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Should I try to fit Corfu in or spend more time on Crete, Santorini, Mykonos?? (16 days)

Should I try to fit Corfu in or spend more time on Crete, Santorini, Mykonos?? (16 days)

Old May 23rd, 2006, 04:37 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 429
Should I try to fit Corfu in or spend more time on Crete, Santorini, Mykonos?? (16 days)

Hi There - I could really use some help with my Greece itinerary! I will have 16 days in Greece in late Sept/early Oct. I definitely want to visit Santorini, Crete & Mykonos. I was trying to fit in another island - was thinking of Corfu, but I am not set on it if there is another better option. Was also thinking of Naxos or another island as an alternative? My travel agent said she felt Naxos had a Miami Beach feel, so I ruled that out, but not sure if that's accurate??

In any case, this is my first time in Greece and I will be travelling with my fiance - would you recommend spending more time in Crete, Santorini & Myknonos OR would you jump around a bit more and see Corfu (or another island for that matter)?

Here is what my travel agent wrote - if I do Corfu, I will have 3 nights in Mykonos & Santorini (def not 3 full site seeing days though when you factor in travel time), and 5 nights in Crete (again, not 5 full days), then 3 nights in Corfu, and 2 nights in Athens....

From my travel agent:

JFK to Athens and then same day right on to Mykonos,,,3 nights Mykonos, Ferry
to Santorini approx 3 hours, 3 nights Santorini, Ferry to Crete approx 2/12
hours hydrofoil or 4 hours by ferry. (The hydrofoil and ferry leave at 5:30pm
, 3 nights in Crete on beach then drive over to Chania for a 2 night stay. Then
fly to Athens to connect with flight to Corfu 3 nights Corfu and then fly back
to Athens for 2 night stay.

If you stayed with Mykonos, Santorini and Crete you can do less hopping around
and put more time on each island. From Mykonos you can visit Paros a lovely
quiet island

lmavolio is offline  
Old May 23rd, 2006, 06:30 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 1,175
Stay longer on Crete, there is plenty to explore on this beautiful and relatively large island, both on the coast and in the mountains. Also being further south the weather is likely to be warmer. In late September/October the weather can start to deteriorate with more possibility of showers on Corfu.
Maria_H is offline  
Old May 24th, 2006, 08:23 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 107
We visited Greece last September so I'm going to provide you with the notes I made during the trip. If I can be of further assistance, I'd be happy to answer any questions. My email address is: [email protected]


"Passport control in Athens was quick and painless and we were on our way!

After reading countless comments on the dishonest Athens cab drivers I was still not prepared to be charged 37 euros for a 25.06 fare and I kicked myself all evening for just timidly handing over our hard earned cash. It was a 35 minute drive to the Titania hotel and we were very pleased with the hotel and the location. The bed linens had a wonderful smell but felt like starched linen, not the 600 thread count sheets we’re used to here. Your key card is used to activate all power which prevents waste – you can’t leave your air conditioning and lights on when you’re out of the room. Neat idea. There are no facecloths or bar soap, the hot/cold taps are reversed and the toilet paper is pretty rough. Certainly not what a North American Princess like me is used to. It was quite impressive seeing the Acropolis lit up and it’s a great beacon to prevent you getting lost. Excitement prevented a full nights sleep and we were out for a walk at 5:30 waiting for the 6 o’clock breakfast to be served. This being Greece, even at 6:30 everything wasn’t set up and, since we had a ferry to catch, we grabbed a light breakfast. It was a 20 minute cab ride to the port of Pireaus and I was more than ready for this cabbie when he tried to charge us 14.33 for a 10.33 ride! There was a real pushy crowd boarding the Blue Star Ferry and we were lucky to find two plastic chairs on the open deck. I would recommend paying double and upgrading to business class, which ensures you a comfortable seat for the five hour trip to Mykonos and prevents your clothes getting covered in soot. The ferry left on schedule at 7:35, we made stops at Syros and Tinos but otherwise it was a pretty boring trip. We arrived in Mykonos at 12:55.

We pre-arranged transport to the Mykonos Grand for 5 euros each and a driver was waiting for us. We were at the hotel at 1:20 and were out by the pool by 2 where we stayed until 6:30. A lunch consisting of sandwiches and fries and water at the pool bar rang in at 28 euros. It was a tasty lunch but pricey for pressed turkey. Our only disappointment is the double bed is actually two beds made up and pushed together so in order to enjoy a romantic tryst you have to untuck all the bedding. There is an excellent bus service with service to Mykonos town close to the hotel at 1 euro each one way and we caught the 8:40 bus. Mykonos at night is party central with the town being so well lit it’s like daytime. There are lots of inexpensive eating establishments and we ended up having one huge Greek salad, two pork souvlaki rolls, fries, toasted bread, water and a Coke for 12.70 euros. We purchased 2 1.5 litres of water for 1.60 then caught the 10:30 return bus to the hotel. The hotel price for water was 3.50 for 1 litre. This would be a great place for recovering alcoholics, as they couldn’t afford to drink. The normal price for ONE alcoholic drink is 18-20 euros! That’s per drink, not per bottle. There is an amazing scent in the air in Mykonos, which we thought was coming from the Spa, which was down the hall from our room. Turns out it is Lady of the Night, a night flowering bush. I’m so in love with Mykonos I’m going to go home and paint all our walls white, ceilings Wedgwood blue and install ceramic flooring. The linens again have a heavy starched feel to them. The breakfast buffet is beautifully set up, very elegant yet relaxing, with lots of variety. The view over the pool and sea is incredible. Took the 9:40 bus into Mykonos Town again and it’s like a different world – not party central, but family central. Most of the stores are closed, it’s not as crowded and we were able to see ALL the tourist sites promised – the windmills, Little Venice and best of all, there really is a Petros the Pelican which was an amazing sight. These pelicans are totally different from the little brown ones we’re used to from southern Florida and the Caribbean. We purchased lunch at a local bakery for 4.60, which consisted of cheese pie, a raisin bread ring, a baguette, a donut and 2 Diet Cokes and took it back to enjoy on our terrace. The pool bar supplied us with plates, cutlery and butter. Very enjoyable. Relaxed by the beautiful pool from 1:30 – 6. The seawater smells very fishy and is rocky so we’ve decided the pool is our choice. The staff at the hotel speak perfect English but very much appreciate it when I use the few Greek words I learned for the trip. Had dinner at the Sunset Restaurant on the beach next to the hotel. The grilled calamari was 10E, 4 huge grilled shrimp and a baked potatoe was 18E, and a pork chop and fries was 9E. The best shrimp EVER. Sat and chatted with a couple from England as we enjoyed the local entertainment. The hotel has free internet, which is a nice touch.

Took the 2:30 high-speed ferry (1/2 hour late) that was much better than the Blue Star as we had reserved seating. They are very rough with the luggage so make sure you get there early and can store your luggage in the inside area. Stopped in Paros, Naxos and Ios before arriving in Santorini at 6:30. The 35 minute taxi ride was E25 but it would be very easy, economical and convenient to use the public transit system, which would have let us right off where the taxi did. We had to lug our belongings along the road and down to La Perla Villas and it was a terrible shock to see this neglected property with its containers of dead flowers. Our “traditional cave house” turned out to be the ORIGINAL cave house complete with mould surrounding the bathtub and toilet. The towels were rough and full of holes. Had dinner in Oia for E17, which was, grilled calamari, a tomatoe salad and fries. The hype about Santorini tomatoes neglects to inform you that they are only available in July and August and these tomatoes don’t compare to a homegrown Ontario field tomatoe. A continental breakfast was served on our patio under the mildew-covered umbrella. There are numerous cats in Santorini and they are quite happy to join you for breakfast. Lunch in a café was E12, which was a double Greek coffee, cheese and spinach pie, bottled water and a milk pie with semolina, which was very nice. There is a little bakery close to the hotel and for E6 we picked up a package of cheese slices, honey, a Mars bar, a baguette, cheese pie and baklava which we had for dinner on the patio. Life seems to begin at 7:30 with the sudden crashing of the waves at the shorelines, doors on the tour boats closing, roosters crowing and the donkeys braying. Before sunrise is a very peaceful time. Went to the Sigalas Winery via taxi, a five minute ride for E8. The winery was scheduled to open at 9, then 10, finally 10:20 – Greek time. Since it’s harvest time the winery is not offering tours so that’s something to check out before spending the money for cabs. We saw pomegranate and fig trees and sampled fresh figs and a traditional spoon dessert of organic grapes in a very sweet syrup. The bus stop is close by and for E1 p/p each way we caught the 5:55 public bus into Fira, which was a 16 minute ride. Had a wonderful meal at The Greeks – E18 for chicken souvlaki with fries, rice, taziki and tomatoes, moussaka, Greek salad, bottled water. Lots of photo opportunities. Wouldn’t want to stay at a hotel here. Lots of lovely hotels but you could end up being surrounded by rubble. Upgraded our ferry tickets to Crete at a cost of E32 to ensure we got reserved seating. We would have been better to take the original 4 hour ferry, which was to leave at 1:35 to the 2 hour fast cat. It never rains in Santorini but we’ve had our share and the locals are excited at the opportunity to sell umbrellas. Took the 1:30 bus into Fira, arriving at 1:55. The Athinos Port bus at 2:24 instead of the posted 2:30 and it was 15 minutes to the port. Total cost E5 for two. The buses are comfortable and have luggage bins. The port has lots of eating places and comfortable covered indoor seating areas. You can see Oia and Fira. The bathrooms are disgusting and there is no toilet paper. The 5:30 ferry arrived at 7:10 and we arrived in Heraklion at 9:35.

It was 1 hr. and 15 minutes to Mythos Palace in Kavros and we arranged for transport for E80 on the internet with Lefteris Kikiforakis. There were lots of taxis available. We were delighted with our room, 216, which instead of mountain view is sea/pool view. No facecloths again and you are not allowed to flush any paper in the toilet. We used the lovely public “water closets” instead of putting the paper in our wastebasket. They had a cold plate set up in the dining room for our late arrival, which was a lovely touch. The sunrise on Georgioupolis Beach is incredible and the crashing of the waves deafening with so much silence around. Very good selection but no nuts, toaster doesn’t work and the juices are nasty. Had to walk to a hotel along the way for internet access at a cost of E2.50 for ½ hour. Pool and beach is very crowded. Meals offer lots of variety and good quality. After a 5 minute walk, took the 9:20 bus at 9:05 for the 40 minute ride (E4) into Chania. The island is very lush; oleander, walls of morning glory, roses, bougainvillea, cactus pears, olives, and figs. It is mountainous but doesn’t have the narrow, winding cliff roads of the other islands. This is an island where it would be safe to rent a car. Walked around Chania but this being a Sunday the market and many of the shops were closed. Caught the 12:30 bus back to Kavros. The people of Crete are not as friendly as the residents of the other islands, almost an air of disinterest. The Aegean Sea is wonderful, clear, warm and although there are lots of stones they are smooth so don’t hurt your feet. About three feet into the sea the bottom is sandy. There is a shopping area close to the hotel where we purchased our honey. Took the Cretian Villages tour from 10:15 – 2:10 for E12 each, which was much less than the E30 per hour quoted by our driver. Although we saw lovely scenery there weren’t a lot of photo ops and most of the tour was boring. A visit to a run down taverna, a 17th century Monastery, a pokey silk factory and a visit to Crete’s first olive oil factory which is just ruins. We visited an operating olive oil factory where we were advised not to buy their products, as the 8:30 tour to Kournas would provide us with the opportunity to purchase the best olive oil and honey available at reasonable prices. The factory tour wasn’t interesting as olive harvest is October – December and nothing was operational. The tour guide was not knowledgeable about anything and there were only 4 English speaking guests on the tour so it was devoted mainly to the Germans. Made the mistake of taking their tour to Kournas for E3 each only to find only two shops open and their prices horrendous. E22 for a small jar of hand cream, E18 for a jar of honey with thyme which was quite strong and E22 for a bottle of olive oil. It took us all of 15 minutes to walk through town and we sat and waited until 10:30 to return to Kavros. A total waste of time and, since it was pitch dark; you couldn’t even say the scenery was nice. Took the 7:20 bus to Chania but didn’t arrive until 8:15 because it stopped in all the small towns to let the workers/school kids off. Airport bus left at 9:10 instead of 9 and we were at the airport by 9:40. Public transit cost us E10.40 for 2 as opposed to E40 from the hotel or E4 for the bus to Chania and then E15 for a taxi to the airport. Chania airport was a breeze and our flight left at 10:40, arrived in Athens at 11:35. By 12 we had our luggage and with the help of two American tourists from Austin, Texas we took the metro into Athens. There was no charge today to reduce the ozone levels. The metro is easy to use and cheap. .70 single fare. Visited the Central Market, spent 50 minutes visiting the Acropolis but we much preferred the Palace of the Giants and the Temple of Hersonisis. Had a nice lunch at a taverna in Monasteraki with a view of the Acropolis – E28.50; meatballs, chicken souvlaki. Visited the Flea Market – not for us. Tomatoe salad, Greek salad, 2 pork gyros on a pita, fried potatoes, 2 Diet Cokes E12.10. Athens is noisy and congested but also exciting. Pedestrians have NO rights; red lights mean nothing and even the sidewalks aren’t safe. If you’re not avoiding motorbikes on the sidewalks, cars going through red lights and people shoving, you have to watch out for the dive-bombing pigeons.

Not to be missed:
Bougatsa pie, filo pastry filled with warm custard and topped with icing sugar
Marmalade
Greek honey
Galocctoboureka – dessert
Baklava
Egg slices = French toast

Disappointments:
Sweet, juicy oranges but they serve o.j. from concentrate
La Perla Villas
Food in Fira was superior and cheaper but would be afraid to stay there unless you knew surroundings

TIPS
Always carry tissues
Take a facecloth
Blue Star Ferries are more dependable but upgrade so you get reserved seating
Public transit is safe, cheap and convenient"
Senga is offline  
Old May 24th, 2006, 09:11 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 558
Stay longer on Crete. There is a lot to see there and it will probably be warmer (and dryer) than Corfu at that time of year. Corfu is actually my favourite Greek island but it is very green and rains considerably out of summer.
Carolena
Carolina is offline  
Old May 24th, 2006, 10:30 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3
Hello my friend.
Cyclades islands is the best place for relax and fun.
Check our site to meet Mykonos island
www.e-mykonos.gr
Have a nice time any where you go.
mykonos is offline  
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