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Back from 3 week FANTASTIC vacation...and we even met our shoe-string budget!

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Jul 4th, 2000, 05:55 AM
  #1
Karen
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Back from 3 week FANTASTIC vacation...and we even met our shoe-string budget!

We visited Crete, Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Samos, Kusadasi (Turkey, Meteora, Athens.
WOW! I think it should be a requirement for all "New World" dwellers to check out the history that is still very much alive in places such as Greece.
I would be happy to answer any questions that people have.
 
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Jul 4th, 2000, 06:17 AM
  #2
Maira
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Karen---- even though my husband health is not great these days, he insist that we plan a trip to the Greek isles for my 40th birthday (summer or fall 2001). Please tell me, how long it took you to put this trip together, any essential websites?, what means of transportation did you used?, what was your itinerary? Any recommended hotels? Is there any place not particularly "friendly" for a person with limited mobility? I realized am asking way too much, but your enthusiasm is contagious!!! Thanks for the offer and welcome back!
 
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Jul 4th, 2000, 05:06 PM
  #3
Susan
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Karen, I remember seeing your postings when you were planning your trip. I'm so glad it turned out great! We're going to Greece and Turkey in September and hitting some of the islands that you visited (Naxos and Santorini) as well as the usual stop in Athens. Any recommendations for restaurants on the islands? Anything that really was impressive that you want to share? Thanks in advance.
 
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Jul 4th, 2000, 08:02 PM
  #4
Karen
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As Susan knows, I did a lot of planning in advance (I started about 6 months in advance). I had a few internet "finds" on hotels, and I also used a travel agency in Athens (who was incredible!) that I e-mailed ahead of time and arranged some accomodation.
There is good and bad points to pre-booking hotels in Greece. The good is that you often can arrange pick-up from the ferry or airports, there is no worries about finding accomodation within your price limits (you know how much you are going to spend ahead of time), you know generally the quality you are going to get, and you can bypass the "hotel pushers" that can hassle on the docks. The bad thing about pre-booking is that the ferry system in Greece has much to be desired. One time, I couldn't get a boat to get me to the next island to meet my reservation. Also, we were at a great hotel in Santorini (paying 35USD) a night, and in speaking with some of the other guests at the hotel (who were picked up at the docks) they were paying 25 USD per night). We were traveling in low season, so the accomodations were more plentiful. In high season, I would be more concerned about pre-booking.
We had a very adrenaline filled itinerary. We were always going somewhere new to explore. (We figured we could sit on a beach closer to home next vacation!) Our itinerary was as follows: 3 days in Crete, 4 days in Santorini, 2 days in Naxos, 4 days in Paros, 3 days in Samos, 2 days in Kusadasi, 1 day in Athens, 2 days in a bus tour to Meteora.
As for mobility issues, there are a lot of "cobble stone" roads and sidewalks. I'd imagine it to be somewhat difficult if someone was using a wheelchair or used a cane. Santorini, of course is on a "cliff"..therefore very steep walkways at times. (My legs were sore sometimes after just a night of walking through town). I didn't notice any wheelchair accessibilty in the local buses. To get on the ferries there was a steep set of stairs to get to the deck. (I'm sure there must be a elevator). We met up with some people who were on a Greek Isle cruise. I almost wonder if that would be easier for people with mobility issues. Not having to pull your luggage around or worry about using the already chaotic ferry system might be easier. Plus, you will be able to choose a ship that is best for the disability, rather than trying to screen every hotel for accessibility issues.
We had so many great hotels. Highlights were Hotel Blue Sky in Santorini (I booked through Boutros Travel in Athens), Sakis Rooms in Paros (See www.paros-online.com).
As for resaurants... we kind of ate on the cheap side. We would go get fresh bread and jam, yogurt, fruit in the morning. The heat dampened our appetites so we would usually just snack at lunch and then go for nice supper. Sometimes we would cheap out and just in gyros for supper. And chocolate crepes!!! (I can't forget them!)
Please e-mail me if you need anymore detailed info.
I have all my hotel phone numbers and such.
ENJOY!!
Karen

 
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Jul 4th, 2000, 09:25 PM
  #5
anna
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Blue sky in Santorini - is that the small hotel with pool in Fira, owner is nice lady in late 30 with 3 cute children? We rented a room in this hotel for 2 1/5 days in May and were not to happy. Hotel is pretty and owner was very friendly, but pillows were bad and linen was not to clean and didn't smell well. Ansd ywhen we asked about TV set she said Yes, I will bring it immediately and never did.
 
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Jul 5th, 2000, 01:53 AM
  #6
Tracy
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Hi Karen,

Do tell about your 3 days on Samos. I've just come back from Pythagorio, but it'd be cool to hear about your high points on that island . . . did you make it to Kokkari or Kambos?
Thanks & hope your return isn't too much of a letdown!
 
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Jul 5th, 2000, 03:20 AM
  #7
Caitlin
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Hi Karen - oh - I'm so envious.
We are planning our trip in September.

Can you give some advice on best ways of getting from place to place, accomodation, and length of stay per island. We were originally planning 6 days in Santorini (our first stop), 4 days in Crete, and 2 in Rhodes. We are then moving on to Athens, then Italy.

I'm not sure if it's best to take a ferry from Athens to Santorini, or fly. It seems like a long ferry ride, but I'm also a bit nervous about making the international to domestic flight transfer seamlessly. Local flights seem quite cheap though. Ditto returning to Athens when leaving the islands. We are trying to keep things cheap, but are also aware of wasting too much time in travelling from place to place.

We'd also decided that the three islands might be too much to squeeze in, as they are all in different directions. Any thoughts or maybe suggestions of smaller islands in the Cycladese as closer alternatives?

Do you have any recommendations on good inexpensive hotels with a bit of character?

How did you find getting around the islands? I take it most of the islands you visited were in the Cyclades.

And finally - how useful did you find dealing with your Creek travwl agent - it hadn't occured to me to explore an option like that.

Dear me - what a lot of questions! sorry

Cheers,

Caitlin
 
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Jul 5th, 2000, 03:32 AM
  #8
Caitlin
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Ummm....

Creek travwl agent = Greek travel agent

Opps

 
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Jul 5th, 2000, 04:46 AM
  #9
Maira
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Karen--- thanks for taking the time in answering my questions. You have provided valuable input to my plans. Thanks again!!
 
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Jul 5th, 2000, 10:25 AM
  #10
Thyra
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Karen, thanks for the wonderful update!!! It sounds as if you travel like we do. I am so glad that you had a safe and wonderful trip. How did you like the food? Your Gyros and such? What was the most memorable thing you saw, (a tough question where so much history is alive, but just off the top of your head)Anyway, welcome home.
 
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