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Family trip to Greece - advice needed please!

Family trip to Greece - advice needed please!

Old Feb 28th, 2005, 01:23 AM
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Family trip to Greece - advice needed please!

Seeking your highly valued input for out next vacation. "We" are parents in early 40's, son aged 11, daughter aged 8, thinking about visiting Greece in September for 14 to 21 days.

We'll be spending some time in the UK and I'm considering only booking flights from home (Canada) to the UK based on the assumption that we'll be able to get cheap "last minute" flights to Greece out of Gatwick. Is this a realistic expectation? (My sister lives in the UK, so once we have our Canadian departure dates sorted out, she can arrange the Greek flights for us.)

We want to do a mixture of cultural things (museums, archaelogical sites, etc.), shopping for locally produced items, some beach time (especially if there are rock pools for the kids to explore). The kids prefer a pool to the ocean (what's with that!?), so a day or so in a hotel with a really nice pool would be good.

As far as accommodations are concerned, clean and safe are the priorities. Air conditioning, comfortable beds, hot showers with decent water pressure are preferred but we don't need 5-star - rustic with character is fine!

We prefer the family-friendly variety of restaurants as opposed to the "fine dining" places. Nightlife isn't our thing (at least, not since we had kids!!!).

Given the above, what would you consider a reasonable budget (we like wine with dinner but don't drink much alcohol apart from that)? Where should we go (Naxos looks like it might suit us but we'd like to explore other islands too)? Where should we stay? Where should we eat? Is Athens worth more than one day? What/where should we avoid?

Thanks very much for your help.

LisainCalgary is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2005, 01:35 AM
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Have a look at easyjet.com for cheap flights to Athens and then you can compare with what you may be able to obtain with your main flight. I had a friend in England who decided at the last minute to go to the Olympics and she was very pleased with her purchase. I was in Athens for the Olympics last August. You either love it or hate it. I've been there a few times and love it. You can easily spend a week there and do some day trips to Delfi, the Pelopnese etc
There are lots of cheap meals in Greece jsut check out where the Greeks eat.
DeeVah is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2005, 06:51 AM
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Cheap charter flights from London to one of the popular destination islands would be your best bet, but I'm not sure how many will still be operating in September. Your sister should be able to keep tabs on them easily for you. She could call a couple of the companies and ask about their fall scheduling. Rhodes, Crete, Santorini and Kos are the islands where these charters go. I'm not too sure about rock pools, but I suppose there will be some.

The beaches on Santorini are almost all rock or small pebble anyway. Kamari Beach will have inexpensive hotels with swimming pools right on the beach and there's no rough/dangerous wave action there.

Crete sounds like the best option for you as far as variety of activities. You can spend a couple of days in Heraklion shopping, seeing the museum and taking a tour of Knossos, then hop on a bus or drive to Chania to hike in the Samaria Gorge before returning to Heraklion for your flight home. Because Crete is as far south as you can go in Greece it will still be nice and warm in September. The southern coast is also very nice. I especially liked Agia Galini and Matala. Your kids will have fun climbing into the shallow caves (safe) carved in the walls of the cove at Matala.

You can also take the Flying Dolphin fast boat from Heraklion to Santorini for a night or two. It's a "must-see" in the Aegean.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Feb 28th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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From the UK (May-October) you can take direct charter flights to about 16 Greek island airports, so you have a vast choice....

I would think Crete would probably be your best option although there are many other good choices such as Samos, Kos, Rodos. There are direct charter flights to Crete (Chania and Iraklion) from London Gatwick, May to October. If you are considering late booking one of these, 21 night duration will be almost impossible to obtain, 7/14 nights would be more realistic.

Crete - Has just about what you require, vast array of archaelogical sites, Minoan sites such as Kato Zakros, Ag. Triada, Pheastos, Gournia, Malia. A good museum in Iraklion, good beaches in most parts of the island, also very good walking destination, give the Imbros gorge near Chora Sfakia a try in the west part of crete, or the Zakros gorge on the far east coast.

Naxos - To get to Naxos it is easiest to get a direct charter flight to Santorini or possibly Mykonos. Alternatively you could fly to Athens from London(Luton,Heathrow,Gatwick) on EasyJet, Hellas Jet, BA, Olympic. Either way you will have a few hours on the ferry. There are a few small archaelogical sites on Naxos but not a lot. The inland villages up in the mountains (Apiranthos, Halki) are worth visiting.

All greek tavernas/restaurants are informal and children are no problem.

Accomodation costs are roughly 25€/night for a room in a decent rooms place/small hotel. Airconditioning will probably not be needed in September. A meal very roughly 10-15€.
Old Feb 28th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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It's no secret on these boards that I have a soft spot for Naxos.

Crete is much larger and it does have better archaelogical sites, but I'd give Naxos the edge on everything else you're seeking. Plus the size is manageable.

Naxos sites are small but interesting -- Kouros, Temple of Dimitra, and various castles -- plus you can take a day trip to Delos (although it's closest to Mykonos).

Athens is definitely worth a couple of days. Besides the Acropolis, the Agora and the National Archaelogical Museum are stunning.

There are great locally produced items, including wonderful cheese and fabulous Kitron. A big plus for a family with kids your age is the harborfront, which has a wide selection of dining options and shops along a safe, carless stretch.

Here's a link to a place that might work. Very nice, decently sized pool. It's about 10 minutes from downtown. The beach is a five-minute walk down a quiet lane (past a pen of goats that are kid favorites.) It's right at the end of a long sandy beach, where there is a rocky pool below a taverna.

repete is offline  
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