Please sign in to post.

Greece - help me decide on location

I want to make sure I am making the right choices for an early June trip. We will arrive late in Athens (12:05 AM) so will stay our first night at the Sofitel airport hotel and book a mid-afternoon flight to Santorini for 2 nights. Accommodation is booked in Fira with a caldera view. (I can only really afford 2 nights here). We then plan on going to Paros for 4 nights staying at Akrotiri Hotel just outside Parikia with views overlooking Parikia bay. Reviews do mention walking into town is a little too far. I had not planned on renting a car, so now I am wondering if there be enough options for taxis? The hotel has a pool and it is in our price range. Being near the port, will it be easy enough to get to the ferry for Antiparos or Naxos for a day trip? From Paros, we plan on going to Athens for 3 nights. The description of our Athens hotel states: Staying in the high-end Kolonaki area of Athens, just steps from designer's shops, Hotel Lozenge. I was searching for something in the Plaka area but they seemed pricey. Should I re-look at this option?

I have planned several trips to Europe but I am just not familiar with Greece. Hoping for some input from experienced Greece travelers to help me fine-tune plans. All accommodation so far is free cancellation. Flights to and from Athens are booked.

Margaret

Posted by
3361 posts

We did the RS tour, so can’t help you too much. The hotel Hera and Acropolis select are RS hotels and walking distance to Plaka. We stayed at the Acropolis Select and can recommend. It has a rooftop bar and restaurant with view of the Acropolis.

Posted by
883 posts

Our stay at InnAthens Hotel was great. Reasonable price point; immaculately clean modern room; excellent staff and breakfast; easy walk to everything. I would highly recommend it.

Posted by
2041 posts

About Paros,

In my opinion Akrotiri Hotel is not the ideal location if you don't have a car. I go quite often to Paros, 4 years ago I spent about ten days next to Marcello beach, 300 meters from this hotel. It's up to you but without a car and since there is no restaurant, minimarket or other shops nearby (exept on or two beach bars on the beach) , you will have to walk about 2 kilometers to get to the center of Parikia (passing by the beach)

So to say that this hotel is "near the port" is very subjective

That said, in the accommodation where we were (Niirides Studios) there were two American retired couples who didn't have a car and that didn't bother them. Sometimes it was the very nice owner of the accommodations who took them shopping with her car. But since they are small apartments with kitchens, they don't have to go out every day to eat.

Anyway, my opinion about choosing to go to a hotel in the islands when you are without a car, I already gave it to tanya /Ireland in another thread today.

Note however that from mid-June, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. there is a small boat every 30 minutes which leaves from the beaches of Marcello and Krios and goes to the port of Parikia (3€ one way)

From Paros you can go on a day trip to Antiparos by taking a boat either from the small port of Punda which is in the south west of the island and which you can reach by bus if you do not have a car (2 € one way for the ferry crossing),
or from the port of Parikia with the Express Panormitis (€5 one way).
The crossing is shorter from Punda (about 15 minutes) and the boats are more frequent, it's a small ferry where you can go with your car.

About Athens I'm surprised you can't find accommodation at an interesting price in Plaka. Try to see south of Plaka in the Koukaki district.

Not to be confused with Kolonaki south of Mount Lycabettus, which is a fairly pleasant and slightly more chic district where the embassies and a few luxury boutiques are located. It is also quieter provided that your accommodation is not located near a main avenue.

Posted by
1013 posts

JoLui

Thank you for your input, I was reading reviews on the hotel in Paros, and while good, I was giving it a second thought due to transportation. You kind of confirmed my doubts I will keep looking.

Posted by
1013 posts

Tammy,

Thanks for the info on hotels in Athens - The Acropolis Select looks more in our price range and what we are looking for.

Posted by
2041 posts

Looking at reviews on Google about the Akrotiri Hotel, I just saw a review from last month that said the hotel has a paid shuttle to take you into town and it costs 8€.

It changes from the owner of the Niirides who takes her customers for free to do their shopping. (and she's waiting for them to take them back to the studio!)

Posted by
1013 posts

Without transportation and nobody in the group willing to drive, I am thinking about Naxos instead of Paros and just doing a day trip to Paros. - just second-guessing myself at this stage. Any thoughts? is public transportation better in Naxos than in Paros?

Posted by
2041 posts

The bus network is good in Paros and Naxos. It is a little less dense in Naxos due to the size of Naxos which is the largest island of the Cyclades. In these two islands it is the capital (Parikia in Paros and Chora -Naxos Town in Naxos) which serves as a "hub" from where the buses depart for the other places on the island.

As everywhere in the world, and particularly in the Greek islands, you will not be able to have a splendid view which dominates the whole bay and to be in this bay at the same time. This is the problem with the Akrotiri hotel, not the problem with Paros.
You will have the same dilemma in Naxos.
So it's not a question of choice of island but of choice of how you are going to spend your stay and what concessions you want to make.

For my part, I am used to walking and hiking, I prefer small villages far from tourist spots, without souvenir shops and without organized beaches. I guess that's not your case so I probably can't give you good advice if you want to stay in "town" and have access to everything without having a car.

In Naxos I see no other solution than to be in the small area where all the tourists go, ie just south of Chora at Agios Georgios Beach. After all it's not that bad for a first visit. :))

In Paros there is Aliki, a village in the very south of the island which could be another solution, as well as Piso Livadi in the east. Both places have the beach, a fishing port, restaurants and accommodations, some shops and minimarkets. And of course with a bus stop less than 200 meters away.

Posted by
11368 posts

Kolonaki is Athen’s nice high end neighborhood.
We won’t stay in Plaka, avoid it, too touristy. You are in great shape with your reservations.
Go up Lycabettus Hill, which is in Kolonaki, and take the tram to the top for sweeping views of Athens. Friends of mine lived in Kolonaki for many years.
On Paros, we loved staying in Naoussa. We rented a car for a day, arranged by our hotel.