Too much?

Jun 13th, 2019, 10:32 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Too much?

First, I want to thank the gracious and generous folks who share their experiences and advice to help others. My wife and I (both active senior citizens) are planning our first (and who knows? maybe only) trip to Greece, from September 4-26. I've been reading guidebooks and forum entries and can use guidance. We want to experience a lot, but not pack in so much that well be spending more time traveling from place to place than appreciating where we are. We want to visit museums and archeological sites, see natural beauty, wander through old cities/towns, and have some beach time. Im worried that our proposed itinerary is maybe packing too much in (especially if there are ferry delays or cancellations), leaving only a couple of days at most of the islands.

We're flying to Athens and then to Heraklion that day. After a day to see Knossos and the museum we'll drive west to see Chania and the western areas, staying in Crete for a total of about 6 nights, the last being back in Heraklion, and then early morning ferry to Santorini for two days. Then the plan is to ferry to Milos and spend two days there. Next we would ferry to Paros and stay in Antiparos for about two days. Then on to Naxos for 3-4 days. From there we plan to ferry to Mykonos, in order to have a day in Delos. (That would mean two nights in Mykonos.) Finally. we would ferry to Athens, spend 3 days there and return home.

Does this seem doable or should we consider dropping an island (Milos? Paros/Antiparos?)? Every place seems to have its own compelling ambience, beauty, history, uniqueness...

I'd appreciate your thoughts.
jonf2 is online now  
Jun 13th, 2019, 12:17 PM
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Remember that it takes three nights in a place to get two full days for sightseeing. As I count it, it looks like you are calling two nights in a place two days, which it is not. If it were my trip - and it isn't - I'd want a minimum of two full days (three nights) in each place. Three full days In Athens is a minimum to see the major sites, IMO.
Kathie is online now  
Jun 13th, 2019, 12:56 PM
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Consider replacing an island with historic, waterfront, beautiful Napflio on the Peloponneasean Penisula, only a two hour drive from Athens. It is surrounded by major antiquities such as Epidavros, the Mycenae, Tiryns, Nemea, Corinth. Napflio and Chania,Crete are the considered the most beautiful Greek towns/small cities.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Jun 13th, 2019 at 12:58 PM.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jun 13th, 2019, 01:09 PM
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It's easier to think in terms of nights rather than days, two nights equals only one full day, and as Kathie wrote two days on an island requires three nights. Use a calendar or some kind of flow chart to see how your itinerary will work.

Bear in mind that the best archaeological sites and museums are on the mainland, obviously in Athens, but also Delphi and several very important sites around Nafplio in the Peloponnese. That said, apart from Milos which is mainly beaches, you have picked some of the best islands for archeological sites.

When on Antiparos try to get to the archeological site on Despotiko, an uninhabited island much like Delos. The site is in the early stages of excavation, so still relatively unknown, but would give you a good idea of how the archeologists go about their work. You can reach Despotiko from Agios Georgios at the southern end of Antiparos, asking for Captain Sargos. Were it me I would skip Milos and add the time to Paros/Antiparos.

Mykonos is obviously the best place for reaching Delos, as the boats take only about 20-30 minutes to reach the site, and you can choose how long you wish to stay there. The boats from Mykonos Old Harbour are fairly small, and get cancelled on windy days, so allow more than one day to insure you will see Delos. The first time I visited Delos I had to wait three days to get there. Excursion boats also go to Delos/Mykonos from both Paros and Naxos, but you get only 3 hours on Delos out of a 10 hour day. The excursion is 1 hours less at sea from Paros.
Heimdall is online now  
Jun 13th, 2019, 04:10 PM
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You've already gotten some great advice! I'll add my voice to those suggesting some time in Nafplio, particularly given your interests. I also agree that three days in Athens (BTW, I like that you put it at the end of your trip) is a minimum.

If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information in my trip report, and keep in mind that I travel at a decidedly hard pace.
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece
kja is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 12:45 AM
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In general, your trip seems too rushed. As pointed out, two nights only gives you a day. If you only have a day I'd skip the island entirely as it's not enough to see much and it doesn't really justify the time you spend travelling to get there. Also factor in to your plan the time it takes to reach each island. You could check flights between the islands which would save time.

We've been to about ten of the Greek islands (love it there, I'd go back tomorrow) and Milos is the only island I really didn't like. From our experience, ferry departures can change and often do. We had a 5am departure that changed with little notice to 11am. You may have already done this, but check there is a ferry route for each sector you have planned. People tend to think it's easy to get from any island to another but sometimes it can involve going back to Athens/Piraeus.

KayF is offline  
Jun 15th, 2019, 03:05 AM
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I actually don't think your itinerary is too rushed - borderline I would say. Yes you need three nights to get two FULL days in a place, but when you are taking ferries from island to island in Greece it's not quite the same as traveling from one large city to another other places. I've done three different 'island hopping' trips to Greece, so no expert, but I had a lot of two night stays and enjoyed them. My first trip I couldn't decide between 3 nights each in Santorini and either Paros or Naxos or 2 nights in all of three of them, went with all three islands and had a great time. If you go with an early morning ferry (or as early as you can get, not talking 5am or anything) you still have most of the day 'there', the ferry ride between the islands you are talking about are not that long. I usually try to stay within a 10-15 minute walk of the ferry port. September things will be a little quieter but days still pretty long.

The changes I would make: I'd skip Mykonos and do Delos from Paros so take one of the Mykonos nights and add it to Paros. The other Mykonos night and one of the Naxos nights I'd move to Crete. Then you'd have one less hotel change and I think a better distribution of time. We had 8 nights on Crete and thought that a good amount of time. Didn't spend any nights in Heraklion, visited Knossos as a day trip. That would give you 8 nights Crete, 2 each Santorini and Milos, 3 each Naxos and Paros.

I'll add though that I don't need a lot of beach time, usually an hour or so, some times (like Santorini) no beach time at all. In Santorini make sure you spend a couple hours visiting one of the inland towns, don't just do Fira and Oia.

I have trip reports for all three of my Greek trips (which cover all the places you mention) if you click my name they will come up. My photos are here:
isabel is offline  
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