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Greece flights & itinerary help

Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 05:40 AM
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Greece flights & itinerary help

I'm planning a trip to Greece in May & will choose my exact dates based upon feedback from my friends (more $$ twds end of month, so waiting to hear what max $$ is). We're going to do Friday --> Saturday and looking to visit 2 or three places. We were thinking Athens, Crete, and Santorini.

Had some questions:

Is this too much for a week?

Is it too early to book airfare? It's available, but it's very $$$ now.

I'm looking at flying to Crete on the first day, then boat to Santorini, then boat to Athens. Is this the best approach? It looks like flights to Chania (which I think is my best airport bet for Crete) were relatively cheap and much faster than the ferry.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,
Alison
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:02 AM
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oh, and is there any value in going through a travel agent?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:34 AM
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Your sequence is right, if you're young & restless you can do all 3... I see that in October 09 you planned on "doing" Italy in one week. How did THAT work for you??

For your Greek scheme have to plan it out precisely, not just to the DAY but to the hour. Are you talking about ARRIVAL in Athens on Friday... or Departure from USA on Friday?? How many FULL days + nights do you have? (do not count departure day, OR arrival day unless you take 1 of 4 airlines that do nonstop from US east Coast (Delta, Continental USAir, Olympic) and arrive between 9-10 am. With those, you have many options to get to an island by early aft. With a change in Europe in order to get a lower fare, you'll arrive later & won't arrive in Chania until dinner, so do not count that as a day.

Presuming the latter, then you would have Sunday-Monday-Tuesday in Chania; Wed 945 a.m. fast-ferry to Santorini arrive noon), Wed, and Thurs Santorini, Thurs nite o'nite ferry (if you can get one ) to Piraeus ... Fri & Sat, Athens. You'll be on the move a lot, don't ever unpack. Yes, it's too much for a week, but people seldom pay attention when I say that! If you did 3 major stops in Italy in a week, who am I to cavil?
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 06:36 AM
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PS: 2 Wednesdays per month are no-sail days for that Crete-Santorini fast-ferry, and the schedules won't be posted until Spring, so you have to stay flexible.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 07:49 AM
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Well your sequence is right, flying directly to Chania then to Santorini and keeping Athens for the end.
And as Jan has mentioned if you have lots of energy and are on the go all the time then you can do it in a week.
However every hop will eat up the better part of a day.
Even that fast ferry to Santorini gets you in by noon and by the time you get to your hotel and get settled in it will be one or two o'clock.
If it were me I would chose one destination and take the time to really enjoy it for 3 or 4 nights then go back to Athens and take in all it has to offer. In Chania you can easily spend 3 days just wandering around the harbour area, attending the open air market on Sunday, the old indoor market, find the street of knives and buy one of the sharpest blades ever ( watch out they shave your arm with it) and marvel how the old town blends with the new town through the city walls.
If $ are an issue for you there are lots of very nice pensions in Chania in the old town just a couple of minutes from the harbour that can be had for 30 to 40 euros.
Santorini tends to be much more expensive particularly if you want one of those famous Caldera Views.

Back in Athens there are so many sites to visit and excellent museums. You will barely be able to scratch the surface in 2 days.

I would say in a week less is more.

Here are pictures of Chania
http://travel.webshots.com/album/571195659jPcKjK
Athens Plaka area
http://travel.webshots.com/album/570719132pdjjHG
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 02:02 PM
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Hi-YOu must be young. We were in Crete for a week & barely touched it. Santorini is great for 2-3 nights. A beautiful place. I would suggest Athens-maybe see Delphi & Santorini. Skip Crete till you can visit longer. Once you go to Greece you will want to go back. Just my opinion=Chris
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Old Nov 22nd, 2009, 05:50 PM
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Italy wouldve worked, except there were some personality conflicts that prevented us from doing everything as planned. Had we purchased the train tickets in advance, we wouldve had to resolve things a little sooner and been fine. We did not go to Florence, but I had no interest in going anyway; my mom was the one who wanted to go.
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Old Nov 23rd, 2009, 07:39 AM
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I am planning a Greek trip also. Because I am waiting on ferry schedules, flight deals, etc., I am waiting top finalize things. But what I have determined is that I will either visit Athens and Crete (I will have about a week and a half) OR Athens and one of the Cyclades. If you choose Santorini, you can probably pick another island or two as well, but it looks like Crete definitely needs more time.
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