We have one week to spend in Greece. We want to see the big stuff in Athens and Santorini. At the beginning of the week we are flying into Athens and on the 8th day, we have a flight from Santorini to Istanbul. For those of you that have traveled to Greece, how would you spend your week? Any ideas of a third stop or day tripping out of Athens would be most helpful... thanks
I'd suggest three nights in Athens, rent a car and drive to Nafplio for two or three nights, day trips to Mycenae and/or Epidavrus and/or Nemea, then back to Athens airport and fly to Santorini (which I don't know).
At the time you are in Santorini you are able to go daytrips to Paros-Naxos-Mykonos
rizosalfa is unfortunately mistaken ... the daytrips run FROM Naxos/Paros TO Santorini, not in reverse. In order to make day trips work, there has to be a dedicated excursion vessel, so that it can take you to the desired island/destination fairly early in the Morning, and then return you at 5 o'clock or so... otherwise you won't have much time at all at the place. There are no such boats operating out of Santorini. You might get a boat to Mykonos, but it's a longer journey, and getting back requires knowing all the timetables. The only "daytrips" by boat from Santorini are around the Caldera, or to that very small island offshore.
Three. nights in Athens, two nights in Santorini which leaves two more nights for either Naxos, Paros or Napflion( one of the most beautiful towns in Greece.) Athens and one other place would be best. I am not a fan Santorini so would only give it two nights, look at the caldera view and leave for another place.
A couple of you mentioned Napflion. What is special about this Greek town? What do you love about it?
Also, when choosing a hotel in Napflion what is the best neighborhood to look at?
It is a beautiful town along the water perfect for strolling and chilling and eating. It is laid back and a big change from Athens. Nearby Mycenae and Epidarus are world class “big stuff” archeological sites of heroic proportion. Take a cab up to the cool fort and walk down...or walk both ways if you like. We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Aetoma. Ultra gracious mother and son team, gigantic breakfast and not a steep climb, as I think many places may be. Our room had a balcony and we were served cakes and coffee when we arrived. 10/10. We took the bus from Athens round trip. If we had not seen the above sights on previous trips, I’d have rented a car in town for our stay. Safe travels.
Nafplio or Nafplion (same place, different spellings) is a great, charming town on a peninsula so there is water on3 sides. It has layers of history (ancient stuff, Venetian fortresses from the 1400s, Greek Independence things from the 1800s etc). Great cafes and restaurants, a waterfront for strolling, pretty streets. It’s just pleasant. Look up some photos of the town, you will get the idea.
If you go - it’s small so staying anywhere in the main town would be fine. Find the square and make sure you are within a short walk and you are good.
Mycenae is one of the best ancient sights in Greece and its half an hour drive. Epidavros theater is also within easy day trip distance. And Nafplio itself is only 2 hours from Athens. Rent a car when you leave Athens, roads are good and parking is free in huge lots in Nafplio’s port which is right in town - easy walk.
While staying in Nafplio we took the 'Sunken City' kayak trip with Pan Expeditions https://www.panexpeditions.com/ The water is many beautiful shades of blue and turquoise. The paddle was a great change of pace from sightseeing. The guides were very personable and safety-oriented, and the equipment is in excellent condition. I believe Pan Expeditions also has a shorter Nafplio harbor paddle, and maybe a sunset paddle there. Definitely visit the fort above Nafplio (the Palmidi) for beautiful views. There is also a very pleasant walk around the point where Nafplio is situated.
We stayed at "Amymone and Adiandi", a small boutique hotel with beautifully decorated rooms located on a pedestrian-only street. It's very well located toward the end of the peninsula that contains the old town. There is a big public parking lot nearby. We had to walk a couple of blocks with luggage, but we pack light so not a big deal.
I would recommend 3 nights in Athens as that would be the minimum if you want to see what the city is all about . . . not just the usual tourists sites but other parts of the city.
Since you'll be on the island of Santorini I would also recommend the lovely town of Nafplio in the Argolis Peninsula. In fact it may be worth the extra time there instead of Santorini. This website will tell you everything you need to know about it and how special the town and entire area is:
You guys are awesome! Thanks for the help. You have made this part of our month-long trip perfection!