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Planning a trip to Greece - suggestions? (1 Viewer)

Judge Smails

Footballguy
Looking at a trip in September of 2023. 2 couples. Can take up to 2 weeks total including travel. Looking to get the right mix of beach frolicking and culture. I’ve only looked at a few sites with suggested itineraries so far. Most suggest flying into Athens and spending a few days max seeing sites/ruins. Then it’s off to the islands. Which ones and how long for this length of trip? Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos, Corfu, Andros, Crete and others? Any great recommendations for accommodations, restaurants, activities? I know we want a view of the Caldera in Santorini. Have some good info from Gianmarco already - hoping other FBG’s have recommendations!

 
Santorini is a must. 3 nights there gives you time to see many of the sites.

Mykonos is touristy but fun and you can get to Delos for a day trip from there (if you like historical sites like I do).

If you go to Crete, one place I recommend is hiking down the Samaria Gorge. You take a bus from Chania (western Crete) and it drops you off at the start and you hike all the way to a beach city on the southern coast. It's about 11 miles and takes most of the day. My wife and I did it and it was cool.

On the mainland, make sure you get to Delphi. It's in the mountains and I thought it had a very mystical feel to it.

Have a great time!

 
Santorini is a must. 3 nights there gives you time to see many of the sites.

Mykonos is touristy but fun and you can get to Delos for a day trip from there (if you like historical sites like I do).

If you go to Crete, one place I recommend is hiking down the Samaria Gorge. You take a bus from Chania (western Crete) and it drops you off at the start and you hike all the way to a beach city on the southern coast. It's about 11 miles and takes most of the day. My wife and I did it and it was cool.

On the mainland, make sure you get to Delphi. It's in the mountains and I thought it had a very mystical feel to it.

Have a great time!
Another vote for Delphi.  It's a few hours away from Athens, so it's a day trip, but it was definitely worth it IMO.  

For Athens, I really enjoyed the Ancient Agora and wandering around the Plaka.  The museum near the Acropolis was pretty awesome.  This sort of stuff is right up my alley though.  People who aren't into classical-era Greece will probably feel like some of these things feel kind of same-y.  

 
I’ve been twice and look forward to going back.

Other than seeing the Acropolis I’d get out of Athens as soon as possible.

3 Islands I’d spend most of my time at are Santorini, Mykonos & Crete.

Have to go for at least 2 weeks. You lose 2 days traveling just to get there and back.

Yasou !

 
i don’t have much to offer on greece, but pre covid i was gonna take an 11 night cruise from rome and hit the greek isles, not sure if it passed thru israel.  cruising in the time of covid is dicey, but it could bring good value and you get to see a lot without changing hotels.

my only advise is to buy euros now, exchange has been about 1.01:1 and this is historically low.

 
I arrived in Athens stayed 3 days which was enough for me.  Spent a week in Santorini because I liked it so much.  Mykonos was a lot of fun but definitely more of a party island.  Crete was cool.  I forget the names of the towns, etc but I rented a car and drove across the island for a week.  Wish I could give more details but it's been over 10 years since I was there.  

 
If you like history, go to Olympia

It's been 20 years, but I liked the Islands mentioned more than Athens.

 
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Just got back from Europe and spent 9 days in Greece.  3 in Mykonos, 3 Athens and 3 in Santorini.  My suggestion would be the following if you have 2 weeks to  complete your travels.

Fly into Rome spend 2 days in Rome to adjust to the time difference etc.  Then I would head off to Greece doing all your travels on Volotea or Vueling do not fly Wizzair heard many horror stories of them cancelling flights.  We did the following.

Rome to Mykonos on Vueling Airlines

Mykonos to Athens on Volotea Airlines

Athens to Santorini on Volotea Airlines

Santorini to Rome on Vueling Airlines

The flights from Rome to Greece, within Greece and back to Rome costed a total of 300 Euros for both of us (150 per person).  Very affordable to fly within Europe.

Then I would get to Rome and spend the remaining 3 days exploring Rome.

 
Santorini is a must. 3 nights there gives you time to see many of the sites.

Mykonos is touristy but fun and you can get to Delos for a day trip from there (if you like historical sites like I do).

If you go to Crete, one place I recommend is hiking down the Samaria Gorge. You take a bus from Chania (western Crete) and it drops you off at the start and you hike all the way to a beach city on the southern coast. It's about 11 miles and takes most of the day. My wife and I did it and it was cool.

On the mainland, make sure you get to Delphi. It's in the mountains and I thought it had a very mystical feel to it.

Have a great time!
All of this. I rented a car to explore the entirety of Crete, and that was fun. I was in Athens for 4 months, and think I'd plan just a couple days there in the city seeing Acropolis, Plaka district and a couple museums, and spend the rest of the time on islands & maybe Delphi.

 
Just got back from Europe and spent 9 days in Greece.  3 in Mykonos, 3 Athens and 3 in Santorini.  My suggestion would be the following if you have 2 weeks to  complete your travels.

Fly into Rome spend 2 days in Rome to adjust to the time difference etc.  Then I would head off to Greece doing all your travels on Volotea or Vueling do not fly Wizzair heard many horror stories of them cancelling flights.  We did the following.

Rome to Mykonos on Vueling Airlines

Mykonos to Athens on Volotea Airlines

Athens to Santorini on Volotea Airlines

Santorini to Rome on Vueling Airlines

The flights from Rome to Greece, within Greece and back to Rome costed a total of 300 Euros for both of us (150 per person).  Very affordable to fly within Europe.

Then I would get to Rome and spend the remaining 3 days exploring Rome.
Love it but we’ve done Rome so doubt we’ll include on this trip. Open to other cities though

 
Just got back from Europe and spent 9 days in Greece.  3 in Mykonos, 3 Athens and 3 in Santorini.  My suggestion would be the following if you have 2 weeks to  complete your travels.

Fly into Rome spend 2 days in Rome to adjust to the time difference etc.  Then I would head off to Greece doing all your travels on Volotea or Vueling do not fly Wizzair heard many horror stories of them cancelling flights.  We did the following.

Rome to Mykonos on Vueling Airlines

Mykonos to Athens on Volotea Airlines

Athens to Santorini on Volotea Airlines

Santorini to Rome on Vueling Airlines

The flights from Rome to Greece, within Greece and back to Rome costed a total of 300 Euros for both of us (150 per person).  Very affordable to fly within Europe.

Then I would get to Rome and spend the remaining 3 days exploring Rome.
So you did all flights vs any ferries? Different route than what I’ve seen in most travel guides. How did it work out? If you went say Mykonos-Athens-Santorini how long did that trip take (airport + flight time) vs just taking a ferry from island to island?

 
Looking at a trip in September of 2023. 2 couples. Can take up to 2 weeks total including travel. Looking to get the right mix of beach frolicking and culture. I’ve only looked at a few sites with suggested itineraries so far. Most suggest flying into Athens and spending a few days max seeing sites/ruins. Then it’s off to the islands. Which ones and how long for this length of trip? Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos, Corfu, Andros, Crete and others? Any great recommendations for accommodations, restaurants, activities? I know we want a view of the Caldera in Santorini. Have some good info from Gianmarco already - hoping other FBG’s have recommendations!


If you aren't using a travel agent, I'd highly suggest tripmasters.com.  They have a great setup for planning a trip with multiple stops.

 
Love it but we’ve done Rome so doubt we’ll include on this trip. Open to other cities though
In off chance you change your mind on Rome, I'd look into eurail/ferry passes for Greece which (way back when I was there) covered the ferry from Brindisi (Italy) to Patras (Greece). You can hit Delphi on your path from Patras to Athens, as I think it is somewhat in between being <> 2 hour train from each. Patras is also <> 2 hours from Olympia, but Olympia is the wrong direction and I would very much favor Delphi over Olympia.

 
If you go to Crete, one place I recommend is hiking down the Samaria Gorge. You take a bus from Chania (western Crete) and it drops you off at the start and you hike all the way to a beach city on the southern coast. It's about 11 miles and takes most of the day. My wife and I did it and it was cool.
I can't remember how close Samaria Gorge is to Matala on Crete, but if you are on the southern shore of Crete I would definitely make a point of getting to Matala as (1) it's a picturesque beach and (2) lots of history associated with man made cave system in the hills surrounding the beach... dating back to Neolithic Age.

 
I was in Greece this summer for two weeks on a Rick Steves tour.  

Look up Athens and the Heart of Greece, and that is the trip we took. 

I would recommend 2 days in Athens.  If you get Rick's book, he has a really nice walking tour of Athens that we enjoyed.  That and obviously the Acropolis and corresponding museum.  The Greek Orthodox churches are neat to visit and the Palaka is fun to kill an afternoon in shopping and eating. 

Delphi and Olympia are definitely worth the trip and give you some variety to your vacation before you hit the islands/beaches. 

The beaches there are all pebble and rock, so bring water shoes and watch out for urchins. 

We went to Hydra island, which was awesome.  Took a horseback ride from our hotel out to the Four Seasons (not the chain but super nice) beach and spent the day there. 

It will likely be out of the way for you but Monemvasia was also very cool. 

There are rumors they dont accept credit cards, but everywhere does.  We only used the cards when we were able to see the transaction occur in front of us.  No violent crime but lots of pickpockets, so just make sure you take appropriate precautions around that (especially in Athens). 

Plenty of ATMs so bring a nominal amount of euros ahead of time and just withdraw while there. 

That's my 2 cents - 

Turk

 
Just got back from Europe and spent 9 days in Greece. 3 in Mykonos, 3 Athens and 3 in Santorini. My suggestion would be the following if you have 2 weeks to complete your travels.

Fly into Rome spend 2 days in Rome to adjust to the time difference etc. Then I would head off to Greece doing all your travels on Volotea or Vueling do not fly Wizzair heard many horror stories of them cancelling flights. We did the following.

Rome to Mykonos on Vueling Airlines

Mykonos to Athens on Volotea Airlines

Athens to Santorini on Volotea Airlines

Santorini to Rome on Vueling Airlines

The flights from Rome to Greece, within Greece and back to Rome costed a total of 300 Euros for both of us (150 per person). Very affordable to fly within Europe.

Then I would get to Rome and spend the remaining 3 days exploring Rome.
So you did all flights vs any ferries? Different route than what I’ve seen in most travel guides. How did it work out? If you went say Mykonos-Athens-Santorini how long did that trip take (airport + flight time) vs just taking a ferry from island to island?
I was in Italy for a total of 6 weeks and decided to do 9 days in Greece. We travelled with 1 checked bag and a carry on each and put the rest of our luggage in storage in Rome. We wanted to maximize our time sightseeing, drinking Greek Amstel and just relaxing that is why we opted to fly. The flights were short and everything went smooth. Being away 6 weeks I felt like I got disconnected from alot of things here in the US including work because I literally shut everything down and did not do anything work related for 6 weeks. I would do it again but maybe not in a country with a huge time difference and I would also check work email every now and then.
 
There must be a sale on Greece tickets, in the past month I know at least 4 different people/couples/families that went, with several more making plans to go.
 
Greece is a sea accessible place. If you cruise in a small ship, you don't have to pack/unpack. No carrying bags. The travel is overnight or while you watch the sea go by with a drink in your hand. Something like these small cruise ships is amazing. We got to sail right into the caldera at Santorini. It was heavenly.
 
Greece is a sea accessible place. If you cruise in a small ship, you don't have to pack/unpack. No carrying bags. The travel is overnight or while you watch the sea go by with a drink in your hand. Something like these small cruise ships is amazing. We got to sail right into the caldera at Santorini. It was heavenly.
We are now debating a 2 week trip with 7 days of it being a cruise. I'm not a cruise guy, but like the idea of not carrying around everything. Which one did you do? Any downside in your opinion? Did you always eat on the ship? My only issue is some islands I'd like to do more than one day. So that's why we are thinking of going where we want for 3-4 days, then start the cruise
 
We've gone for week vacations the last two years. Have already seen all the touristy stuff so we just go to lounge on the beach. We did Santorini last year. It is iconic Greek isle but honestly you don't need more than a 2-3 days there. Beaches are meh but the cliff side lodgings are borderline bucketlist material. We did Thassos in June. Was great for what we were looking for. Off season, lots of hiking, lots of cheap greek food with little to no wait. The main road is almost always 50m or less from the beach so you can always just pull off and lounge on the beach and have lunch/dinner with a spectacular view. I don't think we ever paid more than 25 EU for a meal (I don't drink). Think I had 11 greek salads in the 7 days we were there.
 
Right now leaning to just do our own hopping and not do a cruise:

Athens - 2 days
Delphi trip - 1 day
Mykonos - 2 days
Paros - 2 days
Naxos - 2 days
Santorini - 3 days

Going to pass on Crete, Rhodes, etc on this trip. Question is do we add Milos taking ferry back or just fly from Santorini to Athens before heading home.

May use Marriott points to splurge in Santorini. Either Mystique in Oia or Vedema.
 
Anybody know when it slows down end of summer? Is it the end of August since most kids have to start school or is it still "summer busy" the first half of September?
 
Anybody know when it slows down end of summer? Is it the end of August since most kids have to start school or is it still "summer busy" the first half of September?
Greek schhols got out at the end of June so you should still be in the clear there. We were there early June and it was mostly Bulgarians and Hungarians vacationing. Russian tourism to Greece is apparently way down from wha I have been hearing. Either way, Sept 23 everyone in EU should be back in school so it shouldn't be high season.
 
I wouldn't do a cruise. Most of the islands outside of the Santorini and Mykonos are fairly similar so it may start to feel redundant and probably not worth the hassle of rushing through your day. I'd probably take another day or two in Santorini and Mykonos and nix one of the others. Island hopping can be problematic with taxis because the locals are slow and never on time. There's also a lack of competition with no Uber or Lyft to my knowledge. I missed so many island ferries because scheduled taxis would show up hours late or not at all. I'd recommend renting scooters to putt around Mykonos (just don't post about your scooter adventures or you could get banned in here)
 
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Sounio, about an hour south of Athens, is an amazing temple overlooking the ocean. Stunning.

Delphi was incredible.

Did a sailing trip with my folks as a college kid... Like renting a car and driving around, except on the water. I remember Skiathos was the highlight from that. I've Never been to Crete, but have heard great things. Corfu was fun too.
 
Greece is a sea accessible place. If you cruise in a small ship, you don't have to pack/unpack. No carrying bags. The travel is overnight or while you watch the sea go by with a drink in your hand. Something like these small cruise ships is amazing. We got to sail right into the caldera at Santorini. It was heavenly.
We are now debating a 2 week trip with 7 days of it being a cruise. I'm not a cruise guy, but like the idea of not carrying around everything. Which one did you do? Any downside in your opinion? Did you always eat on the ship? My only issue is some islands I'd like to do more than one day. So that's why we are thinking of going where we want for 3-4 days, then start the cruise
It was a ways back, so I have no idea if it is available now. We were living in Europe, so there was no jet lag to deal with. We did two weeks of cruise starting and ending in Venice. I can't think of a downside. There is effectively no travel time because it mostly happed overnight. We woke up, and there was Mykonos or whatever. We had the option of doing or own thing or taking the offered tours. (Delphi needs a tour because is inland. Totally worth it.) We never felt rushed at all. We passed through the Dardanelles at sunset, which was lovely. We could eat onboard or ashore. Swim or go shopping. We were actually relaxed at the end of it. The nice thing about the tiny cruise ship is that you get to know the staff and passengers. There were about 340 of us, so not at all like those huge floating malls.

The place I liked least was Athens. It was just another city with one major attraction. I liked the Temple of Poseidon better. You will need to take the fire situation into consideration. I expect some itineraries will be different because of them.
 
So we’re locking this in. Booked RT flights LAX/Athens 9/15-9/29. Found reasonable business class seats with United (Lufthansa). All lie flat seats so will be comfortable.

As of now I’ve only booked the main flight and the day before we return from Santorini back to Athens. Will spend one final night and have a great dinner in Athens before flying home the last morning. I also booked the Mystique in Santorini using Marriott points. Worked out well as wanted a great spot there but didn’t want to pay $1100 euros a night.

Right now it looks like this.
Fly into Athens. Arrive at 6:30pm. Going to get a hotel near the sites likely in the Plaka neighborhood. Spend 2 more days in Athens. 1 day sites and likely 1 day Delphi

Ferry to Mykonos. Have been on the fence on how many days we should spend there. Most of the hate around Mykonos is due to the cost and partying vibe. But for the first time we’ll go. Right now planning 3 days there

Ferry to Paros or Naxos. Going to decide. 4 days/3 nights. Goal is to ferry over and taking a day trip to whichever island isn’t our base. But not change hotels.

Ferry to Santorini. 4 days/3 nights at the Mystique

Fly to Athens for final night. Great dinner and stay at airport hotel for early morning flight back to LAX.

Trying to decide if 3 nights in Mykonos is warranted. if only 2, I’ll add a day in Paros/Naxos. And then need to decide which island between the latter two is best for the base vs day trip. Thoughts? Any other can’t miss suggestions welcomed. The comments so far have been great
 
Also need to book hotels in Athens (Plaka at beginning and then airport hotel for last night) Mykonos, Paros or Naxos so appreciate any recommendations
 
Also need to book hotels in Athens (Plaka at beginning and then airport hotel for last night) Mykonos, Paros or Naxos so appreciate any recommendations
Met34 in Athens was great when we stayed there in 2017. Reasonably priced, spacious room for 4, clean, great service. Not technically in Plaka I think, but very easy walking distance.

And the restaurant next door (Athinaikon) was better than the equivalently priced touristy ones we ate at in Plaka.
 
One fellow respected FBG traveler said I only need 2 days in Mykonos so I may have a day to add somewhere else. Athens, Paros/Naxos or Santorini?
 
One fellow respected FBG traveler said I only need 2 days in Mykonos so I may have a day to add somewhere else. Athens, Paros/Naxos or Santorini?
i havent been to Naxos so I can't say if it is a must see
with ferry travel and getting to your hotel rooms , that cost at least 1/2 day
I personally would do 3 days on each Island , rent an ATV to get around the island cheap and they are a blast.
if your vacation time is short then you can cut it down to 2 days
Big cities I tend to plan 4-6 days as there is usually so much to see and do in them
 

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