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Only 5 days in Greece, should I just stay in Athens?

Only 5 days in Greece, should I just stay in Athens?

Jan 25th, 2009, 01:30 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Only 5 days in Greece, should I just stay in Athens?

Hi- I am travelling solo (preferably budget) and have 5 days in Greece.

Given the short time period, should I bother going to one of the Islands? And if so which one? I'd love to go somewhere picturesque and relaxing. Are there alot of solo travellers in the islands, or is it mainly couples and honeymooners?

Or will there be enough in Athens and surrounds for the 5 days.

Thanks for your help and input.
Ari11 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 01:37 AM
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Don't stay in Athens. I'm not an expert on the area round about, but I'm certain you should move out. Others will advise bettter where
sheila is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 03:32 AM
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Hi Ari11,.
when are you coming and what is the main purpose of the trip?
Also it's important to know where you coming from (regarding jet lag)

You will have 5 full days?
cristine27 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 03:57 AM
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Definitely NOT!! This is one city that, IMHO, you should spend a couple of days in and then get out of Dodge. By all means, go to an island. I went to Santorini and LOVED it. It is beautiful and seems like a different world from Athens, It's definitely a different Greece!
sallyjane3 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Ari - Greece in March is very different from Greece in May, or August. We can't help you unless you tell us WHEN you will be travelling. Athens, however, in MY humble opinion, is fantastic ALL year round!
NikolettaG is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 04:51 AM
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I love Athens and think you could definitely spend 5 days there exploring, but I am in the minority. A nice choice for a very picturesque island near the city is Hydra. You could spend 2 nights in Athens, go to Hydra for 2 nights and then back to Athens for however much time you have.

Personally, I think that while Santorini is beautiful and worth a visit at some point, with only 5 days in the country you should stick closer to Athens. There're a lot more interesting places to visit in Greece.

The time of year does make a difference. Even I would say that 5 days in Athens in August could be pretty unpleasant, but those same 5 days in April could be wonderful.
telechick is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 05:13 AM
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Apologies all for the lack of information.:
- I will be going early March, probably 5-12 March (sorry its actually 6 full days). Is this a good time of year?
- I am working in London for 18 months, and this will be a quick holiday in between assignments. So short-ish trip and minimal jetlag.
- I don't know much about the various cities/places in Greece (or how close places are to Athens), but I love Greek food and I want to be escape the UK weather.

Telechick, thanks, I'll definitely look up Hydra.

And I was already considering Santorini, but is it like Maldives with all honeymooners and couples?

Ari11 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 06:23 AM
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Hi there

As you only have 6 days to spend try this trip - its cheap and you can organize it yourself very easy.

Agina - Poros - Hydra

You can buy tkts from any travel agency in Athens
These islands are very close to Athens and each one has its own unique style.They offer this trip as a day tour from Athens so you can imagine its very easy.
The highlight of these 3 is Hydra - no cars allowed on the island only donkeys.
Accommodation will be very cheap and you don't have to book in advance you will find whatever you need when you arrive on these islands. A day or 2 on each is good but I would give Hydra the most days.

Have a nice time what-ever you decide.
Pakanfou is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 06:55 AM
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The beginning of March is still winter in Greece,so not the best time to visit the islands.
But Hydra as other posters mentioned is very charming all year round and you could just hop on an hydrofoil and spend a day there. ( i like spetses too, haven't been to Poros or Aegina). Have in mind that most shops and restaurants are closed for winter.

Ari11 have you booked the tickets yet? If not and you really want to visit the islands consider coming to Greece in May or in the summer since you'll be in the UK for 18 months. I'm afraid that there is a chance you'll find similar weather to the Uk here as well that time of year

*Regarding your question about Maldives and sAntorini it#s not the same with honeymooners. Santorini is very romantic but it'a an island with all kind of tourists and nightlife as well. (in summer though)
cristine27 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 07:45 AM
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I went to Greece in March a few years ago and decided to stay on the mainland except for a day trip to Aegina, which was very easy to arrange as it is a relatively short ferry ride from Athens.

I loved Athens, and that is a much better time to visit Athens than the summer. I believe most of the people who say they wouldn't want to spend time in Athens might have visited in the summer, and I can imagine it would be much less pleasant in the heat.

I took a tour to Delphi, Mycenae, Olympia, and the Meteora. These were all great sights, and you would be able to arrange to go to some of them on your own or on a guided one or two day tour.

You might be interested in my trip report:

Nikki is online now  
Jan 25th, 2009, 08:03 AM
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Sassafrass is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 08:38 AM
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I can't agree that the weather here in Athens is likely to be very similar to that in the UK, even at the beginning of March it won't be HOT, but last year at the same time I was at a seaside suburb of Athens and there were people SWIMMING! (I'm not recommending that, though!) I've just come back from a week in the south of England (my first visit in more than 3 years!): it didn't actually rain too much, but it was so GREY!! Here there's usually SOME sun, even in winter, and in March it will be getting warmer, especially in Athens. If you're really keen on going to an island, I'd support the suggestions about Aegina, Poros and Hydra: they're close to Athens and don't have the same 'closed' season that more distant islands have, as Athenians go there for weekends. Another place which has the 'feel' of an island, and is certainly picturesque,is Nafplio a beautiful town in the Peloponnese, about 2 hours from Athens in a comfortable, modern bus. Lovely scenery on the way down and lots to do there; great tavernas and some of the most famous ancient sites, like Mycenae and Epidauros are nearby, if you're interested in that and they'll be uncrowded in early March! Travelerjan if you see this I know you can supply the websites!
NikolettaG is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 09:07 AM
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Nicoletta, ten years ago while i was in the UK for a year, i came to Greece in the beginning of March to visit my family and it was snowing!! Actually the weather in UK was much more pleasant than here! March is a very unpredictable month..

cristine27 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 09:30 AM
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Hi there Ari -- AND NikolettaG...

I absolutely agree on Nafplio instead of islands... with 6 days, u don't want to waste time in Transport.

This is the most beautiful town in Greece, on a peninsula jutting into the Bay of Argos. a World Heritage Site, with historic elements from Ancient Greece thru medieval to 19th C. Even in winter it's lively, with good restaurants, chic shops -- because it's a favorite weekend year-round for savvy Athenians. I've gone there solo several times and just love it. It is both Picturesque AND relaxing -- and you will have discovered the Unpromoted Gem of Greece.

To tempt you further, here is a Fodorite's slide show of some highlights:

IF you arrive via air in late afternoon or evening, you should probably spend the night in Athens -- get a hotel in the Plaka district, convenient to Syntagma Square. Hotel Cypria is a reliable moderate hotel.

If you arrive by noon or early afternoon, I advise going straight to Nafplio (also spelled Nauplion):

(1)Take express Bus x96; it leaves every 2 minutes or so from in front of Arrival Door 5 of Aiport building It takes you straight to the KTEL intercity bus station A (also called Kissifou Station), in about 45 mins.

(2)Go to Argolid window for Nauplion ticket @11.5E. Ask for seat on LH side (for view of the Saronic Gulf as u ride). Bus goes hourly on half-hour, takes 2.5 hrs. As you ride, you see the sea, Corinth Canal (look FAST it's tiny) olive groves orange groves, lovely.

(3)Taxi at Bus station will take you for about 3-4E to hotel. E-mail ahead to Hotel Leto, balconies looking down on town and bay, my fave, tell M. Tzaneto Janet sent you! If he is full, try Pension Eleni next door. A single in winter shld be no more than 60 incl bkfst.

(4) As slide show indicates, town is fascinating to explore; I read they now have a FREE audio program w. headsets for a walking tour of the major historic features of the town... the post said "available at harbor" but if u can't get info, ask at the bookstore on the central Square (which BTW is paved in Marble!).

(5) The long row of harborside cafes have plastic sides & even heaters so wnter or summer you can enjoy one of the BEST sunsets in Greece... don't miss it!

(6) If u want, u can rent a car cheaply 30K or so to see some of the top ancient sites in Greece v. nearby -- Tiryns just 3 Km, Mycenae, 20 km, Epidaurus 20 km. OR, w.o. a car, get a bus to 1 -- Epidaurus my choice; a local bus for 10 mins gets u to Tiryns also.

(7) Nightlife in Nafplio is year-round... ask your hotel where the best music is; I've always met interesting people, greek, and other independent travelers.
After 3 days u can walk downhill to KTEL bus station, get bus back on the hour ... and do 3 days in Athens. For a GOOD guided tour of Acropolis & surrounds by very knowledgeable highly educated guides, check out Walk #1 of http://www.athenswalkingtours.gr/

travelerjan is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 09:35 AM
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One important change!

The bus to KTEL Kissifou (Terminal A) is X93! I think u get your ticket at a kiosk just inside the terminal door; if it is not manned, you buy your ticket on the bus... 3.2€ i believe.

Be sure to "validate" your ticket as you board -- punch it into a box on a pole... otherwise some officious transit police might board and levy a huge fine .
travelerjan is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 10:15 AM
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Posts: 574
Hi Ari,
I'm with Nikoletta & Jan on this, Athens & Nafplion & surrounding area is the way to go. Also as a general rule it is much better weather here than in the UK! March can be unpredictable, but you should get some reasonable days, although colder at night.
This site shows you a bit about Nafplion & area (Argolida)
This one is the bus timetable for the area & getting to & from Athens
At the airport the kiosk for your bus ticket is outside, far right as you leave the terminal, & right by where the bus departs from. They run to Kifissou bus station every 15-30 mins.
Have fun!
yiassas is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 10:21 AM
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Posts: 155
I definitely agree to stay away from Athens if you're looking for a "break" from London. The city has some amazing sites, if that's your main purpose, but it's very crowded and polluted. We were in Greece last May and loved Nafplio (just a 2.5 drive/bus ride from Athens) with so many wonderful archaeolgoical sites nearby, beautiful views and great restaurants. But if you're looking for more of an island experience, they're all a pretty short flight away from Athens, too. Have a great time!
Kelly1212 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 10:26 AM
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Posts: 347
Bookmarking. No current plans to return to Greece, but when I do there is some great info here, particularly on Nafplion. Thanks.
lifeofmytime is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 11:42 AM
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March is a fickle month in any temperate region. To give you an idea of what to expect, Athens is about the same latitude as Washington DC or Norfolk, VA. You could have anything from warm sunshine to snow.

The Greek Islands, while very pleasant in May, are not so inviting in March. Take the advice of the experienced, and stay in Athens and Nafplio.
Heimdall is offline  
Jan 25th, 2009, 01:25 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 392
Nafplio ... +3.

I also think there's a lot to see & do in Athens. A split between Nafplio & Athens would be great.
tom_h is offline  

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