya region, which is beautiful as well).

@travelerjan: I also read a lot of your posts and advices, I can see you have a lot of experience about Greece! Thank you very much for your inputs, they're very wise indeed. I'll follow your Sounion advice. Also very interesting the night ferry option! And the staying in Naxos beach instead of the port... the stroll in the beach at night is very tempting, I'll look at that. In Santorini, Firostefani seems a good option to me as well, as you say is well located yet not very crowded, so I'll search hotels there. And thanks for the tip about the beaches!

@Heimdall: Thank you for the information! Yes, Nafplio was an option at the beginning of my planning but we've decided to cut out some parts in favor of more relaxed time in others. So sadly we cut out the Peloponese (Nafplio, Epidaurus, Mystras, Monemvasia, Olympia) and also we've to cut out Rhodes (sadly as well). Cutting out places is the most difficult part for me. Also thank you for the red beach advice! I'll have it in mind.

Really thank you all, you're very kind and very good advices. I'll continue tweaking our trip and I'll keep you posted. Cheers,

conpdepabl0 is offline  
Old Mar 3rd, 2018, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,767
Pablo - welcome to Fodors. Im very impressed by your research. Your trip seems well thought out and doable. I concur with the advice given above. Do make a point of going to Akritari. Whatever you do in Greece will be wonderful.
dgunbug is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2018, 10:35 AM
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Thank you @dgunbug! We'll definitely add Akrotiri to our musts. Greece seems so amazing that we're begging that June arrives soon! I will promise a trip report afterwards, I think it's a good way to thank the community.

Cheers, Pablo
conpdepabl0 is offline  
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