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Please vote and help me at the same time :)

Please vote and help me at the same time :)

Jan 7th, 2018, 04:08 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2017
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Please vote and help me at the same time :)

Good morning everyone,

With the help of great advice and help from other Fodorites, we have decided to spend 4 nights in Prague and 4 nights in Budapest then fly to Greece. We still have not decided where to go in Greece but we have narrowed the choices down, in order of our preference, to:

1. The Peloponnese
2. Naxos and Santorini
3. Crete
4. Rhodes

If you had to choose one of the above for a first time trip to Greece, which would it be and why?

Megane
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Jan 7th, 2018, 04:25 AM
  #2  
 
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Hi Megane, looks like you are getting close to putting together your trip.

I would (and did) choose Naxos and Santorini for a first trip. First of all, they are the 'classic' Greek islands that you have seen on posters, in books, in movies - and for good reason, they are beautiful. Santorini is just so stunning you won't believe it. But also very crowded and touristy, so combining with Naxos is great as Naxos is much more laid back (yet also gorgeous). The ferry ride between them is wonderful and didn't feel like a burden like flying or even train rides can sometimes be.

Crete would be my second choice but having a car for at least part of it helps, whereas that's not at all necessary for Santorini/Naxos. Crete is beautiful, but I didn't think as jaw-dropping wonderful. After having been to Naxos and Santorini we were just a tiny bit disappointed with Crete. I did still love it and will probably go back some day, but still....

The Peloponnese is also gorgeous but not quite as 'special' as a Greek island.

Rhodes I have not been to, but was planning a trip there this summer and was dissuaded due to the reports of crowding in summer. I'm saving it for when I can go in off season. I think I remember you trip is also summer time, if not then I'd probably move Rhodes up the list a bit.
isabel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 04:34 AM
  #3  
 
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None of them
neckervd is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 06:14 AM
  #4  
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Isabel, thanks so much. So informative and very much appreciated.

neckervd: Such a petty and vindictive response. Next time, follow the simple instructions and choose one. If you can't choose one and do not offer any other recommendations, please, please do not respond.
Megane is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 06:37 AM
  #5  
 
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Megane, not every Fodorite follows every thread -- so it is thoughtful when posting a New inquiry, to recap the info of a previous thread. As before, you didn't say at first exactly WHEN you're planning to be in Greece... you later said it would be July -- and that Does affect advice, since it's the height of tourist season. And as before, you didn't say how long you'll have in Greece . Will you have a week? 10 days? Or just 4? (and don't count arrival day unless you land by 8 or 9 am, nor count departure day at all). Remember, earlier in the trip, you devote 4 days per CITY... and don't get too ambitious re Greece destinations.

If Santorini is a choice, some ideas, to improve the experience:
• you may be able to fly DIRECTLY there from Budapest, saving the time required by a connection in Athens.
• DAY of arrival makes a difference. Huge cruise-ship mobs (some days, up to 5 ships disgorge as many as 9-10,000 trippers between 9 - 4) are mainly M-Th -- so arrival in Santorini on a weekend may lessen the crowds you'd have to contend with.
• LOCATION is key - FIRA town is always hectic, with most attractions & nite life; the "calendar village" of OIA is clogged from 9-4 with above-mentioned cruisers & bus tours. Consider an "in-between" locale; FIROSTEPHANI is also on the cliffside view, is an easy 15=min stroll to Fira town for shops & clubs (no need for late-night taxi), there's a convenient bus stop to go to/from Oia, and Firostephani never has bus or cruiser groups day OR nite. Another bonus; for similar-level hotels, rates are considerably lower than Oia.
• LENGTH of STAY - since the main draw of Santorini (except for serious archeologists) is the Famous Caldera View, people often come, look, and go. I have several times brought "newbies" to Santorini for 36 hours, they enjoyed taking pics, enjoying sunsets, shopping a bit, then moving on to a nearby isle with sandy beaches, fewer crowds, lower costs, and sunsets just as lovely.
travelerjan is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 06:44 AM
  #6  
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Hi travelerjan,

You are right. I forgot to include some important information.

We will be in Greece for about 10 or 11 full days (not including travel days), and should be there in mid-July.

I understand that Santorini is stunning and even more beautiful in person than in pictures. However, we did want to avoid places with an overrun of tourists and while many Greek destinations have many tourists in July, is Santorini worth it? Is it a place we can take a day trip to from Naxos or does it deserve a couple of days?

Thanks
Megane is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 06:45 AM
  #7  
 
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"neckervd: Such a petty and vindictive response. Next time, follow the simple instructions and choose one. If you can't choose one and do not offer any other recommendations, please, please do not respond."

I honestly can't give you an opinion, but as one of the other posters noted, you really haven't provided enough info in THIS thread to allow those who have any good advice to give it without making assumptions that may not be valid.

Neckerv may be expressing his frustration by providing a response as useful as your question.
rs899 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 06:47 AM
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"If you had to choose one of the above FOR A FIRST TIME TRIP to Greece, which would it be and why?
"I answered honestly your question, not more, not less.
neckervd is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 06:51 AM
  #9  
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Actually, you did not answer the question. I asked "and why".
Megane is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 08:25 AM
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Megan, yes, you CAN get that quick look at the Famous Caldera View without actually staying overnight in Santorini. The regular Ferry lines don't allow this because they are not designed to get people to another Island and back within a day, and still allow time on the island.

However, On Naxos and Paros, there is a company that runs 2 dedicated excursion vessels, the MV Alexandros, and the Naxos Star. I would strongly recommend the Alexandros, as it's a larger boat with a smoother ride, whereas the smaller Naxos Star can bounce around very uncomfortably on a windy day. Website: http://visit-cyclades.com/day-cruises/naxos-cruises The Alexandros sails Tuesdays, the Star on Wednesdays. Both pick up passengers on Both islands. Naxos boards first, and disembarks last. however, if you're sailing from Paros, you have to GET to the far-north port, which takes time, so it's somewhat of a wash.

The advantage of this day-trip ( €55? per person) is that all transport is provided. On docking at about 10:30 am, a bus takes up "up top" and to OIA. You're allow a couple of hours to wander, take pix, shop, then board the bus back to Fira Town for another few hours free time. Finally, the bus takes you back down to the port pier, for the return sail at about 4:30pm. If you do some homework, you'll know how to employ yur time for what interests you the most.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 08:27 AM
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Please forgive typos or some miswordings; FODORs doesn't have an edit function.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 08:38 AM
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Megane, the more time you spend on Santorini the more it will mean to you. A postcard will give you the view. Staying there will touch your soul.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 09:37 AM
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The excursion Jan suggests sounds good if you time is tight but given that you have 11-12 days I'd opt for a couple nights on Santorini. Especially if you can fly straight there. Two nights would let you experience sunset one night each in Fira and Oia, and the full day in between you could visit one of the less touristed villages (and/or the archaeological site).

And given the amount of time you have I'd encourage you to also go to Paros. If you did 2 nights Santorini and 4 each of Paros and Naxos that still gives you 1 or 2 nights at the end - I assume you'll need to get back to Athens to fly out. Since you haven't mentioned Athens I assume it's not someplace you are looking to visit, but if you need to be there to fly back home anyway, having one or two nights would at least let you look around a bit.

I'd look into flights from Germany as soon as possible. When I was starting to plan my trip I found a flight on Ryan Air from Frankfurt to Santorini. But as it was so early I didn't book it and a month or so later that flight was sold out. This was December for travel in July. I ended up booking a Lufthansa flight for twice the price and needing to take a 4 hour train ride to Munich. So unless your dates are really flexible I'd decide and book right away.
isabel is offline  
Jan 7th, 2018, 01:07 PM
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My first choice would be Naxos and Santorini and second choice would be Rhodes. We've been to quite a few of the Greek islands - love it there - and our first trip was Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini. We had 3 weeks and had a few days in Athens at either end. Naxos and Santorini are both beautiful but quite different from each other. Mid July will be hot and crowded.

If you choose Rhodes, you can do a day trip to Symi which we really enjoyed. Mykonos was not on your list but from there you can do a day trip to Delos which is uninhabited and full of ancient history.

If you get the ferry and go up on deck you get the most fantastic views of Santorini as you approach. By catamaran you can still see but not very well as you are in an enclosed space. If you fly in you won't see much at all.

Kay
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Jan 7th, 2018, 01:32 PM
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Kay if one leaves Santorini by BLUE STAR ferry, one get same lovely view only on departure instead of arrival. The afternoon departure catamaran is enclosed, but there is now a morning departure by a large car-carrying catdamaran (Champion Jet??) which also has a rear open deck for lovely parting views.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 02:08 PM
  #16  
kja
 
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Oh, I just recognized you! Silly of me to have failed to recognize you before.
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Jan 7th, 2018, 07:44 PM
  #17  
kja
 
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@ neckervd: I saw the deleted comments, and just want to say that I’m with you on this one! I wish everyone could see what got deleted, as I thought it quite instructive. JMO.

@ Megane: You might find some helpful information in the following threads:
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...es-choices.cfm
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...in-15-days.cfm
https://www.fodors.com/community/eur...-to-choose.cfm

Good luck!
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Jan 8th, 2018, 01:28 AM
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Re travelerjan's post about day trips to Santorini from Paros and Naxos:

The ship is called Alexander, not Alexandros (important distinction because there are several boats in the area named Alexandros). At Paros it leaves from Piso Livadi, a small port on the east coast of the island. When it does day trips to Mykonos/Delos it leaves from Naoussa, the "far north port" travelerjan was probably thinking of.

The owner of Alexander, Andonis Marianos, is from Antiparos, and in winter docks the ship there. During off-season you can see it on a live webcam:
http://antiparos.tv/live-web-camera/
Heimdall is online now  
Jan 8th, 2018, 01:40 AM
  #19  
 
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Kja

Thank you for providing those older strings.

The OP ruined my afternoon yesterday name calling me when he/she/it got on my case for simply asking for clarity.

A rose by any other name stinks the same, I suppose.
rs899 is offline  
Jan 8th, 2018, 04:27 PM
  #20  
kja
 
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@ rs899: Welcome to the small, but ever growing, list of those who have been received this "special" treatment. I'm glad you found those links informative.
kja is offline  

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