We are planning a trip for 4 of us in June 2020 and looking at flights from Athens to Naxos and then Santorini to Athens. I've been tracking ticket prices for a few weeks and trying to decide on the right time to buy. I've read on here that they sometimes have deals in Nov or January. The prices I am seeing now for the times that work for us are about $69 each way, which are flex tickets that include a carry on. Would you just buy those now or keep waiting to see if prices drop?
I would buy. We paid a little more than that supposedly “on sale” two years ago. There are not very many seats and you will regret it if you wait and find them sold out.
I also would buy. Without having researched these routes, $69 still feels like the low end of the pricing scale - in round numbers, I often expect intra-European flights to cost about $50 with a decent cushion of advance purchase. Maybe some flights somewhere in Europe do go as low as $30 (e.g. on Ryanair), but that type of price difference shouldn't be a budget-breaker, and might be eaten up by baggage fees on some airlines.
Thanks to you both! I just went ahead and booked and good thing I did because on the Athens-Naxos flight I could only get 3 tickets for the $69 price and had to get 1 at about $79, plus it would not let me pick seats, so guessing that may mean that flight is booking up. On the Santorini-Athens flight, I got all tickets for the same price and it did give me the option to pick seats but I declined since it is an extra fee and didn't seem worth it for a 45 min flight.
I am late to this thread, but we flew on Olympic 2 years ago from Santorini to Athens. We had flex tickets as well. We paid 2 x Adult € 48.00, taxes €30.60, Total €78.60. We had booked 8 months in advance (1/11/17) for September 2017. I imagine prices have escalated in 2 years. Probably good that you went ahead and booked.
Can I ask what amount of time you allotted for athens vs each island? trying to figure out my itinerary for june, thx laura
Yes, so I should note that the trip is a high school graduation gift for my son and his main request was to visit the islands. That said, we are flying in and staying in Athens for 2 nights, then Naxos 4 nights, Paros 4 nights (with a tentative day trip to Mykonos during this stay), Santorini 3 nights and 1 night in Athens before our morning flight home. We are not doing what many people here recommend, which is to fly directly to the islands when you arrive in Athens and visit Athens last. I just did not think we could muster up the energy to continue traveling after we arrive. We live in Seattle but will be flying out of Vancouver BC, so will start out with about a 3hr drive to the airport, a 10hr flight to Frankfurt and then the 3hr flight to Athens arriving about 7pm local time. We've done trips to Italy and Spain out of Seattle (so without the 3hr drive to the airport) with a similar evening arrival time and we've just barely had enough energy to get a late dinner and go straight to bed! Both trips we have woken up the next day refreshed and ready for a full day of sightseeing and never dealt with much jet-lag, so it seems to work well for us.
idurbin I have a couple of thoughts. First I know full well the chore it is to get from Vancouver to Greece and indeed you will be tired. I always recommend that one sucks it up and makes the effort to get to the first island on that travel day. Having said that with a three hour drive as part of the trip I probably would crash n Athens that first night too. It will take you pretty much an hour to get into Athens that evening and then back out to the airport for that next flight. It is very inefficient and a waste of precious time. You might consider staying at a hotel near the airport. We have stayed at Peris hotel several times. It is well priced just a 15 minute drive to and from the airport in their shuttle. They have a decent breakfast next morning. In October this year we wanted to try something new so we stayed in Rafina which is a 20 minute shuttle ride. Shuttle and breakfast are included in their price. It was about 110 euros compared to 80 at Peris.
Another thought would be on your island hopping sequence. I believe you said ( darn Rick Steves for not leaving the previous threads visible) you were planning Naxos Paros and Santorini. Island sequence is important so sequentially Paros is closest to Athens so it makes sense to do it first. It is a short ferry hop to Naxos and then a two hour hop to Santorini. If you do Naxos first it means you are back tracking.
There are more flights to and From Paros than Naxos so you might want to fly into or out of Paros
Of course if you have already purchased your flights all this info is irrelevant.
For fun this is what you can expect in Naxos
Naxos Town http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094558042/
Trip around Naxos
Yes, super annoying that you can't see the post you are replying to! Thanks for your input, stanbr! I feel like there is a reason I planned Naxos first and then Paros, but I can't recall now.... On the map, they look to be almost side to side, although you are right that Naxos is just a bit further than Paros from Athens. Oh well, tickets and hotels and now booked in this order.
I should also correct my prior post--it's actually 3 nights in Naxos, not 4.
Anything in either Naxos or Paros that are highly recommended or "not to be missed"? In Naxos we plan on one day of exploring Naxos Town (castle, etc.) and 2 beach days (one day at Agios Prokopios Beach and one at St. George Beach). I don't have anything planned in Paros yet....
As far as Naxos, we took the bus to the nearby hilltop village of Apiranthos. The bus dropped us off and returned about 2.5 hours later. It gave us enough time to walk this ancient village, converse with the store owners and enjoy a delicious meal at an outdoor cafe. It was a top highlight in Naxos. Our favorite restaurant in Old Town was Nostimon Hellas. Their menu was extensive, creative and delicious. They have a lovely courtyard behind the restaurant. We were so impressed that we ate their twice.
How does one best buy flights from the US for Athens to the islands? I was thinking of island hopping between Santorini , Naxos (paros??) and mykinos. I was going to fly into santorin, ferry between them, and fly out of mykinos. Any recs on which direction to start? Which airlines? thx laura
Imurphyfoster I recommend you create your own topic and people will help. If you are asking about the best flight from US you need to tell you where in the US. I'm in CA so we have many many flights to Europe on daily basis including Greece. This is typical during the summer months but airlines sometime reduce out of the adjustment of winter vacationers. Again create your own thread and many people will help you out.
to lmurphyfoster -- agree you should do your own thread... some people will not look at the end of a thread they already have contributed to, so they will miss your different question. You also need to provide fuller info and context, in order to get good advice and not have people devote thought and effort to scenarios which then may prove irrelevant.
Example: you talk about flying direct to Santorini. There are no flights from USA direct to Santorini. In other threads you have posted (but not mentioned here), you talk about going first to Barcelona, and yes, you probably can fly direct to Santorini from there. You also talk about leaving greece by flying from Mykonos ... but to where? You cannot fly to North America direct from Mykonos. As others have pointed out, your starting point also matters.... your options differ greatly depending on whether you leave from New Jersey or Portland, OR. We're well-informed but not mind-readers; thus we do appreciate if you share key facts.
Hi idurbin, indeed Naxos and Paros are very close together. Proximity though does not translate into time. It takes a half day to ferry hop from Paros to Naxos even though the actual ferry trip is only an hour. You have to take into consideration packing, checking out of your hotel. Waiting at the port for the ferry to arrive the ferry trip then getting to your Naxos hotel getting checked in. On our first trip we did that hop and we got on St George beach at 3 in the afternoon.
With only 3 days (actually 2.5 days) you do not have much time to explore the island. I would suggest you use that first day to enjoy a couple of hours at St George beach. In the early evening head into Naxos town just a 10 minute stroll from St George) Stroll the waterfront promenade and harbour area then consider walking up to the 6th century BC Portera for sunset.
Boy I wish you still had 4 days.
If beaching is all you really want then indeed on day two take the KTEL bus to the west coast beaches. While Prokopious is a popular beach our long time favourite is toward the end of the bus route at Plaka beach. Fewer people better sand same sea. Prokopious does have a village while Plaka has no built up center but there are enough tavernas to cater to your needs.
St George Beach Naxos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632113170279/
Plaka beach tavernas hotels https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157655106193251
You can continue your exploration of Naxos town in the early evening.
Day three. Agian if beaches are your total priority then either go back to Plaka or Prokipous.
However Naxos has many great features in the interior. As mentioned a bus trip to Aparanthos is an excellent suggestion. You could also take the bus to the village of Chalki. There are several good hikes/walking paths in this area. If you really want to get the feel of the island you can purchase a tour of the island. It is on a 25 passenger half size bus. I believe its less than 30 euros per person for a full day tour. That tour hits almost all of the highlights of Naxos. Mountain villages, rugged mountain scenery, and several prominent antiquities. That tour should be sufficient for you to get a taste of Naxos and will be the first stages of your plans to return for a week visit.
Yes, a bus trip to Aparanthos does sound lovely and I’ve added that to our itinerary! I have a couple questions re: Plaka beach, though. I thought I read somewhere that it is predominantly a nudist beach. Is that not right? Are there beach loungers you can rent with food/drink service or more like lay on your beach towel and bring your own food kind of beach? Are the tavernas close to each other so you can check out a few by foot or do you need a car?
We had lunch at Plaka beach and there were several places each within walking distance of each other.
It was a windy day and we did not stay at the beach (sand was blowing around) but did not see any nude sunbathers. I will tell you though that we saw a few at other beaches we went to on Naxos.
Plaka is not a nude beach. Having said that, there are a couple of sections where nudists tend to congregate. These areas are behind big sand dunes specifically near Three Brothers hotel/taverna and further south just past where the bus route terminates. It is easy to avoid these areas. The beach is at least 2km long with about 300 meters in total where you are sure to find nudity.
You might run into some topless people even on st George Beach. You need to be aware that this is a possibility on most of the beaches.
I would concur with Beth & Stanbr on their observations at Plaka & St. George Beaches. We visited Plaka briefly, but left due to windy conditions. We were staying at St. George and did observe some nudity (topless) there as well as at our resort. Like many other places around the world it was acceptable.
Fully aware that we will run into some nudity and am fine with that, just didn't want to knowingly take my kids to an all or predominantly all nudist beach.
We fully understand your concerns for your kids. Thats why we are giving you information so you can be prepared to make informed choices.
I just wanted to add that we did not see any topless bathing but rather older men sans bathing suits. We saw them on three different beaches that we visited but only when walking away from the main area along the beach.
Just to add another suggestion for Naxos, if you want an option other than beach time...we spent six fabulous hours with Nicolas at Naxos Discovery tours. He is extremely knowledgeable about the island, and offers both historical as well as nature hikes. It's a great way to see the island which is very large. One of the best tour guides we have found in our travels. Nicolas picked us up at our hotel (Hotel Grotta) and the time just flew by as we discovered things that we'd have never seen on our own. Highly recommend!
I would see if those prices include everything. I saw cheap prices and then there were lots of add-ons. Just saying. If it's going where you need to go, when you need to go, then you pay it.