Greece - Our 2018 summer destination

Old Feb 4th, 2018, 07:41 AM
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Greece - Our 2018 summer destination

First it was Italy, then it was Spain, followed by Croatia, and now, 100%, it's Greece. We have found our summer vacation destination.

Doing the research and seeing what "grabbed" us finally led us to finally choose Greece. We've booked our flights in and out of Athens and with just under three weeks in July, we now have to decide where to spend the time: the Cyclades or Crete, or a combination of both of them (we will be spending a few days in Athens).

This will be our first time in Greece and we want to be immersed in a Greek way of life for the time we are there. We want to explore, be at beautiful beaches, be close to old towns where we can walk during the day and evening, want somewhat of a vibrant nightlife without it being too much of a party atmosphere, we do not mind ferrying between islands, and we enjoy good food, history and a care free way of life.

Please help us plan our itinerary. We have no idea how many days to stay in each island and which island would make a good base from which to visit other islands. I hope I do not seem a little naive, but now that we are going to Greece, we want to make this the perfect vacation.

Thank you.

Last edited by sarasjourneys; Feb 4th, 2018 at 07:44 AM. Reason: Spelling
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 09:27 AM
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The Cyclades and Crete is an excellent idea, but be aware that Greece isn't just Athens and the islands. There are beaches everywhere in the world, but only one place where you can see such treasures as Delphi. By all means go to the islands, but consider spending some time travelling around the mainland. Along with Delphi, there is also much to see in the Peloponnese, especially in the region around Nafplio:
http://www.visitnafplio.com

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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 10:09 AM
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Congratulations on finally making a choice!

You might find some useful information in my trip report:
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 11:02 AM
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Thanks Heimdall and kja. It took some time, but we are so excited.

With three weeks, would it be possible to see some of the Peloponnese (mainland) and a few islands in the Cyclades and/or Crete? We do not want to rush and run around too much but do want a diverse vacation.

By the way, your itinerary for your Greek vacation was so diverse and so well planned, kja, but with a week less, we don't think we can see as much as you did. We also do not want to be on the move that much and would not mind having a few places from which to base ourselves.

Any ideas?
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by sarasjourneys View Post
your itinerary for your Greek vacation was so diverse and so well planned, kja, but with a week less, we don't think we can see as much as you did. We also do not want to be on the move that much and would not mind having a few places from which to base ourselves. ... Any ideas?
Of course my itinerary would not work for you -- no one else's itinerary will work for you! I suggested that you look at my trip report in case it might give you some ideas about your options. My recommendation: Get some good guidebooks, identify the things you most want to see in each location, check their opening/closing times on the internet, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting lost/oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

Good luck!
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 12:06 PM
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Thanks kja. I will take your advice and plan carefully, like a jigsaw puzzle.

By the way, if there is anyone here who can share with me your photo albums of the various Greek islands you have visited, including some lessor known islands, and the Peloponnese, I would be very appreciative.

Isabel's photo's were spectacular and I would love to see what "grabs" me from other travellers picture albums.

Thanks!
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 01:11 PM
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I also loved Traveller_Nick's photo albums as well.

Please, if any more travellers here have Greek picture albums to share, please do so. They are very, very helpful.
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Old Feb 4th, 2018, 01:42 PM
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Hi sarasjourneys,

Three weeks is longer than most people have for Greece, so it gives you lots of scope. I won't suggest an itinerary either, but will give you a rough idea instead.

One possibility would be to fly out to Crete on a connecting flight when you arrive in Athens. There are several flights every day both to Chania and Heraklion, so you could likely do that with little layover time. Spend about a week on Crete, the minimum most people suggest for that very large island.

Then take a ferry from Heraklion to Santorini for your time in the Cyclades. It's best to spend at least three nights on each island, so that would mean Santorini and one other, perhaps Naxos or Paros, which both have airports and good ferry connections with Athens. If you flew back to Athens you could rent a car at the airport for your drive to the Peloponnese.

Nafplio is about two hours drive from Athens if you don't stop on the way, but there are interesting things to see, like the Corinth Canal, for instance, so it may take a little longer. Have a look at the Nafplio link I gave you for what to see in the area. Return to Athens to wrap up the trip, drop the rental car off back at the airport, then take a taxi or the metro into central Athens. Spend two or three nights in Athens before flying home. Saving Athens for last will insure you don't get stuck on an island and miss your flight home.

That's just one idea of what to do, and you may end up doing something completely different. Greece is a wonderful country, and there are no wrong decisions.

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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 03:54 AM
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I agree almost completely with Heimdall except I'd add in Delphi on your way to Nafplio. I've done two trips to Greece (third one is this coming July). One was about a week in Crete, the other about two weeks coming the rest of the places Heimdall is suggesting. So in three weeks you could easily do all that. I do think that if you want to see a lot, it is possible to spend just two nights at some of the smaller destinations such as Naxos and Paros and still have a relaxing time. When we were planning our first trip it came down to three islands for two nights each or two islands for three nights and we choose three islands and we very happy with our choice.

Here are the two trip reports - From Santorini to the Peloponnese - Isabel's photos and trip report
A Week in Western Crete (with photos)
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Old Feb 5th, 2018, 05:22 AM
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Isabel, I’ll go along with adding Delphi. As I wrote in #8, that was just a rough idea of one possible itinerary. Some people might want to add Meteora or Monemvasia to their itinerary as well, or more time on the islands instead.
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 07:17 PM
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Hi,

We are thinking about splitting our time in Greece as follows; one week exploring the southeastern part of the Peloponnese, one week in Crete, and one week split between Milos, Naxos and Santorini.

Too much?
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Old Feb 6th, 2018, 11:41 PM
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Hi sarasjourneys,

I have a few Flickr albums of my favourite islands, and of Messenia in the southern Peloponnese. Haven't gotten around to scanning my film photos yet, but when I do there will be many more of different parts of Greece.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/heimdall_1/sets/
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