20 days in Greece--Need Suggestions

Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 08:15 AM
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carolmshoemaker
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20 days in Greece--Need Suggestions

My husband & I will be in Greece this spring for almost 3 weeks (4.3-4.22.08), and although we have our plane tickets, our itinerary is not yet set in stone. After reading the wonderful suggestions on this forum last night, Iím hoping some of you can give us suggestions for 2 parts of our trip: our travel from Thessaloniki to Nafplion and, most important, for our ďisland time.Ē

Hereís our tentative itinerary:

DAYS 1-6: Thessaloniki. Weíre flying into & beginning our travels in Thessaloniki because I lived there as a child and have been wanting to get back for decades. Itís a very important place to me, & I want to spend a lot of time revisiting places & people from my childhood years in & around the Thessaloniki area; hence, the 6 days!

DAY 7: Head for Nafplion---Pick up rental car in Thessaloniki & head toward Nafplion at leisurely pace. Stop along the way for the night.
We could drive all the way to Nafplion in 1 day, I guess, but donít want to rush this leg of the journey. We want to take the main highway, since we are not experienced drivers in Greece. Suggestions on where to stop?

DAYS 8-12: Nafplion. We hear this is a great place to visit and from which to make day trips to places like Mycenae. We want to balance time visiting ancient sites with time hanging out /exploring around/watching sunsets in Nafplion.

DAYS 13-17: Island Time (need help!)
We hear it would be a shame to miss the Santorini caldera views, so this island a possibility. On the other hand, our main desire is to stay as close as possible to the Greek village culture, so we're flexible and would consider either
(a) skipping Santorini altogether and going to some place like Sifnos or (b) simply taking the ferry from Nafplion to one of the Saronic Islands and staying there for 4 days & 5 nights. Suggestions???

DAYS 18-20: Athens (We fly out of Athens in the evening of Day 20).

Thanks in advance for any advice!
 
Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 08:32 AM
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I am sure you will get great advice here as this is a great board for Greece travel.

I would not miss Santorini under any circumstances as it is a unique place. Arriving by ferry is also special. We loved it so much we ended up staying a month and our stay at Volcano Villa with that awesome view was spectacular and peaceful. ( We did not stay all of our time there).

It is cheap to rent a car and drive around the island and easy to miss the crowds. I am not even sure if there will be any crowds as there were not many when we were there in June ( outside of Fira).

We spent a long time in Greece & the islands this past summer, so our website as info that may be of use to you. Just look under the blog on Greece:

www.soultravelers3.com

Be careful with the driving in Greece, it is the most wild that we have seen in Europe ( and we have seen a lot of wild).
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Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 10:15 AM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip; take your rain-jacket & some sweaters, but maybe u will get lucky and have mostly sunshine.

NAFPLIO -- Stay at Hotel Leto or Pension Eleni right next door, up at the top of the town; google them. Great views, modest rates. Eleni website has GOOD map showing exactly how to get there. You will LOVE Nafplio, rain or shine-- and from there it's easy to visit Mycenae, Tiryns & Epidaurus in a day if you want a "ruin-a-thon." !!

ISLANDs--alas no ferries from Nafplio these days. Some of your options --

(1)Drive early early (6-7 am) to airport (3.5 hrs?) to drop car, if you can get one of those bargain Aegean flights to Santorini --- as of right now, on 4/16 there is a 12:20 flight to Santorini at 10Euro (+taxes +fueladd-on =about 40E). If I were you I would GRAB it!! Now!!

That would get you to Santorini in time for half of day 13, and as much longer as u want to stay. Some people want to stay forever, for others, a good look at the caldera and then they move on.

If there is a handy ferry, you might consider a hop to Sifnos, to stay up in Appollonia at Pension Geronti -- blissful peace. You would have to ferry back (no airport) but fast ferry isn't bad. ORRRR you could hop to Paros, lots to see there, and fly back or ferry back (10:45-3pm).
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Old Jan 2nd, 2008, 03:08 PM
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Thanks, WTnow & travelerjan, for your excellent advice and encouragement. WTnow, I love your website, esp the Greece blog--beautiful photos, interesting descriptions. Your ongoing journey is such an inspiration. Travelerjan, if we do decide to go to Santorini, we'll definitely follow your suggestion to ferry over to Sifnos or Paros. So glad you told us about ferries not running out of Nafplion in April! You guys are the best.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 04:53 AM
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Just a small note. Maybe you sould do some reasearch and pick up some destinations between Thessaloniki and Nafplion to spend a couple of days. It's a pitty crossing almost half the mainland without visiting some places you would rarely visit otherwise... The same applies for some places in Northern Greece. While staying in Thessaloniki you may want to do some day excursions or something.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 05:40 AM
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Mariha2912, I definitely agree that we need to plan some stops enroute from Thessaloniki to Nafplion and that we need to explore the wonderful area of Northern Greece around Thessaloniki! I am researching these now that we have our basic "skeletal" itinerary, but if you have suggestions, we'd love to hear them! Thank you so much.
 
Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 06:03 AM
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My husband and I were in Greece this past fall. Our trip started in Thessaloniki due to my husband's interest in Alexander the Great. We spent three nights in Thessaloniki and toured almost every day. I highly recommend a visit to Vergina and Pella - both are incredibly rich in history. We also visited Edessa and the archeological ruins of the school where Aristotle tutored Alexander - the nympheon of Mieza.

We loved Thessaloniki - mainly due to the fact that the city has some wonderful sights and it did not seem overrun by tourists.

We also visited both Santorini and Paros as part of the same trip. Although the caldera views are spectacular, I don't think that Santorini evokes a village culture. Santorini, while picturesque, was not our favourite island. We much preferred Naoussa on Paros - definitely more relaxed and we felt more ensconced in the local culture.

Enjoy your trip!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2008, 06:20 AM
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carolmshoemaker
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Hana, these are great suggestions. When I lived in Thessaloniki as a child, we visited Pella & Edessa(& want to return), but have not been to Vergina. I appreciate your comments on Santorini and Paros too---will keep in mind during this crazy decision-making time! Do you have any hotel recommendations for Thessaloniki?
 
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