Please sign in to post.

Planning questions for Greece trip in June

Hi everyone,

I am in the early phases of planning a trip to Greece in June for my husband and I, and I am hoping to get some advice about our itinerary and time in each location- whether it is too much, not enough, etc. I sometimes am too ambitious, and in need of a reality check.

Day 1- Arrive in Athens on June 17th, approx. 2:00 PM, sleep in Athens

Day 2- Athens

Day 3- Athens

Days 4 - 8: I'd like to use this time to tour Delphi, Meteora, and Nafplio, (and end up back in Athens), exact details TBD.

Day 9- Fly from Athens to Naxos

Day 10- Naxos

Day 11- Naxos

Day 12- Leave Naxos, go to Santorini (via boat)

Day 13- Santorini

Day 14- Santorini

Day 15- leave Santorini (we will be flying to another city in Europe for our flight back the following day)

I struggled with whether or not to add Crete into the itinerary, but I think that is too much (so perhaps for next trip). Again I think my two main questions are 1) whether or not there is enough (or too much time) in each location? And what is the best way to explore Delphi, Meteora, and Nafplio? Car, public transit, or tour guide/group? For Naxos- I'm hoping to find an excursion/day tour to check out some islands close to Naxos.

I know this is question is often too open ended- but, I'm always open to opinions and information- are there places that I'm not thinking of that should be on my radar?

Thanks!

Posted by
6603 posts

Janet will be with you shortly...... ;-)

This looks doable, but without Crete -- save it for another trip. I'd recommend a car for the mainland outside Athens. Delphi is worth an overnight if you can take the time, for reduced crowds at the ruins and museum and for great views early and late in the day. Nafplio is worth at least 2-3 days with outlying Mycenae, Epidavrus, and other sights. Haven't been to Meteora but I've heard it's great, might be hard to fit all those mainland places into your time frame. For us, a day or two less in the islands and more on the mainland would be better, but we're not much into beaches and such.

If Janet or Alan disagree with any of the above, they're way more experienced in Greece than I am, so they're probably right! Have a good trip.

Posted by
3333 posts

Thanks, Dick! I suppose you know I'd be tempted to put my oar in! (I've been laid up for a few days, so am at the computer more than usual)... Christine, your list is do-able, but not adding Crete. My advice: tweak the sequence. My thoughts:

• ATHENS - Save til LAST, instead, fly to Santorini immediately (allow 2-3 hrs layover; look at 5 pm flight) Why??
(1) Avoids time-wasting process of going in/out of Athens 2x, checking in/out, saves Precious hours.

(2) You'll be TIRED, and rushed from getting off; far better to get over jet-lag on Islands instead of busy city.
(3) By "easing into" Greek ways, by Day 11, you'll be oriented & invigorated to take on Athens sight-seeing
(4) BIG factor -- try to avoid Santorini's huge cruise-ship crowds (3 cruise-monsters = 9,000 visitors!) They dock mostly T-W-Th. Do Santorini first, on Fri Nite-Sat-Sun-Mon. AM.... then take BLUE STAR afternoon 2+ hour ferry to Naxos.

• METEORA -- Question: are u Greek Orthodox? Or adding this to list because of a gorgeous photo?? This site adds RUSH to your program & you have a lot in 2 weeks already for your First trip. Consider instead, getting a Meteora video at the library.
• (METEORA)-DELPHI-NAFPLIO -- How to do it (car, pub transit or tour?). Questions that would determine your choice -- Do you value flexibility, or willing to sacrifice it for ease of pre-planned package? Are you more "comfortable" eating with a tour group than making restaurant choices on your own? Do u enjoy driving (as long as roads are modern & English signage), or is driving a pain under any circumstances? If u like flexibility, diversity, I say drive. If not there are several tours of 3-4 days ... but be warned, you will see very little of Nafplio, which is most beautiful Old Town in all of Greece (with THE most sublime sunsets too).

THUS, I'd recommend as follows:
DAY 1 (June 17) -- book a 5PM Aegean flight To SANTORINI (book hotel on Caldera side, not black-beach side)
DAY 2 - 3 - SANTORINI
DAY 4 (Mon) - 3:15 BLUE STAR (brilliant departure view from deck)to NAXOS
DAY 5 -6 - 7 NAXOS (there are excellent day-excursions to Mykonos or Paros or "Little Cyclades" beach isles)
DAY 8 FLY to ATH there's a 9:25 - arr 10:10 @€87...GRAB IT!! (small jet = 40 psgr). Rental car to DELPHI. See museum (open til 8)
DAY 9 - DELPHI: see ruins 8 - 11 AM ... Leisurely Drive to NAFPLIO (stop @ Nemea?) Sunset on water
DAY 10 - 11 NAFPLIO (Old Town - Palamidi - Mycenae etc etc MEMORIZE! this website: http://www.visitnafplio.com
DAY 12 - 9 AM to EPIDAURUS then Coast road up to Canal & back to ATH airport. Metro/x95 bus to Central ATH hotel 2pm?
DAY 13- 14 - ATHENS SIGHTSEEING
... If timetable doesn't meet your needs, we can discuss. I've done similar trips 6 -7 times taking along 3-4 newcomers ... believe me, it's workable/enjoyable, but if you cram any more in you'll be cranky instead of exhilarated. Good luck with Planning!!

Posted by
3333 posts

Thanks, Dick! I suppose you know I'd be tempted to put my oar in! (I've been laid up for a few days, so am at the computer more than usual)... Christine, your list is do-able, but not adding Crete. My advice: tweak the sequence. My thoughts:

• ATHENS - Save til LAST, instead, fly to Santorini immediately (allow 2-3 hrs layover; look at 5 pm flight) Why??
(1) Avoids time-wasting process of going in/out of Athens 2x, checking in/out, saves Precious hours.

(2) You'll be TIRED, and rushed from getting off; far better to get over jet-lag on Islands instead of busy city.
(3) By "easing into" Greek ways, by Day 11, you'll be oriented & invigorated to take on Athens sight-seeing
(4) BIG factor -- try to avoid Santorini's huge cruise-ship crowds (3 cruise-monsters = 9,000 visitors!) They dock mostly T-W-Th. Do Santorini first, on Fri Nite-Sat-Sun-Mon. AM.... then take BLUE STAR afternoon 2+ hour ferry to Naxos.

• METEORA -- Question: are u Greek Orthodox? Or adding this to list because of a gorgeous photo?? This site adds RUSH to your program & you have a lot in 2 weeks already for your First trip. Consider instead, getting a Meteora video at the library.
• (METEORA)-DELPHI-NAFPLIO -- How to do it (car, pub transit or tour?). Questions that would determine your choice -- Do you value flexibility, or willing to sacrifice it for ease of pre-planned package? Are you more "comfortable" eating with a tour group than making restaurant choices on your own? Do u enjoy driving (as long as roads are modern & English signage), or is driving a pain under any circumstances? If u like flexibility, diversity, I say drive. If not there are several tours of 3-4 days ... but be warned, you will see very little of Nafplio, which is most beautiful Old Town in all of Greece (with THE most sublime sunsets too).

THUS, I'd recommend as follows:
DAY 1 (June 17) -- book a 5PM Aegean flight To SANTORINI (book hotel on Caldera side, not black-beach side)
DAY 2 - 3 - SANTORINI
DAY 4 (Mon) - 3:15 BLUE STAR (brilliant departure view from deck)to NAXOS
DAY 5 -6 - 7 NAXOS (there are excellent day-excursions to Mykonos or Paros or "Little Cyclades" beach isles)
DAY 8 FLY to ATH there's a 9:25 - arr 10:10 @€87...GRAB IT!! (small jet = 40 psgr). Rental car to DELPHI. See museum (open til 8)
DAY 9 - DELPHI: see ruins 8 - 11 AM ... Leisurely Drive to NAFPLIO (stop @ Nemea?) Sunset on water
DAY 10 - 11 NAFPLIO (Old Town - Palamidi - Mycenae etc etc MEMORIZE! this website: http://www.visitnafplio.com
DAY 12 - 9 AM to EPIDAURUS then Coast road up to Canal & back to ATH airport. Metro/x95 bus to Central ATH hotel 2pm?
DAY 13- 14 - ATHENS SIGHTSEEING
... If timetable doesn't meet your needs, we can discuss. I've done similar trips 6 -7 times taking along 3-4 newcomers ... believe me, it's workable/enjoyable, but if you cram any more in you'll be cranky instead of exhilarated. Good luck with Planning!!

Posted by
3333 posts

Sorry for duplicate!!! I don't know WHY this website does this??? ... it has happened before!!

Posted by
16 posts

Hi guys!

Thanks so much for the feedback! This is incredibly helpful and I appreciate the perspective!

Janet, I think it is definitely a good idea to reverse the schedule, I thought about that a little before, and I think you’re right, it will save a lot of travel time. The tip about the cruise ships is also fantastic!

As for Meteora, I am not Greek Orthodox, just through reading the forum it seemed to keep popping up in recommendations so I was intrigued (then I saw the photo and became intrigued even more!). So skipping, and saving for next time would not be an issue.

We drove on prior trips in Croatia and Sardinia, with only a few minor heart attacks , so if the roads are mostly safe and modern, with decipherable signs, then we’re usually game.

Nafplio sounds marvelous, I am a sucker for sunsets (and sunrises!), this makes me excited for it!

I saw your recommendation on another forum for hotel Pan in Delphi, but can’t recall what I read about Santorini. On the Caldera side, do you recommend sleeping Oia, Firostefani, Imerovigli, or another part? There are so many options, and it overwhelms me…

I’ll be getting my notebook out again and re-working this itinerary. Thanks again for the guidance and insight. It is beyond helpful and I really appreciate it!

Posted by
3333 posts

Hello Again Christine!

I'm glad you're finding my suggestions useful ... and I do hope that you act SOON on the one VITAL aspect -- booking that Naxos-ATH flight. If you worry about "tweaking", Aegean provides for a flight-change ... but if you do NOT get that flight, the whole plan goes sideways. So do not dither, Please! So often, people get all absorbed in hotels, when how to get there is the First Concern.

RE: Hotel recommendations -- Again, how to give useful advice on inadequate info??? I would need to know your preferred budget range (in Euros please - use http://www.xe.com/currencyconverter/ ) ... and also, your travel-style (aside from $$) , superbudget, economy-moderate, or indulgent. Do u like lots of staff in uniforms? Want a spa? Need a pool? View? Or just nice rooms, being out/about a lot? Examples:

• NAXOS – in June I always recommend staying on Ag. Giorgios Beach directly adjacent to the Port town; because SO handy just to stroll in for cafes, dinner, nightlife, or to get bus for far-out beaches -- no need for car except when u want to explore around the island. However Ag. G has only 3 "upscale" hotels and their location isn't as good as some simpler places. Often people ask me about posh places with glam websites ... which in actuality are way back from a beach, isolated, require car rental even to get a cup of coffee. But these people are going by "smart-phone research" instead of some real homework.
•SANTORINI – the big push is for Oia by the super-luxe crowd, bridezillas, others affected by promo... and indeed it does have the superluxe places. However, I like Firostephani best .. it has hotels with great caldera views, pools etc, at half the price -- and it isn't jammed from 10am - 4pm, 6pm-sundown with cruise crowds, package-tour throngs etc... in fact no one stops at Firostephani except the smart few who book rooms there. My routine, with newbies like u, is to catch the 8:15 bus to Oia (a handy Firostephani stop just behind the rim-side hotels), and enjoy Oia views & take pix early, before the human "rush hour". But that may not be for you... its just my opinion, based on 5-6 visits to Santorini, I forget which.

You say you're open to opinion & information, now I suggest you get some by reading. Websites (except for those like VisitNafplio), often have a promotional motive OR don't provide CANDID guidance. Just for example, you wanted Meteora, but weren't given guidance on whether it made sense on your timetable.
A good guidebook saves you time & helps good decisions, by filtering out static. I emphasize GOOD (a well-known series was unmasked for an editor doing a complete country update without leaving NYC!). I believe anyone spending $5K+ on a vacation should pop for $10-20 for a guide... or at least borrow a bunch from the library & photocopy relevant pages. I have a shelf-full, but mainly recommend ROUGH GUIDE to GREECE, not necessarily the newest edition; you're not looking for latest hotel/dinner prices, but for honest overview & background fax. Used 2012 ed on Amazon for $5 or so + shipping. One great feature is that you don't have to take along the Big Fat guide; pull out sections (Peloponnese, Athens etc), bind spines w duct tape and -- Voila!! - little pocket "guide-ettes."