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Greece Honeymoon May '14

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Dec 30th, 2013, 05:52 PM
  #1
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Greece Honeymoon May '14

The fiance & I are beginning to plan our Greek honeymoon. Getting married on May 10th, plan to leave on the 11th and return back to the US on the 20th.

We'd like to visit a minimum of 2 islands - haven't done enough research to know which yet but one with decent beaches. I'm worried that our 8 days including travel will make it hard to even scratch the surface.

I'm looking for some suggestions of a tentative itineraries/favorite islands. We'll want to do a good mix of relaxing and exploring. We love trying new things. What would you think are the absolute can't skip things to do?

We're budgeting about $5,000 for the trip including flights.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 06:16 PM
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Hi

So what is your budget (in euro) for accommodation? And for how many nights?

I know it's cliche but you really can't go past the caldera view on Santorini. Then, as a relaxing and less expensive option, maybe Paros and the nearby island of Antiparos.

I would fly on from Athens to Santorini using Aegean or Olympic. Then take a ferry to Paros and a ferry or flight back to Athens.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 06:17 PM
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I am not in favor of framing a trip in terms of "scratch the surface" concept. What does it mean? Does it really matter to YOU as oppose to someone else? It is a key trip in your milestone and once it is done, really none one cares if you have "scratched the surface" or not. So plan on doing what YOU two want to do now that you will be glad you did when you look back many years from now. You really don't want to look back and say, "I should have done it and I could have, but I got talked out of it."

First, we don't know where in the US your coming from to get a better idea of how much time you have or whether your budget minus flight requires you to stay at budget places or you can splurge. You can easily compute flight cost using any of your favorite booking engines.

Another thing is whether you really have 8 days. If you are coming from the West coast or starting from a city without direct access to Europe, you will not be in Greece until the evening of May 12th. That leaves May 13th through May 19th being usable days, that is 7 full days. Your return back to the US on the 20th will inevitably an early or insanely early flight, so you cannot use that day for visiting, either.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 06:44 PM
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We'll be flying out of Houston, Flights are averaging about $1,000 right now. I'll probably splurge on 3-4 nights and use our points, which wouldn't go towards our budget. So roughly, $3,000 left. Ideally, we'll stay in budget, but you only honeymoon once!
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Dec 30th, 2013, 07:01 PM
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Is it possible you are looking at the prices of flying into Athens (ATH) only? With your time constraint, you need to fly into island using Athens only as a layover point. For example, flying into Santorini, JTR, would take longer and will add more to your flight budget. Ferries are cheaper to get to the islands from Athens, but it will eat up significantly into your time budget.
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Dec 30th, 2013, 09:40 PM
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We've been to Greece a few times and one idea is to stay on Santorini and either Naxos or Folegandros. I found Folegandros a romantic place, it just had a lovely feel to it. The view of the caldera in Santorini - stay in Oia if you can - is breathtaking.

You can reach either of these islands from Santorini by ferry. It's true if you fly from Athens to Santorini it will save you quite a bit of time.

You do only have a short time but we've always found that once you are away from home and work routines, the time seems longer. You'll find that any travelling, including between different islands, eats into your time so consider staying on only one island though I think two would work out OK.

Just had a thought, you can fly from Mykonos to Athens. So another option is - fly into Athens and connect on another flight to Santorini. Then ferry to Mykonos, fly out to Athens and connect to your flight home. That would reduce time on ferries.

Mykonos town is very picturesque, we loved it there. You can do a half day ferry trip to the island of Delos which is interesting.

Kay
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Dec 31st, 2013, 12:24 AM
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Congratulations on your forthcoming wedding!

You are travelling in mid-May, which is too early for most people to swim, but probably warm enough for sunbathing. High temperatures on the islands will be in the 70s most days, and sea water temperatures in the mid-60s. You wrote: "We love trying new things." With that in mind, and with the short time you have available, consider visiting only one island instead of two, and make that an island with interesting things to do rather than just beaches.

No island in Greece is more than an hour by air from Athens. That means you could choose Rhodes or Crete, which are both a little warmer, instead of the usual Santorini or Mykonos. Rhodes, for example, has lots to see & do, and you could even take a day trip to Turkey from there.

Plan to spend a couple of nights in Athens at the end of your trip. It's less stressful to be back on the mainland a couple of days before the flight home, and Athens has lots to do. Since you love trying new things, consider the food tour offered by http://www.athens-walks.com/#!athens-food-tour.
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Dec 31st, 2013, 12:31 AM
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If you do go to Rhodes, think about doing the day trip by boat to Symi. We loved the trip and loved Symi, even though our time on the island was short.

Kay
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Dec 31st, 2013, 12:55 AM
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Good idea from Kay!
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Jan 1st, 2014, 09:58 AM
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If you are a first timer in Greece you should definetely visit Santorini. It's a cliché but everyone goes. But as a Greek, I have experience in the Greek islands and I have to say that Santorini is not an original island, it has lost its charm due to the millions of tourists which visit it every year. Ofcourse it has fantastic sceneries, the caldera, the unique sunset and the classic Cycladic Architecture that anyone should visit once in a lifetime. And as you have never been to a Greek island before and you have no criteria, you will love Santorini. Another island, Folegandros, much less known to tourists, is one of the most beautiful islands in the Aegean. According to CNN, Folegandros is one of the "7 most beautiful villages in Europe" The island has beautiful beaches, and a gorgeous Cycladic settlement. Read the CNN's article here: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/11/07/tr...ges/?c=&page=2

And here are some pictures of Folegandros: http://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=Folegandros

You can visit Athens, then Santorini and then Folegandros. That would be a nice itinerary
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Jan 1st, 2014, 12:43 PM
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You can visit Athens, then Santorini and then Folegandros.

Not a good idea to leave Folegandros for the end of your trip. Petros, being Greek, doesn't have to worry about getting back to the mainland for a transatlantic flight. I agree it's a beautiful island, and in mid-May will be very, very quiet, if that's what you are looking for. Trouble is, Folegandros doesn't have an airport, and ferry connections are not as good as for some other islands. Leave Athens for last, then you are back on the mainland with plenty of leeway before your flight home.
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Jan 2nd, 2014, 01:17 AM
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Yes, you probably must leave Athens for last. I wasn't quite specific. And also Folegandros is not very quite in May, as the Greek tourists have already started vacating, as its almost summer, and Greek Summer is very long starts quite early actually. All restaurants stores and hotels are open in May, the weather is hot but with a light breeze and the water is neither cold or hot.
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Jan 2nd, 2014, 01:25 AM
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Petros

There will be almost no Greek tourists at all during May on Folegandros.... and the water will be too cold for swimming.
The island will be very quiet indeed.
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Jan 2nd, 2014, 02:18 AM
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I was on Folegandros at the end of May, and it was very quiet even then. Some hotels and tavernas hadn't opened yet, and there was almost no nightlife other than dinner and a drink. Many of the beaches in Petros' link are accessible only by boat, and I'm not sure the beach cruise boats are operating that early in the season. The other beaches require a long walk from chora (the only sensible place to stay in May), and an uphill walk coming back. There is a bus service from chora to the port and to Ano Mera.

I had a check on the ferry timetables since my previous post, and there aren't daily ferries in mid-May either to Piraeus or Santorini. True, the conventional ferry (e.g. NEL) timetables aren't published yet, but when they are they won't be daily. Sea Jets, which stops on Folegandros daily in summer, goes there only on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in mid-May.

When recommending an island, it is necessary to consider all the factors, including seasonal variations and ferry timetables. I would recommend Folegandros without hesitation for later in the season, e.g. June or September, but not for someone who has only about a week to island-hop in mid-May.
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Jan 3rd, 2014, 12:21 PM
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What do you all think about Skiathos in mid May? Will most of the things on the island and travel too and from still be quite slow?
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Jan 3rd, 2014, 12:29 PM
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After looking into skiathos with the time we have, I think it would be too far from other things we'd like to do.
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Jan 3rd, 2014, 12:34 PM
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I haven't been to Skiathos for several years, and that was in July, but loved the island. Skiathos Town is fairly large, and would be the best place to stay that early in the season. Skopelos and Alonissos are close enough to make day trips feasible. Skiathos (in the Sporades) is a little further north than other island groups, so water will be a few degrees cooler than, say, Crete or Rhodes.

You can get to Skiathos from Athens by air, but I believe there is only one flight per day. Otherwise you can take a bus to Agios Konstantinos and meet the ferry to Skiathos there. This is the bus service you will need: http://alkyontravel.gr/index.php?VIEW=BUS
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Jan 3rd, 2014, 07:09 PM
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We've decided that Santorini is a must for us. We want to go to one more island while there. We'd like to visit an Island that if weather permits has nice beaches.. However, if it's still too cold we'd like to be somewhere where we can explore, and enjoy good food and beautiful scenery. I've heard mixed reviews about Mykonos.. Crete also looks beautiful but I'm afraid it could be too large? Opinions are appreciated.
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Jan 3rd, 2014, 10:33 PM
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http://thisisnaxos.gr/
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Jan 3rd, 2014, 10:34 PM
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Mykonos is a beautiful island, it has one of the nicest Choras of the Cyclades, a great nightlife for every taste and many nice beaches.

There is also the nearby Delos island that is a must see.
http://www.visitgreece.gr/en/greek_i...cyclades/delos

I have been there during May,it was not warm enough for swimming and spending a day on the beach and it was quite boring for my taste.

Crete would be a much better option in my opinion, there is a lot to see and do such as archaeological sites, wonderful cities such as Chania and Rethymnon, even a chance to swim on the beaches of Southern Crete, where the weather is warmer.

Yes Crete is a very big island, but you don't have to see all of it. Just concentrate on one part, i would recommend the West and you will be just fine. A rental car would be advisable, but there will be organized tours as well or you can use the excellent public transportation.
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