Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Suggestions, Please, On Brief Visit To Greece

Notices

Suggestions, Please, On Brief Visit To Greece

Old Mar 21st, 2019, 09:55 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Suggestions, Please, On Brief Visit To Greece

My wife and I and another couple find ourselves with a little extra time at the end of a rather long (abt 5 wks) eastern European vacation. We can budget an extra week or so toward an additional travel experience and we are considering Greece as our destination. None of us have been to Greece and would welcome the opportunity to sample the culture, historic sights, etc. If we do this we would be arriving in Athens on Oct. 13th or 14th (this year) and, as I say, have maybe up to a week in the country before flying home. As this visit would come about at the end of a long detailed trip we would like to make this added diversion as seamless (i.e. less detailed) as possible. What would you Fodorites out there think of 3-4 days devoted to Athens and another 3-4 days visiting a few Cyclades islands via cruise ship? I realize this is far to brief a visit to such a wonderful country but this is all the time we have and we're not sure if/when the opportunity to visit will come again. Your thoughts will be much appreciated.
Gallivanter is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2019, 11:33 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,858
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
That sounds like a good plan! I wouldn’t recommend a cruise ship because it’s so easy to take a ferry or book a flight to the islands. One possibility would be: fly to Santorini first thing upon arrival in Athens, then either spend your whole time there or take a ferry to Naxos or Paros. Fly or ferry from there back to Athens for the remainder of your time in Greece.

There are many things to see on the mainland apart from Athens, e.g. Delphi and Nafplio, but your time is short.

The good thing about October is it is nearing the end of the season on the islands, so you don’t need to book ferries in advance, and accommodation is cheaper. One drawback is that summer ferry routes are ending in October, so you need to stick to main ferry routes. The islands I mentioned in the above paragraph have daily ferry service all year round, and are still fairly lively in October.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2019, 12:30 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 257
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The 3-4 days in Athens sounds good. I would limit the city to 3 days which will give you enough time to see what most people go to Athens for.

I would then pick one island to go to and spend your time there rather than wasting too much time island hopping.

There is more to a Greek island than Santorini. There are numerous other island to go to that will provide you with a wonderful Greek Island experience without the over-the-top tourism, high prices and crowds of a Big Name Island.

Naxos would be good, so would Sifnos, Paros, Milos, or Aegina which is a short ferry trip from the mainland plus numerous other islands.

Check out this wonder Greek Island website for more options. Research on your part is the most important factor. Take recommendations from forum members but in the end it's up to you to decide what's best for you:
https://www.greecetravel.com/greek-islands/
crazyh is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2019, 04:03 PM
  #4  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,985
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Personally, I'd choose Athens and (a) Naxos, if you want to visit an island or (b) Nafplio, if you are most interested in ruins. That said, you have a nearly endless list of possibilities and any of them could be wonderful.
kja is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2019, 09:22 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree that 2 or 3 days in Athens combined with one island is a better idea and will be more restful than trying to visit a number of islands. Alternatively you could visit two islands and skip most of Athens which is what I'd do (not an Athens fan). If you visit two islands, make sure they are in the same ferry grouping, otherwise you'll have to return to Athens/Piraeus in between.

You could fly into Athens and fly directly out to another island, say Crete (we stayed in Chania for 4 nights and loved it) or one of the islands mentioned above. After time on the island, fly back to Athens leaving plenty of time, maybe an overnight stay, before your flight home.

October in our experience is definitely off-season. In Chania, in early October, things were winding down with restaurants quiet, even though the weather was warm and sunny. On Hydra, where we went next, it was even quieter with some shops closed for the season. It was quiet but we still enjoyed our time there.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Old Mar 21st, 2019, 11:45 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,858
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Good point from KayF about October. On the less visited islands it is off-season with most tourist infrastructure already closed, and many owners back in Athens for the winter or off on their own vacations. Islands like Santorini which are crowded in summer because they have so much to offer are very pleasant in shoulder season.

Many of us who are repeat visitors prefer islands like Naxos or Paros, but if I had only one trip to the Greek Islands it would be to Santorini. This small island is so popular because it has spectacular views of the caldera, world renowned Minoan ruins at Akrotiri (Greece’s equivalent to Pompeii), Ancient Thera, vineyard tours, caldera cruises to the volcano, black sand beaches, and more.

In October there will still be cruise ships arriving on the island, but the passengers tend to congregate only in Oia and Fira so they are easy to avoid. By the evening most are back on their cruise ships.

Last edited by Heimdall; Mar 21st, 2019 at 11:48 PM.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 12:29 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 43
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks to each of you for your input. I'm leaning toward a visit to a single island via ferry in addition to our stay in Athens. I think that will be more to our liking than a hurried visit to several isles particularly at the end of a long trip. Got to run this by our travel partners, though, to see what they think. Thanks again.
Gallivanter is offline  
Old Mar 22nd, 2019, 11:35 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,226
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Just a quick note to say if you are going by ferry, the views of Santorini as you approach are amazing. If you are on a big ferry you can go up on deck for the fresh air and to take photos. If you're in an enclosed catamaran you can't see much and can't go outside. Santorini is beautiful but very touristy (for a reason). We found Oia quieter to stay in than Fira.

Kay
KayF is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
pabcbc
Europe
6
Jun 3rd, 2018 03:30 AM
elizasarah
Europe
8
Jan 29th, 2018 04:16 AM
OneCanadian
Europe
43
Oct 11th, 2017 02:40 PM
aprintemps
Europe
6
Dec 29th, 2016 01:36 AM
tcreath
Europe
20
Apr 4th, 2010 03:07 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO