Help Needed with Greece Itinerary

Old Aug 28th, 2004, 02:07 PM
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Help Needed with Greece Itinerary

I am planning on traveling to Greece in Oct, 2005; will spend time with a hiking group on Crete and in the S.Pelopponese, but will have about a week solo to explore on my own. I would like to spend a few days in Athens, with maybe a day trip to Delphi; then spend a few days on Santorini...does this sound reasonable? Any tips or links to helpful websites would be appreciated. Is a woman traveling alone in Greece "accepted"? I have traveled through France and Italy solo and felt safe...is Greece similar in terms of safety?
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Old Aug 28th, 2004, 03:59 PM
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You'll save money and time if you go directly to Santorini from Crete. It's only 65 miles north. Otherwise you'll be doubling back over yourself. If you can start in the Peloponnese, then go to Chania, Crete by ferry, then to Santorini then back to Athens for the trip to Delphi you'd be taking the most efficient route. If this isn't possible, you can either fly to Santorini from Athens or take a ferry. The timetables in October won't be published until sometime in the summer of '05, but there are at least 2 per day to and from Santorini from Athens/Piraeus.

It's no problem for a woman travelling alone in Greece.
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 09:55 AM
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Is it possible to go from Santorini to Chania? I am starting my hiking trip in Chania and planning to go to Santorini first..would I have to go back to Athens to get to Chania? And would it be better to take a ferry to Santorini from Athens or to fly? Also, where is the best area to stay on Santorini? It looks like Fira is the most centrally located; is it pretty easy to get around on buses or by taxis? Thanks for your help!
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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 12:22 PM
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It's not possible to go directly from Santorini to Chania. But there is a ferry from Santorini to Heraklion, and you can go from Heraklion to Chania by bus. There's a fast boat (Flying Dolphin) that takes less than 2 hours, but I'm not sure if it runs that route in October of '05, you'll have to find out once you're in Athens by contacting their offices in Piraeus. Perhaps a travel agent in town could assist you, or when you first arrive at the Athens airport there might be someplace there to inquire such as a Tourist Information Kiosk.

http://www.gtp.gr/

Good news: The above website indicates that there is both a Flying Dolphin and a car ferry from Heraklion in October of this year, so there will probably be a similar timetable for October of '05.

Here's a link for the Flying Dolphin website:

http://www.greekislands.gr/hfd/

If you can afford to fly from Athens to Santorini, that's what I recommend, but there is a ferry as well. Aegean Air and Olympic Air both fly to Santorini and Heraklion. Aegean seems to have better fares and you can purchase from them online. Taking the ferry has the advantage of allowing you to see some of the other islands along the way. The disadvantage is the time factor and the possibility of cancellation due to weather.

http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/

http://www.olympicairlines.com/

Fira is certainly the most centrally located, but I always recommend Oia, it's a much more traditional and beautiful environment on Santorini. the buses and taxis are very efficient there. If you're in Fira there's a taxi stand near the bus square and if you're in an outlying village and want a taxi any business will call one for you. Usually the driver who shows up will be a cousin!! ;-)






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Old Aug 29th, 2004, 06:44 PM
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Be aware that it isn't easy getting good information on the boats. I had read that there should be a ferry from Heraklion to Santorini on our day of the week, but when we got to Heraklion for two nights, I spent the better part of the day securing our tickets to Santorini. My hotel assured me there was no ferry, but only a hydrofoil the next day. I went to several travel agencies and maritime booking agencies in town and they also all told me there was no ferry, only the hydrofoil, which we finally booked. When we arrived at the port we saw a huge ferry just heading out of the port -- to Santorini! Don't book ahead, and when you get there, go right down to the port and check the offices.
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Old Aug 30th, 2004, 09:51 AM
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Patrick's advice is very good. The ferry schedules sometimes change without notice, and the only way to get accurate information is to contact the ferry office nearest you at the time.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 07:57 AM
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We flew from Athens to Crete and were glad we had. We went the first of Nov. and met many people who were unable to get to the islands they had planned due to rough seas (even on cruise ships!). Chania was our favorite city on Crete; you will easily be able to take a bus from Herakalion to Chania (in fact, you can access the schedule of the K-Tel bus line). Be sure to check out if the Samaria Gorge is still open for hiking - the earlier in Oct. the better; we missed it.
Delphi was great, but if you don't have a fixed itinerary yet, let me put in a plug for Meteora (Delphi is on the way); those monasteries perched precariously on mountain monolithes are one of the most awesome things you'll visit anywhere.
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Old Sep 1st, 2004, 11:04 AM
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I think that your itinerary sounds quite reasonable.

I agree with broterleelove's rec. for Oia. (Prounounced E-a, long E, short a). It is gorgeous and has the most amazing sunsets.

I didn't stay there myself, although I did spend an evening there. We took the bus one way and at taxi the other. Both very easy.

When I was on Santorini I stayed in a village near Fira called Imerovigli. It was very charming and quiet and withing walking distance to Fira, although I don't know if I would feel comfortable walking it alone after dark.

I also don't think I would want to stay in Fira itself due to the influx of cruise ship passengers flooding the town each day. Although I've heard the nightlife there is good.

Have a great trip- I can't wait to get back to Greece!



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Old Sep 3rd, 2004, 06:45 AM
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With the 1 week, I can think it is reasonable to see Athens, Delphi, and Santorini.
I would think a couple days in Athens (and see the must-sees), 1 for Delphi, and the rest for Santorini, including going back and forth (if you are going by boat).


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