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Greece itinerary help

We are going in the RS GReece tour 10/7-10/20 and want to add days (returning home on 10/25) on islands. My husband has a former coworker who is Greek & has family in Mykonos (they own a hotel on the island). Is it possible to visit that island plus another & then get back to Athens for a 10/25/19 flight. I've heard conflicting ideas about islands & am totally confused. Any help at all would be appreciated. I'm not sure about Mykonos at that time of year..... I found out the hotel I referenced above closes in early October, I've emailed them but no response yet -:). Again, any help is appreciated!

Posted by
8020 posts

Can you add a few days at the end of your trip? You should be back in Athens on the 24th to guarantee you make your 10/25 flight. So you only have four days at most. Stay on Mykonos ( or another island). If Mykonos, hopefully the boats will still be going out to Delos, an incredible site to visit.

Posted by
15075 posts

The only island I've been to is Hydra - on the RS tour. There are another 6 nights on coastal towns that feel just like being on an island. Unless there's something special you want to see on one of the islands, I wouldn't try to cram in another one. Are you spending any pre-tour time in Athens? There is quite a bit to see and do in Athens besides what the tour covers.

The tour ends on Sunday morning. Leave time to go to Syntagma Square for the changing of the guard. Be there around 10.30 to get a good place to watch from, it starts at 10.45 and takes about 30 minutes.

Posted by
3112 posts

If you haven't purchased your plane tickets yet, consider adding the extra days before the tour instead of after. Go directly to Mykonos and then return to Athens for 1-2 extra days before the tour begins. Look into buying a multi-city ticket so you'd be covered in case of a missed connection to Mykonos. Of course, this change of plans would only make sense if the hotel you want to stay at is still open the first week of October.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for all of your help. Because of work restraints I, unfortunately, cannot add days to the beginning of the trip. It's stretching it to add the days after :-)

Maybe we will only go to Mykonos.... just cannot decide. The flights went way up anyway so I need to wait and hopefully prices will fall again.

Posted by
2904 posts

Mary, the time for flights going Down is gone... don't keep fingers x'd. I just checked Aegean for dates you mentioned, and a 10/20 flight at 3pm is €40 ($45usd), a 10/21 flight TO Mykonos @ 8:35 am is €62 ($70usd) and back on 10/24 @5:45pm is €40 ($45+usd) .. I don't know what price-break you expect, aside from seats on the wing he he. If u want other lodging recommends, please indicate.

Posted by
2224 posts

Hi Mary!!👋🏻👋🏻
We are on this same trip to Greece. It will be our first RS tour and first time to Greece. We aren’t even as lucky as you, as we cannot add anymore time to our trip. We get in the day before tour starts and leave the day the tour ends.

Looking forward to this trip and trying to get up to speed on Greek history and mythology.
We fly non-stop to Athens out of Newark.

Posted by
976 posts

Agree with Janet that prices will not be going down. They are usually set for the entire season. It's possible there could be a one-day "surprise" drop but don't count on it, especially for an island like Mykonos even in October.

If budget is a factor about purchasing a flight there are numerous other islands that you can get to by ferry which will be a lot less expensive.

One island I have on my "to-go-to" list is the nearby island of Aegina which has everything one would want in a Greek Island. You can even combine it with Agistri which is maybe 15 minutes away by ferry. That island is known for it's beaches and even in October the Aegean will be warm enough for a dip and the weather can still be "beach weather." It will take about 1 1/2 hours by regular ferry or around 40 minutes on a Flying Dolphin.

A round trip ferry ticket will be under 30 euros, maybe a bit more if you combine it with Agistri.

Obviously with family on Mykonos it may be a factor, if not consider another island(s).

You probably won't get any return emails this time of year. Some stay open year round but most accommodations are closed all over the islands.

Posted by
13 posts

I was talking about flights from the US to Athens, not from Athens to any islands :-) I should've grabbed them when I saw them but we weren't set on dates.

Posted by
13 posts

Hi "diveloonie" --
Looking forward to meeting you. I don't know you but I think you'll enjoy RS tours. This will be our fourth and we've thoroughly enjoyed every one!

Posted by
2904 posts

Mary, don't have any good news for you, at least right now, for the transatlantic flights. I've been going to Greece in May-June since 1999, and until 2015, was always able to watch-dog the prices in January, and when they would suddenly dip mid-week I would pounce & get a PHL - ATH for under $1000. No more! And even changing in Europe doesn't come out any better ... this year it's $1400 from PHL for cattle-car treatment. Ugh. Others talk about Norwegian Air from EWK but there are rumors about bankruptcy. I think the problem is supply- demand .... due to iffy situations in other countries, and all the rave reviews about enjoyable holidays in Greece, demand has risen sharply, so price-promotions have gone away.

Posted by
13 posts

It's just too bad we didn't have firm dates when I started looking :-) Fares were under $1000 at the time and now they are $1500 - $1600!

When we first started going to Europe I think we went for less than $600 full price round trip... $300 when my husband was employed by America West :-)

Posted by
2224 posts

Mary,
Do you have the hopper app? It’s a fare watch app. I just got it and you can set it to notify you about prices and it tells you when to book or to wait.

Posted by
2904 posts

Mary, I also remember when a loaf of bread cost 30¢ and a gallon of gas was 50¢ ... of course I was working for minimum wage of about $1 per hour. There's no looking back

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for everyone's help. Our trip is set... we will be staying at Villa Naxia for 3 nights, October 21-24. Is it normal for places not to ask for a credit card to secure the reservation?

We are not too keen on renting a car and wondering if there will be enough sites to keep us busy within walking distance of Villa Naxia. I think we'll be bringing our hiking/walking sticks so we'll be ready for any hiking :-)

I know it's late season and wondering if there will be any day trips from Naxos to Delos and/or Mykonos?

Thanks again for everyone's help!

Posted by
2904 posts

Congratulations, Mary! Villa Naxia in the busier months has become very hard to book, so glad to hear you have reservations. You will be very pleased and yes... you'll be able to easily walk to museums, shopping, dining & nightlife ... because Naxos, the largest Cycladic island, has a substantial permanent population, the cafes & tavernas in the port town will still be pleasantly populated, you'll just find many more locals dining next to y ou... Naxians love to go out.

Good for you on hiking sticks! I love my little foldable ones... tuck them in a daypack, & they keep me going longer. One good strategy we've found on Naxos is, go to "bus circle" (at foot of ferry pier), take bus up to a mountain village or whatever, do a walk, and if ready to quit before there's a bus scheduled, we have a taxi phone # on hand, whip out a mobile & call, and presto! taxi appears & we get back to Ag. Giorgios beach or port area for €7 or so. Also, a round-island bus tour from a place like Sun tours @ about €23 is a really good value, takes u to all the highlights, plus a 90-minute stop at Appollonia where u can have a mid-day swim (water in October is quite swimmable). People taking such tours are interesting independent travelers, like u. BTW , there are many online guide to Naxos walks, one is http://www.cycladen.be/NaxosEng.htm -- by an obsessive Belgian. A lot of his hikes are way too ambitious & complicated, but one enjoyable shortish one is #15 splendid for late-afternoon sun -- you start at the ferry pier and head straight uphill along that main road, & along the "Grotta" bluffs, & go to a monastery that has a wondrous view of the port, and lowering sun... then trundle downhill to a cafe for snacks or dinner.

As for day-excursion to Delos/Mykonos, hard to say this far ahead. The companion that runs these has TWO boats; if possible take MV Alexander vs Naxos Star. The former is larger w. smoother ride, the latter a small boat can get v. bouncy/queasy if Oct. winds make waves. I think Autumn sailings depend on demand -- but you can get a guesstimate quickly by writing directly to the woman who manages this agency: maria.cherouvim@visit-cyclades.com. I've had quick response from her before, to inquiries about off-season schedules.

That being said, if you say 3 nights, that may only be 2 days... and the area of the beach and port town, plus a sunset hike uphill could occupy you fully! You'll want to go up the twisting "stairstep Walks to the KASTRO overlooking the town and the amazing small museum ... you may see Athens museums with R Steves tour, but in this wee place is the world's best collection of those amazing mysterious pre-Minoan marble figurines ... watched over by 2-3 greyhaired guards in folding chairs.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks for all this information Janet... I will print this out to refer back to during our trip!

Do you happen to know if it is normal for hotels (Villa Naxia) to not request a credit card to secure a reservation? I don't believe that's ever happened to me at other places previously so it kind of makes me nervous :-)

Again thanks for all the help!

Posted by
2904 posts

I have been gooing to Greece for a long time, and there are several places I have stayed in, multiple times, and when I contact them, they just write me back & confirm the dates, ask after my health, tell me about their new grandchild etc etc. So there's no question of cc info -- altho typically when I do write to them, I say, if you have availability I'll send you my CC info to hold the reservation..

Do you have a response from Villa Naxia saying, yes, we have availability for your dates, for a (type of room or apt) at ( rate) . If so, just print that out, and it's your confirmation. I always do that just for safety's sake. Only once did I need it -- got to Nafplio with my 3 friends and for some reason there had been a mixup & our rooms were full for that night. I just showed my email printout & My landlord friend Giorgios apologized profusely for the glitch, and placed us across the way at another (much pricier) place for 1 night, until our rooms were available.

If Villa Naxia responded but was not specific, you could just email them back & say, just wanted to make sure we are confirmed as we understood, for (dates) at (rate); please reply at your convenience. If Villa Naxia doesn't require CC info, it must be their experience that people are so pleased to get a reservation, that they can be counted on to show up as agreed upon.

Posted by
11292 posts

Many smaller hotels in Europe (not just in Greece) do not need a credit card to reserve a room. They also don't need a card on file at check in, the way US hotels do. If their emails say you have a confirmed reservation (and as Janet says, do double-check), then you're set.

Posted by
13 posts

Thanks.... that puts my mind at rest. He was specific so I'm assuming we're in & I will,take his email with us -:). Getting excited already, I think it's going to be a great trip!