Family Trip to Greece. Any Suggestions?

Dec 14th, 2010, 12:24 PM
  #1  
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Family Trip to Greece. Any Suggestions?

Can anyone provide recommendations for a family of four traveling to Greece in the summer? (Two parents, 22 year old daughter, and 16 year old daughter)

We plan to spend a couple of days in Greece, possible travel to one of the nearby islands for a few days, then head back to Greece to spend some more time.

Can anyone suggest a nearby island that is worthwhile? Also a hotel in Greece that is centrally located, one within easy walking distance to the sites?
saraswrld is offline  
Dec 14th, 2010, 01:14 PM
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I assume you mean Greek Island?

We are doing a family vacation in Sept 2011 and plan to do 4 days in Napflio, 7 days in Naxos, 4 days in Athens...
jamikins is online now  
Dec 14th, 2010, 01:38 PM
  #3  
 
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Do you mean Athens when you write Greece?(i.e, "spend a cople of days in Greece...a hotel in Greece thath is centrally located??)
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Dec 14th, 2010, 06:32 PM
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Hi Saraswrld,
There are lots of hotels in Athens. How many rooms will you need? Islands - there are so many to choose from and all are worthwhile. It sounds like you are planning on 2 days in Athens, 3-4 days on an island, then back to the mainland for a few days. Can you be more specific on itinerary and budget?
parosblue is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 06:19 AM
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Also Sara, you will get much more useful information if you are more specific; "in the summer" is not sufficient for Greece, because things differ so much by month. June is ideal --everything is open, nothing is crowded, hotel prices moderate, weather wonderful for beaches etc but not too hot. July through Early sept = High Season... charter planes filled w. 500 Europeans each descend on the popular islands and fill them to the brink! Accommodations full, price higher. Also, weather can get really HOT. Most crowded/busy time is Mid July thru Aug 20, then it slacks off.

This is not to say you can't have a wonderful time... you just need to be aware, and adopt strategies. Maybe book at a farther-out beach. Plan sightseeing in cooler times of day, For ferries at popular times (Fri to Islands, Sunday returning), book ahead. etc.

The more information you share, the better advice you get.... also, since rates are usually quoted in Euros, it's thoughtful also to give your budget range in Euros. Here's the handiest currency conversion website -- http://www.xe.com/ucc/
travelerjan is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 07:13 AM
  #6  
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Thank you for all your suggestions. Yes, we are traveling in early June. This is good to hear that it is not as crowded.
Also we will probably have to have two rooms because of our oldest daughter's age. Hoping to spend no more than 168.79 Euros (225 US dollars) for each night for both the rooms or a one room that fits 4.
Yes, sorry by Greece I do mean the area of Athens. Also in regard to the island, if we have to take up to a 6-hour boat ride to get there that is fine. We're interested in a lot of the architectural sites, the history, and of course the culture. The youngest daughter is most interested in the beaches.
saraswrld is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 07:14 AM
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There are more than 6,000 Greek islands. Pretty much all of them are "worthwhile."

When you say you are looking for a hotel "in Greece," are you referring to Athens? If not, where?

What's your budget?

I think you need a map and a guidebook and a long session on the internet to get your bearings. When you can specify what you're looking for, there are many people here who will be happy to help you with specifics.
StCirq is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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It has been a long time since I spent a month in Greece, but it is wonderful.
I would recommend going to the national museum in Athens, and then going to Crete perhaps. And maybe another smaller island like Mykonos (all the white windmills). Then go BACK to the museum after you have seen those islands and what was brought to the museum from them.
I also love Nauplia and the sites around there==Delphi.
Gretchen is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 10:32 AM
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>>There are more than 6,000 Greek islands. Pretty much all of them are "worthwhile." <<

That figure is wildly misleading, and includes uninhabited islets which you have no chance of visiting without a private yacht.

In actual fact, there are only about 200 inhabited Greek islands, depending upon who's doing the counting. When you eliminate all those more than 6 hours ferry ride from Piraeus/Rafina, that reduces the number to about two dozen or so in the Cyclades, Saronic Gulf, and of course Evia. You really need to do some research in a guidebook, but easy to reach islands for a few days in the Cyclades include Paros, Naxos, and Santorini.
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 15th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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I very much enjoyed an overnight trip from Athens to Meteora.
joannyc is online now  
Dec 15th, 2010, 11:54 AM
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I still do not have a "fix" on the time available to you ... you refer to "a couple of days" then followed by "a few days" and ending with "some more time." No math teacher could add that up correctly. Do you have flght tickets already?? If so, you could give us arrival/departure dates/times. Why is time of day important??? Because it governs whether you can use a ferry that day or not. I feel as if we're asked to guess, and you'll tell us if we are right or wrong.

HEIMDALL is correct, that you could make both yourself & your older daught happy by going to either Paros (His fave) or Naxs (mine).

Here's a slideshow by another NaxoNut, showing highlights of scenery, charming port town, and gorgeous beaches: http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/552001505EYxVYT An advantage of both NAxos & Paros is -- they have day-excursion boats to 2 other popular places, leave 8 or 9 am, back by 7 ... 1 is to Santorini, the oher to Delos (for your ruins fix!) for the AM & aft. in Mykonos, then back.

What's more, Naxos' St. George Beach, adjacent to Naxos town but quiet & green in June, has lodgings right on or just off the beach, small family-run places with "studio units". These typically have 1 BR, large main room with 2 daybeds, table, kitchenette, and a Balcony (often with sea view) or Patio. In June you may get one for 80€ or so. I recommend e-mailing several at once - Studios Kalergis, Studios Thomais, Sun Beach hotel, are all righ on the beach. 50 or 100 yards off: Argos, Hotel Christina, Hotel Syriano, if you want a pool Hotel Spiro is a good value, a bit back from the sand. St. George (Ag. Giorgios) is a 10 minute stroll from the harborside cafes, tavernas, shops entertainment. No need to rent a car, unless u want to do a 1-day swoop around theisland. Islands like these are very safe, your daughters can roam around, while you loll in beach chairs. Naxos has MUCH history and ancient sites as well.

Itinerary Possibility: Arrive ATH ? mid-day?? Sightseeing (2 days) 7:25 AM ferry to Naxos ARR 12:45... 4 days naxos (perhaps a day-trip to Santorini) return to ATH (there's a nice ferry going from 6:30 to about midnight) final 2 day in Athens.

Now tell me, did i guess right?
travelerjan is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 02:25 PM
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Each island has its own special character, so it pays to do a little research before deciding which is best for you.

Naxos is a good choice for a first-time visitor, with a good mix of sandy beaches, inland villages, and antiquities. Although Naxos is the largest Cycladic island, most of its tourist infrastructure is centered around a small area near Naxos Town, easily reached on foot or by bus.

Paros, with it's small neighbor Antiparos, has lots to see and do, but its attractions are more scattered, and you would need more than three days to do it justice. Antiparos has a round island boat trip that sails past several of the uninhabited islets in StCirq's 6,000.

Although not my favorite island, Santorini should probably be at the top of your list. A few years ago I received as a gift a BBC book entitled Unforgettable Places to See Before You Die. Santorini was one of the 40 places around the world mentioned in the book. The scenery is absolutely stunning, something you will never forget. If your daughters are "chick flick" fans, they can see there where "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants" was filmed.
Heimdall is online now  
Dec 15th, 2010, 04:34 PM
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Hi again saraswrld,
In order to help you focus your itinerary.....spend 2-3 days minimum in Athens to see the major sites. You definitely should take in an island experience for at least four days. I recommend Paros for your family. Lots of variety there to suit everyone and it will give you a taste of the island life. June is beautiful there. If you have more time to spend on the mainland, I heartily recommend you go to the Naufplion area - there are wonderful sites there as well. Enjoy the planning process and keep asking questions.
parosblue is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 04:39 PM
  #14  
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Sorry for the vagueness of dates/times. To better understand the lack of a specific date I work for one of the major airlines and fly "standby". Meaning we don't fly positive space but fly when there are unsold seats available which we find out if there are any while standing at the gate with our bags in hand after every one else has boarded. We fine tune our best chances to get on the flight as the time gets closer. But the dates are within 3 days coming and going since the vacation from work is set in stone. The intended date is the second week in June 2011.
saraswrld is offline  
Dec 15th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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Wow ...that's about a $5000 savings! I'd stand by the gates any time!! This does mean of course, some uncertainty about what nights you would arrive and leave ... IN that case June is much better than later more crowded months. And Naxos is good because of all the lodging available in June. I suggest that you try to book a few days on your island -- and then "tweak" the reservation by a day when you get to Athens, according to your standby luck. Most of these do not require money in advance.
travelerjan is offline  
Dec 18th, 2010, 06:05 PM
  #16  
 
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I agree, the last minute annoyances are so worth the savings. You'll be fine if you have to juggle reservations at that time of year. There'll be a good chance your hotel can accommodate or you'll find a place nearby. But I also think you should pick an island destination and make a reservation. Either Paros or Naxos would be good choice.
parosblue is offline  
Dec 19th, 2010, 01:13 AM
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Hi saraswrld,

I'm eligible for military standby flights, so know what a great privilege it is.

If you've done standby before, you don't need any lessons on finding hotel rooms at short notice. I will say, though, there is no problem with hotel rooms on any island in June. Hotel capacity is geared for July/August high season, so there are always vacancies in June. One exception will be the weekend of 11-13 June, Pentecost in 2011. Monday Jun 13th is a public holiday, so many Greeks will use it as an opportunity for a long weekend on the islands. There will be vacancies even on that weekend, though.

Likewise, ferry tickets are easy to come by in June. You won't have to book in advance unless you are travelling out to the islands on Fri June 10th or the morning of Saturday June 11th. Ferries back to Athens will be busy on Mon Jun 13th.

I have often island-hopped in early June, finding hotel rooms when I get off the ferry. You can book in advance if you wish, but the best deals are made at the last minute. Hotel owners with vacant rooms are usually willing to negotiate, especially for stays of three days and more. Do your homework over the winter and make a shortlist of hotels on the island(s) you decide to visit. Many (but not all) hotels have direct contact numbers listed in websites. Telephone ahead when you get to Athens, and you will have a hotel room waiting for you.
Heimdall is online now  
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