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Advise Needed for Surprise Honeymoon in Greek Isles!

Advise Needed for Surprise Honeymoon in Greek Isles!

Aug 23rd, 2005, 05:55 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 9
Advise Needed for Surprise Honeymoon in Greek Isles!


I am hoping to get some advise for my honeymoon. I am planning to take my soon-to-be wife on a surprise honeymoon (she is letting me plan it) to the Greek Isles. I am using a travel agent but of course they are compensated by the resorts so I worry that her advise might be skewed.

She recommends:

Santorini for 4 nights: Katikies Suites

Crete for 4 nights: Elounda Bay

Does anyone have any advise on this hotels? Are there better options? My budget is not fixed, meaning that I'm borrowing to do anything we do, but I want it to be perfect

I've read good things about Paros and Naxos. Would those be preferable to Crete?

Lastly, we are going in June. Is June a good month to visit the Isles or will it be too hot or too crowded?

Thank you all so much!
jdodge101 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 06:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Hi jdodge,

I can not speak about the hotels, but as your concerns about the period: I think June is fine. Temperaturewise, it should be around 80F (or 27C) as an average high and 66F (or 21C) as an average low. Seems like perfect weather to me!
As for the crowds: most Europeans (which are the vast majority of tourists on the Greek islands) have holidays in July and/or August, and most schools don't finish until the end of June, so I think it's gonna be quite ok.

Santorini is beautiful everywhere, in Crete there are places which are very touristy and places more off the beaten track, try to find more info about where you want to go (I would help you if I could, but I can't)!

As for hotels: check tripadvisor and this forum!

Congratulations on your wedding and good luck! I'm sure you'll have a wonderful honeymoon!
stardust is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 07:00 AM
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GREEK STYLE that will suprise her !!!
broccollibob is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 07:17 AM
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I have read many wonderful reviews of Katikies on Santorini. In fact, Forbes magazine (via www.cnn.com) recently named Santorini one of the Top 10 Sexiest Islands and recommended staying at this hotel. It is quite popular for honeymooners.

The fact that you are going into debt for the honeymoon does concern me a little though. Starting out up to your ears in debt is not the preferred way to begin a marriage, especially since finances are the number one cause of divorce Is there any way you could perhaps do a nice weekend away right after the wedding and then save your money to do a really fabulous honeymoon a year later for your anniversary?

In any case, best of luck on your impending marriage!

TexasAggie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 07:29 AM
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Hi Texas Aggie,

Thank you for your concern but the debt won't be too bad. We have no debt as of now (other than our mortgage) and this trip will be paid for from home equity. We are solid financially, just don't have alot of extra cash right now after paying for a wedding. We'll be ok though! Thanks
jdodge101 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 07:37 AM
Join Date: May 2004
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Katikies is fabulous, and very romantic.

I haven't been to Crete, so can't compare, but I loved Paros and Naxos. However, I'm not sure there is much there in the "resort" category. Maybe that's why Crete was recommended. I do agree that four nights one place, four nights another is probably smart for a honeymoon.

Congratulations, and enjoy!
rsb99 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Glad to hear you have everything thought out

Forgot to mention that both Santorini and Crete have some fabulous archaeology ruins that are easily visited... might make an interesting half-day break from lounging on the beach or by the pool. Also, the restaurant Senor Frogs on Santorini gets excellent reviews.
TexasAggie is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:08 AM
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Does anyone know anything specifically about Elounda Bay or any other Crete hotel?

I've read some about there being lots of jelly fish and it being too crowded in June.

Any thoughts?

Thank you all again!
jdodge101 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:50 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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I just returned from my Greek honeymoon so I can say you are going to have a wonderful time! I'm going to write a trip report in a bit with all the details, but we stayed at Oia Mare Villas in Oia, Santorini and I would 100% recommend it. We paid 184 Euro a night for a standard room. The hotel has a wonderful view of the caldera and sunset. It may not be the Katikies, but we found it to be very nice.

Just a note that we found Santorini in particular to be very expensive. Lunch for 2 almost always ran us 50 Euros in Oia, and a lot of places are still not taking credit cards or give you a discount if you don't use it. On top of that we found that one of our cards charged us a 3% transaction fee for every purchase over there. When we disputed it they said all the cards were starting to do this. Just an FYI.

Have a great trip!
Liz2005 is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:55 AM
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I am told that June is one of the nicest months to travel to the Greek islands. All the European schools are still ongoing, so the islands are relatively uncrowded and the weather is good, and not as hot as July and August when it gets over 100.

I know nothing about the islands you and other posters have mentioned. But I have been to Corfu, parts of which are beautiful, and from there to the delightful unspoilt island of Paxos. This really is very quiet, but is idyllic, and also very cheap, if you are budget conscious.

There is the main town of Gaios, where the ferry docks (you can visit on a day trip from Corfu), and then at the north end is Lakka, a pretty sailing village, and midway up the coast is Loggos - a wonderful almost completely unspoilt fishing village set around a delightful little harbour in a bay/cove. Really good restaurants with really fresh produce, caught that day. There is a water taxi you can get from Corfu to here. From Gaios you get a bus or rent a scooter (mini motorcycle).

There are hotels in Gaios, but mainly it is villa rental here. There is maid service in most, you get your breakfast from the bakery in the village, lunch is bread/cheese/olives/wine on the beach, and dinner is in a restaurant on the harbour at sunset!

I stayed here in a friend's house - they spent their honeymoon here in Loggos (20 years ago now) in a rented villa and loved it so much they bought a house! They are out there right now in fact. The beaches are a bit pebbly, but very secluded - you either hike over the hilltop and down a goat path, or rent a boat and 'drive' to one. If you are on a beach, no-one else joins you, they just motor on to the next secluded intimate little cove! One unromantic thing though - there are horrid (although good to eat) little sea urchins in the water so you have to buy and wear these plastic sandals called jellies to protect your feet. The locals have tricks to get out the spines though, involving olive oil, if you are unlucky enough to get spiked! The water is the most fabulous shade of blue, and the snorkelling is great.

The east coast looks across to the Greek mainland, and the west coast of the island is a sheer cliff facing across to Italy, and boats take you along there, with fantastic caves to go into, snorkel and dive in. Antipaxos is a short boat trip away, with sandy beaches, but there is only one guesthouse here.

These are the Ionian isles, with Cephalonia (where Captain Corelli's Mondolin was set), and I am telling you about them not just because they are beautiful, but also because of your financial concerns, and you really could not spend a lot on Paxos even if you wanted to!

Anyway, wherever you decide to go, have a wonderful honeymoon, and I wish you all the very best for a long and happy marriage.

julia_t is offline  
Aug 24th, 2005, 09:46 AM
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Thank you all for your help! It does sound like the Greek Isles is the right decision for us!
jdodge101 is offline  
Aug 25th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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As a former travel agent...here is what I can advise. Your agent is suggesting some of the most expensive properties in both locations, Crete and Santorini. There are many beautiful, luxurious, and not so expensive places in both places. I would advise you to
have your agent dig a bit further to uncover these, or do a little research yourself on this site for advice from travelers who have reported on their "finds" in both places. Then, to be fair to your agent, have her do the booking. The easiest thing for any agent to do is recommend THE TOP places..it's a really fine agent who can recommend the lesser known, but just as fine "finds".
parzmom is offline  
Aug 27th, 2005, 09:55 PM
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I think you should take the Celebrity cruise to the greek isles. This would be your best bet money wise.
positiveadvice is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 02:52 AM
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I second Julia T's recommendation for Paxos, especially the village of Loggos. It's a stunningly beautiful island and, with its olive and cypress-clad hills provides a lush contrast to the stark, barren scenery found on many of the islands in Eastern Greece. Some photos of our 13th visit there last month are at http://uk.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/xen...ggos/my_photos

Not sure that I agree about Paxos being cheap though, as it does have a reputation for being one of the more expensive Greek islands.. But it's well worth it, especially for a special occasion like a honeymoon
Xenos is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 03:53 AM
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Thank you for those photos. They are lovely and I enjoyed looking at them - and the memories they conjured up.

My friends (their house is up the steps between the Tavernas O'Gios and Nassos.) say Paxos has become more expensive since the euro came in, but they still visit 3-4 times a year between Easter and October.

I found it very cheap when I was there, pastries from the bakery for breakfast, bread, cheese, tomatoes and olives for a picnic lunch, and then somehwere for the evening - Vassilis was the most expensive, and we liked another place round the corner on the road out towards Lakka - I think it might have been Yanni's Taverna.

But if you want luxury all the way then Paxos probably is not the way to go, although some of the villas are superb, you do still have do deal with the quaint sewage system! But that applies to Corfu as well.

For me, Paxos would be perfect for a honeymoon.
julia_t is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 04:43 AM
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Julia, is your friends' house the one with the wrought iron gate with the picture of an alsation's head on it and the lovely garden? We've often wondered who owns that, because we've never seen anyone going in or out of it.

Vassilis taverna is still there - and you still have to move your chairs to let the bus go past! - but unfortunately Yianni's closed last year. The family has now gone full time into the travel business, renting out apartments and villas, hiring out self-drive boats and doing daily trips on their "excursion" boat, with Yianni himself being the captain. That's who we did our round-the-island and Anti-Paxos trip with this year.
Xenos is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 05:06 AM
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I don't know about the gate, it wasn't there when I was, but they do have a lovely terrace (not a garden) at the top of the steps. Their house can be seen in almost every picture of Loggos, the two front bedrooms are on the top floor of the building above Taverna O'Gios. The rest of the house is built into the terrace behind. From the shower you can look directly across to the Greek mainland, so long as you don't get soap in your eyes!

The house behind Nassos Taverna did have a garden though, because we could look down into it, so maybe that it the one you are thinking of. My friend will be back next week so I shall ask her then and post back to you if you are interested.
julia_t is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 06:59 AM
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I think I know which one you mean now - is this it?
Xenos is offline  
Aug 28th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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That's the one!
julia_t is offline  

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