Greece only, or include Naples?

Reply

Jan 22nd, 2015, 07:07 AM
  #21
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,165
End of Aug - beginning of September is arguably the best time to visit the Greek Islands — you are going at the right time. Ferries are still operating on their high season timetables, so you have the best possible connections that time of year. The last week of August isn't as busy as earlier in the month, but be aware that Mykonos and Santorini have longer high seasons than most other islands. After the first week of September most children are back in school, and visitors to the islands tend to be mostly couples and singles.

I think you should reconsider about keeping Rhodes in your 13 day trip, especially if you still want to include Naples. Two islands + Athens is just about right for a 13 day trip, so Mykonos and Santorini is the max I would recommend. Alternatively you could go to just Rhodes and Athens. If you want a different mix of islands, consider Santorini and Naxos, or Santorini and Paros. Naxos and Paros are quieter at the beginning of September, and neither are as commercial as Santorini and Mykonos. A visit to the mountain villages of Naxos would give you a taste of the "real" Greece, as they are untouched by mass tourism.
Heimdall is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 22nd, 2015, 07:47 AM
  #22
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
Not to push you to go to Naples, but just so you have the info, but I believe that in summer you can fly from Mykonos airport to Naples on either Volotea, Meridiana or Easy Jet. There may also be seasonal flights from Santorini and Skiathos airports.

While flying into Napoli airport would be ideal, since the airport is only a short taxi or bus ride away from the city center, if you fly into one of Rome's 2 airports, then getting to Naples is not complicated or time consuming. You go to the central train station of Rome (about 1 hour) and take the fast train to Naples (1 hour). Train stops in the town center.
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 22nd, 2015, 08:28 AM
  #23
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,722
It might worth looking into doing this at last half of September vs. beginning of September from crowd/cost point of view. After the end of the second week of September, I noted a drop in the accommodation prices with exception of Santorini. However, the ferry schedule also get reduced at the same time. When I went to Ag. Anna in Naxos, there were only about 6 tables taken by the beach in about 50 yard stretch near the center. The water was still very warm. I saw only two other people going into the water the entire afternoon I was there. Also, less than a third of the beach chairs were taken at Mykonos popular beaches.

The weekend at cruise port islands seem to have less crowd. If you look at cruise schedules, boats leaving Venice or Piraeus leaving on Sunday don't get to Cyclades islands until Monday if at the beginning of the cruise or Thr or Fri if at the end of the cruise. This seem to leave Myknonos/Santorini relatively quiet from the big ships coming from these close by ports. Of course, there are boats coming from Istanbul, Barcelona, etc. When 5+ huge boats are in port at Mykonos or Santorini, the main town gets super crowded as well at popular shore excursion sites.
greg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 22nd, 2015, 11:18 AM
  #24
WWK
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,582
sandralist is absolutely right. There are a few flights a week between Mykonos and Naples, which might change my advice about your trip! We lost a lot of time transferring from the islands to Athens, then on to Rome and finally Naples, but you wouldn't have to do that if the day that you need to travel matches availability.

I have to say that out of many trips to Italy, Naples was a wonderful surprise. Much better- and safer- than I'd been led to expect. If you can get there, this trip or another one in the future, go. It was an incredible highlight for us. Much preferred it to time spent in Sorrento.

Good luck!
WWK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 22nd, 2015, 02:59 PM
  #25
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 84
Heimdall – I’m liking the idea of eliminating Rhodes if we pursue Naples. I know Santorini is on the “must see” list and we could include either Naxos/Paros or Mykonos. I’m not worried about the “touristy areas”…it is always pretty easy to find out-of-the-way gems and to get off the beaten path with a little research. We, like many others, did this for Rome, Paris, London, etc.

Sandralist – Thank you for the airline names. I will look into those and see if we can make it work. Good to know it’s pretty easy to fly to Rome and train to Naples as well.

Greg – Thanks for the pointers regarding late Sept and cruise ships. I never would have thought about that. Definitely worth a google or three.

WWK – The lure of Naples is growing by the minute. I agree, if we could get a direct flight from one of the islands, it would probably just be too tempting to pass up. Perhaps flying into Athens, exploring for a few days, then going to 2 islands before flying to Naples would work well.

Lots to research to do; I very much appreciate the info. As always, if any new thoughts materialize or others have experiences to share, please do.
abs004 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 22nd, 2015, 08:54 PM
  #26
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 975
If you are set on Naples, you might think about switching out the Aeolian Islands, off the north coast of Sicily, for the Greek islands. That would be a great 13-day trip, and the islands are easily accessible by boat from Naples. I love them!

I also loved Greece (spent 3 weeks there last summer, after 2 1/2 weeks in southern Italy). Personally, in the time you have, I would do either Naples and the Aeolies OR Athens and the Greek islands.
aprillilacs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 12:40 AM
  #27
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,165
One point to consider about late September: by then, most if not all of the seasonal flights direct from the Greek Islands to Italy will have ended. If you want to take advantage of the direct flights mentioned by Sandralist, better to stick with your plans for end of August or early September. You have mentioned several times that you don't mind crowds.

Just a personal note: the Greek Islands are too quiet for me after the middle of September, and I am in my seventies. I have been to the Greek Islands every month from May to September, and end of Aug-early Sep is my favourite time.
Heimdall is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 04:43 AM
  #28
WWK
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,582
abs004,

Just a FYI: Keep in mind that many islands still have no service to Naples. Mykonos does apparently, and maybe Santorini. Also the flights I saw are only scheduled on certain days of the week.

Good luck!
WWK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 05:51 AM
  #29
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 84
aprillilacs - thank you, and you bring up a good point about those other islands, however, for obvious touristy reasons, we have our hearts set on the Greek islands. Perhaps a future trip could include those islands and S. Italy.

heimdall and WWK - I spent a couple hours researching flights last night and ran into that problem...the flights from Santorini and Mykonos aren't available on the dates I want, or at all in the later half of Sept. I think we do want it to be more lively, and the hotter the better for the weather, so I will continue to target early Sept.

The current (and ever-evolving) plan is to do 13 days in Greece only. The previous comment about saving Athens for the end of the trip (and not having to worry about making it back from an island in time for a flight) seems like good advice. So as of now, perhaps we land in Athens, the take ferry/plane to islands (Myk, Sant, possibly Naxos/Paros) then return to mainland for exploration before flying home.

In past trips, we have greatly enjoyed staying at apartments found on VRBO. I assume that is a good idea for Greece as well. If anyone has any thoughts on renting apartments vs hotels, I'd love to hear it. Does anyone have thoughts on booking sooner-is-better vs waiting to see if the Euro continues to drop (or see if Greece leaves the EU)? Of course I will be researching this stage next but any pointers/direction would be very much appreciated.
abs004 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 06:37 AM
  #30
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,165
Hi abs004,

I don't think Greece will be leaving the eurozone any time soon, even if SYRIZA wins Sunday's election. The dollar is certainly doing well against the euro today, but that may be a short term gain.

Many people like to book their rooms early, probably a good idea for Mykonos and Santorini. It's not strictly necessary to book early for September if you aren't choosy about where you stay. Most accommodation on the Greek Islands, even those called hotels, are rooms, studios, and apartments. I know nothing about VRBO, but you should be able to find whatever you want with some google research.
Heimdall is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 10:05 AM
  #31
WWK
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,582
abs004,

If you can budget for it,I highly recommend the short flight to the islands rather than the ferries,which eat up so much time.

If you like slower-paced islands, we are obsessed with Paros,which has gorgeous beaches,a beautiful medieval city to explore, and far fewer crowds. We are returning for our third visit to Paros this summer.

We've never stayed in an apartment, but I think for a first-time visitor,small hotels are the way to go.You have front desk staff for any question or problem, and the ability to change rooms if available. Small hotels are plentiful in Greece, with the added bonus of befriending locals who can give you the best tips for touring.

Last year, the front desk staff at our hotel in Naoussa ( Paros) directed us to one of the most beautiful beaches we've ever seen. I don't know if we would've found it on our own.

Anyway, just something to think about. Good luck with your decisions!
WWK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 10:06 AM
  #32
WWK
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,582
Lastly, you probably have a few weeks, but I wouldn't wait too long to book for the most popular islands ( Santorini, Myknonos).
We are going end of June,and when I booked last month, I already had some issues with flights and one hotel.
WWK is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 10:15 AM
  #33
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
I'm with the conventional wisdom of the moment that says the euro is going to drop further, probably to parity with the dollar -- or more! (And I think there is no "if" about Syrizia winning Sunday's election.) I'm agnostic about Grexit. The wishes of the Greek people are to stay, but event could spin out of control.

However, if you book an apartment now, do you need to pay anything more than a deposit now. Under any circumstances, I would not want a deal requiring total payment due up front months in advance. If you see an apartment you like, even if the euro drops another 20 cents, the difference in savings by waiting to book hardly seems worth the risk of losing an apartment you like.

I would do a search on booking.com to see if you can come up with anything interesting, with the possibility of paying by credit card (again, not because the european suspense, but just because it is generally easier and more secure).
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 03:04 PM
  #34
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 84
Excellent, thank you all. I will nail down the itinerary and then look at apartments vs hotels on the islands asap. It is true, some apartments only require a deposit. We have enjoyed having a larger space and kitchen for meals but they do require lots of research to ensure they are legit.

It's good to hear that people don't seem too worried about the euro and Greece's place in EU. I'll wait to purchases euros until closer to the departure date but I will move forward with reservations. I'm sure I'll have more questions in the future but thank you all for the continued responses...they have been extremely helpful.
abs004 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 23rd, 2015, 03:24 PM
  #35
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 6,534
>>It's good to hear that people don't seem too worried about the euro and Greece's place in EU.<<

I wouldn't put it that way, at least not regarding myself, but leaving aside what would happen to the entire world for a moment, the worst thing that could happen to your trip is if you were held to paying in euros even if the Greeks were now using (presumably much cheaper) drachmas, so you missed out on an unholy sweet deal. It will still be one of the cheapest European trips you could have possibly taken.
sandralist is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 01:19 PM.