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Itinerary Help - September/October

We booked flights between BOS and LHR from September 27/28 to October 12 with the idea that we'll spend a couple of nights in London and then spend most of our time in Greece. (This seemed like a great idea when I checked ticket prices and booked, maybe not so great now.) What we'd like to do is spend 11 nights in Greece, concentrating on Athens and on the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, and maybe Naxos. We're thinking of flying to Greece, maybe starting on the islands, on September 30 and flying back from Athens on October 11. What is a good distribution of time/order of stops for this trip? In terms of island travel, will ferries work or should we attempt to book flights? I'm leaning toward using an agent like Fantasy travel to do all the bookings because I don't want to have to deal with transfers. Is this a good idea?

Also, we travel fairly heavy and will be checking bags. How will that effect airline choices and prices?

Posted by
11138 posts

If using ferries, you have to get your luggage on the gang plank at least before handing it off to crew. Why travel heavy? It is a burden if you do.
We always fly BOS to LHR when we go to Europe as we love the daytime flights, 7:30 am out of Logan on BA, arrive LHR in time for dinner. No jet lag! We then fly to our destination in Europe the next day after an overnight at LHR Sofitel.
The only time we have used a travel agent was for Greece with all the schedules, ferries, etc. The agency we used has closed but referred us to Fantasy Travel so I am confident they would do a good job for you.
As far as the islands, two Santorini was more than enough with the cruise ship hordes there. Naxos will give you a better feel of Greece. Mykonos was nice enough but do take a boat out to Delos from there too.

Posted by
3317 posts

3 islands AND Athens in 10 days is crazy. Why pick the "cliche twins of Greece" -- Santorini AND mykonos??? Santorini has the Famous View, but Mykonos by now is famous for Being Famous, mainly. High-end luxury goods shops ... visit 5th Ave or REgents St London or Rodeo Drive LA, and save yourself the travel trouble. In Oct, any night-life will be minimal, and many beach facilities will be getting ready to close. If you DO wish to visit a 2nd island, Naxos has a large permanent population and if you stay at the port town or at the adjacent St. George Beach, there will be cafes, restaurants &things going on.

With your attempt to pack 2 countries into less than 2 weeks, you do not have time for long ferry rides, OR to be in Athens at both the beginning & end of your Greece visit. A usual Scenario

Sept 30 - Arr in ATH EARLY - get soonest available Domestic flight to SANTOIRNI (allow 2 hrs for transfr)
SANTORINI - Aft/eve/night of 9/30 + day/night 10/1 -- Leave on 10/2 or 10/3 on 3:30pm BLUE STAR FERRY for NAXOS arr 5:30
NAXOS - eve of 10/2 or 10/3 --- stay at least 3 days/nights . Take AEGEAN AIR(OLYMPIC) AM flight by Oct 7... there are only 2 flights, 10:25 am or 17:00 (5 pm) - takes 45 mns.
ATHENS -- Oct 8- 9-10

Unless u have time & inclination to prep background for trip, I suggest checking guided tours in Athens, and a 1-day bus tour in Naxos ... Santorini tour not necessary unless u prefer a tour to local busses/taxi or driving. And yes either Fantasy travel or Dolphin Hellas will handled all the above and hotels.

About luggage, domestic flights allow the usual "rollaboard" 21" bag checked free, plus a Personal bag (shoulder-tote or bckpack) to take in to cabin with also a smaller "personal item" (purse or laptop). If you like the Biggie bags to check, you'll pay extra.

Posted by
1157 posts

I'll be flying to Greece this October (as I usually do) with Delta. October is my favorite time for Greece since it's off-season, the weather is still good, the Aegean is still warm from the summer heat and prices for accommodations are low, not to mention far less tourists . . . UNLESS you are going to Santorini/Mykonos.

Why pick the two most popular, heavily touristed and expensive of the Greek Islands even in late Sept.-early Oct.? There are numerous other islands that may provide you a more Greek Experience.

However, if you have your heart set on those two islands then do your research on where to stay, what to spend and what to expect when the cruise ship tourists "attack" the islands.

If you can fly to an island then that may be the best way to save on time but there are numerous ferries available.

Most experienced travelers do their own booking and deal directly with accommodations which may get you better service and price. Nothing wrong with an agent but you may be limited on what you get.

Regardless of whether you book with an agency or do-it-yourself you are going to have to transfer from Athens to an island and back. Yes, the agency can make it easier but you'll spend more money.

I find doing my own booking an educational experience, fun and a great way to get to know accommodation's owners.

As far as an itinerary, Athens deserves at least 2 with 3 days being better. Most will say save Athens for your return home or get back to Athens at least 1 day before your flight home in case of any delays.

I would limit islands to two with Naxos a favorite but their are numerous other islands to consider. Just make sure any island combinations are on the same ferry line.

When you say "we travel fairly heavy" I assume you are taking a lot of luggage with you. Don't! Travel light . . . you don't need to bring stuff that you probably won't need in Greece. Dress is casual for most of the country even going out to eat. Limit your luggage to the necessities. If you need something get it in Greece.

Posted by
55 posts

If Santorini and Mykonos are unacceptable recommend another island, please.

Posted by
3317 posts

I did not say Santorini was unacceptable, if you will read my reply carefully I gave specific length of stay I recmmened for it .... I did, as did others, advise that Mykonos was probably not worth your limited time .... and Santorini - Naxos - Athens is enough for your short stay. You should note that October is a great time in Athens because the weather will be fine, and like any major European capital, there's a LOT going on in the fall.... so besides the Major Landmarks and a couple of museums, y ou may be lucky to have some special event going on. Why not do some research on this? Making y our own discoveries is usually part of the fun for travelers, at least I've found it to be.

Posted by
2492 posts

We did something similar to what Janet suggested and were very happy going to santorini and then Naxos.

We considered going to Paros instead of Naxos. I haven’t been there but it is a favorite.

Posted by
3961 posts

I concur with Janet and Beth! Janet was our "go to" for our island experience following the RS Greece Tour. In addition we used multple guide books as travel tools. Highly recommend The Rough Guide to Greece and RS Greece. As far as checking bags, we checked bags that weighed less than 20 lbs. We spent the month of September there. After taking several ferry's we were happy to be carrying less weight. Enjoy Greece!