Did You Like Greece?

Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 04:25 PM
  #1  
mike
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Did You Like Greece?

My wife and I are considering Greece this July, for about 12 days total. Any good itinerary suggestions?
 
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 04:28 PM
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Grasshopper
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Mike, In my opinion there are many faces of Greece; the islands, Athens and some of the incredible areas of the mainland. With 12 days I would spend at least 2 in Athens, take a 3 day/2night tour to Delphi and Meteora and then spend the balance on one or two islands. Choose the islands based on your personal style and preferences.

A good place to begin your research is www.greecetravel.com

 
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 04:47 PM
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Sue
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Greece (mainland or islands) is just so much fun; I can't imagine anyone not having a good time there!
 
Old Dec 2nd, 2002, 07:35 PM
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top
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topping for Mike
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:55 AM
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Karen
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Mike,

Greece is wonderful! I'd spend 2 days in Athens (no more - it's enough to see the sites, and the city itself other than that is not very interesting).

Then, it depends on what you want to do. The islands are beautiful, and everyone has their favorite (mine is Santorini), but northern Greece is nice too. When I was there we drove up north to Thessaloniki and the surrounding areas, which were very nice, and climbed Mt. Olympus on the way back down south, which was an experience I'll never forget (and, I've actually never met someone else who said they did this!).

So, go to Greece, and create an itinerary that suits your interests. If you do go the island route, I'd say 2-3 days per island is a good balance. And look into flying between the islands - you can usually get really cheap flights, and saves lots of time over taking boats.

Happy travels!
Karen
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 03:42 PM
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mike
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Thanks so for the feedback, nothing negative!

I'm encouraged enough to start my research, this is half the fun of traveling!


Mike
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:16 PM
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cbassos
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Don't miss Santorini for a romantic two days. The island of Naxos is a lot of fun and is not as "tourist-y" as some. After the Parthenon, Athens has little to offer unless you know your way around. For a real adventure, visit Crete (I prefer the city of Hania). You will not be disappointed in Greece.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:29 PM
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BARBARA
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If you go to Mykonos don't miss taking a boat to the island of Delos if you like archaeology. Just beautiful. Athens, aside from the Parthenon doesn't have much to offer. Rhodes is also a lovely place to visit.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:51 PM
  #9  
Grasshopper
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It always drives me crazy when people say Athens is only worth a day or besides the Accropolis there's not much to offer. Yikes! It's one of the oldest cities in the world and it has so much history and culture seeping out all around you. It might take a little more poking at the surface to find it, and it's indeed a tough nut to crack, but it's well worth cracking!

Aside from the Accropolis you will want to explore the Plaka (both a day and night trip are worthwhile), the Archeological Museum (consider whether it's reasonable for the British Museum to refuse to return the Elgin Marbles), Lykavittos Hill with it's incredible view of the 5 something million people in the environs.....

Sure, you will deal with crooked taxi drivers, hawkers and con men, and be sure to protect your personal property at all times. But Athens is teeming with life and to miss it is to miss something very important about Greece.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 06:45 PM
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Sue
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Agree with you wholeheartedly, Grasshopper, re Athens; it's a fascinating city, with a very different "feel" from any of the more western European cities.
 
Old Dec 3rd, 2002, 06:57 PM
  #11  
StCirq
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I've only been once to Greece, but I have to agree with Grasshopper that Athens is a city that deserves every minute you can spare for it - just imagine how long it's been there and how much it has seen!
That said, inland Greece, which I have never visited, seems to beckon with the same force as Athens and I'm sure one could spend weeks, months, there, without exhausting the place.
The Greek Islands are too numerous to mention. I visited a half-dozen of them in the late 1980s and loved every one of them for a different reason, my favorite being Samos.
I don't know how to even begin with a Greek itinerary except to say plan to spend at least three days in Athens and then get to either inland Greece or the islands for the rest of the vacation - I don't think you can reasonably do both without shortchanging either. I would head to the islands, but there are so many - do a Google search and try to narrow down a few islands with boats between them that you would enjoy. We also went from Samos to Turkey for three days and were eternally grateful that we had chosen to experience this completely different yet wonderful culture - you might consider the same.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 03:32 PM
  #12  
Mike
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Thanks.

Am I crazy to go in July? Also, should I look into a cruise or just wing it with car rental and boats?
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 03:46 PM
  #13  
Grasshopper
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July will probably be hot but better than not going at all. Mike, consider chartering a sailboat and skipper. We did this for 5 days only and it was about the same price as a 5 day cruise but a much more interesting experience. In 5 days you won't cover a lot of territory but you can go to 3 or 4 islands. The sailing culture is very interesting and you'll meet people from all over. Our skipper gave us a deep insight into Greek philosophy and culture. We used www.gpsc.com and they provided an excellent experience.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 07:35 PM
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Carolina
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You are not crazy to go to Greece in July. At least I don't think so, I travel there every year from mid June until mid August. August is much busier than July because this is when the Greeks and Italians go on holiday.
With regards where to go, and what to see, there is so much that it is difficult to know where to start.
1. Athens - I would suggest 2 nights at the beginning of your trip, and possibly one at the end. This gives you one full day for sight seeing at the beginning and, if you are flying home from Athens, it cuts out the stress of worrying about traffic, connections etc. at the end of your trip. If you are flying from the USA or Canada, it may be wise to have 3 nights in Athens at the beginning, depending on whether you are the sort of people who can sleep on planes, suffer from jet lag etc.
Athens most certainly is worth spending some time in, but 12 days is not long, July is hot and there are so many other places to see.
In Athens, I would advise staying in a central hotel so that you can walk everywhere and not worry about too many taxis.
Another area that is very interesting is the Peoponnese (you can take a train / drive / private taxi / bus from Athens). Specifically, the area called the Argolid is very interesting. This includes Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, the beautiful town of Nafplion and much more.
Islands - there are so many and they are a very important part of Greece. You could visit one or two, depending on the aims of your trip and how much you mind changing hotels.
Do another post / e mail me directly with more details of your interests - scenery, beaches, sight seeing etc.
 
Old Dec 4th, 2002, 08:31 PM
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KT
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Mike,
Congrats on your upcoming trip. Greece mainland certainly deserves at least a one-time visit.
We went to Greece in May last year. If you are interested in what we liked and didn’t like, view our journal at http://thetells0.tripod.com/arrival.html
Happy Traveling,
KT
 
Old Dec 5th, 2002, 06:40 AM
  #16  
s
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Whatever you do, don't miss Delphi. It's hard to explain but it has a very spiritual air about it. Greece is wonderful.
 
Old Dec 30th, 2002, 04:30 PM
  #17  
mike
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Good stuff!

I've ordered 3 book on Greece, and am trying to get through the very extensive greece.com site.

Being only able to travel in July, neither crowds nor heat bother us. And being our 1st Greece trip, should I not hit the popular spots (Athens/Delphi, Mykonos, Santorini), and save the hidden gems for later trips? There has to be a good reason those places are crowded.

However, unlike our previous Italy/France trips, in which we would rent a car and travel to relatively nearby cities shlepping our luggage, the Islands are quite far apart.

I need to learn more about cruises/sailing options, and whether I should use an agent or do all booking myself, and whether I should join a tour group.

As for our interests, we like nice hotels and restaurants, enjoy shopping for gifts for family, walking around towns to get a feel for the people, culture, language. Also to see things that you cannot see anywhere else in the world--landmarks, buildings, etc. My wife has a bad knee, but will walk a lot (though no serious trekking). (We're both 44 years old).

We usually do most sightseeing during the day, get back to the hotel, shower, have a drink on our veranda looking at the (whatever), then go to a late dinner. We're out cold by midnight, and have really never 'gone out on the town'. I guess we may be missing some things to do at night, but we're usually too pooped.

Well, thanks for the advice--how soon should we nail down details so we're not stuck with second and third choices for hotels, restaurants?

-Mike

 
Old Dec 30th, 2002, 04:43 PM
  #18  
Ang
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Here's a different thought-

If you are the adventurous type I would do 2 nights Athens, rent a car and drive to Meteora, 2 nights there, then Drive to Igoumenitsa and take the ferry to Corfu. The drive is spectacular, you can stop in Ionnana (spelling?) Corfu is a lush, green island with a beautiful main town (Corfu Town). You can take many wonderful day trips to Zakynthos, Kefallonia, Parga, and my favorite of all was to Saranda, Albania. It was amazing!!! On Corfu stay away from staying anywhere below Corfu Town on the east side of the island. There are too many trashy, party resorts. Best becahes are on the western side.
 
Old Dec 30th, 2002, 04:53 PM
  #19  
Ang
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Check out:

http://www.kerkyra.net
http://www.corfuhomepage.com/
http://www.meteora-greece.com/
http://www.kalampaka.com/
http://www.corfuxenos.gr
http://gogreece.com/
http://www.ionian-islands.com/

 
Old Dec 30th, 2002, 04:58 PM
  #20  
Carolina
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There is a very good network of ferries between Pireas and most of the Greek islands, and also from Rafina and serveral of the Cyclades (including Mykonos and Santorini).
Search for "Greek Ferries" you will find a lot of info.
Also, internal flights are reasonably priced. You could fly to one of the islands and work your way back to Athens by ferry.
 

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