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13 Days In Greece (Honeymoon)

We booked our airfare to Greece in April 2020 for our honeymoon!
I've looked over several itineraries for Greece and I'm not sure on the route we should plan. We are looking for opinions from you guys. We plan ahead! :) Our tickets are booked! We found a few itineraries we liked, but not sure if they are feasible. Seems like a lot of travel.

What website is best for booking ferries?
What are your opinions on the destinations we chose? We are getting mixed opinions on the sites
Any other suggestions?

Things we are interested in:

  1. Hiking
  2. Site seeing
  3. Few museums are ok
  4. anything outdoors
  5. Swimming but would be too cold in April

Itinerary 1:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Athens
  • Day 2: Athens
  • Day 3: Tinos
  • Day 4: Tinos
  • Day 5: Mykonos
  • Day 6: Mykonos
  • Day 7: Santorini
  • Day 8: Santorini
  • Day 9: Crete
  • Day 10: Crete
  • Day 11: Crete
  • Day 12: Athens
  • Day 13: Depart

Itinerary 2:

  • Day 1: Arrive in Athens
  • Day 2: Athens
  • Day 3: Santorini
  • Day 4: Santorini
  • Day 5: Rhodes
  • Day 6: Rhodes
  • Day 7: Rhodes
  • Day 8: Crete
  • Day 9: Crete
  • Day 10: Corfu
  • Day 11: Corfu
  • Day 12: Athens
  • Day 13: Depart
Posted by
1514 posts

Chad - Itinerary 2 is good. Go with that one. For days 10 and 11, replace Corfu with Naxos.

Posted by
741 posts

You are trying to do, see and go to too many places in the time you have available.

Every time you move from one location to another takes time and the last thing you want to do is waste time getting from Point A to Point B then to Point C.

Itinerary 2 looks like a nightmare of wasting lots of time traveling to various islands.

Itinerary 1 is more manageable but Crete deserves many days if not weeks to fully experience. Mykonos & Santorini are two of Greece's most popular, expensive and heavily touristed of the islands. Maybe eliminate Mykonos and spend more time on one of the other islands.

Tinos was a gem of an island and I found it to be even more than what I expected. It had more beautiful villages than any other island I've been to.

Athens deserves a minimum of 2 with 3 days being better to fully discover, enjoy and experience. Get back to Athens at least one day before you depart for home.

I understand you want to see as much of Greece and the Greek Islands as possible but you'll be stressed and waste a lot of time trying to get to to many places in the time you have.

Quality is more important quantity.

Posted by
1514 posts

Chad - Consider this Itinerary. It is logistically sound and you won't be traveling long distances between islands on your honeymoon. It is very manageable. I think it fits what you are looking for.

Day 1: Arrive in Athens

Day 2: Athens

Day 3: Tinos

Day 4: Tinos

Day 5: Santorini

Day 6: Santorini

Day 7: Santorini

Day 8: Naxos

Day 9: Naxos

Day 10: Hydra

Day 11: Hydra

Day 12: Athens

Day 13: Depart

Posted by
43 posts

Hi RJean, thanks for your proposed itinerary. Is it possible to get Crete in there? We were looking at some of the hikes there and would possibly like to do them.

Posted by
1803 posts

Hi Chad —
I think it best to try something like this:

Day 1 - arrive in Athens, fly directly to Santorini. Allow a couple of hours in Athens between connections. You didn’t tell us what time you arrive, but even if it puts you into Santorini late, it’s better to wake up on a beautiful island on the first day of your honeymoon than in busy Athens. Spend 3 nights on Santorini.

Day 4 — ferry to Naxos. Spend 4 nights here. Find a hotel on St George Beach.

Day 8 — ferry to Paros. Spend 2 nights here. Normally I don’t like 2 night stays but it’s a short ferry ride from Naxos and by now you are getting a feel for Greece & can enjoy this little taste of an island.

Day 10 — fly or ferry to Athens. Enjoy 3 nights here, then fly home.

These are all proven, tourist-friendly islands with lots to do and frequent, easy connections to each other. Some of the other islands you mentioned would be more complicated — and Hydra may be a disappointment after Santorini & Naxos.

Once you’ve solidified your itinerary, feel free to post again with your exact dates and people can give you suggestions for hotels and activities.

Posted by
43 posts

Hi Charlene,

Thanks for your detailed trip plans.

We are arriving in Athens at 2:40 pm. Is it possible to get Crete into this somehow?

Thanks!

Posted by
1803 posts

Crete is a very large island, and most people would suggest you save Crete for a future trip when you could spend a week or more.

But if you have your hearts set on it — especially if there’s something specific you really want to see or do — then of course you could fit it in. Fly directly to Crete upon landing in Athens. After 3?nights, you could ferry to Santorini, then ferry to Naxos, then fly or ferry back to Athens, assigning nights to each island as you see fit. I think you should plan at least 2 nights in Athens.

You have plenty of time to make hotel & transportation arrangements, so spend some time with Greek guidebooks and websites, and have fun planning!

Posted by
6110 posts

It looks like one place too many for the time you have. ( you choose what are your 'must do' destinations)

Try to put all your days for Athens together at the end.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks for everyone's advice. I think our biggest problem is where to go. So many great spots in Greece it seems.

We agree that we have a lot on our plate.
My three 'must go' locations are, would need to consult the wife :) :
Athens
Santorini
Crete (I hear the hikes there are some of the best in Greece).

We also heard that Santorini isn't really a place to stay for more than 2 nights. Is this true?
Athens, albeit its a big city and a lot to see, we are not huge fans of the city life. We will go for some of the main attractions and a cooking class.

Moving Athens to the end is a great idea.

Posted by
1960 posts

I have just started planning a 2020 or 2021 2-week trip to Greece. My first thoughts are to fly to Crete from LHR; then fly or take a ferry to Santorini; and then fly to Athens. We plan on taking a few day trips or overnighters from Athens before departing from there.

I posted because you might consider starting in Crete.

Posted by
43 posts

traylaparks

Thanks for the suggestion. Sadly we already booked our flight into Athens. We got pretty cheap tickets from Florida to Greece for 598 USD round trip.

Posted by
1803 posts

You got an amazing price on your flights. And you can get a cheap, short flight from Athens to Crete. So no worries, you’re doing everything right

Since you seem strongly attracted to Crete, maybe you spend a week there? And then ferry to Santorini, and then fly back to Athens.

Do a search of this website for Crete and you’ll get all kinds of ideas on how to spend a week.

Some people think 2 nights in Santorini are enough — some enjoy 3 or 4. That’s something you need to decide. I personally try to avoid 2-night stays anywhere. Again, do a search for Santorini and see what other travelers suggest.

Posted by
16734 posts

I like Crete a lot. I hope you can give it at least 5 nights so you'll have a minimum of 4 full days there. The mountainous interior is very different from the coastal towns. I wouldn't recommend just 2 days (3 nights) on Crete even if you didn't want to hike.

Posted by
1514 posts

Chad - This updated Itinerary covers everything on your agenda.

Day 1: Arrive in Athens

Day 2: Athens

Day 3: Tinos

Day 4: Tinos

Day 5: Santorini

Day 6: Santorini

Day 7: Santorini

Day 8: Crete

Day 9: Crete

Day 10: Naxos

Day 11: Naxos

Day 12: Athens

Day 13: Depart

Posted by
16734 posts

You can use skyscanner.com to check on availability of direct flights between your various destinations. Connections are time-wasters and may drive up your costs. Ferries can be slow, and April is not high season. I don't know about ferry (or flight) frequencies so early in the year.

You have only eleven full, non-jetlagged, days in Greece. Day 1 and Day 13 do not really count. To me that suggests no more than three destinations (assuming one of them is the large island of Crete). You are going to have to stay in Athens twice and you will have no quick transfers due to the nature of travel around Greece. I fear that increasing the number of destinations above three will mean your honeymoon memories are as much about rushing back and forth to airports and ferry ports as about hiking and contemplating the Aegean.

Edited to add: Five destinations means you have only six days when you aren't getting on a plane or ferry.

Posted by
2416 posts

Every list-attempt just shows the futility of over-reach in 11.5 days. First, you can only count arrival day as 1/2 IF your plane arrives nonstop at 9:15 or 9:30 AM (which I very much doubt on a bargain flight) & you can't count Departure day at all. So it may be just 11 days. I advise on basis of 13 trips since 1999, 10 of them with newcomers like you along. The reality is, each move will cost you at LEAST half a day... if you believe you can just magically zip from one to another, you must be thinking of Star Trek and 'Beam me up Scottie". The first list made me gasp --- Corfu to Rhodes!!! Aaaach! Even your 2nd list is somewhat of a fantasy. Please, look at maps, check ferry skeds and domestic air (Aegean/Olympic), don't just look at eye candy on your phone... lets make this trip both wonderful AND do-able. The secrets to success: cut islands to 3, workable sequence, figure out transport, & apportion time realistically.. Example: Santorini is 12 miles long. Crete is a COUNTRY --- 170 miles! Allot accordingly.

Since Hiking is your thing, and crete's great for it, consider this:

DAY 1 - immediately upon landing, ASAP (allow 2 hours for switchover) board Flight to CHANIA, CRETE.
Day 2 - Explore gorgeous CHANIA, 2nd most beautiful Old Town in Greece ... book 1-2 of numerous good West Crete hiking or "jeep safari" adventures in the hills, mountains (If you want to do a Gorge, book IMBROS, do-able in 2 hours - the Samaria often is not open in april, and anyway would take 7-8 hours & require a recovery day that your short-short schedule doesn't permit).
Day 3 & 4 - Those adventures
Day 5 - get up at dawn, take KTEL 6 am bus to get to Heraklion for 9:45 ferry to SANTORINI (arrive noon). Stay in FIrostephani, devote afternoon to enjoying view, walking along rim to Fira Town, enjoy sunset from a high terrace restaurant, NOT in Oia.
Day 6 - Take 8:30 bus to OIA, to enjoy & take pix before cruise ship mobs invade and clog all lanes to impassability. at 10:30 or so scram outa Oia, and find somewhere else -- bus to Akrotiri (excavation or beach), or to Pyrgos, a town tourists bypass... findyour own sunset place NOT in Oia ... that's where the lemmings go, even in April - take a look at this montage of jampack throngs struggling along the Oia rim, scenes NOT shown on your I-phone: http://tinyurl.com/lnquk6h
Day 7 - Take 10:45 CHAMPIONJET ferry to Naxos (arrive about noon) -- book hotel in St. George (Ag Giorgios) beach directly adjacent to port town (other areas won't be "open" yet). Afternoon; explore fascinating Old Town, winding mazy paths to Kastro atop town -- out on Causeway at dusk to photo sunset thru the famout arch.
Day 8 - 9 - Bus or taxi to Naxos mountain villages to hike among beautiful spring flowers & greenery, see villages & farms (we once watched a farmer shering sheep in his field in early May). This website suggests good hikes: http://www.cycladen.be/NaxosEng.htm - here are typical scenes around island -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157634605629689/
Day 10 - a final AM in Naxos, then fly ATH, taxi to Plaka-area hotel. Rooms in Chania, Firostephani, Naxos in April will be bargains (40 - 50€ per night). So I suggest minor splurge in Athens, on South Side of Acropolis, by Acropolis Museum & the lovely pedestrian promenade along that side -- Hotel Herodion. Has a super roof-top estaurant w. Acropolis view for final-night dinner; upper-floor rooms have Acropolis-view balconies... and I've heard that when you book (write an e-mail, don't just fill out a form), if you say it's your honeymoon, and add flattery how their hotel can make your Greece dream trip complete -- you may score one of the best rooms, and perhaps a celebratory bottle of fizz, as well.
DAY 11 & 12 -- Experience the stunning landmarks & museums of Athens, all of which will mean MUCH more to you at the end of 10 days of immersion in Greece landscapes, legends and culture.

Posted by
43 posts

Thanks janet for your wonderful itinerary. I think you've done this before =P

I will run this by my fiance and see what she says!

Posted by
2416 posts

Here are a couple of albums from the same wonderful photographer, about Western Crete: Chania and assorted other spots reachable from there: WESTERN CRETE: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632115757899/
CHANIA https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632117917828

And since your time is so limited and you don't have the background to instantly plan a rewarding day-hike, you might look at these day-hikes available from March onward, which have the advantage of taking back-country lanes & pathways, through small villages you'd never find on your own... I've had good feedback from people who tried these... NOT a group thing; all the people involved would be independent travelers like yourself == http://www.happywalker.com/pages/daily_walks_gen_e.php and here is a detailed description of the walks offered, by day of week: http://www.happywalker.com/pages/daily_walks_e.php