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2 weeks in Greece trip report

We just arrived back from 2 weeks in Greece. Travelers included my husband and me, plus our young adult son and his girlfriend. I did all the planning and bookings myself, and used various online resources (listed below). This was our second time in Greece, the last time being 2012. That time we spent one week in Rhodes and 3 days in Athens. Since we didn't spend much time on mainland Greece in 2012, that was the focus of this trip.

We flew from Boston to Athens via Delta, connecting through JFK. I allowed for 3 hours between arrival in Athens and departing flight to Santorini. Because I booked the tickets to Santorini separately, so I was trying to minimize the risk of missing our flights on Aegean Air. We all used carry on bags, and I assume that most readers of this forum would do the same, since Rick Steves preaches traveling light. Even so, the plane to Santorini was quite small so I purchased a checked bag for my husband. It probably wasn't necessary since at the gate the agents were gate checking bags at no charge. Aegean Air also has a pretty strict weight limit for carry-ons on their website, but I didn't see them enforcing it.

We spent 4 nights on Santorini, and while the island is stunningly beautiful, I have to say I liked Rhodes better because of the interesting history, walled old town, ancient ruins and beaches. I'm still happy we went though. Since there was 4 of us, we rented a car. Driving on Santorini was super easy, and even finding parking wasn't too difficult. The hardest part was staying alert for roads suddenly becoming "One Way", and driving down it the wrong way! While on Santorini, we went on a sunset sailing trip which was wonderful. We used Santorini Sail cruises (Captain Kostas), and the trip included swimming in Therassia, swimming at the hot springs, wine, beer, food, and a beautiful sunset(

We had amazing food in Santorini, including grilled fish at one of the Ammoudi Bay tavernas, Taverna Nikolas in Fira and Metaxy Mas in Megalochouri.

Returning to Athens, we rented another car and drove directly to Kalambaka (Meteora), staying 2 nights, then one night in Delphi, 4 in Nafplio and one last night in Athens. Again, the driving was very easy...good roads, pretty good signage. I used the app for navigating, which was fantastic. This app works off-line, so you don't need data on your phone for it. I highly recommend it. For rental car we used Athens Car Rental. Their customer service was great. They met us at the airport with the car and upon our return to Athens they met us at the hotel to pick up the car. I'm very glad I had them do that as parking Athens seemed like a nightmare, plus expensive. We stayed in central Athens, so we walked to the Acropolis from our hotel.

Meteora is really incredible. I made my husband drive the road around the monasteries 4 times in one day we we could get photos in different lighting. We visited two of the monasteries. The Delphi archeological site was not as large as I was expecting it to be. We were able to view the ruins and museum in about 3 hours. We all loved Nafplio. It's a beautiful, seaside town, with fortress ruins, beautiful beaches, great shopping and a lively atmosphere. Our excursions from Nafplio included a visit to a winery in Nemea, a visit to the ancient city of Mycenae, and a day at a nearby beach.

We had a fantastic vacation in Greece! I think the next time I go I will prioritize either Naxos or Crete. Some websites I used for planning were:

Posted by
1812 posts

Thanks for the report! It sounds like a great trip - and I need to find your trip report for Rhodes. :) Meteora has really sparked my interest, so I will definitely have to get there some time.

Posted by
2184 posts

Thanks for your report. We are on the RS Athens & The Heart Of Greece tour right now and we are loving Greece. I wish his tour included Meteora, but we loved Olympia, Monemvasia and now, Hydra Island.

Posted by
1 posts

Thanks for posting your trip report. It sounds like an amazing trip. You've made me very excited about our upcoming trip in May as we will be visiting many of the same locations. Can't wait!

Posted by
3 posts

Wonderful report! I am trying to decide between Naxos and Nafplio for our next trip, so it was great to read a bit about Nafplio.

Posted by
7 posts

Sounds like a great trip, would you mind sharing where you stayed while in Santorini and Meteroa. And if you would recommend them?

Posted by
6 posts

We stayed at the Kavalari Hotel in Santorini, which is right in the heart of Fira. Amazing location, fantastic views. Honestly, I'm a little on the fence about if I would recommend it. The nightly rate was around $150 USD which is great for the view and location. The breakfasts were really nice and service good, but there were other things that I didn't like. We had a superior room with view, but there was another room adjacent to ours which required the guests in that room to walk right in front of our windows to reach their room. So we couldn't be in our room with the windows/curtains open with any expectation of privacy at all. My son and his partner were in a basic double room, which was 4 or 5 flights of stairs down the face of the caldera in a cave room. The room smelled really musty, and I felt bad about that. There was a dehumidifier in the room, but it wasn't working so I requested that the hotel do something about that. They did bring another one down, but part of the problem is that the power in the rooms is shut off when the guest is not there, so the dehumidifier only ran when the key was in the power supply slot. I requested a different room, but the hotel did not have any available, so they made the best of it and didn't complain. Also, the mattresses on the beds are super hard, which I was expecting so it didn't surprise me, but the bed frames squeaked and creaked with every turn or rollover! I almost made my husband sleep on the floor! So, as long as you are aware of those limitations, I recommend it for location and view.

In Meteora I rented an AirBNB because I wanted to do laundry. The apt I rented was in Kalampaka, here is the URL:
This apartment was great, and the location was really close (easy walk) to stores, restaurants, cafes, etc. If you want to hike directly out of your accommodations up to the monasteries in Meteora, I would suggest you stay in Kastraki. Otherwise, Kalampaka was perfect and only a 5 minute drive to start up the mountains.

Enjoy your trip!