Help with Greece Trip

Dec 10th, 2007, 01:47 PM
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Help with Greece Trip

All we are planning a trip for next October to Greece. We have never been there so lots we want to see. How does the following sound.
Arrive Athens sightsee spend the night.
3 Nights in Napflion tour to various sights such as Corinth, etc.
Drive back to Athens fly to Mykonos spend 2 nights doing a day trip to Delos. Ferry to Santorini and spend 2 nights. Fly to Athens. Spend last night in Athens and fly back the next day.

Is this too much? Thanks.
travel_princess is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 02:21 PM
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Yes, Princess, it is too much, particularly the, "Arrive Athens, sightsee an spend the night". I don't know how long your flight will be, but to expect to land, find your hotel, and enjoy seeing anything, while suffering from jet lag, is expecting too much.

Getting to each of the places you mention will take the major part of a day, going, and coming.

Either plan to spend longer in Greece, or cut your expectations. You will have a much more enjoyable trip, IMHO.

nukesafe is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 03:00 PM
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Yes, I agree with nukesafe. We're doing a very similar trip but going to Santorini and Naxos instead of Santorini and Mykonos and we are doing it over 2 weeks instead of one. You might be best to go to only one island instead of two.
Lily is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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Thanks for the feedback. We have done alot of Europe trips and since we fly first we are usually not too wiped out on the first day and tend to sitesee. Really only want to see a few sites in Athens and then get out of there. Only want to go to Mykonos to see Delos. Could we do that and only stay one night and then do 3 nights on Santorni? We can add more nights if needed.
travel_princess is offline  
Dec 10th, 2007, 09:21 PM
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FYI-you don't have to go to Mykonos to see Delos. There are also excursions from Naxos and Paros to Delos, which are between Mykonos and Santorini and both accessible by ferry and on Olympic Airlines.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Dec 10th, 2007, 09:50 PM
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Travel_princess, your plan is just doable if nothing goes wrong, but I don't disagree with above posters that you are trying to squeeze in a little too much. Even with flights between Athens and the islands, each transfer will eat up more than half a day.

Mykonos is the logical island to base yourself for a day trip to Delos, although, as brotherleelove said, it can be done from Naxos, Paros, and a couple other islands (Tinos & Syros, I believe).

Some facts to be aware of, however:

1) Delos is closed every Monday and on days when it is too windy for the small taxi boats to reach it (when on Mykonos I had to wait three days to get to Delos for those reasons.
2) Excursion boats to Delos from Paros and Naxos depart on Tue, Thu, and Sun only.
3) The direct ferry from Mykonos to Santorini has a no sail day about every other Wednesday.

With the above constrictions, you will have to plan your itinerary very carefully to fit in all your island plans. If there is any way you can extend your visit to Greece by a few days, that would make all the difference.
Heimdall is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 05:41 PM
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You have certainly done your research and have chosen highlight locations to visit. Heimdall is right you can just do your trip but other than the Naphlion portion of the plan you simply do not have enough time to trally enjoy the rest of the trip.

Unless you are flying direct to Athens most flights require a stop in London or Frankfurt and one ends up in Athens either at 6 in the morning or at 5 at night, Even first class does not allow for a whole lot of energy for exploring Athens after a transatlantic flight.

Getting from one island to another no matter how you travel takes at least half a day and I have been dismayed how much of our vacation has been wasted just trying to get around Greece.

If Delos is an absolute must then I would suggest you just spend the time in Mykonos and enjoy it as well as Delos. If Delos is not a must then definitely spend the second half of your vacation in Santorini.
Or you could just really use your time wisely and stay in the Peloponnese and head down to the Mani and then to Monemvassia. You can easily spend a week in the Peloponnese and not even begin to see it all.
My final advice is, spend less time traveling and more time enjoying wherever you decide to visit.

stanbr is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 10:48 PM
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My advise is, love the journey and not just the destination ("The journey is the reward"). And "just trying to get around Greece" is not a waste, it is an enrichment, the best way to know more about modern Greece.
Gaspard is offline  
Dec 11th, 2007, 11:32 PM
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Gaspard, my heart agrees with your "love the journey" statement, and some of my best trips have been driving around enjoying the sights. One can do that in the Peloponnese.

What I find very hard to love is waiting in airport departure lounges, queuing for and boarding ferries, checking in and out of hotels, etc. The transfer days between islands are mostly wasted in those activities.

Stanbr makes a good case for choosing between Mykonos and Santorini. I don't know which I would choose myself, but if you do want to see Delos allow more than an overnight on Mykonos.

Being October, you don't even need firm reservations on the islands unless you are very particular about accommodation. You could stay on Mykonos until you see Delos, then move on to Santorini. Call ahead from Mykonos to reserve your room. You may even be lucky and get to Delos the first day.

Another way to allow more flexibility would be to turn your trip around, saving Peloponnese and Athens until the end. Fly directly to Santorini, spend two days there, ferry to Mykonos, and once you've seen Delos fly or ferry back to the mainland. You could then spend the rest of your time in the Peloponnese and Athens.
Heimdall is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 05:15 AM
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there are some anwers to "waiting in airport departure lounges, queuing for and boarding ferries, checking in and out of hotels, etc." and chaos in Greece: fatalism, serenity and zen. And sleep. But you know.
Gaspard is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Gaspard, . One certainly requires all those when travelling in Greece!
Heimdall is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 10:45 AM
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Everyone thanks for all of the great advice. Especially the advice about the ferries and weather. We are deciding that we probably need to scale back on some of the places we want to visit. Luckily we do have a nonstop into Athens that gets in around 10am so we can do something the first day or perhaps we just fly on to Santorini and reverse our trip as was suggested.
travel_princess is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 04:16 PM
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Another vote for fly straight to Santorini ... I've done that twice, and have also flown on arrival straight to Crete, Samos & Rhodes.

If you are a bit jet-lagged, the best way to "veg out" on your very first day is to sit and watch a sunset on an island, not sitting in a bustling city (much as I love Athens).

You'll be so energized by the end of your trip, and so much more immersed in the culture, that the sight of the lit-up Acropolis will resonate with you far more than it would have on your first night.
travelerjan is online now  
Dec 12th, 2007, 04:36 PM
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Your trip sounds very busy to me and I'm afraid you'll end up seeing lots of sights but miss the essence of Greece. You need to allow time to sit and relax at the cafes, people watch, wander the streets and take in the culture. I loved Greece and there were places I'd forever regret not seeing, so I'm not discouraging you from places you've dreamed of. I just hope you slow down a bit, maybe plan another trip in the future to do things you miss this time. Just my opinion!
Challiman is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 10:50 PM
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A tip: Corinth is very near Athens,so stop there when returning from Nafplio,and use the time you would spend to go from Nafplion to Corinth and back,to go elsewhere. Have in mind that modern Corinth its self is nothing special. I haven't visit ancient Corinth,so I can't say if worths the visit or not...
mariha2912 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 01:10 AM
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My husband and I spent two weeks this past June in Greece. The most amazing part was staying at a hotel called Perivolas in the breathtaking town of Oia on Santorini. Spend as much time as you can there. Go to their website for a preview of heaven on earth. Book it early. While expensive, it was worth every penny. We travel a ton, and it's truly one of the favorite hotels we've ever experienced.

Skip Nafplion. It's quite ordinary, a city, albeit with some history, but boring, and after being on remarkable Santorini, and being dragged to Corinth (skipable) and Mycanae (much more interesting) in 120 degree heat, my husband begged to go back to the islands. On a lark, we drove south of Nafplion to catch the ferry to Hydra, on a day trip from Nafplion. it was a long, circuitous drive through the mountains. But it was so much better than being in Nafplion that we left all our stuff at the hotel in Nafplion, and unexpectedly stayed in Hydra at the Hotel Bratsera and bought some toothbrushes to see us through. Three days later, we grudgingly returned to Nafplion, but only to regain our possessions from the hotel we'd still been paying.

I'd do this if your time is really short...

Go to Athens, stay at the Hotel Grand Bretagne. Go with a guide arranged by the hotel to the Acropolis that day. Have a wonderful relaxing dinner on the Rooftop Garden Restaurant at the Bretagne. Catch the next day early flight to Santorini. Stay at Perivolas. You may never want to leave the hotel, but do walk into Oia for sunset and dinner. Go to the nearby vineyard one night for cocktail hour. Or two. Take a boat tour with Captain george around the volcanoe's crater.
Stay at least three nights. We stayed six and it was still too short.

Then fly back to Athens and ferry to Hydra for three days at the Bratsera (but don't tell ANYONE about it...keep it's so special). Back to Athens, and drive to Delphi. Then drive back to Athens for the flight home.

Mykonos is very touristy, good for one night only, with the morning foray to Delos, which is cool.

The Pelopponese peninsula is cool, but we ultimately skipped our tour of more of it after seeing Nafplion, also because it was so blasted hot last summer with the heat wave we couldn't take any more ruins not on the sea.

We also flew to Rhodes, which was skippable, though the ancient city was cool. So was Lindos on Rhodes at 8am before the hordes of busloads of tourists descend on it. Leave by 9am. Also, the ancient historical sites close unexpectedly in Greece when there's a heat wave, because tourists tend to pitch off the sides of the cliffs when they faint from the heat and fall over the stones on the ground. No kidding. That heat was brutal, though was Greece was amazing.

And see as much of the country as you can, because you can sleep when you go home.
danalou55 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 09:57 AM
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danalou, you've got me worried now as we'll be staying 3 nights in Nafplio in early June next year. Is there somewhere that you could compare it so I have a better understanding of what you didn't like? I know I wasn't fond of Ronda due to the crowds or of Salzberg due to the weather but Nafplio seems to be a favourite on this board. What did you like better about Hydra? Tell me more!
Lily is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Nafplio is a pleasant city and makes a convenient base for exploring the array of first rate archeological sites in that part of the Peloponnese, but all in all "there's not much 'there' there." Personally, I'd only stay there again if I wanted to use it as a base for seeing the sites.

Hydra is wonderful. Lots of tourists, but they're mostly from cruise ships and go away in the evening. The single town is richly atmospheric, and while there's not much to "do" there, it's a great place for just hanging around. Very good (not great) restaurants and cafes. No beaches but a built-up rock swimming place within walking distance of town with clean water and great views. And -- NO CARS! NO MOTORBIKES! I don't really think anyone can realize how ugly the internal combustion engine has made our lives until they've been to a beautiful place which doesn't have them, like Hydra.
boinky is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 11:42 AM
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Nafplio is a beautful city. In my mind one of THE most beautiful in Greece.

I first visited it 20 years ago and it has continued to pull me back each time I visit this amazing country.

We use it as a base to visit Mycenae, Epidaurus and Tiryns. Superb ancient sites that, in my mind, are 'must sees'.

If it makes any sense, it is a 'gentle' city, relaxed and enjoyable to stroll around and explore. Oh, and it looks pretty damn good too!

Santorini? Ok, if you must. Not one of my favorite islands but i know I'm probably in the minority on this board. Been twice and won't be back. But, that's my personal feelings about the island and nobody elses. Mykonos I enjoyed and Delos was wonderful.

I'll be back in Naplio again this summer and so looking forward to it.

In many ways I sometimes feel that the Greek mainland has much more to offer than the islands and if I had to choose it would the former.

All in all though, I suppose beauty IS in the eye of the beholder and my likes may be others dislikes.

joe4212 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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We much preferred Napflion over touristy Oia and Santorini. Do not skip Napflion and its surrounding antiquities.
HappyTrvlr is offline  

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