Greece in May

Old Jan 2nd, 2009, 10:40 AM
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Greece in May

Hi,

My fiance' and I are planning our honeymoon to Greece and need help. I have read all the books and braved the sites...but noone knows better than those who have traveled.

We are planning on spending 2 weeks in Greece during the end of May. Our goal is to spend a day or 2 in Athens and the rest in the islands. We love the beaches, great food and wine and some nightlife. Focus on the local culture, food, wine, etc. Any suggestions on itineraries that won't have us running around too much but allow us to see the islands?

BTW, we are not interested in a cruise. We want to experience the islands on a more local nature.

Any restaurant or accomodation suggestions would be appreciated as well.

Thanks...
rkatoe is offline  
Old Jan 2nd, 2009, 12:16 PM
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You will have a memorable honeymoon trip to Greek islands
You can stay in Athens the first two nights and then start exploring the Greek islands
First I recommend to visit is Mykonos with the sandy beaches and incredible nightlife I suggest to stay 3 – 4 nights
From Mykonos you can go to Paros or Naxos typical Greek islands you can visit both or chose one of the islands
Then continue to the beautiful island of Santorini - ideal island for honeymooners – Unique views romantic sunsets !!!! stay 4 nights
From Santorini you can visit Rhodes – or Crete – which are bigger islands in size and it is better to spend more time to explore them
For information for the Greek islands visit
http://www.greek-islands.us/
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Old Jan 2nd, 2009, 02:21 PM
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After a transatlantic flight we always like to spend the first two nights in Athens just to get over jet lag.
It is always wise to plan to get back to Athens the day before your return flight just in case.

If you spend these three days in Athens that will leave you 11 days to visit the Islands.

That sounds like a lot of days but one thing to consider: it will take the better part of a day to transfer from one island to another. Even the hour and a half ferry ride from Paros to Naxos ends up taking well over half the day by the time you check out of your hotel wait for the ferry and then get a new hotel on the next island. Fewer islands means more time exploring and relaxing. Isn't that the point of a honeymoon?

Anyway if I were planning your trip I would suggest you consider the following. From Athens take the bus to Naphlion for a night or two. It is a Venetian town with three fortresses and a great old town area. It is on the seaside so you get that island feeling. The Athenians use it as their weekend retreat so that speaks highly of it as a destinaton.

I would consider spending the rest of my time in the Cyclades Islands.

Naxos and Paros are more traditional Greek Islands. Naxos has great beaches a lovely old town and wonderful mountain villages. It has good eating, night life, shopping and beaching. You will find Greek culture on these Islands.
Naxos and Paros are similar islands and one or the other could be skipped.

From Naxos it is a short hop to Santorini. It really is a must see destination and is famous as a honeymoon destination. It also has a good nightlife and spectacular views but not the best beaches.

If I were planning your vacation I would do Athens for two days, Naphlion for two, Naxos for 3 or 4 days to just beach and relax, Santorini for 3 or 4 days and back to Athens for that last night. This plan gives you flrxability and an extra night just in case you find a place you simply must have more time if you want to stay longer.
Crete is really nice but it is so big that it is a destination in itself. Last summer we spent two weeks touring Western Crete alone and never got to all the places we planned to see.
If you choose Crete it would be best if you simply stay there the whole time.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 02:07 PM
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My husband and I just took our first trip to Greece last May to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary --- may you return on yours! We flew in to Athens and took a smaller plane right away to the island of Santorini where we stayed in Oia (a must for the sunsets) and then rented a small yacht to sightsee the small islands around there. After our 4 night stay in Oia, we then took a ferry to the island of Mykonos and stayed there for another 4 nights (great nightlife). We took a ferry from there to Athens and finished off our trip with 3 nights there. It was a perfect trip. Since you have more time in Greece, I recommend the island of Crete, since I've heard it's a must. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 04:13 PM
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Listen to Stanbr, if you really want what you SAY you want -- to experience the "local culture". You can get that in Nafplio and round about, in Naxos, especially when you leave the beach & go up to the mountain villages, the food & wine are authentic & good in both places & not too costly. Ditto for Crete.

The other poster, YoConnor described a lovely trip but not one that involved the local culture at all, really the tourist culture only. Santorini has a lovely view and nightlife in Fira, no good beaches; Mykonos has beaches, nightlife. Both have extensive shopping opportunities.

If you want what you say you want, explore the former. If you want the classic honeymoon package for Americans, u will enjoy the latter. It's nice too!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 05:04 PM
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We spent 3 days on Santorini and 8 days on Naxos last June. We had a great time on both islands, each offered different experiences. Santorini is beautiful, and a must see, but touristy. Naxos had a more authentic feel. We rented and ATV on both islands and saw the beauty of them both. On Santorini take the less travelled road around the Aegaen Sea side and you will find a quiet winding road with the sea to your one side and vineyards to your other. It was a highlight of our trip. Naxos has great beaches and mountains with such views that I'm happy I didn't drive off a cliff trying to see everything. The food was terrific on both islands but consistently better on quality to value on Naxos. The only thing I would have liked to be different is the water temperature. It was chilly. We were in Athens for 1.5 days and it was enough for us but we didn't do the museums.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2009, 08:11 PM
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Quark makes a very good point which I failed to make. That is, Naxos is much less expensive than Santorini or Mykonos. That is why we recommend Naxos. You can have a wonderful Greek experience there without blowing your budget. The money you save relaxing on Naxos will allow you to afford those special honeymoon days in Santorini.
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Old Jan 4th, 2009, 02:26 AM
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For a honeymoon trip visiting Santorini is a must !!!!
Santorini is ideal for couples and honeymooners you will love the sunset views from Imerovigli or Oia.
There are hotels for all budgets and also many are offering special low rates – search and you will find many hotels….
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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Thanks so much for your suggestions, I have continued to research different areas and agree with Stanbr....I think we will do the Athens, Nafplion, Naxos, Santorini trip. Any ideas on hotels to stay in these towns?

We don't want to kill our budget, but it is our honeymoon so we want nice views, and some amentities (private bath, warm shower, etc). Thanks again for all of your suggestions!


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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 07:09 AM
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Rk, just a word about amenities.

Greece is not a 3rd world country; you will have to hunt widely these days to find a hotel room that does NOT have a private bath with hot shower -- hve u been reading guidebooks from 1950s? PS it is also safe to drink the water

For your planned 4 stops, in late May you can find good rooms with pleasant balcony views in € ranges like these: Nafplio 60-90@, Naxos 50-75€, Athens €90 upupup, Santorini ditto.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:01 PM
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Now that you have decided where you want to go here are our pictures of Naxos and Naphlion just to heighten the anticipation.
http://travel.webshots.com/album/552001505EYxVYT
http://travel.webshots.com/album/551991579dJbWvh
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 06:40 PM
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We did pretty much the same trip as YoConn004 and a few others last May/June. Santorini is very romantic. We rented a convertible smart car for the day and drove all around the island. We also took a private yacht trip, that was amazing as well and well worth the money. It's true that all this is very "typical" but on a honeymoon, I say go with what works. We also went to Naxos and enjoyed that as well, more casual and beachy. I envy you having more time!

I searched and searched hotels last year and it was a hard choice. So many nice places really. We ended up at Strogili Houses with a little kitchenette where we cooked a couple of our meals, buying stuff at the market right on the corner. The location was perfect, a short stroll to many restaurants and yet very quiet and peaceful. It had a nice large balcony with an awesome view. A real nice breakfast was served out on the balcony each morning, a very nice way to wake up. It was very moderately priced as well...and we loved the cave bedroom.

http://www.oia-strogili-houses.gr/


Now back to my Italy planning for this May....
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 08:03 PM
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We just took our honeymoon last September...I've been dragging my feet to do a trip report -- but trust me, the postings on this forum made for my most incredible vacation. We had about 18 days and our itinerary was:

Land in Athens & Drive to Nafplion - in retrospect would probably recommend against that because we were so tired from the plane...but Nafplio was a great town to recuperate from the wedding and the long flight.

3 nights in Nafplion stayed at Hotel Aetoma and we loved it. Everyone was so incredibly nice, the hotel was immaculately clean. Hard to find when you first drive into town, but afterwards good central location in old town.

Drove back to Athens and flew Aegean Airlines to Mykonos and stayed at the Hotel Pelican. Great budget hotel, clean, very steep incline of a hill, but great view from our balcony. Mykonos was beautiful but pretty crowded. We felt like we should visit since it was our first time in Greece, but if I had to redo it again, I might want to stay in a quieter part of the island like Agios Ioannis (but of course harder to get into the Chora for the night-life).

Took the superjet to Naxos where we stayed for three nights. We LOVED Naxos. The food, the people...it was terrific! We ate at Taverna Kastro twice! We stayed at the Naxos Royal/Resort and loved their pool. Staff was great, breakfast yummy, and free internet in the lobby.

Then took the Blue Star Ferry to Santorini so we could first see the Caldera by ferry. That was probably the best advice because I will always remember that view. And Santorini is a must for honeymooners. It was just a magical place. We stayed 6 nights at Aspaki (5 nights Endless Blue and 1 in Deep Blue) at the recommendation of Brotherlee Love and loved every second of it. Dimitris, Marco, and Nicolas were amazing and were so kind and sweet to us. We ate at 1800s, Skala, Kastro's, Ambrosia & Nectar which were all good, but our favorite was Saltsa over in Firostefani. We loved it so much that we ate there two nights in a row. Great quality food for a reasonable price.

Then flew Aegean back to Athens for two nights where we stayed at Electra Palace. But Amazon was nearby and from the reviews is a great budget hotel. We had a great stay at the Electra though.

Do keep in mind that traveling between islands does take half a day so plan that into your itinerary.

Have a magical honeymoon in Greece! I don't think there's a better place to spend your first days as husband & wife!!!!
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