Please sign in to post.

20 + days in Greece, Itinerary help

Hello all,

Solo male mid 40’s semi experienced traveler heading to Greece this October for 20 to 28 days. My tentative plan is to fly from the mainland to Rhodes, leaving Rhodes I’ll fly thru Athens to Mykonos.
Rhodes 3 nights
Mykonos 2 nights (Délos)
Naxos 3 nights
Santorini 4 nights (pending ferry schedule leaving to Folegandros)
Folegandros 2 nights
Milos 2 nights
Athens 4 nights

That takes me to 20 nights so I have room to add days/islands, etc.

I’m already planning a return trip in a couple years for Crete and Peloponnese, so maybe not go this trip. My questions would be:
1 Skip Rhodes and include on next trip with Crete?
2 add Paros/Antiparos?
3 add Sifnos or Serifos or Kythnos? (These 3 are on the Zante line from Milos)

Likes are History, Architecture, walking, cute towns, beautiful Scenery, sunsets, amateur photography, good food and wine.

Thank you all very much for your input. J

Posted by
1725 posts

I haven’t been to the places you are planning except santorini and Naxos. I would spend more time on Naxos than three nights. We were there four nights and would have gladly spent a couple more. I also think you can visit Delos from Naxos so if that is your interest in Mykonos you could at least add those two days to Naxos.

But generally you are planning a lot of moving around. It takes at least a half a day to go from one location to another.


Posted by
1067 posts

My MIL said she really enjoyed Rhodes so keep that. You could whittle down Santorini and add that time to Crete to get 6 nights on Crete which would then be a good amount of time. You could also whittle Athens down by 1 night if you needed to.

Posted by
7689 posts

If you do go for 28 nights, it would be easy to add Napflion in the Peloponnesean Pen. Next trip do more of the peninsula.

Posted by
2864 posts

I gather that you have not locked in any accommodations or domestic transport -- Good! Because IMHO, you are doing it backwards. Maybe you have traveled elsewhere in Europe in the Fall (Spain, Italy) where far-flung areas are still lively in October -- NOT the case in Greece. The smaller islands begin rolling up the sidewalks in mid-september... many people from those isles actually live on mainland or larger places (lilke Crete) and are getting their kids back in school etc. So you might find a lot of shuttered shops and very hushed evenings... and hotel & restaurant owners who are friendly but mentally already onward to their own lives.

You can minimize this by a modified reversal -- the first 4 in your list are likeliest to be livelier later. Thus: fly to MILOS... if you like swims and sailboat rides, do 3 days not 2. There's a daily AM fast-ferry to FOLEGANDROS (small cat, but it's only a 55-minute ride). This island's main charm is its "CHORA" (High town) where u should stay 2 nights, then on to SANTORINI. I say (from experience of many visits) that 3 full days (3 nights?) on Santorini is plenty, if you stay on the move. There are several daily ferries to NAXOS; choose one that has outside deck to stand on for the departure view. NAXOS has large permanent population, so the port town is always lively; stay right next to it, on St. George Beach, u can walk to evening activities & the good bus network that serves the whole island. Rent a car at least 1 day to experience all the interests on your list -- PS, it has many vineyards, and in Fall, some village wine festivals. Allot at LEAST 4 days, 5 is better. On to Mykonos for another 2 days. That's 15 days: Decision time!

Yes, Rhodes could fit in now... To get there you could take a ferry (to Rafina OR to Piraeus -- time is roughly the same from 3.5-5 hrs depending on what kind of ferry). Then you'd do local transport to airport (from Piraeaus there's now a handy hourly TRAIN, 60 minutes; Rafina, local bus about 45). You should be able to get a "promotional price" of airfare, if you pick he right day -- less than a ferry ride, and takes 50 mins vs ?15? hours. Rhodes has large permanent population and its Old Town always lively due to cruise line visits late into fall (but stay at far end, away from port -- Look at cute & budget Medieval Inn) ... Lindos bay is a "suntrap" so October is fine for swims ... rent a car & explore rest of island; maybe 5 days. Again, Rhodes represents all the interests on your list! Lucky you to have the time to explore them!

To return to Athens, you could fly (50 minutes), or try an overnighter on a modern large Blue Star ferry (1500 passenger capacity = like a small liner) -- board at 1700-1800 (5-6pm) arrive 8 AM. Single cabin costs a bit, but remember it's travel PLUS hotel - you also can book a berth in an all male cabin for 2 or 4 (that time of year, the other bunk/s may be vacant).

Counting a day for Mykonos-Rhodes travel, that brings you to 21, so you can judge how long to stay in Athens. You may want to give it 5+ days, and then do an overnight to Delphi ... drive or KTEL bus up in late aftenoon, enjoy mountain sunset and views (at my room at back of budget Hotel Pan, hawks circled BELOW my balcony... and the sea gleamed in the distance). Going to site at 8 AM, you can see it before bus tour groups, arrive, check the GOOD museum, then via bus or car, return to ATH or ATH airport ... an inspiring end to a glorious trip of 27-28 days. PS: we are all green with envy!

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for the input, I tried to keep my first post short, but ill expound a little more. I can't normally get a whole month off, usually just 2 weeks, for a 2 week trip I thought Crete and the Peloponnese would make a good trip. I know that Napflion is very well liked by all, but will save it for my next trip. Janet, thank you for the thoughtful insights, they are very much appreciated. In fact up until 2 weeks ago when I began re-reading my guide books my plan was to fly from Rhodes to Milos and begin my ferry trip there. Rhodes first only because I can get a $78 ticket straight from Paris, Paris being easy to get to for me. Also that would only take me thru Athens Airport twice, once from Rhodes to Milos and once on my way home. I will research moving Rhodes back toward the end of my trip either before or after Athens. My only hold back on taking Sea Jets 2 from Milos-Folegandros-Thira was the possibility of rough seas and cancellations. How frequent are they that time of year? If I plan 3 nights milos, 2 nights Folegandros, 1 night with no reservation (for the possibility of rough seas and no boat), then 3 nights Santorini, is that a good plan? If the sea was good then I could get a room in Kamari and see Ancient Thira and Akrotiri via rental car before returning it and settling in on the Caldera. I hate to cut a day from Santorini in case there is bad weather, as I want an extra opportunity for photography. A couple extra days in Naxos sounds like a good plan. I Am planning on a day trip to Delphi from Athens. Thank you all again for all the wonderful input. last note for Janet, I saw you were from Philadelphia and when your post came up it said it was your 1776th post, I thought that was pretty cool. Plus many thanks for sharing your knowledge so frequently!! J

Posted by
2864 posts

Thanks JA! for noticing 1776... I had not! YOu have provided a lesson for all inquirers, which I HOPE they will heed -- Do Not Leave Out Relevant Details!! If you'd said up front that the Rhodes-first motive was a bargain flight, we'd have understood, and saved ourselves time & effort with a new scenario. Is that flight cheaper than Paris to ATH?? (there are so many Euro airlines these days, the prices are great). Anyway, at least push Milos & Folegandros to the front somehow. And don't fret about the Superjet ..,. look at the map, not much open sea between the 2 islands, so not as much chance for rough voyage, and unless you;re the kind that's been urpy ever since daddy drove you to Grandma's house (he he) you should be OK.

In Milos the last time my friends & I stayed in Pollonia but it could be super-quiet in Oct -- better off looking at somewhere in Adamas. In Foley, I looooved staying at -- a luxe view, not pricey. Only precaution, be careful coming back from dinner in the dark after a glass of wine or 3 .... it''s a Steeep road down to the rooms, at pool level, and a few years back no handrail at ALL.

In Santorini, I'm glad u are doing ancient Thira... a real treat! Most people skip it. For Akrotiri AND Thira really read up -- here's a pretty good website to print out ... neither one has super-good signage.

For Delphi do NOT do a day-trip by tour bus... You arrive at same tme as 10 busses, a mob on the ruins site, THEN they all jam into the museum. PLUS, they don't allow enough time at either site, and NO time at all downhill at the Monument to Athena... all because they want to rush y ou off to a stupid restaurant so you can eat (and pay for)a bad meal (for which I'm sure the driver gets a kickback), and then stop at severall souvenir shops (ditto). Typically, these tours arrive 10;15 - 10:45, and leave by 1 pm!!! Everyone who does it complains at the end. If you want to rent a car & drive, OK .... OR do a D-I-Y (get to Liossion KTEL station by 6:30 for the 7 AM bus)... buy a r-t ticket for last bus back (18:00), you can change it for an earlier one if you leave early. That's OK too. Just warning you.

Posted by
1917 posts

Here's another option, if you can make it work.

The big Blue Star ferries, which are reliable and stable, run from Rhodes through Kos to Santorini on Mondays and Wednesdays in October. So start out in Rhodes. If you can do a Monday departure, take the Blue Star to Kos. Stay there 2 nights so that you can take a day trip to Nisyros, which is a beautiful, tiny volcanic island with an active (but not erupting) crater that you can walk around inside. A truly amazing experience. I'd suggest contacting a hotel in Kos and verifying that the Nisyros day trips run when you're there.

On Wednesday, when the Blue Star comes back through, go to Santorini for 3 nights.

If you can't make the Monday departure work, you could still take the Wednesday ferry from Rhodes to Santorini. It's a bit of a long trip, but the Blue Stars are pretty comfortable. They offer food and drink and comfy chairs inside, or scenic spots outside. I would much prefer a ferry ride over an airplane!

After Santorini, you can go to Folegandros and Milos, and make your way back to Naxos ... maybe stopping in Paros for a couple of nights. There are daytrips from Naxos to Mykonos, so that you could see Delos, but I'm not sure if they run in October.

A little sidetrip from Naxos would be to go to Amorgos, specifically the port of Katapola. One of our favorite places, we stayed at Porto Katapola hotel, right on the harbor, with a huge balcony and great view for under 50 euros/night. You can visit the famous Hozoviotissa Monastery and see some cute towns. There are daily ferries between Amorgos and Naxos.

I think this would be a great trip!