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Athens and islands - itinerary for Sept 2011

Athens and islands - itinerary for Sept 2011

Mar 12th, 2011, 01:53 AM
  #1  
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Athens and islands - itinerary for Sept 2011

As promised, here's my itinerary for September 2011. We leave Newark on Thurs Sept 15 & return on Sunday October 2 -- 16 days!

The "we" are my husband and me (I?) (late 50s, early 60s). Our style of travel -- we look for a sense of place and love history, architecture, natural beauty/scenic vistas....food is important, but not priority. I like value for my money -- generally do things on modest budget, but will occasionally spend a little "extra" if it's important to me (ie, Santorini).

The overall plan: 6 nights Crete, 3 nights Santorini, 4 nights Naxos, 1 night Delphi, 2 nights Athens. Overall, I'm pleased with it -- I've reworked it many times, and feel it is pretty well-balanced. There are many more places I'd still love to go to-- but I can't do it all. This feels like I'm getting enough variety without feeling like I'm jumping around too much.

Day by day:

9/15-Thurs -leave Newark
9/16-Arrive Athens, Fly to Crete, arrive Chania.

Crete (Days 1-6)
9/16-9/18 - Chania - 3 nights (hotel/pension to be determined)
9/17 (Sat) - Explore Chania
9/18 (Sun) Pickup car, drive to Elafonissi Beach via circular (coastal, inland) route. Return to Chania for last night.
9/19-(Mon) - Drive to/sleep in Plakias. Stop in Vrisses, Imbros Gorge, Frangokastello. This day is weather-contingent and we'll stay in Chania an extra day if the weather is poor.
9/20 (Tues) - Drive to/sleep in Matala, stopping in Phaestos (other ancient sites if there is time).
9/21 (Wed) - Drive to/sleep in Iraklion, tour Knossos on the way. Stop in Arhanes if there is time.

Santorini (Days 7-9)
9/22 (Thurs) - Ferry from Iraklion to Santorini. Stay in Oia.
(hotel/pension to be determined, although I'm leaning toward Delfini)
Plans: Walk/explore towns; get car for 1 day and tour island. I'm hoping that Akrotiri is open by then, but I don't think we'll have any problems figuring out what to do - or doing nothing. Maybe take a caldera boat tour. We'll see.

Naxos (Days 10-13)
9/25 (Sun) Ferry to Naxos.
9/26 (Mon) - Explore town, go to beach (pick up car?).
9/27 (Tues) - Drive inland (Apiranthos, etc). I've got Stanbr's many trip reports for details!
9/28 (Wed) - Most likely do a trip to Mykonos/Delos.

Delphi (Day 14)
9/29 (Thurs) - Fly to Athens, pick up car, drive to Delphi. Explore site (evening, morning).

Athens (Days 15-16)
9/30 (Fri) Complete touring Delphi, drop off car (to be determined). Arrive Athens (afternoon). Explore Acropolis.
10/1 - More exploration, whatever we can manage - Acropolis, museum, Plaka.

10/2 (Sun) Fly home

Overall, I think this works. I'll post questions in specific threads.

So, what do you think? Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions? I still have 6 months to tweak, so let me have your feedback!

Thanks to all the wonderful Fodor folk who share their valuable time and experience here - I couldn't do this kind of planning with guide books alone!

Paule
progol is online now  
Mar 12th, 2011, 02:56 AM
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One minor change I can see: Unless they have altered the schedule for 2011, excursions from Naxos to Delos/Mykonos leave on Tue, Thu, & Sun, but not on Wed. No problem there — just go to Delos on Tue and Apiranthos on Wed.

Despite some encouraging announcements earlier in the year, it now looks like Akrotiri won't be open in 2011. A report in a Greek online newspaper last week indicates that they haven't even finished removing the collapsed roof yet, and can't begin construction on the new one until that is completed.
Heimdall is online now  
Mar 12th, 2011, 03:26 AM
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Thanks, Heimdall, just the information about schedules I want to get.

That's too bad about Akrotiri - it looks like an amazing site, and I'd love to see it... but somehow, I'm not surprised by the news that it may not open yet.

Paule
progol is online now  
Mar 12th, 2011, 07:45 AM
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While on Naxos there is no need to pick up the car on that first day. We normally check out a few car rental agencies as we walk around town and get the best price then book the car for the next day. Parking can be a challenge at hotels particularly in Naxos town. By picking up the car in the morning and returning it that evening you can let the rental company worry about parking. Your hotel can also probably get a rental car for you as they all have trusted relationships.

I am not sure if you have seen our pictures but if not here are some for you.
Western Crete
http://travel.webshots.com/album/559511069PIlVxI
Naxos mountain village day trip
http://travel.webshots.com/album/577950188puzxSj
Naxos town
http://travel.webshots.com/album/577942756YgKLfl
Day trip to Delos
http://travel.webshots.com/album/552009563QJRIYa
Have fun planning
stanbr is offline  
Mar 13th, 2011, 01:52 PM
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Hi, Stanbr,
Thanks for the info. Of COURSE I've seen your photos! I must've looked at every one many, many times! I love them -- I especially enjoyed your recent, inland photos of Naxos (mountain valley day trip).

I have been reading and savoring your trip reports for several years, and have found them very helpful, even influential(!), in my trip planning. As I get closer to the trip, I'll definitely re-read a lot of them for new ideas, especially for your detailed driving routes.

Paule
progol is online now  
Mar 13th, 2011, 04:01 PM
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Yep, progol. Stanbr is the greatest. In fact, I constantly recycle his photo links to show people the glories of Naxos, Nafplio, Western Crete & the landmarks of Athens, because they are just the best -- not only good shots, but so well organized ... the albums become a narrative. He's got a good editor! (and often praises her).
travelerjan is offline  
Mar 13th, 2011, 07:14 PM
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Thank you for your comments.

I have to admit I have been very tardy with my trip report from last year but I finished it this afternoon during a very wet rainy day here on Vancouver Island. I think I may have gotten carried away and its a bit long winded oh well I hope people will read it all the way through

I will post it tonight.
stanbr is offline  
Mar 14th, 2011, 02:24 AM
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Excellent, Stanbr! I can't wait to read it!
Paule
progol is online now  

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