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May 2020 itinerary

Just back from a great trip to Italy, and now I have to focus on another trip to keep my sanity!

Greece —May 2020. Will be taking 22 year old niece to celebrate college graduation. We have 11 days including travel days.

Tentative itinerary with questions:

Day 1 flight
Day 2 arrive Athens, go directly to rafina port and take ferry to Mykonos (neither of us are partiers or night owls, would another island be better? We want to relax on beach, see beautiful sights and history, soak in the culture)
Day 3 Mykonos
Day 4 Mykonos with day trip to Delos
Day 5 ferry to Santorini
Day 6 santorini
Day 7 Santorini
day 8 Athens (has anyone done the overnight ferry? Or should we fly? We would each have an American 22” size carryon and tote...not sure if the luggage would be crazy expensive)
Day 9 Athens
Day 10 Athens with day trip to Delphi
Day 11 flight home

Any suggestions and recommendations welcome!

Posted by
11411 posts

Yes another island would be better than Mykonos - I would choose Naxos over it any day -

Posted by
742 posts

Mykonos and Santorini are the two most touristy Islands and are very expensive as well. I believe every first time visitor will be delighted in Santorini. There are lots of flights daily so all you need to do is have a two hour time period from your flight arrival to get a connecting flight to Santorini. You will need two or thee days there. Its like a Disney experience.

From Santorini you can take a ferry to Mykonos but for a truly Greek experience there are also direct ferrys to Naxos or Paros. They offer the same architecture as Mykonos but at less than half the cost. We love Naxos.
Naxos Town
Trip around Naxos
Naxos sunsets
There are about three flights a day to Naxos so if your arrival flight is timed right you can likely fly direct to Naxos and then ferry to Santorini if you want to do the trip in reverse.

Posted by
1082 posts

I also want to echo other posters in recommending skipping Mykonos in favor or a less touristed island. We went to Naxos and loved it. I also think (although I didn't do it) that you can get to Delos from Mykonos. Santorini and Mykonos are the most touristed and thus most expensive islands. Santorini, in my opinion, is unique and worth going to but I would skip Mykonos if you are not into partying.

My young adult children who were amazed at Santorini told me that "Naxos was even better!" They loved the more authentic feel.

We flew into Athens and then a few hours later caught a separately booked flight to Santorini. There are many flights and I think we paid less than 100 Euros and that included luggage for the flight. Just don't buy the cheapest class of tickets and you will be fine. We stayed three nights and then ferried to Naxos where we spent 4 nights. We then flew back to Athen from Naxos.

I certainly would fly to Santorini (eight hours on a ferry is not charming) and found the additional cost of flying from Naxos worth it. I think our tickets from Naxos were about 80 Euros. It is a five hour ferry I think if you don't want to fly. You will more than save enough money to pay for flights if you switch from Mykonos to Naxos or Paros.

I would not make a day trip to Delphi in the short time you have in Athens. We had three nights too and frankly we could have used one more.

Posted by
11 posts

Stanbr your photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks to all for all suggestions.

Going to check out Naxos...that does sound to be more up our alley.

So we would fly right to Santorini on arrival day, then ferry to Naxos, then ferry back to Athens

Posted by
1082 posts

Or fly to Athens. Depends on preferences and price point. It is a five hour ferry ride.

Posted by
742 posts

As Beth said its a 5 hour ferry trip from Naxos to Athens. While ferry travel is part of the Greek experience and a great way to travel we have realized that 5 hours versus a 60 minute flight allows us to be at our next destination early so we can get on with our trip sooner. For us time is the most valuable commodity on a Greek vacation. Make your Santorini to Naxos the ferry experience and fly back to Athens.

Posted by
3112 posts

I think you're short-changing Athens unless you've been there before. If you've not been to Athens, I suggest you move a day from the islands to Athens. It's one of my favorite places in Greece, with so much to do and see.

Posted by
348 posts

I too would recommend Naxos. We took the Sea Jets ferry from Santorini to Naxos, but flew from Naxos back to Athens; booked our flight on Agean's site. If you decide on Naxos, I would suggest Hotel Grotta; small, family run with the best staff and breakfast you will ever encounter. Every evening we enjoyed a beautiful sunset from either our room's balcony or their rooftop garden. We found three full days in Athens to be plenty, but as always, it depends on your interests. Santorini is magical; stay in a cave home if possible; you will love Greece!