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Please help me plan a honeymoon in Greece

Please help me plan a honeymoon in Greece

Old May 23rd, 2008, 10:53 AM
  #1  
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Please help me plan a honeymoon in Greece

My wife and I are looking for help planning our honeymoon to Greece. All we have booked at this point is a round trip flight from London. Given all the options of flying to some of the islands directly (Crete has the most flights) using Easy Jet we didnít want to book our flight to Greece until we had our itinerary figured out. We will have two weeks to spend in Greece and we have a room booked for two nights at the Mystique in Santorini towards the end of our trip. We definitely want to spend some time in Athens (but not too much time) and also visit at least another island other than Santorini. Our questions are:

1. How much time should we allocate to Athens

2. Should we spend more than 3 days/2 nights in Santorini?

3. Which other islands should we visit and how many of them?

One problem we have is that we have to checkout of the Mystique in Santorini on Monday and our flight back home leaves from London in the morning of that next Wednesday. We donít know what to do with that one day in the middle. Should we stay in Santorini (if so, how should we get back to London), should we go to Athens, or do we have time to visit another island for the day and then catch a ferry back to Athens that night.

Since this will be our honeymoon we do not want to feel like we are constantly on the go but we are also very active and enjoy exploring, dining, and outdoor activities. We definitely want to spend some quality beach time as well. Also, any hotel and restaurant advice you want to give will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
HatoriHanzo is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 11:31 AM
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It's really all down to your own travel style. Some people try to fit as many islands as they can in a two week holiday. Others, myself included, prefer to stick to one or two islands. Unless I missed it, you don't say what month you are travelling - that makes a big difference in advice to be given.

If you are taking one of the easyJet flights that arrive in Athens in the evening, it will be too late to go on to the islands that day, so you may as well start out with a day or two in Athens. If you are arriving mid-day, you have a choice of transferring to a flight straight to the islands, or staying in Athens for the first day or two.

For the end of your trip, you are checking out of your hotel in Santorini on Monday, and flying back to London on Wednesday morning. That's not enough time to fit in another island, so you may as well head straight back to Athens. That will also give you some cushion time in case of delays in getting back to the mainland.

Now, what to do in between? It makes sense to plan an itinerary around the main ferry routes. You could, for example, start out in Mykonos, go on to Paros or Naxos, then end up in Santorini.

Start out in Crete, you could easily spend a week or more there and not see all of the island. So you could do just Crete and Santorini, maybe adding an extra day or two on Santorini.

A third option would be to go through the Western Cyclades, stopping off at Sifnos, Milos, or Folegandros enroute to Santorini. Ferry connections are a little trickier on this route, so would require some flexibility.



Heimdall is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2008, 01:03 PM
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If it is any help with your proposed itinerary, easyJet also fly to/from Mykonos out of London Gatwick, twice a week.

Bill
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Old May 25th, 2008, 09:45 PM
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Heimdall, we will be going in mid-late June.
HatoriHanzo is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 01:05 AM
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Mid-late June is a perfect time for the Greek Islands. Weather is good, ferry connections comprehensive, and islands still fairly uncrowded.

If you are on one of the easyJet flights that arrive in Athens early afternoon, you have time to transfer directly to a flight to either Crete or Mykonos. That will leave you only one full day for Athens at the end of the trip. If all you want to see is the Parthenon and a few other sights, it will be enough time.

If you are on one of the easyJet flights that arrive around 8-9pm, you will miss the flight and ferry connections to the islands that day. You then have the choice of staying overnight in Athens and taking an early morning ferry the next day, or extending your time in Athens to do some extensive sightseeing before heading to the islands. How much time to spend in Athens is a personal choice, dependant upon how interested you are in ancient sites and city life.

Think about which route you would like to take to Santorini, and come back with more questions.




Heimdall is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 10:05 AM
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Are any of you familiar with any tour operators that we could partially charter a boat from so that we could maybe see a coupe islands over the course of 2-3 days as we move from either Athens to Crete/Santorini or between Crete and Santorini? Given that it seems likely that we will end up in both Crete and Santorini a boat that gets us to an island or two along the way seems like a nice option.

Also, given all the comments I have heard about just how big Crete is, do you have any suggestions on how we should tackle that particular island. A number of people have mentioned that one needs at least a week in Crete, is this true? If we are only going to allocate 3-5 days, should we go elsewhere and if not, how should we spend those days in Crete? Would you rather spend those 3-5 days in Crete or in Mykanos/Naxos/ect...
HatoriHanzo is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 10:38 AM
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I think you're planning it backwards. First book your flight to Greece so you know which dates you'll be travelling. Without this information you can't book your hotels or plan your island-hopping route. Your itinerary is dependent on this basic information. Are you planning to fly from the UK to Crete and then island hop before flying back from Crete to the UK? Are you aware that you can fly on EasyJet from the UK to Mykonos?

If you look at a map of the Aegean Sea you will see that there are no islands between Crete and Santorini. Santorini is the southernmost island other than Crete in that part of the Aegean.

There are no ferries that reach other islands from Crete before Santorini.

Chartering a boat isn't necessary if you want to go to other islands, just use the ferry system to travel to them from Santorini. Your closest choices are Ios, Naxos and Paros on a daily basis, and other islands are also accessible several days each week.

If you are staying at Mystique towards the end of your visit then it makes sense to take the FlyingCat from Crete to either Ios or Paros, bypassing Santorini, then return to Santorini, and then from Santorini you can take the ferry back to Crete or north to Mykonos for the flight to the UK.

I think you have a lot more to consider than you realize.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 01:49 PM
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You did say in your OP that you already have your flights booked.

Since you keep mentioning Crete, it seems that's what you have decided upon. If still unsure, do some research to find out what islands have the things that appeal to you most. It could be Crete, or it could be Mykonos, Naxos, or Paros. Neither brotherleelove nor I can decide that for you.

Chartering a boat to visit a couple of islands is a very expensive proposition - akin to chartering a private jet to fly you from London to Greece.
Heimdall is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 02:44 PM
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Oops! Obviously I need to put my glasses on....
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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We are not set on Crete, I'm just concerned that we may be trying to fit in too much. This will be our honeymoon and as much as I want to explore, I don't want to feel like I'm constantly on the go.

We will end up having 12 full days in Greece and we have 2 nights booked in Santorini towards the end and given the flight options we will have to spend the last remaining night after Santorini in Athens. So this leaves us 9 days. It seems that we should have another day to two days in Athens on the front-side of the trip. That leaves us 7 or so days.

Please offer up your suggestions as to how we should allocate these remaining days. Originally we thought about spending another night or two in Santorini and 3-4 nights in Crete. That would leave us two days to go somewhere else and we were concidering Mykanos, Naxos, Paros, and/or Rhodes. Does it make sense to go to any of these places with only a day or two? Is it possible and/or even worth it to do a day trip to any of these places? At the end of the day, would we simply be better off spending more time at one of the places we were originally considering? The other option we are considering is scrapping Crete altogether in order to free ourselves up to go to Mykanos/Naxos/Paros.

Lastly, since we are arriving to Athens very late at night, we were debating between staying somewhere close to the airport or if it is worth it to head into the city? Do anybody have recommendations for a good value near the airport?
HatoriHanzo is offline  
Old May 26th, 2008, 07:16 PM
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In terms of what interests us, we are looking for a nice mix of historic sites, beautiful beaches, and more active activities (such as hiking or biking). It simply wouldn't feel like a honeymoon if we didn't have at least a couple solid days sitting at nice beach but we are simply too active to make that the full emphasis of our trip.
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Old May 27th, 2008, 12:50 AM
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Okay, now that I know you are arriving in Athens on a late flight, I would recommend going into central Athens and staying at least two nights, getting your Athens sightseeing out of the way at the the beginning of the trip.

I still recommend going back to Athens after your Mystique booking for two reasons: first, there is no point in going to another island for only one day - you will spend most of your time traveling and checking in and out of the hotel; secondly, it is wise to have an extra day on the mainland at the end of your trip in case of ferry delays - you don't want to miss your flight home. You could spend that extra day on a day trip to Delphi or Cape Sounion if you have had enough of Athens.

Whether to go to Crete or Mykonos/Naxos is your own decision - either would be nice, and you can see the other islands on your next trip to Greece.
Heimdall is offline  
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