Greek Honeymoon

Old Jan 9th, 2014, 07:29 AM
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Greek Honeymoon

Hi all,

I'm new to Fodor's, but an experienced traveler.

My Fiance and I are getting married on August 16, 2014. We'll leave for Greece on the 17th, and arrive on the 18th. We have already booked our flights (Arriving in Athens at 10:00 AM Monday the 18th, and Departing on Sunday the 31st 12:00 NOON).

I have researched many different Greek travel agencies, and they seem to be extremely overpriced. They're coming back with approximately €4,000-5,000 for the two of us. This includes transport between islands, and all hotels - however not much more. I have started researching on my own, and have been able to find the same trip for approximately €2,000 (Using Skyscanner.ca, greekferries.forth-crs.gr and booking.com).

Basically, I'd like to know if anyone with experience traveling the Greek Islands could comment on my proposed itinerary and advise if I'm cramming too little, too much, etc.

Monday 18th Athens
Tuesday 19th Delphi
Wednesday 20th Athens - Mykonos (via Piraues)
Thursday 21st Mykonos
Friday 22nd Mykonos - Paros
Saturday 23rd Paros
Sunday 24th Paros - Naxos
Monday 25th Naxos
Tuesday 26th Naxos - Santorini
Wednesday 27th Santorini
Thursday 28th Santorini
Friday 29th Santorini
Saturday 30th Santorini - Athens
Sunday 31st Athens

Basically, we'd arrive in Athens, drive/bus to Delphi and stay one night. Then take a Ferry to Mykonos and travel between all islands via Ferry.

Finally, we'll fly back from Santorini to Athens. That flight is 7:00 AM on the Sunday morning. We arrive in Athens at approx 7:50 AM, and then I'm planning to stay in the airport until our international flight home 12:00 NOON. I've heard that flights can be cancelled from Santorini to Athens often - is this risky?

Any other thoughts are REALLLLY appreciated. If you think there are islands we're missing, please advise.

Really looking forward to hearing from all of you, and want to thank all of those in advance who take the time to comment!

Sheldon
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 08:07 AM
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Taking ferries between islands is quite time consuming.

Departures are usually around noon, which means that you will lose the biggest part of the day with packing, checking out and getting to the port on time.
Arriving at the next island you will have to get to your hotel check in and unpack.....

That would leave you at best 1,5 days for Mykonos, Paros and Naxos.

On your return it is advisable to fly one day before your flight back home to Athens, to leave enough space in case of any delays or cancellations.
Flights are being cancelled on very rare occasions due to bad weather, but it is better to stay on the safe side and spend your last days in Athens.

On your arrival day i see a flight of Aegean/Olympic Airways to Mykonos for as less as 54 Euro, leaving at 13:25 hrs.
This way you could fly on the same day to Mykonos, and save Athens for last.

Finally were it me, i would skip one of the islands, and stay longer at the other ones.
Maybe Mykonos - Naxos - Santorini would be a nice combination, that would combine 2 cosmopolitan islands with Naxos, a quite different island from the other two.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 10:09 AM
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Good advice above. Although flights are rarely cancelled it's never a good idea to tempt the gods. Save your time on the mainland for the end of your trip so you have those extra days to get to Athens just in case Zeus is in a bad mood.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 10:23 AM
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Hi Sheldon. Congratulations on your wedding. Your flight times are identical to ours in June so that sounds like you are on Air Canada rouge. Getting in to Athens at 10 gives you the perfect opportunity to make the most of that first day before excitement adrenalin recedes into jet lag.
I am going to essentially agree with everything Clauser said.
Find a connecting flight immediately after you land in Athens.
Personally I would reverse Clausers plan and fly immediately to Santoirni. This is the quintessential honeymoon island and making it your first Greek experience will be a lifetime memory.
You can easily do this trip booking yourselves. Flights are on Aegean and Olympic Air and their web sites are easy to use. Bookoing dot com will give you lots of great booking options.
Once you decide on an island you can come back here and ask for advice on where to stay and hotels.
For example on Santorini you must book a hotel with a caldera view. An ocean view is quite likely not a caldera view. We got tricked by that a few years ago.
This is what Santorini is about. You are going to have to allot a big portion of your budget for Santorini but it is worth it.
Best villages for that caldera view are Fira Main town Firestofani just above Fira but much more quiet ( cruise crowds don't go there.) Also the village of Oia is very popular but is quite crowded by cruise ship crowds and for sunset.
Stay in Santorini as long as you budget holds out. We normally do 3 or 4 days max then head off to a more quiet island.
Santorini http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632154800782/

Again I agree with Clauser three more islands is too many for the balance of your trip,
I would suggest a max of two and even better just one. Greece is all about slowing down and taking it all in, particularly on a honeymoon where you should be concentrating on yourselves not logistics of ferry travel between too many islands.

I think Naxos is a perfect companion island for Santorini. It has a lovely old town and waterfront promenade topped with a kastro. It has good beaches, a few antiquities and mountain villages where you can experience what Greece used to be like. You can easily spend a week on Naxos just absorbing all it has to offer.
Trip around Naxos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7634605629689/

Mykonos is lovely however it is in many ways similar to Naxos only priced and crowded like Santorini. It has a very active night life and you will probably have a good time.
However if you just want a taste of Mykonos you could take the day boat excursion from Naxos to Delos and then on to Mykonos. That will give you a taste of the island without breaking the budget.
Day trip Delos and Mykonos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7637922138466/

If you decide you want to do something completely different after Naxos you could get back to Athens then go to Nafplion. it is a lovely seaside city just two hours from Athens. It feels like an island and has two Venetian era fortresses and a great old town area.
Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632094108982/

I totally agree with Clauser do not try to connect on the same day as your return flight. Athens is a wonderful city and deserves at lease two days. Find a hotel near the acropolis and explore. At the very least got to Athens the day before your flight.
Athens http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632121475515/
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 12:02 PM
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Fantastic advice from the posters above. These three posters regularly provide truly excellent advice on Greece travel.

All I can add is that we love Nafplio and the Peloponnese in its entirety. There is a huge quantity of sights in the vicinity of Nafplio, so if you decided to add it, I'd suggest it merits at least 2.5-3 days (Mycenae, Epidavros, Tiryns, Nemea, Corinth which could be done on the drive from Athens, and much more) which would mean you likely only visit one island.
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 01:02 PM
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Absolutely agree with TexasAggie and everyone above. We spent a week on Naxos and 4 nights in Nafplio and loved them both!

You can see our pics here, please excuse the crazy family pics

Naxos. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gir...7627668851905/

Nafplio http://www.flickr.com/photos/pug_gir...7627669385061/
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 02:50 PM
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"Fantastic advice from the posters above. These three posters regularly provide truly excellent advice on Greece travel."

I've obviously done something wrong in my Peloponnese posting (by Tommmo) below , not to attract any replies with advice.
Appreciate knowing my mistakes,guys, for a better response in future .....
Thanks
Tommmo
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 02:56 PM
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I don't think you have done anything wrong...but perhaps they didn't see your post...or don't have the answers for you...I have been to Nafplio and Naxos but can't help with the questions on your other post...
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 03:56 PM
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Nice pics.....shame about the younger lad
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Old Jan 9th, 2014, 08:57 PM
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great photos, jamikins, I remember your queries beforehand, I see your party fully enjoyed 2 of the favorite destinations of both stanbr and travelerjan ... we each keep going back there (and meeting up, actually), and each time, discovering new things. Now have you yet visited our THIRD favorite destination, Chania?? Put it next on the list! PS: one question -- who the heck is "pug Girl" noted on your pis?
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Old Jan 11th, 2014, 07:00 AM
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So glad y'all made it to Nemea, jamikins, One of our favorite sights! Cal Berkeley has done a wonderful job on the museum
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Old Jan 11th, 2014, 09:04 AM
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Agree, TexasAggie. Last June I was quite taken with the sensitive restoration and good signage of this important (and overlooked) ancient site -- a contrast to some other neglected sites. When we visited the impressive small museum, the light dawned; many wall plaques honoring major donors -- Berkeley knows how to attract big bucks for this ongoing project. Deep pockets!
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 09:53 AM
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Thanks to everyone for their insightful responses!

After considering the feedback, and a discussion with my Fiance, I think we've landed on something a little more simplistic. We'll plan to spend 3 night in Athens, 5 nights in Santorini, and a further 4/5 nights in Mykonos.

I'm OK with finding suitable hotel in Athens (assumption is that I'd like something central, near the attractions, and close to the bus station for an tours), however I'd like some help on selecting a hotel/villa in Santorini and Mykonos.

Every forum has a different recommendation, but as the group above seem to be experienced travelers in the area - I figure I may as well give you all the benefit of the doubt!

Budget for the accommodation is approximately $250-$400/night in Canadian Dollars.

Looking forward to any suggestions!!
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 10:24 AM
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Glad to hear back from you Sheldon. A couple of things. Your 3 nights in Athens, how are you planning on them. Are you sticking to your original plan to spend those first nights in Athens and then flying back to Athens the morning of your return flight? Secondly you need to start thinking in terms of a budget in Euros not Canadian dollars, we all have to be talking about the same currency.
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 11:05 AM
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For accomodations on Santorini please tell me which village you've chosen and the sort of facilities/amenities you require. You can get a lot of information about hotels on TripAdvisor by reading reviews. Use the filter system at http://www.booking.com to narrow down the choices to those you can afford in the village of your choice.
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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For Athens, we very much enjoy Hotel Herodion (very close to the new Acropolis Museum, which is absolutely world class)
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Old Jan 15th, 2014, 08:59 PM
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Sheldon, as Stanbr says, it is thoughtful to give your budget range in Euros, so that others do not have the chore of converting ... the website for you to do this is http://www.xe.com/ucc/
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Old Jan 28th, 2014, 05:05 PM
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Thanks again everyone.

To try and answer all outstanding questions in one post:

- budget in Euro is €140-260 per night. But that's a very loose estimate. We'll pay more or less dependent - but I'd like that to be the average throughout the 3 locations. My guess would be more in santorini and Mykonos, and less in Athens.

- I would like some nice accommodation in santorini, whereas Mykonos and Athens can be slightly more simplistic
- for santorini, I'd like something in a cave, views of the caldera and possibly a hot tub. Most certainly, a semi-private balcony.
- I've not decided on regions within the islands - that's part of what I'd like to know from all involved here. I know fira offers caldera views- anywhere else?

- Mykonos actually seems the more daunting task.
- we'd like something comfortable, allowing for day trips - so reasonably close to city, but we don't mind a hike.

- I think I'll take everyone's advice and do my 3 days in Athens at the end - ensuring I'm not too reliant on a flight from santorini to catch my connection back to canada.

Does my budget allow for that in anyone's opinion?

I'll continue to scour trip advisor and booming.com, but will rely on all of you, as well.


Check back soon!!

Sent from my iphone, sorry for any spelling mistakes!
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Old Jan 28th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Check the Delfini Hotel's Cavehouse Suite, Marizan Villas and Oia's Collection Villas.
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