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Greece in 10 nights early September

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Apr 11th, 2015, 12:17 PM
  #1
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Greece in 10 nights early September

I am a long time lurker and reader of this forum and have learned SO much over the years.
So thank you for that. Our arrival time in Athens is 3pm on a Thursday and we have tentatively decided to spend 3-4 nights renting a car to explore the Peloponnese area, then 3 nights on an island, then last 2 nights in Athens (flight is 6:30am Sun). Mainly I am wondering about the order, since the first 3 nights are over a weekend, and we have not yet nailed down the island.
Yes, Santorini is first idea, or should we go to a less traveled, less touristy island? It seems like the first 2 weeks of Sept could still be pretty crowded with tourists. Any tips or advice you have is appreciated.
So far we have done nothing but purchase the airfare and line up our house/pet sitter.
This trip celebrates being almost empty nesters married for 30 some years!
almostemptynester is offline  
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Apr 11th, 2015, 01:02 PM
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You itinerary looks fine, and you've picked about the right number of days for each location. Santorini is a good choice unless you want an island with golden sand beaches. Early September is still busy on Santorini, but not quite as busy as August. Apart from the scenery, one advantage of Santorini is there are several flights each day from Athens, so you don't have to waste time travelling on a ferry.
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Apr 11th, 2015, 11:15 PM
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I would consider adding time on mainland rather than go on an island, but if an island is a must, I would think out of the North Amnerican box and take andvantage of the car, heading to Kythira or Zante or Cephalonia or even Lefkas (if your car hire allows ferry travel or even if having the car parked by a port for a few days is necessary).
Personaly I find this
http://tinyurl.com/mbqvqce
http://tinyurl.com/mw5gkgv
more romantic setting than this
http://tinyurl.com/oqukdvu

And this
http://tinyurl.com/pu4ulwx
more scenic than this
http://tinyurl.com/qzk5ck9

Do remember that having a car if a major advantage to explore some areas and a good opportunity to fit on the itinerary some places you wouldn't fit otherwise. Quite possibly a future trip in Greece will bring you in Athens one way or another and Cyclades are an easy side trip from Athens. Places such as parts of mainland or Ionian islands are not so likely to fit on a future trip.
Just my opinion of course : )
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Apr 12th, 2015, 05:05 AM
  #4
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Thank you for that recommendation. We certainly are open to less touristy, but still gorgeous locations that feel like the real 'Greece'. The more I read the less I want to fly to Santorini.
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Apr 12th, 2015, 06:40 AM
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It wasn't until my eleventh visit to Greece that I finally went to Santorini. I wasn't in a hurry because I knew one day I would go, and at the time the Minoan site at Akrotiri was closed to visitors. I believe everyone should go to Santorini at least once if they can, and I've now been there twice.

Most Greek islands get less busy in September when families return home for the start of the school year, but if you are looking for a peaceful place by the sea you don't even need to go to an island. The coastline of the southern Peloponnese (Messenia and Laconia) is dotted with beautiful beaches and picturesque seaside villages. One such area not far from Kalamata are the villages of Pilos, Methoni, and Koroni, ideal for someone with a car. I visited there one September, and you can see a few of my photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/heimda...7627739427148/
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Apr 12th, 2015, 06:46 AM
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BTW, the photos of the archaeological site were taken at Ancient Messene, also near Kalamata in the southern Peloponnese. Note the lack of other visitors (we had the place almost to ourselves), and that was in early September.
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Apr 28th, 2015, 12:52 PM
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'long time lurker' lol I do that too! I'm planning a trip to Greece with my hubby for 2016 and have been trying to read as many suggestions as possible. While I have not been yet, I have been reading that shoulder seasons are great times to go.. so september will be beautiful and not so full of tourists! Also according to US news travel, Sept/Oct is the best time to visit. We are thinking september as well. If you go in the real off season, Santorini is known to basically be 'closed down' since they don't receive many tourists.

I will say that while Santorini is becoming more and more popular, it is what I want to see. It's popular for a reason so if your heart is set on Santorini don't let anything stop you! Most tour routes that I've been seeing have Athens first and Santorini last, flying back or taking a ferry back to Athens for your flight out. Like you said though, it may make more sense to fly directly to Santorini then end at Athens and leave from there.

Just wanted to help add in everything I've been seeing while planning as well!
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Apr 29th, 2015, 02:27 AM
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"Most tour routes that I've been seeing have Athens first and Santorini last, flying back or taking a ferry back to Athens for your flight out."

Then you have been looking at the wrong tour routes. Almost every Greek Island expert on Fodor's and other travel forums recommends saving Athens for last.
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Apr 29th, 2015, 07:43 AM
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Munchin, you have been looking at commercial Guided-Tour itineraries. Yes, they mainly DO start in Athens... because they have to collect people from all over, flying in on different airlines, with stops en route and luggage transfers ... it's safer for them, making sure everyone arrives, and their bags too! But for D-I-Y travelers, the Island-first approach is the most time-efficient if your visit is for a limited time (and alas, so many are ... and even if you have 14 days, why waste most of a day with the extra in-out from Central Athens.
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May 8th, 2015, 08:45 AM
  #10
 
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I spontaneously booked a flight to Athens yesterday--it had been two years since I have been back to greece and I was itching to get back there by the end of the summer this year. September is a great time on the islands, and if you had been considering Santorini, I think you will definitely not be disappointed. I have been to Santorini a few times in September and I find it's slightly less crowded than the summer months, the weather is fantastic, the sea is warm and the beaches are not as packed. I have been to many of the islands over the years, and I love them all- but there's something about eating dinner at a restaurant overlooking the caldera, and watching the sky change all different colors as the sun sets-- that never gets old. If it's your first trip there and have never been to Santorini- I would go. You could always go to more "authentic" less touristy islands at a later time. I find that the beauty of Santorini is a must see.
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