Hi Fellow Travelers,
We are experienced travelers - mom, dad, kids (15, 13, 10), heading to Greece for the first time June 17-July 16, flying in/out of Athens.
I have been surveying the possibilities and so far, have some concrete ideas of places we will go (Athens, Crete), but given the size and variability (?) of the area, I could use some direction in fine tuning location selection (and recommendations for how long and what order would be great too)
So far Im thinking we will stay in Athens for a couple of days (2? 3?) when we land there. Im thinking about driving to Delphi and then Nafplio/area, and then heading to Crete (but need to do more research to decide whether to include Delphi or not). From Crete, we would island hop our way back toward Athens and then fly or ferry to Athens the day before our departure.
Here's what we like: history/culture will ideally form the spine of the trip. Usually we spend mornings with a cultural/historical outing, and then leave afternoons open to what appeals (this would be different in Athens where we would maximize sightseeing so as not to spend a lot of time in the city). We are very outdoorsy - the kids have been back-packing since they were two, so Samaria gorge is certainly on the list, and I will look for other islands/areas that have particularly rich nature/hiking/outdoors. My son (13) would love to cliff jump if that's possible somewhere. My daughter (15) is a rock-climber, so she is researching bouldering areas (so far Crete and Tinos look good). And while all the kids will love the beach for 4 weeks, I am probably least interested in this. Of course, most of the pictures of Greece are of beaches, and I actually get a little panicked when I see them.
We do not like partiers, "night life" (per se - we visited the Cinque Terre last year and loved walking around Monterosso at night until late just people watching; is that included under "nightlife"? I think of clubbing), any kind of 'scene'. We also chose Cassis on the French Med. last year because of the Calanques, and to avoid the scene of Cannes/Nice.
However, I am concerned that if we seek out less touristy islands (should we go to Santorini even though its such a scene?), like Astypalaia/Amorgos, or Sifnos, or Tinos etc., there will be "nothing" to do but the beach?
Then again, do we want to island hop or spend more time around the Peloponnesus?... (yes, Im plunging into my Lonely Planet and Rough Guide and Blue Guide starting today ;)
Thank you all for your time and insights.