First-Time Greece Trip Advice

Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 09:46 AM
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First-Time Greece Trip Advice

My wife and I (early thirties) are looking for travel advice to Greece. Plan to arrive on a Thursday and depart the following Sunday / Monday - about 10 days in mid-May. We're looking for a combo of historical sightseeing and beach time. Any insights on a suggested itinerary are welcome.
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Hi Viper

I'm sure the folks here will be happy to help but we need to know more.

What will your daily budget be for lodging? Hopefully you've read some guide books about Greece so, give us an indication places that you feel are 'must sees'. Are you up for renting a car or do you want to use tour buses to visit historical sites? Do you wish to use public transport as your main means of travel?

Give us your exact dates in May. It happens often that there may be festivals, public holidays etc in Greece and you may have to build your trip around those.

Do you wish to visit a 'party' island or one that's quieter. It could be you want to stay on the mainland. Let us know!

joe
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Old Mar 2nd, 2009, 01:06 PM
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In addition to guidebooks, I highly recommend this site for loads (and loads!) of info on Greece: www.greektravel.com. In addition to the islands, consider spending some time on the mainland. For some ideas, my pix from Greece are here: kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/264391
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Old Mar 5th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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Our tentative plan is to arrive in Athens late afternoon (4-5pm) May 13 and return morning May 25 (8 am). We are looking for the following: beautiful beaches, archeological / historical sites, fun physical activities (hiking, water sports). Vibrant nightlife and top flight restaurants are not critical. Initial areas of interest are the these islands (Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Sifnos), mainland excursions (Peloponnese) and minimal time in Athens. When do highspeed boats begin more frequent trips? We have an option to fly in May 7 and stay till May 18 but didn't know if that was too early.
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Old Mar 5th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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The weather will be warmer and a bit more stable in the last half of May.

The highspeed ferry between Mykonos and Santorini will begin operating daily on April 10 until October 31 except for some no-sail Wednesdays. http://www.ferries.gr/hfd

So you really only have 12 days to visit some islands and Athens/Peloponnese. I don't think you have time for more than 2 islands without feeling rushed, 3 if you drop the Peloponnese and only stay in Athens the 2 nights, one coming and one going.

Schedules for May are not yet "official" and thus not yet available, but in general Sifnos is not a good option if you want to go to Crete and Santorini. Connections in May won't be daily, and probably only twice-weekly. If you want to add a third island to Crete and Santorini the easy choices ferry-wise are Naxos, Paros and Mykonos.
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Old Mar 11th, 2009, 02:36 PM
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From what I've read on the other posts, anything less than 5 days to a week in Crete is not enough considering the wealth of sites and time entailed to travel around the island. So we're leaning towards saving Crete for another time (probably a combo with Turkey). Start out in Athens for day 1 (city) & 2 (Delphi day trip), ferry to Mykonos (4 days + Delos), ferry to Santorini (4 days) & fly back last day in Athens to see other sites on our list.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 03:04 PM
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Itinerary is finally set. Santorini May 13 - 17, Mykonos 18 - 21, Athens 22 - 24, depart athens early am 25th. We are looking for best hotel options in Firostefani or Imerovigli - caldera view 200 to 300 euro per night budget. Ideally would have relatively easy access to surrounding village and bus system. Also looking for hotel strategy in Mykonos - stay in Hora or stay on the beach in an area such as Plati Gialos or Psarou. Would be interested to hear if it's better to stay in Hora to be able to drink up and go out in town at night and then just take buses to the beaches during the day, or the other way around.
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Old Mar 31st, 2009, 03:32 PM
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Check Villa Ilias, Nomikos Villas, Dana Villas, Ira Hotel, Sun Rocks, Cosmopolitan Suites, Lithies Homes, Efterpi Villas, Cliffside Suites, Ilioperato, Anastasis Apartments, Artemis Villas, Gizis Apartments.
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Old Apr 1st, 2009, 08:22 AM
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I was in Mykonos in mid-May of 2008 and most of the time it was too cold for the beach. One day it was rainy and quite chilly and we needed jackets.

So I would stay in town if I were you, because there is no guarantee that it will be beach weather (but it might be, because a week later it was warm enough). We stayed at the Rochari and loved it. A couple of doors down from the Belvedere with the same great location and view, but a lot cheaper.
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Old Apr 27th, 2009, 12:01 PM
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thanks for the tips. we are staying at sun rocks in santorini, cavo tagoo in mykonos and athens gate.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Stayed a the Athens Gate on 15-16 April. Very nice hotel, centrally located. Not too expensive. Great view of the Acropolis from the roof restaurant. Within walking distance of nearly everything. (Exception may be the Archaeological Museum, but the metro or a taxi can get you there.)

Loved the Rochari and its staff on Mykonos.
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Old Apr 29th, 2009, 04:30 PM
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Glad you have planned for three days in Athens. I listened to those who said, "you can fit everthing Athens has to offer in two days." Well, we couldn't. We did not want to rush; we like to explore and talk to people. Yeah, we had time to walk to the Acropolis and see all the great temples, and we had time to walk through the Plaka and visit the shops and restaurants. And made it to the Gen. Kolokotronis statue (Cheryl is a descendant). But we missed the Agora and the Stadium and the National Archaeological Museum, all things we really wanted to see,
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Old Apr 30th, 2009, 05:48 AM
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viper - we also thoroughly enjoyed the Athens Gate. Truly amazing views from the restaurant/bar, great location, and very accommodating staff.

Count us in the group that also thinks a couple of days in Athens isn't enough. The city is just too interesting from so many perspectives. We were there almost 7 full days and still didn't get to do everything on our list. The National Archaeological Museum and Benaki Museum are definite "to dos" IMO.
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