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Itinerary Review and Planning questions


Below is our current itinerary. Our flights are already booked, USA to/from Athens as well as Athens to Santorini. I also already booked a hotel for Santorini.

9 - Depart USA
10 - Arrive Athens, Flight to Santorini, Arrive at 5 pm - Staying at Anatoli Hotel
11 - Santorini
12 - Santorini
13 - Santorini
14 - Santorini (Day trip to Naxos, Delos)
15 - Santorini
16 - Leave Santorini, arrive Athens (Travel Day)
17 - Athens
18 - Athens
19 - Athens (Yacht trip to islands)
20 - Leave Athens (Brief stop - Delphi), Stay in Meteroa - ((start rental car)
21 - Leave Meteroa, arrive Napflio
22 - Napflio
23 - Napflio (Day trip to Epidavros )
24 - Napflio
25 - Leave Napflio (Brief stops - Mycenae and Corinth) Arrive Athens (return car)
26 - Leave Athens 5 pm
27 - Arrive USA

Insights on my husband and I - we like to not rush too much, preferring to stay in a only a few locations and doing side trips from there. We enjoy having a nice drink and evening out, but not wide late night partying. We prefer to stay where there is easy access to transportation, activities and food rather than off the beaten path. We greatly enjoy history, culture, outdoor activities as well as relaxing. We also don't feel like we have to see everything when we visit a new country, with the hope we will return again someday. We also like some flexibility in our travel; when we traveled to Italy, we booked our hotel in Florence for our arrival, but then booked our next destinations' accommodations as went along, usually a few days ahead. Then we could against a day or two if we needed to, and we had great options through We don't need much in terms of accommodations.

Thoughts? I based a lot of the itinerary off your previous suggestions as well as Matt's Greece website.

- Matt says to use travel agents instead of booking on our own. Since we aren't doing much with the ferries except from Santorini to Athens, will this still be necessary?
- Are there any concerns with us booking our future accommodations just before we leave for the the next destination? Book Athens accommodations a few days before arrival? I know we will be in the busy season so it may not work for Greece like it did in Italy.

-Any suggestions on rental cars? I use Hertz in the states, but I'm open to options. My husband can drive a stick, and we would only use to travel between cities then walk around the cities and take public transportation as needed.

Thank you in advance! I appreciate the second set of knowing eyes.

Posted by
2974 posts

As far as I know there has never been a ferry between Santorini and Naxos that gets you there in time for the excursion boat departure to Delos, not to mention having time to catch the ferry back to Santorini. But if you know of one please provide the details for future reference. Booking hotels and ferries by yourselves is easy to do in Greece. There's no need to use the services of a travel agency, but if you prefer to do so contact Fantasy Travel and Dolphin-Hellas Travel through their websites, both in Athens and both very reliable. Booking hotels as you go is always an option although it really depends on your budget and your needs, and when you plan to go will determine whether or not your choices will be many or few. For rental cars on Santorini I always recommend Vazeos Car Rental, Tony's, Spiridakos Rent a Car and Motor Inn. Be sure to go to your local AAA office to pick up an International Driving Permit, no test or membership required. Bring 2 passport photos to save a few dollars.

ferry schedules:

Posted by
2956 posts

There is no way to know whether y ou are safe waiting to book accommodations, when you do not give us the dates for your trip. You may have mentioned it in a previous thread, but it is wise to "recap" every time you start a new thread. The only hint you give is "we will be in the busy season" and if by that you mean July 1 - thru late August, that procedure assuredly will NOT work. It sounds as if you are somewhat choosy about location of accommodations at least, and I can tell you that in high season, you will not be able to find what you want in Nafplio Old Town unless you book well in advance.

I see that Lee already has told you that a day trip to Naxos is not possible.... have you considered leaving Santorini a day earlier, taking the 10:30 Champion Jet to Naxos (it has outside deck to see the Caldera view upon departure), and getting to Naxos by noon. You could enjoy the rest of the day, and evening and the whole next day in Naxos ... rent a car and go to a far beach ... (the golden-sand beach you'll never see in Santorini) You could take the 6 pm Blue Star ferry to Athens, get a reserved economy seat, but sit out on deck for sunset, then sit inside to snack, read, doze, arrive Piraeus before midnight. OR -- you could take an early AM flight from Naxos on day #3, rent a car right at airport ... and drive to Nafplio in the middle of your trip. VERY handy, no city driving, under 2.5 hours on Greece's most modern divided highway. Just a thought.

There's no possible way to visit Delos given your itinerary. Something to return for!

Posted by
3 posts

Thank you both for the prompt replies.

As for the island hopping, I was hoping to see another island at some point, but not necessary. I'll look at the suggestions in the meantime.

As for timeframe, the formatting of my itinerary had to be adjusted and I meant to have May at the top. We'll be traveling May 2018 from 9 to 27 as I noted above.

Thank you again for the responses! Let me know if there is anything; otherwise, this is exactly what I needed!

Posted by
91 posts

Personally I would find 6 days in Santorini too long; it is the busiest touristic island, the most expensive place in Greece (along with Mykonos I believe). Perhaps you would enjoy staying in Paros, I like Naoussa, also a somewhat upmarket sort of place yet not quite so crazy full, & in May it will be very early season for them, so more peaceful. Or Naxos. Both easily reachable after a couple of days to see the famous caldera views on Santorini. .

Posted by
2956 posts

Agree with above contributor on so many days in Santorini. Of course, with the constant calendar - poster - brochure publicizing this isle, every newbie considers this a must-see, and certainly the Famous Caldera View is sight-worthy. The differing opinions come on how long to linger. Those who travel in an international-superluxe bubble can be in a fab spa-type hotel with private balcony sunset views... and will have a wonderful elite experience. However, you can enjoy the Santorini views on a reasonable budget, avoid crowds and get the best of the island on a short stay by thinking strategically.

For instance, the best times to enjoy the Oia lanes and views are before 10am and between 3 and 6 pm. At about 10, large crowds from package tours and cruise ships arrive to pack the Oia lanes to the max, not just in summer but in late Spring & Early Fall. I've been to Santorini in May at least 4 times (usually for 24-36 hours, to please my newbie companions), and from Monday-Thursday, there can be up to 4 mega-cruise shops docked = 9 - 10,000 cruisers. So, stroll Oia in early morning light... then skedaddle until late afternoon. From 6 - 9, Oia rimside paths also cram up with sunsetters from all over the isle, despite fact that the sun goes down in the west all over that isle and all others. So either get a private viewing spot or reserve seats at a suitable view-spot. In May, also expect equal chance of horizon clouds too. Also check some photos of sunset joys on nearby isles like Naxos & Paros.

Posted by
106 posts


The earlier you book your accommodation, the better. You might even get better prices. However, there is a chance to find good offers if you search upon arrival. Have in mind that in high season you risk not finding any accommodation at all. I always book 2 months ahead both accommodation and ferry tickets cause I don't want to miss any of my relaxation days due to unavailability...

Most people combine Paros, Naxos, Ios, Santorini and Mykonos when they go Greek Island Hopping. It depends on which one you'd like more and the days that you will spend there. Paros and Naxos are opposite each other, very close distance. I've been to both and I liked Paros more. It is small and cute. Naousa in Paros is great to go for a relaxing drink. You can see most of the island in 2 days. Naxos has more cultural site seeing. Between Mykonos and Ios, I'd choose Ios. I always go for the more alternative choice. I think you can combine Santorini, Paros, Ios with day trips. The ferries have daily schedules. I did it last year, booked online with no problems.