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    by ibobi Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 20, 17 at 01:24 PM
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Greece Anniversary

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My fiance and I are looking to go to Greece in the late summer/early fall and we need some help on where to. I have heard you can do Athens in about 1-2 days and then Santorini is a MUST. Where else should we go or can you day trip from Santorini to all the islands? I have heard go to Crete for a few days too.

Any suggestions? I am also confused in Santorini where you stay? It seems like there are a few regions/areas which seem to pop up as popular destinations. Any thoughts on that too?

Thanks for the help!

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    My first recommendation is to chose whether you follow "what others do and say" vs. "what is meaningful to YOU."

    If you have chosen the former, you will be forever spinning around following what you "heard" the latest. I suspect that your confusion in Santorini comes from following what others do without understanding why they did it, or if they only followed what others told them to do, and ask yourself if their decision is relevant to you.

    Athens is a cultural rich destination. For some, it is just an overnight to synch the itinerary to the flight schedule. For others, it is the crucial center of the Greek history. Ask yourself, what you want to get out from your stay in Athens and it would help you decide places you want to visit which in turn gives you the number of days relevant to you.

    Same for Santorini. Why did you come to Santorini? Once you can articulate that, the destination relevant for your objective will get obvious.

    One thing you need to come to grip traveling Greek island is that they are not Swiss cities connected by frequent trains. It is very time consuming to travel between islands and you only have a limited number of boats making the crossing. A day trip from Santorini means a few islands within the caldera.

    If you are looking for that blue Greek beaches, you don't find them in Santorini. You will find them in Crete, but Crete is a big island that require many days to explore. If you only have a few days, Naxos and Paros offer those kind of beaches with frequent reliable ferry service back to Piraeus for return to Athens.

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    Sorry to be blunt, but what you have heard is way off the mark.

    One or two days in Athens would be enough to see a few highlights, that is true, but there is a lot more to the city than the Acropolis and Plaka.

    Santorini is a beautiful island, but not a "must" — I think it was my ninth trip to Greece before I ventured to Santorini. Unfortunately Santorini is poorly located for day trips to other islands, and then only by expensive catamarans. For example, Naxos is 2 hrs away by highspeed ferry, and a round trip would cost about US$250 for two just for ferry tickets. Ios is the closest island to Santorini, being only about 1 hr away. A day trip by highspeed ferry would cost about US$150 for the ferry tickets for the two of you both ways.

    Crete would be a good island choice, but as greg wrote would need more than a few days to do it justice. What you need to do is your own research, making searches here on Fodor's and in TripAdvisor for a start. Buy a good guidebook and read through it.

    If you decide on the Cyclades (the island group Santorini is in) don't think about day trips. It would be better to plan a few days on an island and then move on to the next, following the ferry routes, e.g. Athens > Naxos > Santorini > Crete > Athens. A trip such as that would need at least two weeks.

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