Some friend's and myself will be on our third trip to Europe and have selected Greece for next year. So far we are looking to spend time in Athens and Isle of Patmos for about 7-10 days. Any suggestions on airlines, hotels, apartments etc..?
If you want the best answers, please add some key facts: (1) WHEN (i.e. last 2 weeks in June) ... BIG difference in advice, depending on whether its May-June-Sept-Oct or July-August. (2) HOW LONG? (not counting 1st & last days, which will be mostly travel -- it will matter if 12 days is all you have, or instead 16-18 days .. (3) WHERE FROM? -- We advise differently for people arriving at 5 pm exhausted after 24-hour trip from Western N. America, vs. East Coasters hopping off a 9-hour nonstop at 9 am, ready to rumble (4) LODGING BUDGET -- If you want us to help Please Please give us a range per night (& say double or single) in EUROS (this handy site http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ converts in seconds) ... if u say "moderate" or "affordable" that means VERY different things to different people ... (5) PEOPLE-STATS -- "friends and myself" could be 3 20-something singles, ready to party, or 2 60-something couples with creaky knees, or even a large group. A bit more description is so helpful (unless u are in a witness-protection program then we understand , LOL)...
... And finally, what are your interests? When people say Patmos -- because of the monastery and the legend of St. John -- one may automatically think, interest in early Christianity, follow footsteps of St Paul etc .. but you may just have seen some pretty pictures. I have visited Patmos and it's interesting, but 7-10 days seems like a huge chunk of your time, when there are at least 25 other isles that merit attention. Are you ancient-history buffs, Greek Orthodox, hikers, swimmers, fond of small-village strolls, foodies, what?? We look forward to your details!
Do you have a copy of RS Greece Guide Book yet? If so, great. If not I would suggest you get one so that you can use it in your planning as we did when we went to Greece last May and June. If you need one, you can order one elsewhere on this web site. We also got a copy of the Lonely Planet guide book.
The Rick Steves Guide book focusses on Athens, and on the Peloponnese ... I think Hydra is the only island... I have a copy of it, and I think it's quite good for Athens especially the step-by-step DIY approach to Acropolis & a coupld of the museums also fairly good on the main highlights he has chosen for Peloponnese. However, we do not know yet what the OP's (Original Poster) interests are re isles, except for Patmos.
The Lonely Planet Guide is OK for logistics, but it's a shadow of what it once was ... it's taken out so much of the interesting background detail in order to include color photographs (which u now really don't need, due tointernet photo abundance). I have a long shelf with virtually every Greece guide, but As a general guide, I now recommend Rough GUide to Greece ... it is more detailed, maps better than LP, and Rough GUide (unlike LP) actually pays its writers (what a concept!) to travel throughout the target countries regularly to explore & update. Since the poster says they're not going until 2015, they hve plenty of time ... I suggest a visit to the local public library to browse the guides, take a few home, see what they find most useful/
Don't believe the media me and my fiance were surprised and happy with Athens it was beautiful, clean, hospitable, and full of so much culture and life. Also, if you are considering another island I would consider perhaps Crete for less crowded beaches and Santorini for the intense vistas, jaw dropping sunsets, architecture, and pure beauty.
If you're staying in Athens I would highly recommend Melia - http://www.melia.com/en/hotels/greece/athens/melia-athens/index.html
You can get pretty good deals during low season.
We recently posted picture of our Santorini leg of our trip on our travel blog - http://wp.me/2R3AI
Last October we spent several nights in Athens at the Philippos Hotel and were very happy with our choice. It is on a quiet residential street no more than a 5 or 10 minute walk to the Acropolis, the metro, and surrounding restaurants, ATMs, etc. The staff were helpful and friendly, the breakfast was ample and served in the bright and pleasant lobby. Our room wasn't large but comfortable and had a huge balcony, wifi available. We thought it was reasonably priced. I found it on tripadvisor and would return.
OP has not returned -- and I'm still curious about Patmos! Ah well.
Appreciate the suggestions to get the Rick Steves Greece book. We agree! However, we do not cover Patmos. As another poster said, we do cover Hydra which is very close to Athens, and then we also cover Santorini and Mykonos as far as islands go. I highly recommend Santorini. It's easier to get to now with budget flights leaving from Athens (check www.skyscanner.com) and it's just such a magical, unique place. Nothing against Patmos, I just think there's nowhere else on earth like Santorini. If you do end up with Patmos, Lonely Planet probably has some good recommendations for what to see and do and where to stay.