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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Durham, NC

    Travel to Greece Advice

    Hi all

    I've been inspired by the recent London/Paris thread to see if anyone here has helpful tips about travel to Greece. It looks like we will have 13 nights in Greece. We are probably going to be there May 5 - 19. I'm hoping the weather will be good and we will avoid the worst of the tourist season, but given my daughter's schedule, that's when the trip has to be. I was thinking of maybe 4 or 5 nights in Athens and the rest on one or two of the islands, maybe Santorini and Crete. We'd like to see some beautiful blue water, but if it's too cold for much swimming or snorkeling that's probably OK. I love to see museums/ruins/antiquities and thought maybe Crete would be good for all that. One other thing is that we really like to walk. We'll spend hours just happily wandering through Paris or London and we'd love to find some great places to walk/hike in Greece. All suggestions about places to stay, things to do, food to eat etc. happily accepted.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Indianapolis, IN.
    Four or five nights is a little too much in Athens for me, others may disagree. I would make the day trip to Delphi.

    Be prepared, Santorini will be busy no matter when you visit.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Ashburn, VA
    You should check these two previous threads:



    Here are some of my comments from there (I went in May 2010), but you should probably just read the threads to see everyone else's posts and to get more context/background.

    Also, two nights was plenty for Athens. And five nights is probably the max I'd want to spend on any particular island.

    I have similar comments to those above - we did a 12 night honeymoon there - 5 nights in Santorini (Oia), 5 nights in Crete (Rethymno) and 2 nights in Athens.

    High-speed ferry from Santorini to Crete, flight back to Athens. We had a rental car for Crete, but again, it was 5 days so we drove all over the island.

    I recommend Oia for Santorini - it's on the north end of the island, but was absolutely gorgeous. We rented an ATV for a full day and drove all the island; also did the boat ride out to the volcano.

    Rethymno was a nice middle point in Crete - easy day trips over to Knossos, Chania, etc., plus it had a really cool 'old town' area with lots of cute alleys with restaurants and shops.

    We loved this place - ended up eating there 3 out of 5 nights (really good steaks for cheap prices) - and!4d24.4735989
    Of course this was 8 years ago, so can't vouch for it recently.
    (that's not us in the pictures, btw, haha)

    In Athens, in addition to the Acropolis (definitely a must go), they also had a cool museum down at the bottom, which allowed you to look through some glass floors to actual excavations underneath.

    We mostly split our team between Santorini and Crete (5 nights each).

    In Santorini we stayed in the north town of Oia - which I actually liked better than Fira (the main port town w/ the zig-zag donkey path you'll see). Beautiful sunsets, felt a little cleaner. We did the volcano + hot springs boat tour, but be warned the hot springs is just mildly warm. We also rented an ATV one day and drove over the whole island - that was pretty worthwhile - got to see some other towns and the red beach down south.

    Hotel was - absolutely amazing.

    On Crete, we figured we weren't going to top the beautiful scenery of Santorini, so we stayed in Old Town Rethymno. Old Venetian town, lots of pretty crisscrossing alleyways. No view of the water, but again, that was OK. We rented a car for 3-days and saw many parts of the island. There was a famous gorge we didn't make it to, but we hung out in Chania for a day which was nice. Also saw ruins of Knossos of the Minoans (pretty cool when you think how old it is), and drove around Lasithi plateau and down to Prevli beach.

    Hotel was Avli - - go to Lounge Apartments, they only have 7 of them. Owner is a great guy.

    If you stop through Athens, the new Parthenon museum is pretty cool (and cheap), if for nothing else than to see through the floor into the excavation work.

    Oh, and Rhodes is pretty cool - though I only stopped in there for a day several years ago so I don't know much about it.


    We only went to those two because we didn't feel like island hopping much. If you don't mind moving around several times, just stay fewer nights there and check out some of those other islands. All depends on what you're looking to do.
    A text without a context is a pretext.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    northern Virginia
    I will try to post more later, but for now ---

    Wife and I went in late April for 10 nights and had a similar itinerary - 4 nights in Crete, 4 in Santorini, 2 in Athens. Overall, we were very pleased with our itinerary, and can send you names/locations of our hotels later. My wife's favorite was Santorini, mine was Crete. She enjoyed our patio overlooking the caldera/Aegean Sea, and I liked Crete since it at times felt like we had the island to ourselves. I also enjoyed our accidental drive above the unspoiled southern coast of Crete. Except for the days when cruise ship escapees invaded (once in Santorini, and when we visited the Acropolis) we avoided the crowds. Your experience in May could be a little different, but you should miss the most of the masses then.

    Lots of opportunities for walking and hiking. Besides the historic sites, we enjoyed walking around the coastal towns of Chania and Heraklion in Crete. Based on recommendations in the tour books, we had planned to hike a place called the Samarian Gorge, but it was not yet open for the season. Instead we went with a recommendation from our hotel in Crete and hiked Imbros Gorge, which was great. We hiked down (toward the coast) and took a taxi back to our starting point. In Santorini, we hiked the ridge trail that goes from Ioa to Fira and then caught a ride back.

    I've never been to any of the other Greek Islands, so I can't speak for them or compare them to Crete and Santorini. But you certainly can't go wrong with those two. Regarding Athens, we were there 2 nights but only 1 full day. We could have spent another day easily to take in places we missed due to early closing times, suboptimal planning on our part, and aching feet (30,000+ steps that day). If I ever make it back to the Greek mainland, I'll carve out time for Delphi and Meteora. You may want to consider those if you do stay in Athens 4-5 days (those would be long day trips).

    Can provide hotel info and some other details later.

    Based on your board name -- class of '81? Trent Drive Hall freshman year?

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