Greece June 2017 for 6 adults

Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 06:56 AM
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Greece June 2017 for 6 adults

I'm planning a trip to Greece for 3 couples all in their 40s. The group says Santorini and Mykonos are a must with at least one day in Athens to see the Parthenon.

We have about 12 days including travel from Miami. I'd like to add one more island, but dont know what makes the most sense.

We would like to pick places that can keep us a little busy. A few days lounging, spa are great, but also like site-seeing, water sports, adventure, history, culture, food, wine, nightlife.


I was thinking 1-2 nights Athens
3 nights Santorini
3 nights Mykonos
and ??

Any thoughts?
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 07:07 AM
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Unless you fly Santorini to Mykonos via Athens, the boats stop at Naxos. Naxos has gorgeous beaches you will not find in Santorini. Also, Naxos does not get mass cruise passengers like Santorini or Mykonos.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 07:31 AM
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Either Naxos or Paros would be a good choice, and both are between Santorini and Mykonos. Naxos is more of a family island than Paros.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 07:57 AM
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I never stop anywhere for less than 3 full days/4 nights. If your 12 days includes your arrival and departure day, then you really only have 10 full days to work with.

You write, 'including travel from Miami'. Just what does that mean?
For example:

Leave Miami day 1 and arrive in Athens on day 2 would mean you then have only 9 days before on the 12th day you would depart Athens to return home. That assumes you are arriving/departing to/from Athens. So you need to clarify that. What is your arrival day in Athens (not your departure date from Miami) and departure date from Athens?

It usually makes the most sense to arrive in Athens and then catch a connecting flight directly to your first island. Leave time in Athens for the end of the trip. Otherwise if you are only returning to Athens for the flight home, you have to waste the day before getting to Athens to insure you are there ready to fly home the next day.

Personally, with only 9-10 full days on the ground available, I would not waste days moving from one island to another. Every time you move you lose most if not all of a day doing so. That's time you are not spending in a place seeing/doing things.

Also, moving with a group is always far more stressful than for a lone person or couple. Another reason to move as little as possible.

With such limited time I would only plan to visit Athens and one island. Which island depends on your interests and from what you have said about that, I would pick an island with more variety than either Santorini or Mykonos.

Everyone sees things differently, but from MY perspective, Santorini is lovely but very limited beyond the scenery. Mykonos to me is just a young people's party island. There are a lot of far more 'well rounded' islands you could choose from.

I'd arrive in Athens and connect to an island. Which island is up to you. You can then spend 7 nights on that island before moving back to Athens for your lasts 2-3 nights. Simple, easy for the group to do.

There are plenty of islands that can hold your interest for a week but probably not Santorini or Mykonos for couples in their 40s.

Crete, Corfu or Rhodes probably could. Naxos or several other smaller islands might. There are something like 168 inhabited islands to choose from. But you can cut that list down by looking only at those that have an airport with flights to/from Athens.

Trying to visit 3 islands plus Athens in 12 days simply results in a 'list ticking' exercise with little time actually spent IN places. Learn to count travel days as lost days. They are not days you spend IN a place.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 07:58 AM
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You say 12 days including travel which means two days of travel and 10 days in Greece . . . correct?

Santorini & Mykonos are two of the most heavily touristed and expensive islands in Greece. While June will not be High Season there still will be crowds. You may want to drop one island, probably Mykonos and move on to another island. There are numerous islands you can combine with Santorini and I would recommend Naxos, one of Greece's nicest islands with a wonderful combination of Old & New World Greece, A lot more laid back and family-friendlier.

Athens deserves a minimum of 2 days, maybe 3. Don't forget you should get to Athens at last 1 day before your flight incase of delays, strikes, bad weather, etc.

Travel from one island to another eats of time, not just the ferry ride, but checking out rooms, getting to the dock before departure and once landing finding your way to your accommodations.

If 10 days is what you have for travel in Greece you may want to consider Santorini, another Island and Athens.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 08:46 AM
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Personally I think Santorini is a must see for first time visitors. The views are simply stunning. However with all the cruise ships and all the tourists 3 nights is enough for me so we head off. Naxos and Paros are on direct ferry routes and both are good companion islands to Santorini. They have the same white and blue buildings but no caldera view but they do offer you a true Greek experience at a price point probably half of what you will be paying in Santorini.

Both of these islands should be experienced over 4 to 5 days. That will leave you 2 nights in Athens at the end of the trip.
Do not stop in Athens on the way to your first island just keep going. Jet lag on an island is much more pleasant than in Athens.

I see you say Mykonos is a must but in fact it is an island that brands itself as high end but it is really offering you the same views and activities as Paros and Naxos except they add high end shopping and Santorini prices.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 09:26 AM
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Mykonos and Santorini will have a Miami type 'glitz', so if that's what you're looking for you won't be disappointed. They both have lots of high end hotels, restaurants, and shopping. The cruise ship passengers are sometimes annoying, but they are soon back aboard ship.

Many of us who post on Fodor's prefer less touristy islands, but I agree with stanbr that Santorini is an island you won't want to miss. You omitted one important bit of information: the month you are travelling. June and September are my favourite months, while July and August are busy. Paros and Naxos are less busy than Mykonos and Santorini in July and August but still have plenty to do.

I would steer clear of Mykonos in late July and August, but earlier in the summer and in September are fine. Mykonos has one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece at the nearby uninhabited island of Delos. If you want to party on Mykonos there will be plenty of opportunity. The beach parties begin in late afternoon (after I've left) and the clubs in town get going between midnight and dawn (when I am in bed), so I never see much partying on Mykonos. ;-)
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Old Apr 3rd, 2017, 02:00 PM
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Here's how I see it in regards to which islands anyone should visit.

It's like Vegas, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. Everyone has them on their 'must see' list but how long they will hold their interest varies by individual.

The average visitor to the Grand Canyon spends under 15 minutes actually at the rim, takes the obligatory selfies(these days) and then heads for the souvenir stores. The same applies to Niagara Falls (how long can you spend standing watching water fall off a rock) and to a lesser degree to Vegas. You go, you see the strip, you try a slot machine, you get gouged for a show and then you leave.

People who are happy with that will be happy with their visit to Santorini. Been, seen it, time to leave. So you can consider visiting multiple islands if that is your idea of how to travel.

But if you want to visit Greece, that is hardly representative. Personally, I hated Santorini the only time I visited it. I left after 1 night, I knew it wasn't Greece, it was just 'fleece the dumb tourists land'.

I suppose there is an argument to make that it is still a 'must see' for most people just like Niagara Falls, etc. But oh what a waste of time it is in my opinion. Just like 15 minutes at the rim of the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls is. An entire day spent for that 15 minutes of scenery.
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 05:19 AM
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I haven't been to Santorini and it's because of the crowds, the prices and touristy atmosphere. I've seen the photos and videos of the villages on the caldera and it does look spectacular. However, beauty is only skin deep so once you get beyond the looks it's what's underneath that counts.

I may, at some point go to Santorini but primarily for the archeological sites of Akritori and Thira with the views secondary and it would be just a short stay, probably based on the southern end of the island away from the crowds.

I did a day trip to Mykonos and while visually stunning it was just too crowded, three huge cruise ships in the harbor, multi-million dollar yatchs in the harbor and it just didn't feel "Greek" for me, but for others it may be perfect.

Everyone has their own idea of what they want for a Greek Island and you should do what's right for you.

There are so many islands and parts of the mainland that would give you a more true representation of Greece and one should look into those other areas just as well as Santorini & Mykonos to see what the comparison is.
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 05:46 AM
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When we think about Santorini, this is our dream:
http://www.alamy.com/stock-photo/san...ia-street.html

To me this is a scene from a nightmare:
https://www.google.ae/search?q=santo..._WiuqGnHsATKM:
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 08:09 AM
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Kovsie, your "dream" photos look like Oia early in the morning before the busloads of tourists arrive, my favourite time of the day there. That could be any morning, even in high season. It gets quieter in the evening too, after the buses take tourists back to Fira.

I didn't look at many of the "nightmare" photos, but they seem to be of tourists foolish enough to join the crowds gathering in Oia for the sunset. Instead of that, I sit on my balcony overlooking the caldera, all on my own, watching the colours change on the whitewashed buildings as the sun sets.

FWIW, the sun sets everywhere on earth, so I don't see the need to go to Santorini to watch it. There are other islands, including my favourite, where you can watch the sun dip into the sea. All you need is a west-facing coast without another island in the way.
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Old Apr 4th, 2017, 08:56 AM
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Thanks everyone for your feedback!!

We are traveling at the end of June so hopefully the crowds wont be insane. I will discuss all the comments with the group
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