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Vacationing in Greece for 10 days - HELP

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Mar 21st, 2012, 03:18 PM
  #1
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Vacationing in Greece for 10 days - HELP

My husband and I are retired, my daughter and son-in-law are in their early 40's and we are planning to go to Greece sometime during September - perferibly the middle. We are spending 2 days in Athens, 3 days in Santorini, and 3 days in Mykonos. We need help to find things to do in these 3 places. It will be our first time visiting Greece. Tour wise the only thing we have read about is the vocano cruise in Santorini and the Mykonos Delos tour. Also a half day Athens sightseeing tour. Has anyone taken these tours? Are they worth it? Can anyone who has been to Greece suggest some more sights to see or tours to take. We are game for anything! Also any suggestions for hotels in these three place? Our budget can afford no more than $100 to $150 a night american dollars We could really use help, if there are any questions please post them on the sight and I will get back to you.

Thank you so much
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Mar 21st, 2012, 03:35 PM
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I'm not sure the volcano tour on Santorini would be worth it, but there are plenty of other things to see on the island. If reports are correct, Akrotiri will be reopening this year, and that would be top of my list.

You don't need a tour for Mykonos and Delos. Mykonos Town is easy to see on your own, and in my mind would be better than listening to a tour guide blathering away. ;-) For your visit to Delos (closed Mondays, btw) you have a choice of boats leaving Mykonos Old Harbour at 9, 10, & 11 am. There is a tour in conjunction with the 10 am boat. Both times I've been to Delos have been on my own, and I prefer the 9 am boat because you get on the island early, having it almost to yourself for the first hour.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 03:59 PM
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In Athens there's plenty to see..
The half day Athens SS is a sit in coach tour if i remember well... nothing you can't do on your own, as most sites are in walking distance from the centre be it Syntagma Square. Acropolis or Monastiraki area.
In Athens you should see the Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum, the National Archeological Museum and also visit the Lycabettus Hill, to enjoy the view over Athens . ( this is the highest point of Athens, located in the heart of the city).
The Plaka is the old part of Athens, that is worth seeing along with Anafiotika, on the foot of the Acropolis, that looks like a forgotten aegean island village, with small white houses.. ( and that in the heart of a 4 Million city!!)

Athens cannot be seen in only 2 days, i could add many more sites and nice places to my previous recommendations, but you just won't have the time....

As for hotels, have a look at www.booking.com , you will find a huge variety of hotels there plus many reliable reviews from people who actually have stayed in these hotels.
The Plaka and Acropolis area are the best to stay at, avoid everything that is near Omonia Square, even though the price will be tempting....it is not a safe area to stay !!!
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 03:24 AM
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May I ask why you choose those locations if you have no idea what is there to do and see? 100-150 $ is how much euro? Is this for a double room per night? Any requests on your accommodation? In general in Athens hotels in decent location on September will cost at least 80 euro/double per night including breakfast. On the islands it really is a location thing, but I think you are looking at a minimum of 100 euro for hotels (not rooms to let) on those two island (maybe the most expensive Greek islands).
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 11:25 AM
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To me Mykonos is just a party island and a beach. Not sure why you want to go there... to me it's not the real Greece at all.

Have you no interest in ancient Greece? If you do, try a couple
of days in Nafplion... not only a picturesque and interesting town but close to ancient Mycenae, the theatre at Epidaurus, Nemea and Tiryns.

I realize everyone has different tatses and interests but I cannot understand traveling all the way from the western US just to lie on a beach on Mykonos. I don't know about you, but I can find a beach to lie on within a 20 minute drive of my house.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 11:38 AM
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Re hotels in Athens. My last trip I stayed at the Hotel Amazon
http://www.amazonhotel.gr

Excellent location between Syntagma Square and the Plaka... 5 minutes walk in either direction. So it's easy to get to and from the metro or airport bus at Syntagma. The hotel itself was not fancy but clean and the rooms a decent size and air conditioned. We had an Acropolis view. Their prices seem close these days to your budget.
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 12:28 PM
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I didn't see any mention of beaches in kapstreak's post. and the party scene on Mykonos is over by mid-September. Mykonos has probably the most beautiful town in the Cyclades, and with Delos so close makes it worth going there even more. You can also take a day trip to nearby Tinos from Mykonos, as there are several morning and afternoon ferries between the two islands.

That said, you could have a very rewarding trip to Greece without even setting foot on an island. Athens and the Nafplion area are richer in antiquities than all the Greek Islands together. But what are your interests? If you just want to relax in a beautiful setting, with a little sightseeing thrown in, then Mykonos and Santorini are hard to beat. Trouble is, they are the two most expensive islands in Greece. ;-)
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 03:16 PM
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Thank you so much for all the ideas. I guess we need to go back to the drawing board and research some of the other islands. We are interested in SOME history and historic places so we would be game for those places. Also we would like to spend a day at some beach or at least part of a day. We are not lay in the sun people nor are we party people. We do have a drink to be social but are definitely not bar people! I will look up all your suggestions and if you think of anymore suggestions, please advise us. Maybe Athens is worth more than 2 days. Is it worth the time (seeing that the trip is about 16 hours) to go to Greece? Please advise.

Thanks a ton!!
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Mar 22nd, 2012, 05:00 PM
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Is your hotel budget for all four of you? Or just for you and your husband per night?
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 06:06 AM
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Is it worth the time (seeing that the trip is about 16 hours) to go to Greece?

I think so, but that's a personal decision. It would be nice if you could extend your trip to, say, 14 days, giving yourself a little more time to see the country. It seems to me you are becoming overwhelmed by the different advice you are receiving. Let me say there is no wrong choice for a trip to Greece. All the islands and mainland destinations are worth seeing, it's just a matter of picking the ones that are best for you.

Give yourself a little more time, looking at the guidebooks and thinking about what you would like to see and do. If you are travelling in September you still have plenty of time to decide.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 07:35 AM
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Everyone has their own experiences and expectations when they travel. I went to Greece 4 yrs age with my husband, an 18 yr ol, and a 20 yr old.

First, I don't know where people stay for $150/night. I never do. It's bad enough that the Europe 5 star is a US 3 star. I'd be careful where you stay. Anyway,this is what we did. Arrive Aythens and puddle jump to mykonos. Stayed at an incredible hotel with an infinity pool overlooking the sea. Think Conde nast cover. Absolutely gorgeous! You are on beaches in Greece, but for the most part they area rocky and off of cliffs where you might have to walk down steep steps. I don't think we toured anything there. We just hung out at the pool and then went into town for strolling and meals. It's a cruise stop so don't be surprised by the hoardes of tourists.

Next, we went to Santorini byHydrofoil. Unbeleivable place! It is gorgeous. We stayed in a cave, which was unique, however at $1,000/ night was overpriced. Here, you definitely walk down to the beach...but it's rocky. All the beaches are. Next we went to Crete. Not much to say. We stayed at a weird eupropean resort. There are tours to some sights, but after awhile, you've seen one ruin.... I can't say we found any place in Greece for good food. Seriously. Get used to feta. I had better food in the US. Oh, the best meal was at the Hilton in Athens for Sushi on our last night. BTW. Go to the NYT 36 hours in Athens for ideas.

Did you know that famous sculptures you would look forward to seeing in Greece aren't there. No. They have been shipped to all different other museums in the world and the replicas are in the greek museums. Athens is a city. Not clean or interesting. We were extremly disappointed. Somebody needs to show them how to run a museum. So boring.

We searched for a place that might have ancient mythological type renactments or plays...nope! The shopping area..ugh. We did enjoy the jewish museum.

I would recommend not staying in Athens, Outside of the city are some fishing villages, however there are sections that are very posh and some that are low key. I would have much more preferred staying there and then have a car service take me around. Bottom line is I think this is best left for cruises. It's all about the water and the views.

Next to Athens.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 08:23 AM
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You can do a side trip from Athens to visit Delphi, maybe even stay a night there. Delphi is interesting because of the history there; It's just cool knowing that you're visiting the same place that Alexander The Great had visited !

I took the volcano cruise in Santorini when I was there 7 years ago. It didn't think it was a bad way to spend a couple of hours during the day.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 09:21 AM
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Well, I rarely comment on other people's opinion, because they are just this, opinions. But I find suebee43's post an accusation on my country rather than an opinion.
Greece has a bit of everything for everyone. Some islands or mainland locations future nice flat sandy beaches, admitely not coral sand ones, it's a simple matter of geography to know that. Not everywhere is rocky and off cliffs. For historical and other reasons, it seems to me that US houses, shops, hotels etc are in general much larger and spacey than the European buildings. You can't go on an other country expecting to find everything like homme. Why to go if so? As far as food goes, it is a personal thing. Obviously if your only good meal in Greece was a sushi one, and the only thing you seemed to enjoy is an infinity pool, then you definately are not up for Greek cuisine or not much into a Greek vacation concept. It is true that some important sculptures and statues are on other museums of the world, but saying that all famous stuff you are looking to see are not in Greece, obviously you have no idea what is there to see here. I would think plenty to see if you know what to look for. Athens is a city, yes,what would you expect? There are its nice spots and its less nice spots. I think there are interesting spots to suit everyone's interests if you know where to look for, and plenty of amazing museums. Which ones did you visit?
Researching before going on a destination and before deciding to go or not, is quite easy nowdays with internet and everything. I find quite unreasonable having expectations that are obviously not to be met when it is so easy to know this in advance, then still go and trash the place. If it's not your cup of tea, simply do not bother to go. If you had no idea what is there to do and see and how to accomplish this trip, I think it is still unfair to blame a country rather than yourselves. Just my 2c.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 09:38 AM
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suebee
reading your post makes me wanna propose you to the Ministry of Culture, as a PR Manager for Greece.....
Greek cuisine is one of the healthiest in the world... and in Athens there are hundreds of great restaurants offering excellent new greek cuisine.. but i guess you didn't know where to go, so you have chosen Hilton.....

Mykonos and Santorini, also have amazing restaurants that you unfortunately missed while eating feta....

The Athens Archeological Museum is the biggest of it's kind in the world... expecting to see there the Aphrodite of Milos means you did not prepare your self for this trip.

It's like complaining that the Gioconda isn't in Rome ...

I am also sure that you haven't been to the Benakis or Goulandris Museum... and that you went to the New Acropolis Museum unprepared.....

Mykonos has amazing beaches with crystal clear water.... and not rocky beaches....
As for Santorini, should you have done your homework, you would have known that it is know more for the incredible caldera and less for it's beaches.. ( still there are some nice volcanic sandy beaches on the island, but i am sure you didn't know they existed)

Athens like all the cities has posh parts and less inviting neighbourhoods.... since i live there i know how exciting the city can be , it's a pity that you didn't have the chance to explore the city.

It is quite disappointing also that the only think you recall from Crete - which is a very beautiful island- is a weird european resort.. and some ruins.....

I am sorry that you couldn't discover the true beauty of Greece and the Greek people..... hope that you will have the chance sometime in the future again
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 09:41 AM
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very well said Mariha, μπράβο
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Mariha,
We had a fantastic experience in Greece and love your country. We enjoyed every meal, fresh fish, lamb and incredible salads and thought the best thing about Greece was the warm hospitality of the people.
And we were thrilled with the antiquities we saw in museums and sites in Athens,on Crete and on the Peloponnesian Peninsula. We can't wait to return to Greece.
Our least favorite place was Santorini which was ruined by rude non-Greek hotel staff, mobs of tourists and having to sleep in a cave. Each to their own.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 11:16 AM
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My first trip to Athens I got shivers up my back seeing the Acropolis lit up at night. Surely that's one of the great sights in the world. Looking forward to Santorini this May.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 11:41 AM
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I appreciate and respect that everyone has his traveling style and his own interests, likes and dislikes. I respect that Greece might not offer what some people look for at a particular trip (although I believe those people are really a minority). But I can not understand how someone can not have a feeling,some basic info in advance on a destination and check if place suits his needs or not at least approximately. Complaining for unrealistic expectations of course doesn't make much sense to me. It reminds me of some people visiting on December and complaining about rain and snow. It is not the country's fault we have a winter here and it is not country's fault you didn't know this... Honestly, no insult intended, but I think the post in question was at least naive.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 04:12 PM
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With your budget, you might not be able to afford Santorini and Mykenos. That being said, I spent 3 nights in Santorini a few years back. We did the volcano tour and an evening sailboat trip. I can't remember if they were the same tour or 2 separate ones. The volcano tour was ok; I mostly remember it was too hot. I loved the sailboat ride. It was at sunset with a trumpet player, wine and some food. I remember lots of people recommending the Delfini as an inexpensive option, but I just checked and that is above your budget. I remember thinking two nights would have been enough. I also have to second the idea that the onslaught of people from the cruise boats is very overwhelming. Try to find a day when the cruise boats don't stop there, if there is such a day. Also, carefully choose where to stay. I stayed in Oia and loved it. Fira was too crowded; I couldn't wait to leave.

I just bought plane tix for June and plan on 3 islands; will make final decision tomorrow about which 3. If you are thinking of optional isalnds, I can tell you hotel prices are less expensive in Paros and Naxos. I got quotes from nice looking hotels in the Naoussa area of Paros in the 98-120 euro range.
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Mar 23rd, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Mariha & Clausar,

I wish there was a "like" button on Fodors!

Jo
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