Greece suggestions...

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Feb 25th, 2009, 09:16 PM
  #1
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Greece suggestions...

Ok, so I am spending my fall semester studying abroad in Germany, allowing me to travel to many places across Europe on the weekends. However my friends and I are flying to Italy on Aug 1st and staying in Cinque Terre and Florence until Aug 9th. From there (Milan), they will fly home and I will be left alone for 10 days before I am required to be in Munich, Germany (Aug 20th) for the beginning of my program.

I have chosen to spend my extra time in Greece. I want to be able to take advantage of the great weather (even though it may be a little hot) while I have the chance. And thats where I am stuck. I've done some research on Greece and the "hot spots", however I would LOVE some Fodorite input.

I'm really looking for some beautiful scenery (but I'll be in Greece, so I'm sure I'll get that wherever I end up), some history (however I'm not that big on looking at ruins and temples all day long every day), and some great interaction with locals. I am a 21 year old female, traveling alone, so I must stay in safe areas. I enjoy taking photographs (day and nighttime), reading (while taking in wonderful views and the fresh air), and strolling around little nook and cranny places.

I would LOVE to go to Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens. Some people have also suggested Tessaloniki, Paros, and Corfu as well.

PLEASE help with an itenerary! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
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Feb 25th, 2009, 09:57 PM
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If I understand your timeline correctly your 10 days is really 8 days in Greece when you subtract your travel days to and from. That will go very fast. It takes a minimum of 2 days to see the major sites in Athens, which leaves 6 days, so if you pick 2 islands close together you will make the best use of your time. And if you can afford to fly to and from the islands you'll save even more time. I can only guess whether or not that would be affordable for you. Assuming it is and knowing that you are interested in Santorini, Mykonos and Paros I think you should chooose two of them. They all have airports and are all served by excellent ferry service. I think Mykonos and Santorini are in many ways too much alike to provide you with the best experience of the islands, and I think there's not much to see or do on Mykonos beyond the beaches and the nightlife, so if it were up to me I'd send you to Paros and Santorini. Between these two you will have an excellent time. If at all possible fly directly from Athens out to your first island upon arrival on the 9th (or is it the 10th?) and save Athens until the end so you don't have to stress about returning to the mainland at the last minute for that flight to Munich.

By the way, Aegean Airlines offers flights between both Milan and Munich, and Athens. You might even still find saver fares on their website if you're lucky.

http://www.ferries.gr/hfd
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Feb 25th, 2009, 11:43 PM
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http://www.aegeanair.com
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Feb 26th, 2009, 02:36 AM
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You have to understand that you have picked the busiest time of year to visit the islands, with Aug 15th, a Greek national holiday, and peak of the peak season. Mykonos and Paros will be packed, as they are easily reached from Athens. Athens, in contrast will be fairly quiet (everyone who can goes to the islands). It is also the time of Meltemi winds, which can be a problem sometimes in the Cyclades (e.g. Paros, Mykonos, Santorini).

My inclination would be to stay on the mainland, visiting Athens and other sights, maybe taking in Delphi and Meteora. If you want to visit an island, you can take day trips from Athens to the Saronics, e.g. Aegina, Hydra. Another option, if you want longer on an island, would be to fly to and from one less affected by the Aug 15th mass exodus. Samos or Lesvos come to mind. From Samos you could take a day trip to Ephesus in Turkey.
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Feb 26th, 2009, 02:46 AM
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go to meteora via delphi
stay at kalambaka overnight and visit the amazing monasteries
google it - awesome!
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Feb 26th, 2009, 02:48 AM
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go to santorini for a couple of days
walk the ciiff path from fira to oia
best views everrrrrrrrrrr! very safe and civilised but can be deserted
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Feb 26th, 2009, 03:19 AM
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Deserted in August?
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Feb 26th, 2009, 08:11 AM
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If I fly to Santorini from Milan, I can land very early (9am ish) the morning of the 10th. If I were to stay 2 to 3 nights there first do you think that it would be enjoyable? Or still way too busy?

I don't know how worried I am about things being crowded. I will be by myself, so I can be very flexible. If something is too crowded, I can simply move on...
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Feb 26th, 2009, 08:43 AM
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ab - another possibility is to spend 2-3 days in the Peloponnese area visiting Nafplio, Mycenae and Epidauros. Nafplio is a wonderful small town and very pedestrian friendly with some great shops and restaurants as well as interesting history. Easy 2 hr bus ride from Athens (cost about E11). You can also take the bus from Nafplio to Mycenaie and Epidauros - runs frequently and nice, clean buses. Very cheap. It's a beautiful area.

When we were there last year, we ran into several college kids who were on their own and seemed to be very comfortable being solo.

When our daughter attended college in Athens during this past fall semester, Nafplio was one of her and her friends favorite places to go.
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Feb 26th, 2009, 10:07 AM
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"If I were to stay 2 to 3 nights there first do you think that it would be enjoyable? Or still way too busy?" What's not to enjoy? And what would you enjoy?

The nightlife is intense in the main village of Fira. It's very crowded in August but if you like the sort of youth-oriented environment where there are lots of clubs, bars and discos, you'll have a great time. It really depends on you and what you enjoy. No one here knows that about you.

The island is small, but large enough and diverse enough for you to explore in 3-5 days. The bus system is excellent but they will be very crowded in August. Competition to get aboard at the individual village main bus stops can get a bit aggressive. Motorscooters with automatic transmissions are available to rent all over the island. If you think you could ride one you'll have more freedom to explore.
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