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1st trip to Greece....... Itinerary help !!

We are planning our first trip with two teenagers this May. This is our initial plan any help or suggestions greatly appreciated

Arrive in Athens May 25 at 8:40 PM and stay in a hotel close to the airport and fly to Santorini early the next morning (26th)

Santorini for 3nights ( 26-28) then ferry to Naxos on May 29.

Naxos for four nights ( May 29-June 1). then ferry to Athens on June 2

Athens for 6-7 nights. (June 2 to 8 or 9th) Stay in Athens and doing day trips or driving and staying at different sites in the Peloponnese

We are looking at renting a car for one day in Santorini and while in Naxos iand on our return to Athens

Should we go ahead and book lodging for Santorini and Naxos Ahead of time? I thought that we would just get a room for the last week in Athens when we are There as we're not sure what we're going to be doing or will things already booked up by then?

We are not picky about lodging as we never spent much time in our room just want to clean and comfortable place to sleep

Posted by
5627 posts

Take some time away from Athens and visit Napflion on the Peloponnesean Penindula. Beautiful small city surrounded by incredible antiquities / Mycenae, Epidavros.

Posted by
423 posts

I have taken 3 solo trips so far but not to Greece and I always booked my loging places in advance. I get better at planning trips with each trip I take; I suggest you write out a more detailed itinery of what you think you will do each day - I find this helpful even though I know I could change my plans a little at the last minute. This will better you know exactly how many days you really need in each place. For example 5 whole days in one place seems like a long time to me. Take a copy of your detailed itinery with you. I personally would not leave home for a trip without having made reservations for all the loging places I will need.

Posted by
663 posts

You're not traveling in extreme peak season, but it's not low season either, so for Santorini at least, I'd definitely make reservations. Possibly you can still find lodgings spontaneously on Naxos, but with a whole family, I don't think I'd want to try.

To be honest, I wouldn't be all that thrilled by the idea of spending so many nights in Athens. :-) It's great to see the famous antiquities, and it's certainly worthwhile spending two or three days - but six or seven?

I'd rather add those to Santorini or Naxos. Two or three full days only for those beautiful islands sure isn't a whole lot. You may be able to see the major sites within that short time, but you certainly won't have time to relax or to explore the smaller things along the wayside or just get into the "Greece" feeling.

Posted by
16757 posts

Athens has great classical sites and museums (I'm not much for those things in general but still remember the Cycladic Museum fondly), but it is primarily a very modern city, and I remember it as not a particularly attractive one. It is noisy and crowded. I bet it takes quite a bit of time to get in and out of the city by car or bus, so I wouldn't want to plan a lot of day-trips from a base in Athens. I agree with not spending so much time there. Divert some nights to an additional place or two on the mainland or the Peloponnese.

Posted by
2416 posts

Absolutely get busy with bookings!! Your best experience will depend VERY much on location, location, location ... and since you'll need 2 rooms, and when you wait until arrival, you may be stuck with a place that's inconvenient, far from a bus line, no views. In late May, if you spend some time & do online homework, you can find good places at good prices. Some Ideas on the modest-budget level --

• FIRST NIGHT -- Look at budget Hotel Peris, Hotel Pantheon; about a 10-15 taxi ride away. You won't get there til 10pm and probably will be checking out at 6 am or earlier, so your needs are just comfy beds, good A/c, and these 2 will deliver. But do book.

• SANTORINI -- Consider staying in FIROSTEPHANI, at north edge of FIRA, a "goldilocks choice" -- away from daytime tourist superthrongs of OIA and FIRA, yet also on or near the famous rimside view, and easy 15-minute walk to/from Fira cafes, museums etc. Book NOW - because honeymooners already snapping up best bargains.

• NAXOS - Teens always want independence, being able to wander safely, not be stuck with parents only in isolated spots - so for you, Accoms on St. George (Ag Giorgios) beach directly adjacent to Naxos Town, is ideal. Not overcrowded in late may but lots of other teens on beach, at Watersports center... and it's a 15-minute stroll to Port town. NOTE: many beach-side lodgings offer 1-BR "self-catering" -- a BR, plus main room w. 2 day-beds, kitchenette, balcony. If these all books, then u can often get 2 "studio" units side by side.

• ISLAND TIME - I'd subtract 1 night from Santorini, (you still have 48 hours - arriving 9 am, and leaving AM day 3) - 2 days enuf to see Famous View, check arch. dig -- beaches are not much to visit). Add the day to Naxos.

• ATHENS #1 OPTION - I agree, day trips unsatisfactory, too rushed. As Suki devote 3 days to Athens, then check out and go to Wonderful Nafplio & Argolid... a super teen adventure. here's a Noncommercial website: http://www.visitnafplio.com/ plus a photo album with some highlights: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/ Check ALL website links. Some TeenWorthy doings - NEMEA, just off main highway, a "runner-up" to Olympia as Games Site -- PALAMIDI, amazing high fortress above Napflio Old town, 999 steps up (but u can drive up b ackway and have kids walk Down), ACRONAFPLIA and BOURTZOI, 2 more castles to conquer! ARCH. MUSEUM (an Achilles-era suit of armor!), Last Beach Day! -- either the fun Town Beach, or nearby Sandy TOLO ... On Drive back to Athens. EPIDAURUS Theatre (Amazing; 15,000 seats, perfect acoustics), then drive up coast road, jump off at ISTHMUS exit to see/photo Old Bridge over Corinth Canal. Final night near Airport.

• ATHENS #2 OPTION -- Same adventure list -- Only difference: on arrival on Mainland, do Argolid trip FIRST. Either at Airport or at Piraeus, u can pick up rental Car, avoid city traffic get on the MOdern divided intercity highway, no stops until after Corinth Canal. This map - http://euro-map.com/karty-grecii/peloponnes/podrobnaya-turisticheskaya-karta-peloponnesa.jpg - shows entire route plus all the sits mentioned above. NOTE: many agencies allow car pick-up at one Athens site, drop-off at another at no extra €

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks so much for all the great information. I will definitely start booking places now.