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Athens and an island is 7 days?

Is it possible to have times to visit Athens and a nearby island in 7 days? Which island would you suggest? Or should do a few day trip on the mainland. The idea is to taste modern and ancient Greece and rural Greece. At least, a small taste.
Lawrence

Posted by
1152 posts

Seven days does not give you much time to taste modern, ancient, rural Greece and an island. You could spend 3 nights in Athens and 4 in Nafplio where you can do day trips to many historic sights and also experience the coast.

Posted by
104 posts

Hello Lawrence,

I would suggest either do 7 days on the Peloponnese and Athens OR do 2-3 days Athens, 2 days Hydra and 2 days Santorini. You would need to fly to/from Santorini, but you could take the Hydrofoil to/from Hydra to Athens.

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Posted by
1178 posts

Lawrence

Various islands are possible via internal flights, and none are more than an hour's flying time. This works if your flight in makes a good connection. If not you are faced with traveling back and forth from the airport which adds to the time wasted.

One possibility you might consider is two or three nights in Andros. It's a beautiful island and has the advantage of being reached from the port of Rafina, which is much closer to the airport than Piraeus the main port. It is also much smaller and therefore easier to manage.

We go to Andros a lot and have written up our thoughts here

http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Andros.html

In terms of travel you can get a bus from the airport to Rafina (40 minutes), a ferry (2 hours) and then a bus (1 hr) across the island. Coming back there is a direct bus from Rafina into central Athens (1 hr).

Again, the issue might be flight times. Except at the weekend the ferries tend to go early morning, which might leave you overnighting in Rafina. A nice little town with some good eating places, but might not be what you want to do.

Alan

Posted by
3 posts

These are really good suggestions. I appreciate it!
We may add a day or two to our visit to Athens and nearby. We will be in Madrid before flying to Athens. Perhaps 5 days in Madrid instead of 7 days....

Posted by
2416 posts

Lawrence we cant give you best advice if you don't provide key facts, such as:
(1) Where coming from? Advice differs greatly if you're coming off a 22 hour journey from West Coast or -- as you later revealed, a 2-3 hour flight from Spain.
(2) What MONTH exactly? In Greece, June (warm, uncrowded) differs greatly from July-August (HOT, jammed); for the latter, you may have to strategize to avoid crowded towns & beaches.
(3) How long "On the Ground"? you can't count departure day, and only count arrival day if you book flights that arrive quite early -- so you are able to jump on a domestic flight to your farthest island, or grab a rental car & take off for the Peloponnese Peninsula. If you arrive late in day, you may have to do an Athens o-night. And since you'll want to be in Athens at END of your trip, that means 2 stays in athens... 2 in-out trips/hotel checkin/out ... precious hours which you don't have to spare.

I have several good options to suggest but won't do so until you give us specifics on 1-2-3; otherwise my time/effort would be wasted on scenarios which then prove inappropriate.

Posted by
3 posts

Janet,
1. Coming from Madrid

2. Arriving approximately Oct 8

3. No precision at this time: but on the ground in Greece approximately 7-8 days.

(plane leaves for home Oct 16)

Thanks
L

Posted by
1178 posts

Lawrence

Didn't realise you were going in October. I think in that case I would withdraw my suggestion of Andros and go for Athens and Nafplio.

Most of the islands are fairly dead in the autumn whereas Nafplio is lively all the year round.

Cheers

Alan

Posted by
2416 posts

Agree with Alan.

Only Flights MAD_ATH arrive 3:25 or 4:30. U dont count Oct 16. so essentially you have 7 days

October 8 sunset is 7 pm. Rent car at airport, head straight for Nafplio. Check http://www.viamichelin.com (Michelin drive planner) for full trip details, map directions. 2.5 hours max.

Oct 9-10-11-12 Nafplio & area. All highlights (city, landmarks, ancient ruins, beaches, vineyards) on this superb noncommercial website: http://www.visitnafplio.com/visitnafplio.com/Home.html Mycenae - TIryns - Nemea - Asine - Epidaurus ... More ancient sites within smaller area than anywhere in Greece, plus stunning sunsets at Nafplio seafront, plenty of "rural Greece" atmosphere (near the Nemean Ruins is a "vineyard trail"... and October is harvest time).

Oct 13 - 14 -15 -- Head back in AM. On way back is good time to check out Nemea, just off highway. Return car to Airport, Metro or x95 bus to Central athens. Oct 14/15 major Athens sights

Posted by
1178 posts

Janet's plan looks pretty good to me. I'd add stopping off at Corinth on the trip back from Nafplio to Athens. The Roman / Greek ruins are quite extensive and Acrocorinth, the old fortifications above the site, is huge and very impressive. You can drive up to the gate and if you have the time, and energy, walk up high enough to see both ends of the Corinth canal.

I'd also add a trip to the site at Argos to her suggestions of things to do from Nafplio. It's close by and an interesting and little visited site. We've written it up here

http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Argos.html

Cheers

Alan

Posted by
2416 posts

Thanks for your endorsement, Alan. I would just add the precaution to you -- you're lucky enough to live in UK, can get to Greece in 3-4 hours at MUCH lower airfare, and thus (as you've said on many posts) have been to Greece very often, and intend to visit there many times in the future, often for 2 weeks at a time. Thus you have the luxury of being able to explore the less-known ancient sights.

This is in contrast to someone who lives FAAAR away ... half a world, actually ... which takes (in clock time) more than a day, and which costs at least $1500 round-trip (925£). The OP has 7 days -- and at that distance and that price, may well not come back ever again, at least for years. Please keep that in mind, when you pile on the subsidiary sights. Knowing what can be done in 3-4 days, I concentrated on more famous (deservedly) Argolid ancient sites. Argos? -- definitely for people who've already seen the biggies. About the Corinth area -- yes, I'm all for jumping off the highway at Isthmia, so that one can stand on the bridge and stare down (and photograph) the impossibly deep/incredibly skinny canal. As for Ancient Corinth though, of more interest to ancient-history specialists (who have lots of time), which doesn't describe this party. OP also indicates the level of interest in Greece by tima allocation -- 7 days for one city vs. 7 days for a country.

Posted by
12 posts

Just a comment on the Spain leg of your trip -

Madrid is a great city, but you definitely don't need 7 days for just Madrid. If you want to stay just around Madrid, I'd recommend adding trips to Segovia and Toledo (both about an hour from Madrid). If you can swing it, you'd be better off getting down south for a couple days in Seville too. I'd suggest something like 3 days in Madrid, 1 day in Segovia, 1 day in Toledo, 2 days in Seville...

Posted by
747 posts

Aegina would be an ideal choice for an island. It's just a short ferry ride away and many Athenians go there for weekends, so most everything will remain open year-round. It has one of the best preserved temples in all of Greece, an abandoned village, lots of agriculture, nice seaside village (Perdika), beaches and is the Pistachio Capitol of Greece. Reasonably priced and decent bus service. Hydra would be a good option as it is also close to Athens and many people do day-trips there. It has one of the nicest waterfronts in all of Greece and lovely homes back uphill away from the harbor. Not a whole lot to do since there are no archeological sites, beaches to speak of, no agriculture but most people go for the atmosphere and a little partying. One exceptional aspect of Hydra is there are no motorized vehicles allowed . . . everything is transported by donkey which gives you a feel of the "Old Greece". As several stated Nafplio would be a great option and you can either drive or take a bus to get there. Beautiful Old Town, archeological sites in town and just a short ride away. Great waterfront and lots of tavernas. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!