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Greece in March


We're planning a trip to Greece in March reaching Athens on March 10th, leaving March 17th. We'd like to visit Santorini for 2-3 nights, and plan on flying there from Athens. We're traveling with 2 kids, 7 and 11, so any family friendly hotel recos with caldera views would be very welcome.

It's our first visit to Greece, so also thinking of doing a side trip to Delphi from Athens. Would appreciate ny suggestions for other must-sees/must dos.


Posted by
3227 posts

Hi Dee; Just want to make sure that you're aware that March in Greece is not like March in Caribbean, temps much more like mid-USA. March 1-30 ave temp is 52°F, so early March likely below 50°, and it's still in shower-y season. Just keep that in mind, and forget packing swimsuits.

On Santorini In March, you may be best off staying in Fira town or Firostephani (north end of Fira Town) because that is where the most things will be open. No need to pay for a pool hotel outside of swim-season. To get best suggestions from the Santorini experts on this forum, give us your desired budget range per night in Euros (here's the good Instant conversion website - . Also, do you want a unit w 2 BR? or a sort of 1 BR-Studio unit? (1 BR and LR w 2 daybeds). With children that age, I'd think that 2 nights in Santorini would be enough ... not as much for them to do at that season -- it is mainly the famous Caldera View, and kids get bored quickly with views. The Akrotiri escavation really is most interesting for adults. You could consider Ancient Thira, as a hiking challenge.

About Delphi, If u fly back from Santorini, u can rent car right at airport and easily drive to Delphi in about 3 hours. This website shows best route, time, cost in tolls & gas -- just put in ATH Airport GReece as start-point, then DELPHI Greece as destination. HOWEVER, until April 1 both the site & the Museum close at 3 PM ... so in order to do it in one day, you'd really have to leave the ATH area by 8 AM. A more relaxed approach would be to arrive ATH airport in Afternoon, drive up before dark, take a hotel for the night, then go to site & Museum at 8:30 in AM. Hotel PAN has marvelous balcony views down mountainside to the sea from its rooms at the back.

For many, Delphi is an absolute MUST, but if it's just one option you are weighing , consider instead doing NAFPLIO for 2-3 nights. Kids Loove this Old Town (on a peninsula, feels llike an island) -- because it has so much to explore, in town & nearby. Castle in Harbor, Castle ramparts atop the town, and behind town, a huge fortress (Palamidi) on a Gibraltar-size "rock"... 999 steps (tip: u can drive up the back way and walk DOWN). The town square is paved in MARBLE, the small museum there is Very well organized, with video interaction ... there's a local playground. If the weather suddenly turns sunny & mild, there's Tolo beach 10 minutes out of town where kids can caper on the sand. AND if you drive to Nafplio from ATH airport (2+ hours on v. modern divided highway), you can visit other local ancient sites ... Tiryns fortress, Epidaurus, etc. This fab noncommercial Website shows lovely visuals ... this Map (click to enlarge) -- -- shows exactly how to get there. A PLUS: on way to or from, right off main highway near Corinth Canal... there's NEMEA, an ancient Games Site (runner-up to Olympia). Ruins, AND restored arena, where u can use ancient start-blocks for racing. Its a quick stop, and kids love it.

Finally, do try to stay at least 1 day in Athens, to take the kids up on the Acropolis at least... they'll remember it forever.

Posted by
2 posts

Janet - thank you for your helpful and detailed reply!
March worked well for us due to spring break here (and we'll be taking a couple extra days). I've read the weather is not the best that time of year, but we'll be prepared!
We're looking at 150 - 200 euros per night. I did a quick search, and it appears there are hotels in the Fira area that offer caldera views. Look forward to your recommendations.
After viewing your reply, I'm thinking we should do 2 nights in Athens (one day do a guided walking tour), fly to Santorini and stay for 2 nights, then fly back to Athens and drive directly from Athens to Delphi, spend 2 nights there before heading for the final night to Athens. We do want to see the sights in Athens, esp the Acropolis. Again, your feedback on the itinerary is appreciated.

Posted by
3227 posts

My first bit of advice (which all of us "old hands" recommend) .... don't go into athens upon arrival. Instead, immediately upon landing, get the next available flight to Santorini. Allow 2 hr layover ... it will take about 1 hour to pick up baggage, get thru passport control, buy some Euros at an ATM, and walk over & check in to the domestic flight (Aegean/Olympic). This way, if you take one of the nonstops from East coast US (Delta or USAir), you'll arrive about 9:30, and you can probablly get a 12 noon flight (50mins) to Santorini. Going in/out of central athens twice is a big waste of time you don't have, since u only have 7 days. After u have relaxed in Santorini a couple of days, THEN go back to mainland.... pick up car at airport and head immediately for Delphi ... you avoid all city driving this way. ALL your Athens stay will be at the end -- by then, you'll be used to Greece, more relaxed & rested, and can cope with the energy of a city. Another tip; if you can, get a flight that leaves for US no earlier than 9 AM... noon is even better.. You must be in check-in line 2 hours ahead, and it takes 1 hour by taxi from central Athens to airport, so you'd have to leave hotel 3 hours before departure. I don't know about YOUR kids, but I could never get mine out the door before 7 am!!

BTW, if you sign up for Aegean "newsletter" (really just an e-mail alert) they have "promotional pricing" for those domestic flights to Santorini, on sale right now ... I think about E39. can't beat that. And DO get your logistics (flights, ferry if taking) nailed down before locking in a hotel. However, most decent hotels do allow a change of a day one way or other if u give enough advance notice... Good luck, have fun planning ... do some homework it improves your enjoyment (get some guidebooks from the excellent libraries u have in Dallas).

Posted by
32065 posts


One point to mention if you're planning to rent a car in Greece.....

Note the EACH driver must have the compulsory International Driver's Permit, which is used in conjunction with your home D.L. You can obtain these easily at any AAA office for a small fee (two photos required, which they can usually take). You may never be asked for it, but if you should be involved in any kind of an "incident" and can't produce an IDP, it will NOT be a happy holiday experience!

Posted by
255 posts

I have been to Greece twice, once alone and once with students. We went during our Spring Break which is the first week of April. We drove from Athens to Delphi, Olympia, Napflio, and back to Athens. The weather can be variable but most places we went had pleasant weather and we just needed a light pullover. The only places where it was cold was at the Temple of Apollo at Bassae and the Temple of Poseidon at Suonion. Otherwise we had a great time and one student even went in swimming at Napflion. I used this car rental both times.