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Late August trip to Greece?

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Feb 18th, 2014, 11:35 AM
  #1
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Late August trip to Greece?

I am getting closer to finalizing our plans for Europe.

I have some questions..

My current thought is to fly from San Fran to Rome and spend 2 nights there to recover from jet lag (utilizing United award miles). Then fly to Athens for 1 or 2 nights, then to Mykonos for 3 nights, than Naxos for 3 nights, then Santorini for 2 nights.

I have a total of 17 nights allocated for the trip.

Here are my questions (some may possibly be construed as "stupid" but never the less...)

Are Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini completely different that I should go to all three or will visiting 1 or 2 of them satisfy my need to "experience" Greece?

What is Athens like? It tends to have a somewhat negative reputation?

I usually like to visit 3 or more countries during a Eurotrip.

What might be a good option from a transportation standpoint to visit after Santorini?

Thanks for your thoughts!!!
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Feb 18th, 2014, 03:14 PM
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What are you doing for the other five days? I might spend a few more days in Rome and Santorini.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 05:22 PM
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Is Rome a destination or just a place to sleep?

Your itinerary is pretty complicated and there are many different ways to connect if you indeed visit all these places. If possible, hold your flight arrangement until you have sure you can connect destinations.

Here are some considerations.
If you arrival in Rome is early, it makes a poor place to recover from jet lag. You might not be able to check-in and need to stay up anyway. Why not travel further instead? You can doze off on a plane safer and easier than at a cafe table.
Returning from Santorini to CA is a long trip. It would be easier from ATH or even FCO.
You can travel Santorini-Naxos-Mykonos or the other way. Before committing to the direction, look at ferry schedules, days attractions are open (e.g. Delos is closed on Monday), and how you connect islands to the mainland.

There are many possibilities:
1. Fly SFO-ATH, boat/plane to JMK, boat to Naxos, boat to Santorini, fly JTR-FCO, then FCO-SFO
2. Fly SFO-JMK, boat to Naxos, boat to Santorini, fly JTR-ATH, fly ATH-FCO, fly FCO-ATH
3. Fly SFO-JTR, boat to Naxos, boat to Mykonos, fly/boat to ATH, fly ATH-FCO, fly FCO-SFO.

I would not plan on staying less than 3 nights per island. If boats are not running, you might miss a day. With 3 nights, one day delay means you have at least one full day. If you start with 2 nights, you will be down to zero day.

Mykonos - party island, wind mills, Delos, mobbed by cruise boat passengers during the day, maze alleyways
Naxos - pretty beaches and mountain villages, quieter due to lack of cruise boats
Santorini - caldera view, Akrotiri, mobbed by cruise boat passengers during the day, honeymooners.

Athens is a not to be missed destination for a Greek experience. When you see the lit up Acropolis at night eating Greek food at tavernas, you will be glad you are there. I was there last fall. The demonstrations take place around Syntagma square and most of places of interest to tourists are away from the square. It is when you have to go to the other side, such as the Museum Cycladic arts or the Benaki Museum that you have to find a way to cut across or get around the square.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 08:34 PM
  #4
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Greg...the cisual of sitting at a taverna, eating wonderul food and looking up at the lit up Acropolis did it for me!

Rome just seemed to be the closest I could get to Athens with award miles.

The other thought we have...

My wife and I have never been to Ireland together. We are thinking of flying into Dublin as an entry point to Europe and spend a few days there to get over the jetlag and for me to drink plenty of Guinness!

From Dublin we can fly to Athens, then onto Santorini (and skip Mykonos and Naxos) then fly somewhere else to wind down and fly home from.

Or fly home from Dublin and fly in somewhere else...

Lots of thinking to do, but I think Athens and Santorini will at least get me to check Greece off of my been to list. If we like, we can always go back.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 09:03 PM
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Masterphil, if you do decide to go to Dublin you might be able to snag a non-stop flight to Santorini on Ryan Air. Check it out. Regardless, I would always encourage you to save your time in Athens until the end of your trip so you aren't backtracking needlessly and so you have those extra 2-3 days to get back to the mainland for your flight home in case there's some unforseen delay in getting off the islands. Nothing will ruin your memories of Greece faster than missing that flight and having to pay for another ticket home.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 10:38 PM
  #6
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Wow!!! That's perfect!!!!

Dublin ...Ryan Air to Santorini, back to Athens!!!

Brilliant!

Now I need one more destination.

Thank you for that Brother!!!

Athens to where is my next question!
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Feb 18th, 2014, 11:12 PM
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Upon closer examination of Ryan Air's routes it doesn't appear that they have a non-stop flight to Santorini. They do, however, have a non-stop flight to Chania on Crete. Right now I'm seeing one-way flights for €128, which is quite cheap. You can spend some time on Crete then take the highspeed ferry to Santorini from Heraklion. After Santorini it's up to you.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 09:08 AM
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Thanks! I actually saw that! Dublin to Santorini would have been too awesome!

Maybe Dublin to Athens and fly to Santorini from Athens.

So far...

Our trip has become Dublin, Athens, Santorini (now looking for other ideas)

(never been to Spain, Portugal, Poland, Hungary,Scandinavia, Finland) For some reason Krakow, Poland is of interest, but doesn't look easy to get in and out of in a reasonable amount of time.

Originally, my plan was to go to Scandinavia.

For those who have been to both....is the Amalfi Coast another version of Cinque Terre or is it something completely different?

BTW...as usual...thanks for all of the wonderful information
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Feb 19th, 2014, 09:16 AM
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I liked your original Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini plan to give you an idea of the islands, all different experiences.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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Check out the Olympic Air website. They just today released some VERY cheap one-way fares for August, Athens to the islands, €45.64, all taxes included.

https://www.olympicair.com/en/Travel...30Destinations
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Feb 19th, 2014, 11:46 AM
  #11
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Thanks! I just saw that on Kayak!!
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Feb 19th, 2014, 12:07 PM
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Happy..you will really hate the new thought...

Fly to Stockholm stay for 3 nights, over night cruise to Helsinki (1 night), stay Helsinki 1 night, fly to Santorini 5 nights, fly to Athens 1 night, fly to Dublin for 5 nights. (or something like that)

That gets some exposure to Scandinavia, allows us to kick back in Santorini, eat in a taverna looking up at the Acropolis, and drinking lots of Guinness and enjoying some drive time in Ireland!
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