I have an earlier post on another thread (Island decision - Crete only) where I received very valuable information. Activity planning stage, as I've already secured refundable hotel reservations for all 13 nights. However, as I'm planning our outings for each location, I'm beginning to think I should extend our time in Crete and Naxos to do more exploring, in a non-time-crunched manner.
We (mom/dad, daughter 14, son 12) arrive in Athens from Anchorage, Alaska at 17:20, after about a 14 hour journey on May 25 and an 11 hour time change. We have reserved a room at St Thomas B&B near the Athens airport for our first night, just to relax and adjust.
May 26: 8am we are picked up at B&B by PGT Tour Group to provide us with a private tour of Athens, and then drop us off at airport at 15:30 for our 17:00 flight to Crete.
May 26 17:50: Arrive in Crete (chania) and check out Chania town, have dinner and head to our B&B in the mountains. We are staying 30 min drive from Chania in Samonas Traditional Villas...which I realize is out of the way, but I'm hoping it will be a nice place to start and end the day without the tourists.
May 27: free morning and afternoon, maybe visit Terra Creta olive oil company for a 1 hour tour (12:45), and then head to our cooking class in Vamos (20 min from villas) at 16:00.
May 28: Beach day (elefonisi), explore, and then head back to villa to cook a greek dinner ourselves in the outdoor brick oven at our villa, lay by pool, relax. Or we may hire Natour for the private sail/lunch on Balos beach.
May 29: Hike Samari Gorge (we are all in shape)
May 30: Drive to Heraklion for Knossos and a few stops along the way, staying the night at Lato Boutique Hotel that night
May 31: Ferry leaves for Naxos at 9:00, arrives at 12:50. Check in at Hotel Grotta, where we have 2 rooms - 1 is the triple for the balcony and the other is just a double room.
No secured plans in Naxos yet. We want to eat awesome Greek food here and hike, hang at beaches and explore the island.
June 3: Ferry to Piraeus, rent car and drive to Nafplio where we are staying at Hotel Marianna.
June 4: Epiduraus Theatre and Climb the stairs at Palamidi
June 5: Food Tour of Nafplio 3 hours of a tour of Nafplio where they talk about the town and food and we sample along the way (not reserved yet, just an idea)
June 6: Drive to Athens, stopping by Mycenae along the way. Stay the night at St Thomas BB again
June 7: 8am flight home.
Sounds like a lovely trip as I read it!! :-) But, maybe 1 more night in Crete, 1 more night in Naxos, and 1 more night in Athens (ensuring we make it to our flight) with a day trip to Epiduraus or skip it altogether? I like the idea of settling into a place, becoming familiar with our surroundings and doing day exursions from our base location. Any suggestions to this itinerary? Dare I skip Nafplio and just soak up the places we are at? We love the non-tourist locations. I've already skipped Santorini! Which I must say took a couple nights sleep to decide!