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Help for my plan to our first time Greece trip in early May

Help for my plan to our first time Greece trip in early May

Mar 3rd, 2010, 07:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 40
Help for my plan to our first time Greece trip in early May

Dear experienced Greece travelers,

After reading so many Q&As on this site, I came up my preliminary plan and need your help on my questions marked by **:

Again, here is our travel ‘style’: enjoy photograph, enjoy nature (and maximum 3-4 hours hiking), architecture and arts etc.; enjoy some ‘freedom’ and ‘adventure’ by self-traveling; manage for characteristic sightseeing/experience in different places with low to mid-level budget.

Day 1 (Wednesday night): take off 1-stop flight from Washington DC. **Any better deal existed for a round-trip total cheaper than $900?
Day 2 (Thursday afternoon): arrive Athens and stay overnight
Day 3 (Friday): a day trip. **Would a car rental to Nafplio too much of work as a first time visitor? I prefer not to worry about getting lost or looking for a right place to park …but bus trip sounds not convenient or efficient, isn’t it?
Day 4 (Saturday): a morning Ferry to Santorini and stay overnight. **No sunset ferry in early May, true?
Day 5 & 6: two full days to explore by bus/foot
Day 7 (Tuesday) ferry to Naxos and stay overnight. **How often the ferry in a day?
Day 8 – 11: four full days to explore and one day car-rental to the mountain village. **Can I fill 3-day up by bus/foot if not handing over the beach (still cold to swim)?
Day 12 (Sunday): ferry to Athens and stay overnight.
Day 13 (Monday): morning city walk and afternoon flight home. **Do I need one more day for some city highlight?

**Is there any concern if I only book flight and hotels now and leave the ferry tickets and the car rental till after we arrive there?

Thanks for your time!

Glander (a made-up name by close sound to my full name)
Glander is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2010, 11:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,819
If you have only one day for Nafplio ... I hesitate to recommend it. But if you DO want to, you would be better off taking a taxi (€10) to the bus station for the 7 am or the 8:30 bus. Taxi at 6 am will take 20 minutes... later taxi will be in traffic). Bus costs 11.5€ takes 2.5 hours. The 8:30 bus arrives 11 am. The last bus back is 20:00 (8 pm), arrive 10:30 pm. then you would have to get up at crack o'dawn to reach the port for your santrini ferry

I say, NO, on Naplion.
Instead, stay in Athens on Friday, and see the Acropolis and the new Acropolis museum!!! Quote "Do I need one more day for some city highlight?" No, Glander, you don't need ONE more day --- you need MANY more days, for a city that's 4,000 years old and the cradle of our civilization. But at least, give it one more day.

About your asterisks and leaving Ferry tickets until arrival -- yes, it should be OK . However, in all your writing you did not say WHEN you are coming ... and if it's at the height of High Season, or on the eve of a major holiday, it might matter.

It is always thoughtful to give exact dates, if you want advice on pre-booking or not.
travelerjan is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 02:41 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,585
The OP said the trip was in early May. So totally agree you can get tickets for ferry once over there (unless it's some special holiday weekend). Also agree with Jan that day trip to Naplion is not worth the trouble. It's a lovely town, I totally enjoyed my three days there, but wouldn't bother for just one, especially with so few days in Athens.

I think the original plan is just fine with that exception. We had two full days each on Santorini, Naxos and Paros and loved that combination. Felt it was just enough time (there's never really enough) to relax and see the main towns and one or two smaller ones. We did everything on the islands by bus and while that doesn't allow you to see all the towns on each island, we didn't feel the need to.

Here's my trip report: http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...rip-report.cfm

And here's my photos: www.pbase.com/annforcier/greek_islands and www.pbase.com/annforcier/greek_mainland
isabel is offline  
Mar 4th, 2010, 04:57 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 40
Thank you so much, travelerjan and isabel for such a quick response! Sure, I'd forget Naplion and add one more day in the end to explore more of the city by bus/foot.

Glander is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 09:02 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 94
I'm not sure how firm any of your reservations are, but I just recently discovered Iberia has round trip fares to Athens from Dulles for $636(includes all taxes, fees, etc.). It's one stop through Madrid. You'd need to leave early in May (before the 5th).

Otherwise $900 to Athens seems like a decent price. I'm looking at $950 in mid may through either Paris or Munich.

The only other advise I have to offer is that you might want to consider flying to Santorini the day you get into Athens. Both Olympic and Aegean have late afternoon and evening flights. Again depending on how early in May, the total fare for 2 people could be about 150 euro one way. You could then save Athens for the end of the trip. As to how long to stay in Athens that's certainly a personal preference. I would think 2 nights would allow you cover the highlights. I've talked to more people who wished they'd spent less time in Athens than more.
Roger1x is offline  
Mar 5th, 2010, 08:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 40

Which site for the $636? Doesn't sound possible. Anyway, I just booked the $920.

I added one day for Athens in the end. I'm still not sure how to make the best use of the two full days.

I'm not in a hurry so ferry should save some $$. It ended up we'd stay 4 nights at Athens, 3 nights at Santorini and 5 nights at Naxos. I haven't fixed my hotels yet, so I could still redivide each length if there is a better arrangement.
Glander is offline  
Mar 6th, 2010, 11:52 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 94
The $636 fare is on Iberia's web site. Iberia started flying from Dulles to Madrid a couple of years ago and then stopped last year. It looks like they are starting up that service again and offering a good fare in late April and very early May.

The connections to Athens aren't the best as you need to stay in the Madrid airport several hours each way. Also, Iberia is not the best airline in the world.

Have a great trip.
Roger1x is offline  

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