Greece Travel Dilemma

May 8th, 2011, 09:57 AM
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Greece Travel Dilemma

My wife and I would like to go to Greece but the trip could probably only be for 10-11 days at most. Given the distance to get there and the travel between islands, I'm afraid that we wouldn't be giving it enough time. So the dilemma is, go to Greece knowing that we probably aren't doing it justice or go somewhere else that we would certainly enjoy but it wouldn't be Greece.

Those who have been- can you "see" Greece in 10-11 days?
athorp is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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First off, what do you want to see in Greece? You certainly can't see everything -- but you never can. How many days on the ground do you have? And what time of year do you want to go?

You could manage Athens and one or two islands in 10-11 days. Maybe take planes on some transfers instead of ferries.
Mimar is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 10:32 AM
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You can certainly enjoy Greece in this time frame. It is hard to see most countries in 10 or 11 days. But certainly, this is an adequate amount of time to see Athens (two days max) and some islands.

Greece is a wonderful country. You will enjoy your time there. I would encourage you to go.

tn is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 10:42 AM
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I echo the previous reply: what do you want to get out from your Greece trip? If your interest is to conform to what someone else thinks would do "justice," then would you ever have time to travel to Greece? Would it be totally unacceptable if you travel 10 days without doing "justice" this time, and perhaps another 10 days in future, again without doing "justice?" Suppose you find yourself not being able to travel in the future, would you be glad you did not take this Greece trip because it did not do "justice?"
greg is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 10:43 AM
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Thanks for the replies.

We would be going in late September. We would like to see Athens, Delphi, and a few islands. We want to go to Santorini but not Mykynos.
athorp is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 11:19 AM
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Athorp, our answers might differ depending upon where you are from, which you don't say. If from UK or Europe, rather than North America, not such a big investment in money or time to even get to GReece. From UK/Europe, only a 3-4 hour flight, perhaps 500€ to/from, not bad. If from California or Vancouver .. waaaay different in travel time & ticket $$$. See?

For short-trip time-efficiency, if you can plan to arrive early in day, you can FLY to Santorini in 50 minutes (perhaps for 49€ on "sale" tickets), spend 36 hours, take a 2-hour ferry to perhaps Paros or Naxos, then fly back to ATH airport midday (50 minutes) on Day?6?. Rent car & drive to Delphi, see part of sight, spend the night, see the other part on AM Day 7, drive back to Athens, have ample time to see its great landmarks. Careful timing & scheduling would be the key.
travelerjan is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 11:20 AM
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Hi athorp,

You are concerned about the time it takes to travel between islands. The solution is simple: stay on the mainland. By the end of September the islands are past their best anyway — I never stay on the islands past mid-September. If you absolutely must go to an island, recommend either flying to Santorini and spending two nights there, or maybe going to one of the Saronic Gulf islands, easy to reach from Athens.

Late September is a golden opportunity to see the best Greece has to offer without the heat and crowds of summer. Think about combining your trip to Delphi with a visit to the Peloponnese, basing yourself in the coastal town of Nafplio and visiting the ancient sites in that area.
Heimdall is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 12:01 PM
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bookmarking. Athorp, I am contemplating a trip to Greece for a yoga retreat in Oia. Are you traveling from the US?
RainyDay09 is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 12:13 PM
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late September is a not the end of the season for many islands, such as Crete, Rhodes or Kos...... ( where the weather is still very warm)
and all these islands are only 1 hour flight away from Athens....
clausar is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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You can EASILY do what you want to do in 10-11 days. For some, THREE full days In Athens is PLENTY; you can do the entire so-called "classical tour" (Naphlion, Corinth, Delphi, and Olympia is as little as three days and you will definitely see the major attractions in that time. That leaves enough time for at least Santorini. Why don't you want to go to Mykonos?
Dukey1 is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 01:10 PM
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We are traveling from the east coast of the US so it is a rather long flight. I like the sound of Nafplion.
athorp is offline  
May 8th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Clausar, althorp wrote he would like to see Santorini. None of the three islands you mention would be practical to combine with Santorini in a "10-11 days at most" trip and still leave time for Delphi and Athens.

Althorp, your plan to visit Santorini, Delphi, and Athens is a good one. The only thing that remains is to add another location that fits well with your plan. No island has as much to see as the small area in the Peloponnese near Nafplio, which can be seen in combination with Delphi. Dukey1 is correct.
Heimdall is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 06:29 AM
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Heimdall - What do you man by "By the end of September the islands are past their best anyway — I never stay on the islands past mid-September.?"

What is the weather like?
kenav is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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My opinion only. When you arrive try to fly straight to Santorini-spend 3 nights there. Fly back to Athens airport, rent a car spending at least 1 night in Delphi, at least 2 nights-3 would be better- in Athens. Nafplio could be for the nights that are left over.
This plan below is just an example. Here you have 3 nights in Santorini, 1 night in Delphi, 3 nights in Nafplio, and 3 nights in Athens. The order is not so important-things can be changed around as you want. It would be nice to have a ferry experience-maybe returning to Athens from Santorini??
1 arrive Athens. Fly to Santorini.
2 Santorini
3 Santorini
4 Santorini to Athens. Rental car. Drive to Delphi. Overnight.
5 Delphi Drive to Nafplio. Overnight.
6 Nafplio
7 Nafplio
8 Drive to Athens. Return car. Overnight.
9 Athens
10 Athens
11 Return home

With something like this you will get a nice taste of Greece. Santorini- amazing views, wineries, pebbly beaches (bring water shoes) beautiful! Delhi-near Mount Parnassos, olive trees in the valley, the Arch. Museum showcase the bronze charioteer, navel stone, the ruins Apollo and don't forget the tholos of Athena. Nafpilio-quaint, lovely, Bourtzi Island fortress, Palamidi Castle, wander through the town, not far away ruins Tiryns, Ancient Asine, some nice beaches-Tolos, Kastraki, short side trips doable for Mycenae, Epidaurus. When returning back to Athens, leave early enough for a short visit Ancient Corinth, etc. In Athens proper the Acropolis, Agora, Arch. Museum, etc. Great places to eat and shop or just wander, stop for a drink and people watch.
chris45ny is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Hi kenav,

My statement was really meant to emphasise that Greece is far more than just islands, and late September, when the weather begins to cool, is a perfect time for the mainland.

As clausar wrote, many islands have longer seasons than others, including the ones he mentions. The islands I prefer begin to close down around mid-September, and the season ends at the beginning of October. Most days are still warm and sunny at the end of September, but there is an increasing likelihood of Autumn weather. IMO the very best times to visit the islands are mid-June or the last week of August through the second week of September.

Some people prefer the islands when it is quiet, and late September would be fine for that, but I like to go when the islands are still lively. This year I will go to Greece at the end of August and stay for three weeks, with the last week possibly on the mainland in Athens and the Peloponnese.
Heimdall is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 11:34 AM
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Helmdall - Do hotels/inns on the islands close?

What would the weather be like in late September? (I don't like very hot weather, and I've heard how hot Greece gets, so if it is cooler (70's-80's F?) that would be fine with me. Unless it's deserted!)
kenav is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:12 PM
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Hi Kenav

Mid to late September is, for me, the perfect time. The weather is good and the temperatures are within the range you mention. Also, the sea water is warmer and very pleasant to swim in.

In Mykonos (and I am sure Santorini too) the majority of hotels are open usually to the end of October. Most charter flights stop operating to both islands at the end of the first week of that month but independent travellers do continue visit right through to at least the beginning of November. I should say I enjoy October on the island too but by mid-month it can be much windier than normal and there are sometimes disruptions to ferries.

Hotels on other smaller less touristy islands will, I’m sure, close earlier than the two I’ve written about.
billbarr is online now  
May 9th, 2011, 01:13 PM
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Hi kenav,

I think I may have given you the wrong impression. Late September is fine, but things are winding down by then. If you like cooler weather and fewer tourists, that may be the best time for you.

Some islands, e.g. Crete and Rhodes, have a large permanent population with many things open year-round. The season on the touristy islands, e.g. Mykonos and Santorini, runs until the end of October. Even on the less touristy islands, e.g. Naxos and Paros, most hotels and restaurants stay open until the end of September, but some close earlier.

I happen to like the islands best when the beach weather is good and there are lots of people enjoying themselves. Some of my friends prefer it quieter, and come earlier in the spring and stay later in the autumn. If you have your heart set on late September, you won't be disappointed.
Heimdall is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:19 PM
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Hi Bill,

We cross-posted, but said much the same thing. You haven't posted on Fodor's for a while, so welcome back!
Heimdall is offline  
May 9th, 2011, 01:45 PM
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Hi Don and thanks. Not had the computer on. For the past 4 or 5 weeks I've had difficulty using my hands and fingers again. The brain tells them to work but sends the message to my feet and legs! Tying a shoe lace is a one hour adventure.

billbarr is online now  

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