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Greece in March with Tween

My 11-year old and I are heading to Greece the last week in March and I’m struggling to decide on an itinerary. We want to spend 2-3 days in Athens and then visit at least one island. I’ve been considering Crete, Rhodes, Kos, or Santorini. Delphi also sounds nice for a stop perhaps. Since it will be too cold for real beach time, we’d like to explore/see other things. Moderate hiking is fine, and we don’t want to spend all our time in museums. She loves art and photography. This is her first big trip and I want her to have a great time but not be overwhelmed with too much to do. Any/all recommendations are greatly appreciated!

Posted by
1199 posts

With 5 nights I'd probably stay in central Athens and then do a long day trip to Delphi and spend another day trip visiting one of the Saronic Islands. With 6-7 nights I'd fly straight to Santorini after landing in Athens and spend 2-3 nights before returning to Athens for the remainder of your trip. BTW - I haven't been to Delphi or the Saronics but have done extensive planning for a trip that was cancelled due to COVID.

Posted by
1298 posts

I agree that it would be better to stay in Athens and do a couple of day trips. Getting to one of the further islands means an hour trip to the airport in Athens, an hour to check in, about an hour flight plus travel time at the other end. Essentially you lose 4 hours each way.

A trip to Aegina will take that, but being on a boat is more fun! Janet, who posts here frequently, has good info on how to do this. We followed her advice when we did it so I’ll leave it to her.

I love Delphi, but for another day trip I’d probably opt for the Peloponnese. Various companies do Mycenae, Nafplio and Epidavrus. The advantage over Delphi is a more varied experience.

For art the Goulandris - major donors in Athens - have just opened a fairly new gallery close to the old Olympic Stadium. It’s in a really nice building and has some great exhibits

https://www.thisisathens.org/arts-entertainment/visual-arts/basil-elise-goulandris-foundation

When we took my godson - then 10 - on a trip we read him Tony Robinson’s Odysseus: a tongue in cheek retelling of the myth. He loved it, as did we. It might be worth a look.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/292018.Odysseus

Have a great time.

Alan

Posted by
2805 posts

Re Island Day-Trip --I've given these tips so often, I can just "cut & paste" from what worked for others --
• WHICH ISLE -- I recommend AEGINA. Easy/quick trip, variety of things to see, AND a seafaring bonus.
• VIEW -- Fab June 2009 trip -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/36264706@N03/sets/72157621604646139/detail/

• GETTING to PORT -- GREEN LINE METRO to Piraeus (if you can walk to Monastiraki station, it's direct, no changes; just 30-minute ride). Be prudent re pickpockets; not nearly as common as in other European cities but they DO target that Metro line (for gullible American "public transit virgins"). Just take €/credit cards for the day, leave passport inhotel room (i carry photocopy). If you don't fancy the Metro, a Taxi from Piraeus to Plaka area should be about €20/25 depending on traffic. Ask your hotel for an estimate, & if u are super-cautious, have them write amount in Greek to hand to driver. Never hurts.
• WHICH FERRY - At port, just buy a ticket at any agency on street. For at least one-way, take a CONVENTIONAL ferry, NOT a hydrofoil (former have open decks where u can sit , latter are enclosed, spray-coated windows, NO view). The sail is part of the experience - a "seascape" of huge cruiser & freighters, ferries, motorboats, day-sailers. I've even seen a dolphin!
• WHICH SAILING - Hydrofoils r hourly; Regular ferries less frequent -- 1st is usually 8:20am, then not till noon. If you can't rise early enough for the 8:20, then have inbound trip be your "deck time". Last inbound sailing of these usually around 6pm (March sunset about 6:30) No need to buy round-trip, but on arrival at Aegina, buy inbound ticket, just for convenience.
• PORT SIGHTS - You could do some on arrival (museum may close at 3), and the rest in late day. Right by ferry is a temple ruin (ONE column left! I got a photo against column, framing a sea view... it's on my wall!). TINY museum next to it has AMAZING "Ali Baba-worthy" man-size jars. Back-streets are fascinating, small shops etc. Aegina is "backyard" for Athenians, not "tourist mecca" so back lanes typically greek.
• OUT & ABOUT #1 - Check bus stop timetable for bus to center-island Temple of Aphaia... most complete temple in all the Greek Isles!! (would be totallly complete if 2 Brit Victorian THIEVES had not stolen all the artworks). It's on hill with stunning 360° view of whole Saronic bay. Takes just 15- 20 mins to explore, and next bus won't be for hours. So just walk the road downhill & look for tree-mounted sign "short-cut"... scramble down and presto! you're on a path to seaside village, Ag Marina. Too early to swim but enjoy a lovely lunch al fresco, take bus or taxi back to Port town. There's a famous monastery on the way, but I didn't bother with it.
• OPTION #2 - Find Taxi stand, negotiate "set price" for an outing; this way you could stop en route to see a beautiful monastery (see photo album), in March probably surrounded by flowers! Then on to Temple of Aphaia, wait for you to view, then drop you at Ag Marina for lunch (bus or taxi back)

• LATE-DAY - Wander the town -- i love browsing in small local grocery or hardware shops! then a drink or ice cream at portside cafe, then board your return ferry ... a relaxing end to a day's getaway.

Posted by
2921 posts

If photography and art are her first loves then Santorini would be perfect. There's a reason you see photos from there on every Greek tourism website you'll find online. Take her to Oia for the iconic blue dome chapel photos. Have lunch below Oia at one of the tavernas on the wharf in Amoudi Bay. Go to the archaeological site of Akrotiri and visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera. Explore the charming village of Pyrgos.

Posted by
93 posts

My daughter is around the same age as yours when we went to Greece, and she still remembers how breathtaking Santorini is! Around an hour by plane from Athens, and there won’t be a shortage of beautiful pictures for her to take.