Planning Trip to Greece

Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:22 AM
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Planning Trip to Greece

I really could use help in pkanning my next trip to Greece in July. I want to relax and sightsee. I am getting conflicting recommendations on where to go within Greece and the best hotels to stauy at. Has anybody gone to Greece recently that would have some great recommendations?
rjbriskin is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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Although not the same as personal recommendations, this advice from six years is just as good now as it was then:

Best wishes,

rex is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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I go to Greece every year and love it, but I've been going to the same island for many years now - Paxos, so I can't really give up to date advice on other places. But if you want to know more about Paxos, just ask!

However, this is a wonderful site, which gives reasonably accurate "warts'n'all" descriptions of the main islands, in an attempt to dispel some of the more romantic ideas that first-time visitors may have about the Greek islands.

Xenos is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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It would help to know more about your plans. How long do you plan to stay in Greece? Do you have any sense that you'd prefer to stay on the mainland, go to the islands or a mix of both? Any islands that attract you? There are several island groups, so to maximize your time it's best to plan to stick with one group unless you have several weeks. What about nightlife? Do you want 20-something bars and discos or something quieter, or none at all?
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:49 AM
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We plan on going for 12 days and i have been told to go to Santorini, Mykonos and Crete. My husband and I are middle aged and nightlife is not critical. We like to have a good time and stay in great hotels and love great restaurants.We like to mix culture with some doentime but culture is more important.
rjbriskin is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 11:54 AM
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There are many recent threads on Greece if you do a search. The advice I gleaned was a couple of days in Athens, then we are going to Mykonos, Santorini (Ihear this is a must see) and then 4 days at a deluxe resort in Crete.

The Grande Bretagne in Athens comes up as the best lodging. And in the other locales it depends on what you want to do/see and experience.
NYerr is offline  
Old Mar 5th, 2006, 11:58 AM
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Sorry, forgot to mention Aegean Air is having a fare sale. Many flights are only 19 Euro one way plus fuel and tax surcharge. Very reasonable.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 12:12 PM
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Mykonos has changed a lot in the last 30 years since its heyday as the "jetsetter" island. Now it's a package-tour-charter-flight-honeymooner's-delight sort of island with expensive boutique shopping and frenetic nightlife. That's not to say that the beaches aren't beautiful and the resorts wonderful, but you should at least have some idea what you're getting into.

Santorini has become the most popular island destination in the Aegean, meaning that July and August are extremely crowded with prices at their season high. That being said it's still worth it to go there to experience the spectacular sea and caldera views from the cliffside villages. My favorite is Oia because of it's timelessness and because there's not much in the way of nightlife. The main village of Fira is where most of that is concentrated.

The Hellenic Seaways highspeed ferry connects Mykonos with Santorini and Crete with stops along the way at Paros, Naxos and Ios. This is a well-travelled route for many visitors to Greece. Hotel reservations in July are strongly recommended unless you're willing to take 'potluck' upon arrival, which is of course always an option. You'll be met at the ferry ports by locals with rooms to rent, as well as by representatives of some of the lesser-known hotels. There's always something available, it's just that leaving it until your arrival cuts down on your options, and there's always a chance that you'll end up in no-man's land somewhere away from where you'd like to be if you were more familiar with the island you're on.

The highspeed ferry from Santorini to Crete will leave you in Heraklion, the capital city. It's big and crowded, so you might want to either rent a car or take the bus to the more charming and attractive Chania on the NW coast, from which you can easily return to Athens by plane or ferry.

Yes, Aegean has bargain flights to the islands, but as the "season" approaches these cheap tickets are being sold out. If you want to take advantage of them you'll have to act quickly.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:09 PM
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Travel in early July and you'll miss the worst of the high season, which peaks in the mid-Jul to mid-Aug period on the islands.

Mykonos, Santorini, and Crete would be a good mix if it's primarily islands you want to see, but in your other post you said your trip will be 12 days - that's really not enough time to do all three.

In this post you said "my next trip to Greece" which I take to mean you have been there before. Perhaps you have already seen some of the sights on the mainland, but if not, it may be worth considering a little more time there to see Delphi, etc.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 01:45 PM
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We started in Santorini at this hotel a couple of years ago. It was in Oia and is just wonderful. We had a studio apt. which had a small kitchen and a private terrace.
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 03:47 PM
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I'm also planning my first trip to Greece. I've been through Matt's Greek Guide (that's been cited above), checked reviews on, checked several books out of the library and have been doing searches here.

For my itinerary, I relied pretty heavily on someone I work with who is from Greece. He highly recommended Crete, but said to allow for a week there. I also am staying 3 nights in Santorini and doing a 4 day classical tour on the Mainland with Chat tours.

I don't know if you have purchased tickets yet, but prices are down this weekend. Had been watching prices for awhile and they were $925 out of Boston. Yesterday they went down to $685. My sister will fly out of JFK for under $600. Seems like a real bargain. You might want to check out Delta before those prices disappear. Also on Aegean, the flight to Crete was 45 euros after taxes and fees. Out of Santorin to Athens was 66 euros (the sale price was gone for early morning flight)

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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 05:06 PM
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Thank you gor all of your recommendations for Oia. Just to clarify, this is my first time in Greece, so I would appreciate all the help I can get. Other than the hotel Heimdall mentioned (esperas in Oia) has anyone been to Perivolas in Oia-Santorini, which my travel agent recommended?
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Old Mar 5th, 2006, 10:59 PM
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I toured Perivolas' various rooms last year so I could report on them with clarity. This is an excellent hotel with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. The rooms are decorated with taste and flair. If you find one that fits your budget I can recommend this hotel without hesitation.

If you're interested in a self-catering situation in Oia and it's in your budget, take a look at the Aspaki Suites at These are my current faves in Oia as long as you don't require all the normal hotel amenities. Daily maid service is included.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Mar 6th, 2006, 12:26 AM
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On Crete, you should see Knossos and the Archaeological museum in Iraklion.

The only place with really classy hotels in Agios Nicholaos and Elounda, although most people around here prefer the west end of the island. You should certainly visit Chania too.
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 10:04 PM
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On Santorini we chose Esperas over Perivolas. And Katikies only had suites left which was really costly. At Euro 448 per night I could not justify the cost of Perivolas over Esperas which is half that. And I don't mind spending it on lodging if I think it makes a big difference. In Crete we are staying in Elounda at the Elounda Beach Hotel. You can check it out on the Leading Hotels of the World Website - It is more costly than Perivolas, but here I think it worth it. Also, their rates go up on July 22 and we will be there before then.
We are also not "that young" as I like to say, so nightlife is not that important either. And we are at the point in our lives where the lodging has to be decent if not great. No more Holiday Inns if I can help it.

We also have a 12 night itinerary and plan on "trying to" pack light since we will be changing locations, taking these short flights and high speed ferries. Very few shoes and clothes that fold up very tiny that don't wrinkle (that never works).

Curious as to what you decide.
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Old Mar 6th, 2006, 10:38 PM
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Just as a point of information and interest, I was given a tour of Perivolas in June, including the Perivolas Suite, which goes for 1400 Euro in the summer. I don't think I've ever seen accomodations so unusual and spectacular. 1200 sq. ft. of luxury in the style of the traditional Santorini cave house, but taken to the extreme. The sunken hot tub was 10 feet in diameter set in the floor of the huge bathroom area. The room had it's own small infinity pool and terrace. The colors of the furnishings were bright and vibrant, the sculpted "cave" walls were sensuous and inviting. Everything was state-of-the-art and put together with impeccable taste and distinction. Not many people can afford such luxury, but they tell me that it's booked almost solid in the Peak Season.
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