Help with Itinerary

Old Feb 28th, 2013, 05:32 AM
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Help with Itinerary

My husband and I are planning a trip to Greece with our 14 year old son in May this year. My son loves Greek mythology while we would like to do sightseeing and island hopping. We are not interested in nightlife. We have about 10-12 days including travel time. Would appreciate help / suggestions on the tentative itinerary we've drawn up :

Day 1 : Athens
Day 2 : Athens
Day 3 : Day trip to Delphi
Day 4 : Day trip to the Peloponnese
Day 5 : Athens
Day 6 : Crete (by air)
Day 7 : Crete
Day 8 : Santorini (by ferry - have heard that the approach to Santorini by ferry is beautiful - but that would mean that we have to take a slow ferry)
Day 9 : Santorini
Day 10 antorini
Day 11 : Mykonos (by ferry)
Day 12 : Mykonos
Day 13 : Back to Athens - take flight back at 5 pm

Is this doable or should I drop one of the islands ? If so, which one should I drop ? Should I keep more number of days for the islands ?

Thanks
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 06:12 AM
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Recommend you save Athens for last, and fly straight to your first island. Returning to Athens (by air) the same day as your flight home usually works out, but adds an unnecessary risk.

Three islands in one week are too many. You are allowing only one full day for Crete, and one full day for Mykonos. Some people will recommend dropping Mykonos, but with your son's interest in mythology, you may want to do the day trip from there to the archaeological site at Delos. If you do keep Mykonos, then the other island would probably have to be Santorini.

On the other hand, if you do decide to keep Crete in your itinerary, add as many days to that destination as you can. The island is huge, and needs time to do it justice. You won't get the beautiful views of Santorini on a catamaran arriving from Crete. You will be in an enclosed cabin, and the ferry is coming from the wrong direction. There is only one slow ferry per week (on Sundays) from Crete to Santorini.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 05:45 PM
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Since your son is interested in mythology (bravo!) then I do think your first stop should be Athens. It really grounds you in the history by paying homage to the Parthenon and visiting the famous sites. I am sure you will all enjoy walking the Plaka, Agora, the Acropolis and visiting the new museum. Try to make time for the National Archeological Museum - it is well worth it. Also, the trip to Delphi is breathtaking. Lots of historic sites on the Peloponnese, but I think you are trying to pack in too much by going there in a day trip. You might drop Crete and spend extra time on the mainland. Crete is such a large island and so distant, you really aren't going to have enough time there to see much. Also, it's advisable to stay a night in Athens before your flight home to be sure you make connections. Add a couple of days to the front of the trip on the mainland - spend a night or two in Naufplion to visit the amazing Epidaurus, Mycenae, Tiryns. Then head out to Santorini for relaxation and breathtaking views Then on to Mykonos for the lovely beaches and town plus a side-trip to historic Delos.
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 08:07 PM
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Thanks a ton for your suggestions ...really helps to sort things out
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Old Feb 28th, 2013, 11:22 PM
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I agree with parosblue that a night or two at Nafplio would be a good idea, especially with so much to see in the area. My reasons for suggesting flying straight to the islands upon arrival are twofold:

First of all, you are already at the airport, and a flight to the islands takes only about 45 minutes, about the same time it takes to get into central Athens. Going into Athens twice means two trips back and forth to the airport, and checking in and out of hotels twice, effectively losing you a day of sightseeing.

Secondly, going back to Athens the day before your flight offers no safety margin, because if your flight or ferry is cancelled for any reason you probably won't get back in time for your flight the next day (unless it is a late afternoon or evening flight). Cancellations are rare, but there is still the occasional 48 hour ferry strike, and threats of stoppage by air traffic controllers. Being on the mainland those last few days will give you some extra peace of mind.
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