Greece trip 08 - Itinerary questions

Nov 7th, 2007, 06:47 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 155
Greece trip 08 - Itinerary questions

My husband and I are taking a belated honeymoon to Greece for 15 nights next May. We are trying to figure out our itinerary right now, and have some questions. Here's the itinerary we're considering right now:

Athens - 3 nights
Santorini - 4 nights
Naxos - 3 nights
? island - 3 nights
Athens - 2 nights

My questions:
- What would be a good island to add to our trip? (We'd like to do an island a little off the beaten path w/ good natural beauty, food, etc.)
- Would flying out of Istanbul instead of Athens be a good option? (then we might cut out the last island and spend the rest of our trip there)
- Does going from Athens to Santorini first make sense, or should we do Naxos before Santorini? Best mode of transporation?

Many thanks in advance for the advice!
Kelly1212 is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 07:00 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'd suggest going to Crete, especially the old harbor city of Chania, which is a fascinating place to explore for a few days.

I would save Turkey for your next trip. Two days in Istanbul is a tease. You need at least four days there, preferably more. And it's not that easy to get there from one of the Greek Islands ( except Rhodes) without backtracking to Athens.
Weadles is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 08:51 PM
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I would suggest doing Naxos first -- take an early morning ferry, get there by noon. Then u can take a daytime "regular" ferry to Santorini, & be on deck when it comes into the caldera... great view. For next Island I would suggest Sifnos -- in May ther are ferries from Santorini that go there. Then take fast ferry back to Athens.

If u want to see something about Sifnos, go to "IGoGreece" website & read the sifnos section by Eleni -- she really knows the place, and all the restaurants etc. It is very uncrowded in May; has good restaurants and marvy hiking trails all over island. I lovelovelove it.

Love Crete too--but it's a NATION all by itself (125 Mi long). Save it for your NEXT trip. My suggested time:

Athens 3 nites
Naxos 4 nights (it's a BIG island)
Santorini 3 (it's a SMALL island)
Sifnos - 3 nights
Athens 2 nights

PS: May is the BEST time -- the water is brisk but a heavenly blue... I always swim anyway.
travelerjan is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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Although you did stipulate another Island in your itinerary, your thought about Istanbul suggests you have some flexibility so I will propose something slightly different.

We love Naphlion. It has an old section with Neoclassical architecture and three Venetian era fortresses. It is completely different from the Cyclades Islands and provides variety to a trip. It is close to other sites such as Mycinae, Epidaurus and Ancient Tiryns.
On the way there from Athens you pass right by Ancient Corinth the Corinth Canal and Ancient Nemia.
Naphlion is about two and a half hours from Athens and can be reached by bus and is a fairly easy drive from Athens Airport as you do not have to drive in Athens proper.

We will spend two or three nights in Naphlion and then drop the car off at the airport and catch a flight to Naxos and then take the ferry to Santorini. It is always worth seeing Santorini for the first time from a ship.
Having said that you can catch an Aegean Air flight to Santorini and take advantage of their 19 euro specials.

We prefer to split our days in Athens and use the first couple of days to get over jet lag and get a feel for the Plaka area. We find Athens to be much more enjoyable after getting "tuned" into Greek mode in more relaxing places. On our return to Athens at the end of the trip we spend one or two days to really explore, so here is what we do.

Naphlion-3 nights to really relax
Naxos-4 nights
Santorini-3 nights
Athens -2 nights

This leaves you one night to spare because for sure you will find someplace that you fall in love with and want to spend an extra day there. Time tends to slow down in Greece and plans often go by the wayside so we have found an unplanned day to come in real handy.

To tempt you here are our pictures of Naphlion.

stanbr is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 08:52 AM
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Thanks, stanbr, for putting in a good word for the place we both love.

Kelly & husband also should know that Nafplio (Nafplion/ Nauplia -- there are MANY Spelllings) is ALSO a favored honeymoon getaway-weekend among savvy Athenians.

PLUS,Nafplio has what I consider just about the most beautiful, romantic sunsets of all -- from a promenade-row of divine cafes with upholstered divans(!)on which to enjoy the view. I have been known to sit at one from 7:30-9pm, in a trance.
travelerjan is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 08:23 PM
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Thanks so much, everyone, for all the great ideas! You've really helped us better see how we should plan this trip. Your praise of Nafplio convinced us to do more research -- and it looks fantastic. So that's our plan for now. (We'll save Turkey for another trip.)

Athens - 2 nights
Nafplio - 3 nights
Naxos - 4 nights
Santorini - 3 nights (maybe 4
Athens - 2 nights

This look good? And what's the best way to get from Athens to Nafplio? And then should we fly or take a boat from Nafplio to Naxos?
Thanks again!
Kelly1212 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 09:15 PM
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REgarding transport to Nafplio. You have 2 choices.

(1) Take metro to airport, rent a car there, because (as Stanbr says) the road avoids Athens and is an easy ride. It involves Metro-ing EAST to Airport in order to drive North & WEST. But there's a reason:

When you've had your time in Nafplio, plan your time back to go to the airport by noon. Then catch the ONLY daily flight to Naxos (Olympic) at I think, 1:30. Takes less than an hour.

(2) BUS--OUTBOUND The other choice is the inter-city bus -- a fast choice outbound from Athens, fast & smooth.
But in coming back, this choice will give you a Looong travel day to get to Naxos.

Busses are very nice "tour- quality" intercity busses, air-condittioned comfy reserved seats. They go every hour on the half-hour, cost 11Euro one-way and take 2.5 hours, while u relax & look at the scenery -- after u emerge from the industrial suburbs, its very scenic over the isthmus & through PEloponnese orange groves.

Taxi to Bus Station "A", (station is chaotic but busses are not) go to Argolid window, ask for tickets on Left side (Dext? Dexter) for best views of the Saronic Gulf.

Once u get to Nafplio, you can rent a car for a day, to do your ruins tour -- easy to get a car, and CHEAP, if you can drive stick-shift, otherwise maybe book in advance (see if your hotelier can set it up or refer u).
Here's a Peloponnese map I like:

In Nafplio I always recommend Hotel Leto, all rooms have view over Old Town, ask for one with a balcony, tell them Janet of Philadelphia sent you. OR you can go right next door to where Stanbr & Spouse stay... Pension Eleni. A win-win situation.

I WISH one ferry from Nafplio to anywhere. Alas, ferry service from Nafplio seems to have ceased.

BUS INBOUND --Easiest to take same bus back, read a book (you will find that good, absorbing books are important for enjoying your Greek 'hopping' experience). Earliest bus is 5:10 am then every hour.

BUS & FERRY?? --- An express bus from Bus Terminal A goes direct to Piraeus for a ferry to Naxos. A "regular" ferry takes about 5 hours, A Flying Cat (large catamaran, seats about 450) takes about 3 hrs. Probably u will want the latter -- still,it will be a long 'transport day' no getting around it.

BUS & PLANE ?? -- An express bus (E 93) from Bus Terminal A goes direct to Athens airport every 35 minutes. If you take the 8 am bus from Naplio to Athens, you could catch that 1:30 Olympic Plane to Naxos.
travelerjan is offline  

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