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4 Days in Greece in March - Opinion on day trips needed.

I will be in Greece from March 24th through the 28th. I arrive in the early evening and leave early in the morning. I now know that the 25th is a holiday, but thankfully the Acropolis Museum is open that day.

My initial thought was to go to Mykonos via ferry for a day trip on the 26th. Does that make sense to anyone? Is it worth the trouble to try and squeeze it in or should I save that for the next time I'm there and stay in Athens for my entire visit? (Note: This is my first trip to Greece and I am a female traveling alone.)

Thanks for your help.
K. Petticolas

Posted by
3064 posts

You'll have to check to see what sort of ferry service is available on the 26th. If there's a fast ferry from the port of Rafina (not Piraeus) it might be worth your time. Otherwise, not likely.

Posted by
3225 posts

No No no, NOT a good idea! You essentially have three days in Athens (25-26-27) and you'd spend all day from early morning until late evening getting to Mykonos & Back, with maybe 1=2 hours on an island that's not even "open for business"!

Instead, why not enjoy the spectacle! March 25 is Greek Independence Day, celebrating the brave uprising in 1821, led by a priest who raised the Greek flag in defiance of FOUR CENTURIES of Turkish conquest, occupation and oppression. The Greeks celebrate their Independence day with far more than we bring to July 4th, having been conquered so many times and for so many centuries (essentially 100 BC - 1900 AD!). There will be a big parade in Syntagma Square, lots of flags and music -- and then yes you can go to the Acropolis museum, enjoy a wonderful (and v. mod. price) luncheon in its glass-enclosed terrace restaurant looking up at the Parthenon. Prep yourself before the Museum and ask questions of the "docents" that are standing around... and you'll prepare yourself to visit the Acropolis on 26th, in AM .. and the Ancient Agora & much more!!

This handy map - - (click to enlarge, & print to take) shows how close all landmarks are ... Temple of Zeus, Hadrian's arch etc. Stop at a sunny outside taverna for a souvlaki lunch! March 26 is a Thursday & the superb Benaki Museum is FREE that day, and open until MIDNIGHT! A delight, SO compact, 4,000 years of art & history in brief, with GOOD signage. BONUS: a lovely cafe where you can observe chic Athenians at lunch or fllirting over cocktails. This handy list shows sites, locations, hours of Dozens of wonderful attractions; A Jewelry Museum! A Musical Instruments Museum! Do u admire that gorgeous Actress - Patriot Melini Mercouri, who helped overthrow a dictatorship, then became Minister of Culture! There's a Foundation with a thrilling photo-display of her life works. I've enjoyed ALL these and more; have your hotelier mark them on a map, don sturdy shoes and you'll have a day of joy.

If you still have energy on day #3 and feel you want to see ONE island, take a Green Line Metro (€1+) or a taxi (€15-20) to the port, Piraeus, and catch a 1-hour ferry to AEGINA (NOTE: take a ferry with open decks, NOT a hydrofoil, which is enclosed, no views). U can enjoy all the shipping in lovely Saronic Bay. On landing, stroll the town, catch a bus or take a taxi 15 minutes to Mid-island to see THE most perfectly-preserved Temple in all the islands --- Temple of Aphaia on hi hill, stunning 360° view. Hike downhill to little seaside village of Ag. Marina, have a bite of lunch, bus or taxi back to port, and catch a ferry. An island "taste" in a few hours; here's a photo album of a June day-trip there:

Rick Steves website has a good FREE audio download of a D-I-Y tour of Acropolis AND ancient Agora ... and it's in his guide book too. His new book may even have D-I-Y tour of Acrop. Mus. One last note about being prudent: if you are in the Syntagma Square crowd for festivities, or take a Metro to Piraeus -- Leave valuables, tickets & passport locked in your luggage at hotel & only take a change purse with your money for the day, zipped deep inside your day bag. Athens has FAR less pickpocketing than the other Europe capitals, but the 2 places that it occurs is in busy Syntagma square, and on the metro to the ferries. (PS: most tourists who are pickpocketed are MEN; women are used to being alert about their handbags).

All the above is from a female who often travels alone in Athens, loves it, feels safer than in any big city I've toured or lived in (I'm now in Philly, spent 35 years in NYC). You'll have a wonderful 3 days!

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks, Janet! This was exactly the kind of advice I was looking for. You've made me feel MUCH better about my trip. I now know exactly how I want to spend my time. Thank you SO much!

Posted by
3225 posts

YOu're quite Welcome ... I wish I could have a weekend in Athens Right NOW ... I'll have my time come June ... but Athens can be enjoyed any month of the year.

Posted by
1094 posts

I agree with Janet. Mykonos is not even worth a thought with the time frame you have. Stay in Athens and enjoy it. There is plenty to do, see and walking around is the best way to do it. Not to mention all the great restaurants. I also would give an arm and a leg for Greece right now, let alone March. We just had a second snow storm in less than a week for a total of more than 20". Also the temps have been below ZERO at night and low teens during the day. I keep asking myself what am I doing living in the Northeast US when I could be in southern Greece or an island in the Cyclades!