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Itinerary for Sept in Greece - Crete, Santorini Athens - too much?

Itinerary for Sept in Greece - Crete, Santorini Athens - too much?

Old Feb 25th, 2011, 11:49 AM
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Itinerary for Sept in Greece - Crete, Santorini Athens - too much?

9/16 fly from NJ, USA to Athens on overnight flight that arrives in Athens at 10am on 9/17. 9/17 midday fly from Athens to Chania, Crete arrive 15:10pm. 9/17 and 9/18 nights in Chania. 9/19 leave Chania and drive coast to Heraklion to see Knossos. 9/19 night in Heraklion. Leave Crete morn 9/20 via ferry for Santorini. Stay in Oia nights of 9/20, 9/21, 9/22, 9/23. On 9/24 Leave Santorini by air and arrive in Athens midday. See Acropolis.
9/25 day trip on tour bus to Delphi. 9/25 night in Athens. 9/26 fly home.
We have had 'busy' vacations with a lot of travel. And we have spent one solid week in a single city, like Paris. If I 'trust my gut' this feels like too much traveling? But since I have never been to Greece I am not sure. We are looking for a mix of island beauty, history, being a tourist and relaxing. Opinions appreciated.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 05:32 PM
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You appear to have 9 days. Nothing wrong with your plan it is doable, you are not trying to do too many hops. However you could easily spend all 9 days in Western Crete alone and miss 50% of the good stuff in the west alone.
Personally I think you might want to consider how much time you are spending in Santorini. I think it is a must see location because of the views but after 2 or 3 nights I am ready to move on. You could buy a bit more time in Crete or Athens if you drop a day in Oia.
I might suggest that you fly to Chania on the day you arrive. Yes you will be tired but I'd rather tough it out on that arrival day for a few more hours and start to decompress in Chania rather than Athens. Two days in Chania is enough time to start to find you way around the old city but does not give you time for a day trip to explore west to Falasarnia or east to Ancient Aptera.
You should really also budget at least 2 days in Athens in the Plaka area. History lives here.
Western Crete
http://travel.webshots.com/album/559511069PIlVxI
Athens
http://travel.webshots.com/album/570719132pdjjHG
Have fun planning
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 07:38 PM
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Agree with stanbr. You really should have 2 full days in Athens. I'd do 3 nights in Santorini and add 1 more night to Athens. Crete is a huge island with so many things to see/do. Your 3 nights in Crete will give you a taste of what the island has to offer.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 08:27 PM
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I agree with Stanbar and chris45ny about Santorini. If you are just going there to see the view, then drop one night and add it to Athens which you are selling very short.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 10:14 PM
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If I'm asked I always tell visitors that staying a minimum of 4 nights will give them a chance to relax and get into the rhythm of local island life, but you really do need to find more time for Athens.
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Old Feb 26th, 2011, 07:16 AM
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Thanks to all. Your replies are very helpful. We are flying directly to Crete when we hit Athens airport. There is enough buffer between arrival and departure to handle delays and get vertical for some time.
I do agree we are selling Athens short. We will cut back Santorini one night. I know we will have to return to Greece another time after this visit. We are missing a lot, but will get a sense of Greece and the area.
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Old Feb 26th, 2011, 08:09 AM
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I think you're not allowing enough for jet lag and sleepiness after you arrive. If it was me, the day after I arrived from an overnight flight, I'd be out of it. Wasting my one day in Chania.

I'd subtract another day from Santorini (down to 2 nights) and add it to Crete.

But maybe you're not subject to jet lag and can sleep well on planes.
Mimar is offline  
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