A Week in Greece in mid April

Old Dec 14th, 2015, 08:48 PM
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A Week in Greece in mid April

What to expect when visiting Athens in mid April? Is it a good period for a first-timer to visit?

And I'd like to split the week to city exploration (Athens) and island getaway (suggestion on which island, please), can anyone suggest an itinerary?

Also, aside from touring the ruins and sampling the cuisine, is there some kind of agriturismo in Greece? I took cooking classes the last time I was in Italy and I see this particular company also offers other activities such as truffle hunting, vespa tour, jewelry making, painting course, etc. I'm interested in things like these but so far no luck on the internet.
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Old Dec 14th, 2015, 11:45 PM
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Mid-April will be a good time for Athens sightseeing.

It's still off-season on the islands, and many hotels and restaurants will still be closed. If a booking website shows "no availability" for a particular hotel, that just means it won't be open that early in the year, not that it is fully booked.

As long as you don't expect beach weather you can still have an enjoyable time on the islands in mid-April. Greek Easter is on May 1st in 2016, so many people will be arriving on the islands around the end of April.
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 12:26 AM
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Hi there!
Visiting Athens in mid April is not a bad idea, but you have to know that it's still off-season on the islands. For me the best time of the year to visit Greek islands is June or July. However, if you are determined to make this spring trip, I would suggest you go to Evia or Crete.
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 04:30 AM
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Mid-April will be very nice for sightseeing in Greece.

Your wish for an island-getaway seems to indicate that you want to relax at a nice beach. Although seawater will be on the cool side in April, it will be warm enough for swimming, especially in shallow coves.

Weather-wise, Rhodes would be the very best bet. Also, Rhodes is large enough to offer some more than beaches: the medieval city of Rhodes with the magnificent Palace of the Grand Masters and the picturesque town Lindos with a photogenic acropolis and temple throning on top of a steep rock.

Also, Rhodes has lovely beaches and probably the sunniest climate of all Greece. We have been on Rhodes three in mid-November and enjoyed sightseeing and swimming in the sea.

But for a getaway you do not necessarily need an island. Peloponnes is practically an island with a narrow landbridge to the mainland. Just to give you examples what is possible, here two hotels where we stayed in September:

Ridiculously inexpensive but beautiful and comfortable: http://www.koronivillage.gr/
3 hours from Athens, good access to Ancient Messene, Methoni Castle, Pylos and, of course, the fishing village Koroni.

A Shangri-La with ultimate luxury, but still affordable:
www.maredei.gr
Very quiet location with an (almost) private beach. Excellent food. Good access to ancient Olympia and Pylos.
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 04:30 AM
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We went to Greece in Mid-May last year, visiting Athens, Naxos and Santorini. The islands were lovely at that time but it was a little chilly for swimming (although both my brother and my brother in law did). Both the places we stayed on Naxos and Santorini opened the last week in April. So I agree with the above - May would be better than April if you have that option.
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 04:55 AM
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Is there a change of plan, have the suggestions on the other threads been abandoned?
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 08:09 AM
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If traveling in Greece in April, consider more of the mainland rather than the islands. The Peloponnese is popular, lots to see around there: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractio...loponnese.html. You can base in Naplio.

North of Athens, Delphi is a must-see.

Will you rent a car?
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 08:26 AM
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It would help to know how early on April you plan to visit and how you envision your island stay in order to advice on that one. Personaly I would consider a flight straight away upon arrival on Athens airport to an island, then flight or ferry back to Athens for the Athens stay. But Greece is not only Athens+islands, so depending on specifics, it might be wiser to chose a mainland destination.

I googled "Athens cooking class" and several options came up. The same applied for "Athens wine tasting tours" "athens jewellery workshop tour" etc. Those kind of activities are possible on the countryside too.
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 04:59 PM
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Hi Odin, no, no change of plans, we're just reviewing our options. As I said, I wanted the holiday to coincide with my birthday in late July but seems to me the options become limited since I'm very crowd-averse, I dislike heat, and also the price can get very expensive so I'm thinking of spending my birthday in Kerala and do my European holiday in the off season. I don't know yet, still reviewing.

Seems to me from the reply, May is a better month to visit so I'll probably consider going in mid May but then it will be too close to my birthday =/

I agree with mariha2912, I would begin with the 'island' getaway and then finish with city excursion a.k.a Athens.

Hi traveler1959, I don't mind Peloponesse, actually. What I'm trying to say is, I want to dedicate a half of the week to visit the Parthenon etc in Athens and the other half to relax and enjoy the beach and the scenery. Shangri-La looks awesome! I'd love to visit Crete but it's so far away from Athens so I think islands closest to Athens is preferrable. How about Mykonos?

I don't think I'll be renting a car. We're pretty new to Europe and I've heard driving in Greece is an absolute nightmare. Maybe in our subsequent visits...but not our first =)

Anyway, I'm a pretty chill traveler and I have absolutely no desire to cover too many grounds in such a short time. Basically, the Athenian Acropolis is a must, and then I'd like to do a cooking class if possible. The rest of my holiday is pretty much open so any suggestion is welcomed.
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 05:14 PM
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If you insist on an island you might like Hydra, which is traffic-feee and close to Athens. But there are beaches on the Peloponnese. Not to mention Monemvasia, which is a remarkable sight. I visited mainland Greece in April back in 2006 and enjoyed it, but I had no interest in swimming. See: http://www.wilhelmswords.com/eur2006/index.html

If you are seriously considering Kerala in July I trust you are not heat and humidity and rain averse. (See Weather Underground for historical data.)
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 06:34 PM
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Hi thurdaysd, I've actually started another thread about Greece in late July. Figured I better embrace the crowds and the sun. Thinking of Peloponnese for my 'beach getaway' leg of my trip.

Yes, I am aware that July is right in the middle of the monsoon season in Kerala. Weird as it sounds, the rain is actually part of the appeal.
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 06:38 PM
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Have you read this?

http://www.amazon.com/Chasing-Monsoo.../dp/0786116161
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Old Dec 15th, 2015, 08:49 PM
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A couple of random ideas for April:

Upon arrival on Athens airport get a flight on Paros island. Do stay on Parikia or maybe Naoussa. The island has around 14 000 permanent population and it is not as dead as other islands. Bus system is ok-ish on April to explore part of the island. There are many ex-pats on the island and there are various activities and shows both in Greek and from times to times in English. For cooking lessons google Paros Margarita studios cooking lessons. This is located on Ambelas, I do not suggest you to stay there on April, far too isolated, but you could go for a cooking lesson or two. On Naoussa there is a Moraitis winery you can visit, on Ambelas there is a Tao center offering yoga workshops, an Asian restaurant and nice treatments such as massages (usually opens on late March), there are 2-3 different companies offering horse back riding and lots of hiking .And of course there are the more mainstream activities such as walking around, enjoying the taverns, take bus to see the different villages and beach areas. Do not miss the mountain village of Lefkes (the town its self is very scenic but there is a Byzantine path all the way from Lefkes to Marpissa/Prodrommos and you could keep going even till Piso Livadi if this is your thing) and a side trip to Antiparos island. You could spend say 3-4 nights on Paros, then get a flight or a ~5 hours ferry ride back to Athens for your Athens stay.

Other idea if this is yout thing is to contact Telis on Polytropon art here in Delphi and see if he could offer you some painting or even better ceramic vases craftmanship lessons. You could go on Athens Bus Station B on Liossion, jumb on a bus and be in Delphi in 3 hours. It is a very small town nowadays, less than 1200 population, but we are a year around destination and on March we get lots of school and university trips from all over the world and mostly from US and Canada. Around weekends and Easter* there will be many Greek visitors around too and it feels a quaint but still lively place without been over the top. Scenery is fantastic and you will of course check the archeological site and museum, while there is hiking on the ancient path down to the sea side or up on E4 trail to Mt Parnassos/Corycean cave. With some luck, depending how snow falls go, you could even go skiing up to Parnassos ski center. There are other things to see and do in the area, from Byzantine monasteries to sea side and mountain villages but there is only so much one can do on 3-4 days.... When you are done with the area, you can jumb on a bus back to Athens and be there is 3 hours, quite hussle free.

Of course there are tons of other options, just saying....

*Easter is a much more important celebration in Greece than what seems to be on most Western countries, we celebrate it more heartingly than Christmas. Many people travel from Athens and large cities to the countryside around Easter, so if you plan to visit around the very end of April take this in consideration. On the other hand maybe it is wise to time your visit with Easter in order to join some of the activity/ambiance?
Some info on Greek Easter traditions:
http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/religion/easter_in_greece

Whatever you decide to do, Have a Great Trip!
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 06:44 AM
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Mariha and others it's great reading your suggestions.

If I may tag off of this thread, we have a mid-March trip in the works (just 5-6 days in Greece) and plan for Athens and Delphi but would love to get to one of the islands (first time--we don't know Greece at all). Would you still recommend Paros at that time of year? (The time frame is fixed--spring break for me.) Or skip islands altogether?
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 08:31 AM
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Hi annw. I don't think that going to an island in the off season is the best use of time. If you want an island like experience then go to Nafplio its just two hours from Athens. It is a weekend get away for Athenians, has a lovely old town and is on the sea side.
There is regular bus connections.
Here is what it is like.

Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632094108982/

On the other hand 4 days in Athens plus one for Delphi will be a pretty good trip on its own. You won't be bored if you spend all your time just in these two sites.

Athens http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632121475515/

Olympia Delfi Meteora https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr...7645469717811/
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 09:08 AM
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With only 4-5 days available on March, I would simply consider a day trip to one of the Argosaronic islands if weather co-operates. Piraeus port is only 15-20 minutes metro ride from Athens city center and then you could get a morning ferry, say a ride of 90 minutes to 2-3 hours depending on specifics to say Hydra or Aegina. You could spend best part of the day there, then return on the evening.
http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_i...aronic_islands

There are usually some organised mini day-cruises taking in three of them, but you will mostly be on board rather than exploring the islands, so I would look on the DIY approach mention above.


As lovely as Paros is, I do not think it is wise to visit only for a day or to spend all your time there vs Athens on March.
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 09:48 AM
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Many thanks, stan and mariha!
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Old Dec 30th, 2015, 09:59 PM
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You are welcome annw, Enjoy Greece!
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