My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon in October to leave from OKC on the 21st and fly to Rome (landing on the 22nd). We've considered doing 3 nights in Rome then flying to Santorini on the 25th. Spending 4 nights in Santorini then giving ourselves a day in Athens before flying back to OKC on the 30th. Is this too much? We definitely want to spend time in Greece and thought we could add Rome on. I've never been on an international trip but my fiance has.
Can you tell me what OKC is. I am presuming this is a transatlantic flight.
Logistically you can certainly fly to Rome for three nights then to Santorini for 4 and back to Athens for 1. Then home again next day.
Practically though you are only going to have just under two days in Rome. You will have to clear passport control pick up your bags and commute into Rome. Thats a good three hours after arrival. So day 1 is really a half day. So that gives you 2.5 jet lagged days in Rome.
Day 4 you have to check out of your hotel commute back to the airport and fly to Santoirni. Presumably you have found a direct flight and not connecting in Athens. This is going to take a half day. So you really only have 3.5 days in Santorini.
Same situation for Athens half a day eaten up doing transfers so a half day there.
By my calculation your 10 day trip including both transatlantic days you have about 6.5 days of actually enjoying your honeymoon.
I would urge you to only do one country and take the time to enjoy yourselves. Spend the full time in Rome or the time in Greece. Two country hops only make sense when you are spending a couple of weeks to a month.
Do less enjoy more.
OKC= Oklahoma City, OK. It is in the middle of the USA :) Normally requires a flight to Washington DC, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, NYC, etc to get to Europe.
Trying to do it all is really cramming a lot into a little time.
The way I would do your proposed trip is go to Santorini 1st, then the day/night in Athens and then finish in Rome.
OKC middle of USA. So that is gong to add a minimum of an additional 5 hours to your transatlantic flight day. Even more reason to do one country.
Yes - OKC is Oklahoma City which unfortunately offers no international flights.
For the record, I agree that we're doing too much.. My fiance doesn't want to give up on Rome quite yet. If we just visited Greece for say 10 days (including 2 travel days), what do you suggest we do? More time in Athens? Multiple islands?
Ok if you might consider dropping Rome fly to Athens then connect to /Santorini. There are several flights a day. you need two hours ot clear passport control get you bags and board your connecting flight. Getting over jet lag in Santorini is going to be a much more pleasant experience than Athens or Rome.
We normally spend three nights in Santorini because that's all our budget can stand but for a honeymoon Santorini is magical ( also crowded and expensive) but worth it.
Now for thee or 4 days on another island. Look to Naxos, Milos or Paros. All three will give you an authentic Greek experience. All three have good beaches and they are all at least half the price of Santorini.
My choice would be Naxos but all three are good companion islands to Santorini particularly because they are on direct ferry routes. That leaves you wilt 2 days Athens which gives you time for the major sites.
Naxos Town http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094558042/
Trip around Naxos http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157634605629689/
While this may stray a bit from what you described wanting for your honeymoon (time in Greece), consider the following:
October will be the beginning of the off season in Santorini (in most islands, really)--the weather will be cooler, many places will have reduced or seasonal hours. Without the lovely, vibrant beach, you might be bored in a few days. I wonder if you might consider going to Rome, sightseeing in the city for a few days--so many romantic things to see and do--, then renting a car and driving to another nearby area in Italy--Tuscany? wine tasting? lake country for another few days? Lots of romantic possibilities and you will have a much more relaxed time together without adding the stress of another flight mid trip. You could also focus on just Greece instead, but without the beach, you would be losing out on one of the most beautiful aspects of visiting there.
8 nights is just enough to barely scratch the surface of one country, let alone going to two. I will echo others in saying pick one country and slow down and enjoy.
In March 2015, we went to Italy for our honeymoon and did:
Cinque Terre - Vernazza (2)
This was just on the border of feeling rushed, but I had everything so well planned (between trains, scheduled sight seeing, lots of downtime) out that it was an amazing trip. If you settle on Italy, and must include Rome (personally I would favor Venice/Florence over Rome but that's just me), I would pair it with either Venice or Florence (maybe rent a car one day for drive into the Tuscan countryside).
In September of this year, we will be going to Greece and doing:
I really, really discourage people to country hop. So much so see and do in any one country. Really every European place I've been to so far deserves 2 or more months to really know it - unfortunately I can't swing this right now!
Slow down, assume you will be back. And if you know for sure that you won't, isn't it better to have seen and enjoyed rather to have just run around?
I'd get a tour book from the library for each country and determine what you want to see - for YOUR preferences.
I have not been to Santorinni but my impression is that it is great in photos and may be beautiful for the 'romance' of a honeymoon, but for a first-time international trip I'd either:
** If you like history, famous sights, museums, good dining, I'd recommend just hitting Rome and Athens.
** stay in one country to maximize time
** ** we did Rome, Florence, Venice in a 10 day period
** ** we did Athens with driving out to a loop of Meteora, Delphi, Nafpoli
I say these just to give ideas of 'staying in one close area).
Like someone said, the trip to the airport / security / customs ... kills a lot of time.
(continued from above)
I forgot to add Rick Steves comments
Planning for Italy - https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/italy/itinerary
4 days: Rome, Florence
6 days, add: Venice
8 days: slow down
Planning for Greece - https://www.ricksteves.com/europe/greece/itinerary
2–3 days: Athens
5 days, add: Hydra
7 days, add: Delphi
10 days, add: Nafplio, Epidavros, Mycenae
There's a TON of logic behind his thinking for prioritization. Ponder that before you discount it.
Fellow Oklahoman! I can tell you that as a first trip you will not have enough time in Athens if you only do one day. While Santorini was amazing and I am going back there next year, Athens was the highlight of that trip. I would opt for 2 nights in Santorini and 2-3 nights in Athens. Couple of tips for Rome I would recommend are definitely getting a pass to cut time down in line for entrance to everything. I think I did the Roma pass and while some may say it is touristy it did offer a fast pass entrance to several places as well as a metro card for bus and metro travel between stops.
Santorini was beautiful and my favorite place in the world now. I rented an ATV for the day and road all over the island. Check out all the different sand beaches and enjoy your time. It passes all too fast!
If you want to stay in one country then I would recommend adding Florence to your Rome trip. Florence was by far the best thing I did not expect in Italy. I did over 15 days in Italy bouncing between Rome, Milan, Como, Venice, Florence and Florence blew me away the most. Trains are easy and fast in Italy and as others have said airports waste time. Venice was lovely but we only spent one night here as it was costly and not as ton to see. I wish I had spend more time in Florence. From there I did a horseback wine tasting trip and I really enjoyed both the guide and the views. I would also recommend maybe heading out to the coast like Cinque Terre for some lovely Honeymoon views. Happy Traveling!
Thank you everyone for all your help! As this is my first time overseas, it was very helpful. We've decided to cut out Rome with hopes to go back one day. Our itinerary is below if you have any tips/tours for each location!
Day 1 - Travel
Day 2 - Santorini
Day 3 - Santorini
Day 4 - Santorini
Day 5 - Naxos
Day 6 - Naxos
Day 7 - Ferry to Athens
Day 8 - Athens
Day 9 - Athens
Day 10 - Travel
Good call on choosing just one country.
MUCH better itinerary. Next priorities; your transport choices (before you book lodgings):
• Flight to Santorini - as Stanbr says, allow 2 hrs after USA arr for transfer, flight = 50 mins vs 8-9 hrs ferry
• Ferry to Naxos - there are 2 good ferries to Naxos 10:45 & 3:15. I advise the 1st, Champion Jet1 for several reasons: (1) You'll have nites 1, 2, & 3 in Santorini (2) its faster, arrives 12 noon (3) all rserved seats, so no rushing aboard for first-come-first serve deck chairs. It has outside deck to enable viewing, pix-taking of Santorini caldera on departure.
• Transport to Athens - You need to weigh options. Blue Star Ferry is best vessel (big, modern, smooth ride) but takes from 9:30- 3 pm -- eats up a whole day! An evening departure is better (6pm - 11:25) but still, 5.5 hrs. The daily flight 11:45 - 12:25, is €80, about 2x the price of ferry, but time is SO precious on such a short trip!
I'll admit that I gave a form of an itinerary above, but it was of MY trip, as an illustration of my point.
1) get tourist books / videos and decide what locations seem to fit your preferences
2a) fly as rarely as possible - travel time to airport / 2 hours + at airport / flight / luggage / travel to hotel ...
2b) boats take a lot of time
2c) travel as rarely as reasonable - stay in most places at least two nights
3) if you had a good time, give thanks and know that you can go back there. same applies to places you DIDN'T go to -> don't try to get everything done in 8 days.
to OP (Original Poster) --
• PLANES - Evan's warning against complications of taking a plane make sense if you are in Athens and wanting to fly. HOwever, it does not apply to y our case, if you will already be AT the airport, having just arrived from US. Also, flying from an Island like Naxos to Mainland is not as time-consuming as he describes, because it's just a lot simpler -- going from Island hotel to Naxos airport = 15 minutes; you don't have to check in until 45 minutes before flight, and security line is miniscule (there will be only 35 passengers, and no othr flights that time of day).
• FERRIES - They do take a lot of time for long distances, and that's why I ordered you to fly to Santorini instead. The AM ferry from Santorini to Naxos takes just 90 minutes & very enjoyable.
• "HOMEWORK" -- I agree w. Evan & DO emphatically urge you not just to do "fake research" on smart-phones... you'll get a lot of "eye candy" but not useful background. You have plenty of time -- go to your OK public library for 2-3 good guidebooks -- after all you're spending THOU$$ANDS on this t rip, why not prep a bit to get the most out of it. For the 2 isles, I think ROUGH GUIDE is tops - photocopy pages you like. For Athens, Rick Steves Guidebook is VRY good for first-timers... and ALSO, his Website link has FAB audio tours of the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, and the ARch. Museum, taht are FREE Downloads to your mp3 player or smartphone - https://www.ricksteves.com/watch-read-listen/audio/audio-tours/greece-turkey (I wish he did something as good for the major islands, but he apparently does not care as much about Greek islands).
• LIMITS & PRIORITIES - Also agree w Evan, don't try to do too much in 8 days... 3 destinations is a lot, but if you plan well, you can manage. One Final tip -- LOCK in your Domestic flights BEFORE you do hotels. Hotels will not fill up on October -- but those Flights Will.
• LOCATIONS -- going in October will be different from High Season that's described in guides. Here are some basics I've learned during 12 trips, for best experience, and most convenience:
(1) SANTORINI -- Hotels in village of OIA have fab views of the Caldlera but in Oct., night-time will be VERY quiet (not to say dead) ... A better location would be FIROSTEPHANI -- overlooked but ideal; this location has the same wonderful clifftop views, but much more convenient... its on the north fringe of the main town (FIRA), so you can walk to/from in 15 minutes for livelier nightlife, no need to always do taxi or bus. Google "Firostephani" on booking.com w. your dates, look at the map for each hotel to check its cliffside location
(2) NAXOS - This isle has large permanent population, so in October the port Town will still be lively & active; stay at the beach immediately adjacent, called Ag. Giorgios (St. George). Use Booking.com as above to check rates & availabilities, then contact hotel direct if you wish; rates will be the same or BETTER>
(3) ATHENS - Try to stay within 1 mile of Acropolis; Watch out for chain hotels like Hilton etc, they're farther out. Because u have a short time to sightsee, you want to be able to walk to all the main highlights easily. If you use this "tiny URL" link-- http://tinyurl.com/heq6edp -- for a special Booking.com filter that lists places by "distance from Landmark (Acropolis)" -- it's a big timesaver & keeps newcomers from falling into the trap of a seeming bargain that is actually in either a distant neighborhood (pangraki), a scruffy one (Gazi, Exarchia) or a not-good one (like Omonia). http://www.orangesmile.com/destinations/img/athens-map-big.jpg is my favorite online map -- click & it gets huuuge. Best locations for you are areas Like Plaka, Makrigianni, or Aerides/ Monastiraki.