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1. Athens 2. Santorini 3. ???

We have a total of about 12 location days to spend in Greece. So, we're assuming we'd start in Athens. Santorini is our next destination and we can't decide where do go for our last few days. We hope to spend 3-4 nights in each place, (haven't yet decided how to split it up). We're going in late Aug. and for our last few days, we'd like something with a beautiful sandy beach, as well as other attractions. Also, since we have to be in Athens to catch our return flight for home, should we start our trip at what we had planned to be our last destination and make Athens, where we have to be last anyway, our last destination? I'm confused as to what would be best. I'm not sure out travel agent is giving us the best advice. Any advice?? We've never been to Greece and need all the help we can get.
Thanks in advance!

Posted by
635 posts

Maybe not Greece at all -- consider Kusadasi on the west coast of Turkey. There are several excellent beaches, and the amazing ruins of ancient Ephesus are nearby.

Posted by
2935 posts

Definitely save your days on the mainland for the end of your trip so you aren't wasting precious time backtracking and so you don't have to stress about making your flight home. When you first arrive at ATH fly out to Santorini on the first available flight then take a ferry to a nearby island such as Paros or Naxos before returning to Athens. Both Paros and Naxos have airports and excellent ferry service back to Athens.

Posted by
1291 posts

Agree you should end in Athens. Start in Santorini for 3-4 nights. We have not been to Paros but we enjoyed Naxos very much. From there you can either fly or ferry back to Athens.

Posted by
419 posts

You might want to consider flying to the island of Rhodes. Interesting medieval sites and lovely beaches, then to Santorini and back to Athens.

Posted by
4637 posts

Mykonos? We went there by ferry from Kusadasi to Samos from there to Mykonos and next day to Santorini. Santorini was planned, the other two islands just happened because we had to change ferry there and stay overnight.

Posted by
9 posts

you would have super time in greece , i would do the last days in athens and from there you could easy take 3 days trip to some parts of the peloponis witch is very nice and near and easy to go also , like nafplio and meteora and canal of cornith they are all close and you also could do all withen 3 days ,,,
fell free please if you like to ask what ever

Posted by
10 posts

I personally believe Crete is worth a visit!
I went there in addition to Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens, and liked Crete best. That being said, it depends what you're looking for.
Personally, I was not a huge fan of Athens. We also went in August, and it was EXTREMELY hot! Depending on what you like, I wouldn't plan to spend more than 1-2 days visiting the ruins in Athens, as some of them were a little less spectacular than what they were made out to be.
Crete had a variety of things to do, and we stayed near Chania. There were beautiful beaches nestled all along the coast, and the hotel we stayed at (Georgi's Blue) had a private beach which was one of the prettiest i've ever seen. Crete is well known for its beach, Elafonisi, which was absolutely gorgeous! There were also plenty of outdoorsy things to do, and the entire island was stunning.
Santorini was the second-best place in my opinion. If you can, you should stay in a cave-style house, as most have great views since they are literally imbedded into mountains which face the water. Santorini had great beaches too, like its red beach, and the sunsets were unbeatable (cliche, I know, but true).
Overall, I will say I may not have a complete image of Greece as we did not really get to explore many different places on the mainland, but I can say with confidence that you will not be disappointed going to Crete. Bon Voyage!