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Need suggestions for 10-11 day itinerary [Repost]

Original Post:
Hello travelers,

I and my wife will be in Greece for 10/11 days starting 26th September and need some help in planning our itinerary. We are 30 year-olds and have travelled quite a bit across Europe.
Our flight into Athens reaches at a very odd 1 a.m on 26th Sept morning and we are unable to decide the best way to split our days. Since we are arriving so early, we were wondering if we should stay a couple of hours at the airport itself and take an early morning flight to Santorini the very same day? Are there any airport lounges/hotels where we can spend 4/5 hours?
Our flight back on 6th October would also be from Athens so we have to get back to Athens eventually.

Or would you suggest we stay at Athens and then go to 2 islands or so via ferry later?
We were thinking Santorini for sure but undecided between Mykonos and some other island a little less touristy but still not very far off from the main islands.

Got some very good responses but somehow the thread got deleted from the forum :(

I had a couple of follow-up questions:

Thanks so much for all the great suggestions!!
Although, taking an early morning flight does seem to make a lot of sense, getting a 6/7 a.m check-in at any hotel in Santorini would probably be being a bit too optimistic!!

Another alternative I am contemplating is, after landing at Athens airport around 1 am on 26th (very) early morning, spend some time at the Airport, take the bus X96 to Piraeus and take Blue Star ferry to Santorini to reach at a more earthly hour and catch some much-needed sleep on the 7/8 hour ferry trip.
How does that sound?
Would the Air Seats Lounge type seats be good enough for catching a decent sleep?
Also considering booking the cabins if sleeping on the air seats lounge would be a challenge. We essentially want to reach Santorini refreshed and not really tired after a long haul flight and couple of hours at the Airport!
Anyone know what the difference between these options is:
Cabin A4 (4-berth Outside)
Cabin AB4 (4-berth Inside)

Here's our current plan:
26th Sept - Athens to Santorini
26 checkin-29th checkout : Santorini
29 checkin - 2nd Oct checkout : Paros
2nd checkin - 4th checkout :Mykonos
4th - 7th Oct: Athens

Look forward to your responses!

Cheers!!

Posted by
16883 posts

I might have given you this response before. Both I and colleagues here have spent the night at Athens airport. It's no picnic, with no official lounge for the average traveler, but the airport hotel is expensive; see also http://www.sleepinginairports.net/europe/athens.htm.

If flights are landing at Santorini at that hour, then hotels must be used to travelers arriving early. Normally, you can leave your luggage but would not be able to get into a room unless it was empty the night before.

Sleeping in the "air seats" on the ferry is not much better and, if it's daytime, there can be a lot of noise and activity around. If the ferry offers cabins, then definitely take one. I'd go for the cheapest inside (no window) cabin, since you're just trying to sleep.

Posted by
5 posts

Hello - Having just returned from Greece last week, maybe this might help. The airport is pretty basic and I dont envy you getting in so late. The trip from the airport to Athens (and the ferry station) is about 40 mins, and might be more hassle than worth. The area around the airport is very "suburban" maybe you can find an inexpensive hotel there and stay the night. Another, more adventurous option, might be finding a 'host' home, one that the family offers lodging - they might even pick you up. My friend had great luck with Couch Surf .com where people let rooms in the home.

I didnt see the berths on the ferry but they are very smooth rides, if you can get a sleeping compartment, go for it.