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Spring 2021 Athens, Paros, Santorini Trip

I am in the midst of planning my 2021 dream trip to Greece (our 30th anniversary) and have been doing a lot of research. We will be traveling from the US the last week of May and first week of June (Tuesday May 25th – Sun June 6th) with the following itinerary:

Day 1: Fly from US
Day 2: arrive Athens and fly to Santorini
Day 2-4 (3 nights): Santorini
Day 5: Ferry to Paros
Day 5-9 (5 nights): Paros (w/ a day trip to Anti-Paros)
Day 10: Fly to Athens
Day 10-12 (3 nights) Athens (a day trip on a Sounion sunset tour: I’ve wanted to visit the Temple of Poseidon since studying mythology in the 7th grade)
Day 13- fly home

These are the three places I definitely want to visit on this my first trip to Greece, and I have a long list of islands I hope to visit in future trips! We enjoy down time in beautiful places and Paros speaks to me. I have an appreciation for Athens and the mainland in terms of its history, sites, museums, etc. so I am considering adding one day to Athens. Depending on budget and time, I may have to subtract a day from Paros in order to add one to Athens. I don’t want to decrease Santorini to two nights simply because that’s only one full day and I don’t want to feel rushed. I can shift the trip up by a week so it would be the last two weeks in May as opposed to May/June. Would there be any benefit to pushing it up by a week? I would appreciate input or tips on anything I should consider in terms of days of the week that time of year before I begin booking. For example, we enjoy some nightlife (in our early 50’s so not trying to party with Millennials but do enjoy dancing and good drinks) and wonder if nightlife tends to be only on weekends or will it be fine on weekdays in Paros also? We enjoy the pool and beaches and I’m wondering if the water in Paros will be warm enough? I’ve finally narrowed it down to two hotels in Paros that I’m choosing between: Paliomylos Spa Hotel or Hotel Senia. If you would recommend one over the other I would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks in advance for your time. I appreciate the wealth of knowledge I have found in this group.

Posted by
6676 posts

Day 2: arrive Athens and fly to Santorini

If your destination is Santorini, why "arrive Athens"? Why not "arrive Santorini"?

Posted by
11368 posts

Paros and Chania, Crete were are favorite islands. Stay in Naoussa on Paros.
You should see Santorini one time. We had to return to see Akrotiri as it was still closed on our first trip there. Make sure to visit it. We will never go back there but adore Greece.
Next time add beautiful Napflion and Chania, the two most beautiful towns in Greece.

Posted by
2599 posts

We went to Greece two years ago the last week of May and first week of June. We were able to swim in the water on Naxos which very close to Paros so I assume similar water temperature. On the other hand, the week (first week in June) on the mainland was hot--we were in Nafplio and Athens and it was in the 90s everyday. I think there may be a bit of a trade off between water temperature on the islands and temperature in Athens. My understanding is the water is warm enough to swim (at least for many people) beginning mid May. So theoretically you could swim either week but of course, that depends on your tolerance for coolish water.

Given the current pandemic, I would be sure to book refundable accommodations. We just had to cancel all of ours for Italy and I was very glad that we did not have to forfeit that money.

And I would book accommodations with air conditioning if possible. It is essential for Athens. We did not have it in Santorini and night time temperatures were low enough that it wasn't a big problem, although dogs barking at night bothered me and my daughter (but not others). I was so happy to have a/c in Naxos, although it wasn't any warmer. I am a light sleeper and not used to street noises as we have windows closed at home.

Posted by
1379 posts

Looks like a great trip! Haven't been to Paros but enjoyed the others. Might give Athens that 4th night if you're taking a day trip.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks everyone for the helpful insight. I appreciate it.

Posted by
4 posts

Naoussa would be my choice if I were to stay on Paros. There are several beautiful beaches that can be reached by taxi boat from Naoussa harbour, my favourite being Kolymbithres, which has sun beds and a taverna.
We will be staying at Paliomylos again next month. Perhaps we are a little biased with Paliomylos as it is owned and run by Greek Australians but the service there has always been outstanding and is one of the biggest reasons they get so many return guests.
After Athens you can go by fast hydrofoil from the port of Piraeus to the island of Aegina, or to the island of Spetses, they are very beautiful islands with many beaches.
In Spetses there are no cars, only a few taxis and scooter rentals, but you can go well on foot.
You can check out some local companies that offer athens airport transportation. A taxi offers convenience, door-to-door service and safety so it sounds like it offers you the best for your needs.
If you head to Psirri district (opposite Monastiraki square) you'll find several cosy tavernas preferred by locals as well - good food and live music, usually a bouzouki and a guitar.