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RubyTwins Nov 20th, 2016 01:47 PM

Family Trip Greek Islands?
I am just trying to think of a trip this summer with my 13 year old boys and husband.

I have always wanted to go to Greece and see the ruins. Question: the flights are pricey from NY. Once you are in Greece... is it very expensive? I am not willing at my age to travel youth hostel level but we are not a 4 star hotel kinda family either. Renting AirBNBs is totally fine with us. Is it pricey to take Ferries to some of the islands? Food? hotels etc. Just curious if I can swing this. We are definitely not rolliing in the cash. Is safety an issue?

I am thinking I might need a travel agent to help plan some of this so we don't get stuck but I am fine booking a lot on my own once I figure out what to do and where to go!
Thank you for any help.

ParisAmsterdam Nov 20th, 2016 02:49 PM

Can you get to Montreal easily? AirTransat has some great prices to Greece. Safety? Not an issue. I haven't been to Greece since 08 but I hear prices for many things have dropped.

If ruins interest you don't be so quick to head to the islands. The real stuff is on the mainland... Athens and Attica, Delphi, Meteora, and the Peloponnese with too many sites to list typing with one finger on my tablet! ;-)

There are people here such as TravelerJan and others who can give you more up to date info than I. Also, check the Greece forum at TripAdvisor... several of the regulars live in Greece.

One thing I'd recommend is getting your twins interested and involved. Get them interested in ancient Greece and Greek mythology. People can get fed up with ruins quickly if they have no idea of context.

Heimdall Nov 21st, 2016 12:33 AM

If you are going to Greece to "see the ruins" then you should definitely take ParisAmsterdam's advice to concentrate on the mainland. The islands are great if you want a beach holiday, but most are light on ruins, and ferry travel can be expensive for a family of four.

If you are willing hire a car you can get around the mainland cheaply. Greece has many small hotels, and if you can travel in June before high season prices kick in, they aren't expensive. Meals are also cheap in Greece when you eat at family-run restaurants or tavernas. Fresh fish is expensive, but most other main courses are not. It is customary to order starters to share between the family, just as you pass salad around the table at home.

Do a search and you will find many posts about Peloponnese + Delphi itineraries. I will only add that there are many beautiful beaches along the southern Peloponnese coast, so you can mix those in with your sightseeing.

justineparis Nov 21st, 2016 12:45 AM

I agree there are more ruins on mainland.. but I wouldn't forgo a visit to at least one island. The ones that come to mind for most first timers are Mykonos and Santorini.. but they are very expensive and touristy in summer.
Instead look at a less busy island. .We LOVED Naxos.. we flew to Mykonos.. spent2 nights there.. and then took the ferry to Naxos. Cheap ( I think it was 17 euros) and only took 1.2o hrs.. very nice ferry too.. Don't bother taking the faster boats.. they tell you they are faster.. but when talking to the ticketing agent she told me the boat actually stopped at another island first.. so really , you pay more and arrive about same time. Plus if sea is rough the Catamrans can make a lot of people seas sick.

Naxos is a wonderful island.. the people are not tourist jaded yet.. plenty of cheap eats.. (good too) .. many nice beaches, and hotels can be very cheap! Check out Hotel Kymatas.. five-ten minute walk from old town. .and only 3 minutes walk to beach!! family run, amazing staff.. good homemade breakfast in moring.. and they are super helpful with advice etc.

My daughter visited Corfu ,, and loved it ( we didn't go there) and says she would definitely go back,, as well as Santorini.. but they were there before busy season, in early May.. so these places change in july and august.

I think ( depending on how long you have ) I would do 4-5 days on mainland.. then visit 2 islands for at least 3-5 days each..

PS from Mykonos and Naxos there are boat excurisions to the island of Delos with great excavations going on.. should interest your kids.

We went in mid May.. paid 45 euros for a room on Naxos.. but paid 95 on Mykonos.. so you can see the price difference.

If you go to Santorini my daughter and her friends rented a cute apartment with a full kitchen and patio.. 4=5 minute walk from beach.. not on caldera.. in small town of Kamari.. which is where theres a good swimming beach.. and visited the caldera tops.. this saved them hundreds of euros( they are all young adults so were on tight budget) ..

neckervd Nov 21st, 2016 03:51 AM

Most famous archeological sites on Greek Islands:

Delos island (half day trips from Mykonos)
Knossos, Malia, Phaistos, Kato Zakros (all in Crete)
Lindos, Kamiros, Ialissos (all at Rhodos)

There are tons of Greek temples and theatres along the Turkish coast, form Bergama up to Antalya.

Best archeological museums: Athens and Istanbul

RubyTwins Nov 21st, 2016 04:56 AM

This is all great. Would April be really too cold and miserable? Especially for Islands? We could go their school break as another option.

Heimdall Nov 21st, 2016 05:44 AM

<i>"Would April be really too cold and miserable?"</i>

Possibly, or it could be warm and sunny. Most likely it will be jacket weather, but one never knows. The sea will be too cold to swim for all but the hardiest. I have friends who love Greece that time of year, who come from countries where there is still snow on the ground.

April 16th is Greek Orthodox Easter in 2017, and during the week preceding many Greeks head for their home villages in the islands and countryside. Roads and public transport will be busy during that period through Easter Monday on the 17th. Then the islands become very quiet again until tourists begin arriving later in the spring.

Apart from Easter it will be very quiet on the islands until late May, with many shops and restaurants that cater for tourists not yet open for the season. There are always businesses open for the needs of local inhabitants, so islands are never completely closed.

Heimdall Nov 21st, 2016 05:54 AM

Neckervd, illustrates perfectly why I recommended the mainland. You would never be able to see all the sites he mentioned unless you had a month or more for the islands. Delos, Crete and Rhodes are in different parts of the Aegean Sea. Mykonos (for Delos) is a short ferry ride (4-5 hrs), but the others would require very long ferry rides or flights via Athens.

RubyTwins Nov 21st, 2016 06:19 PM

OK I ordered a book. It seems the islands are so beautiful and quiet and it might be nice to mix it up a bit? It would be nice to also experience small town life. I will have to read the book and come back with more coherent questions.

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