Taking the fam to Greece (w/ a few days in Scandinavia) mid-June to mid-July for my son’s high school graduation. Would appreciate any advice you have. I have been pouring over books, these threads and reviewing the itineraries of others. We are hoping to book flights asap. Almost pondering a travel agent.
We are a family of 5 from Seattle and all of us have been to Europe. Kids are college aged: one boy, 2 girls. My husband and I studied abroad back in the day so we have both backpacked Europe. My daughter is there now on her Study Abroad in Scandinavia.
A few years ago we took a Rick Steve’s My-Way Tour to Italy (fantastic) when the girls graduated high school. Per request from this year’s graduate (the boy), this time around we seek a more leisurely trip with a minimum of 3 nights in most destinations. With some museums, yes, but more focus on just being there and enjoying the culture and ambience. His favorite memories of Italy were a magical night in the square in Venice, the Domus Area 3D in Rome, and the day we spent on the trail hiking the Cinca Terra (needed more time there). We are very casual travelers with simple tastes. We have a house in Hawaii and tend to live that lifestyle. The beach is important but is not our primary focus for this trip. We like to be on the move when it is cool and in the water when the afternoon heat hits. We would all prefer a pleasant glass of wine at a Taverna, rather than a fancy club with loud music. The kids will have had enough parties the week before we leave. We do have food sensitivities (gluten intolerant) which tends to complicate things. To keep costs down and make for easier gluten free living, we had originally pictured AirBnBs in 3-4 locations but that option is not looking as easy and inexpensive as it is in the US. We will perhaps need 2 hotel rooms to be closer to town. We’d like to have access to pools for “some” of this and be near the center of things so we can split up and regroup easily. How to make all of this come together? On Days 13 on, does it make sense to drive across from Athens to Corfu to fit in the Meteora area? I remember Meteora as being a real show-stopper years ago. However I was there in Spring so was not dealing with heat. Athens-Meteora-Corfu is 8 hrs on Google Maps. Is this realistic or biting off more than we can chew? Should we scrap that and just fly out of Athens?
• Active. (With options to be NOT-active).
• Luggage – Backpacks only.
• Hotels or AirBnb with 5 beds: In the US our target nightly rate for 5 is $150’ish. Ideally with an element of charm or quirkiness. Thinking that rate is unrealistic for Greece.
• Dining: Small cute Tavernas.
• Car rental – Yes, when helpful.
• Interests: Culture, food, ambience, hiking, beaches/pools/snorkeling/museums/archeology (highlights only)
• Trying to minimize: Extreme heat, extreme humidity, extreme crowds, I know. It’s July. And no Rodeo Drive.
Here is the first draft of our plan.
Seattle–Gatwick –Athens -Crete
1 Crete -- Chania
5 Naxos -- Agios St. Georgios?
7 Naxos – (Daytrip Ikaria or Santorini?)
10 Paros – Naoussa / Or Hydra?
12 Paros –
13 Athens - Acropolis at dusk
14 Athens - Museums
15 Athens or Napflio ?
16 Meteora - 2 Nts? Then Corfu? HOW?
17 Lv Greece. Fly Corfu to Stockholm?
(Or fly out of Athens?)
20 Copenhagen (Train)
22 Return to Seattle
Thoughts? Also thoughts on finding accommodation for 5 that has a little bit of character or charm. We did love all of our hotels on our Rick Steve’s tour but have to budget a little more tightly on this trip.