Husband and I are planning our September 2019 trip (we use miles to fly free, so buying our tickets very early is our strategy). We don't have exact dates, but generally leaving Seattle on the 31st, arriving on the 1st is our plan.
After reading a number of discussions here, we're interested in flying right to Crete at the outset and then kind of working our way back to Athens and the Mainland.
We are older and not in the best of shape. We like walking around cities and musuems as well as swimming. I snorkel. We've driven in Ireland and Italy and are undaunted by what we read about driving in Greece. :-) We've learned to plan on one major site each day, but will happily fill in quick stops along a journey. Our interests are centered around looking at/ visiting ancient/prehistoric art and sites (I call them 'pagan'). We marvel at the connections us moderns can make to people from 1000s of years ago through their cities and art. We tend to skip Medieval stuff and are uncertain how we'll feel about Byzantine. Our next passion is for exellent food, and that looks like an absolute no-brainer in Greece.
While we don't have a budget and are able to splurge, we generally don't spend a lot on lodging (since we know we'll mostly be sleeping in the room rather than hanging out there). We will always pay a bit more for a private bath and quiet room. We're good with taking local transportation, or taxis, and will rent a car on Crete and to drive on the mainland.
Right now, our 3+ week trip looks like this:
(travel day -- SEA to Heraklion, Crete)
Day 1 Crete (for discussion, think of this as Sunday, Sept 1st)
8 Crete to Santorini (via ferry)
10 Santorini to Naxos or Paros (via ferry)
11 Naxos/ Paros
12 Naxos/ Paros
13 to Sifnos (via ferry)
15 Sifnos to Athens (via ferry)
18 day trip to Delphi, Hosios Loukas on the way (sleep in Delphi)
19 sightsee Delphi, drive to Mycenae, Diakopto along the way (sleep in Mycenae)
20 sightsee Mycenae & environs (Nemea and Epidavros)
(sleep in Mycenae)
21 Sounion seeing Ancient Corinth & Eleusis along the way (sleep in Sounion)
22 return car & fly home
A few notes and questions:
We really wanted to get to Rhodes, but put it on the 'next trip' planner.
A friend recommended Paros. Any thoughts on that island vs. Naxos?
Sifnos is there because I read that it's 'the' gourmet island. Too much time there?
We're staying in/near Mycenae and Delphi because that seems convenient for our sightseeing plans -- would another location be better? (I see a number of people recommending Nafplion, but that would add to our driving time. Is it worth it?)
We really wanted to see Ancient Messene, Mystras, Polilimnio (waterfalls), and the Diros caves at Pyrgos Dirou. Are they worth adding a day (2?), or maybe shortening our Crete timeframe to be able to stay longer in this region?
We're staying overnight in Sounion so we can see the sun set . . . is it truly so spectacular?
Olympus didn't make the cut (next trip), nor did Meteora. Given our penchant for ancient things, should we make more time for them?
(We do have room, if we plan carefully) to be able to extend our trip a day or two more.)
thanks in advance.