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Need Help! Athens, Santorini, and Thessaloniki?

Need Help! Athens, Santorini, and Thessaloniki?

Dec 14th, 2009, 07:52 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4
Need Help! Athens, Santorini, and Thessaloniki?

My husband and I have booked our airfare to Greece leaving Atlanta on 5/11 and returning on 5/20. I want to experience everything that Greece has to offer, but I can't on such little time. I would like to visit at least one of the islands. Which do you prefer and why? I want to spend the rest of the trip on the mainland traveling to historic sites and learning as much as I can about the culture. When we're in Athens we'll be using points and stay at the Hilton. I would like to venture out of Athens and see some of the surrounding cities, Thessaloniki? Delphi? Others?

Who are we? We love to travel, explore, and learn about different culures. We're in our thirties and we also like good food and a good nightlife. Greece has been my dream trip for years and I'm super excited!

Please help!
plan2travl is offline  
Dec 14th, 2009, 08:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 880
If you can only visit one island, I would choose Santorini because of it's wonderful views!

We stayed at Delfini and enjoyed every minute! We especially liked Santorini Mau for dinner and entertainment.

We rented a car upon arrival and drove around the island and visited several wineries.

Have Fun! Laurie
Laurie is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 04:45 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
You've effectively got 7.5 days (assuming you're arriving in ATH on morning of the 12th). Not much time to see 3 areas.

I'd spend 3 days in Athens (we prefer longer and had no problem using the time, but Athens can offer so much. Great city).

On the mainland, I'd also suggest Nafplio. 2+hr ride from Athens. [bus is cheap, about 13E, very clean and convenient] Wonderful town on the coast with some great restaurants, shops and steeped in history. Great acces to Mycenae (don't think you'll have time for Epidauros). Need 2 days.

Think Thessaloniki is too far for you.

Santorini is breathtaking - especially in Oia. It's a stretch with your time, but it is a beautiful island.

I'd probably concentrate on 2 areas, but Santorini (or another island) maybe doable if you fly to Santorini the morning you land in ATH, then fly back after 2 days. That leaves you about 5 days to split between Athens and Nafplio. Doable but tight.
dfr4848 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 04:57 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
PS - as you may know, the Hilton is not that close to most of the historical sites in and around the Acropolis. It's near the Evangelismos Metro stop which will give you access to the Acropolis etc, but just factor in a little more time.
dfr4848 is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 07:05 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,837
I TOTALLY agree with dfr, and have done multiple trips to the places mentioned. I HOPE you are getting that Delta nonstop from USA that arrives about 9am - gives you so many more options! Also agree fly immediately to Santorini don't waste your cruelly-short time by going into/out of Athens twice.

THEN, flying back from Santorini, you have 2 options for Nafplio: (1) take bus X93 from airport (70 mins) to intercity (KTEL) bus [email protected] Kissifou Ave for 2.5 hr trip...or (2)pick up rental car @airport, take same modern divided hi-way, no traffic lights all the way, easy. Having a car in Nafplio enables you to see Mycenae & Epidaurus in 1 day, maybe even Tiryns too! Do some "homework" (Rough Guide is best detailed guide). Hotel Leto/Pension Eleni are excellent budget lodgings with view down over lovely Nafplio to the sea. After 2+ days, return car to airport, take 45-min Metro to Plaka district of Athens for rest of stay.

If this is your "dream trip" (as it was mine, for decades), please do research somewhat (and not just on internet), and you will derive so much more from it. Enjoy your planning! PS: May is an ideal month to come -- you get the most time for your money, because the sun doesn't set until after 8:30!
travelerjan is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 07:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 4
Thanks everyone for your help! We are arriving on the 9am flight in Athens and will then fly to Santorini. I'm excited about doing further research and planning....I'll be back I'm sure with more questions. Thanks again!
plan2travl is offline  
Dec 15th, 2009, 08:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,943
I don't think you would really like Thessaloniki. There is an amazing museum there with a fabulous collection of gold jewellery culled from Macedonian graves, but other than that there is little to see as a tourist.

We stayed at the Makedonia Palace Hotel in Thessaloniki. If it wasn't for the great swimming pool at the hotel, we would have been bored to tears. Spent most of my three days there shopping, swimming, and drinking frappes from Starbucks.

There are some cute little shops in Tessaloniki.

Have you thought about flying to Rodos? It only takes about an hour on Aegen Air from Athens.

ThinGorjus is offline  

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