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Travel to Greece in September

A group of 8 will be traveling to Greece for the first and want some ideas on affordable lodging in Santorini and Crete. We reserved lodging in Athens and Naxos. We will be going from 9/14 - 9/27.
(1) JFK to Athens - Spend 2 nights there. we reserved lodging but are open to suggestions ; (2) 3 nights in Naxos we reserved lodging but are open for suggestions, (3) 3 nights in Santorini - need suggestions on lodging, good location to stay, and (4) 4 nights in Crete - need suggestions on affordable lodging and best island/area to stay. and then we go back to Athens and fly home from there. Any suggestion would be welcome.

Posted by
4860 posts

We’re heading to Crete for 13 nights in September, so we’ll have a bit more time to venture, and are planning on at least a couple of nights in/near Irakllio and at least a couple in/near Hania. Do you want one home base for your time on Crete? Are you looking for beaches, historical sights, gorge hiking trails? That could influence the “best” place(s) for you to stay.

We’re just starting our planning, so other responses you get might help us, too. Hope you have a wonderful time!

Posted by
55 posts

We will be in Santorini on Sept 10-13 and then to Naxos 13-16.
I booked a few months back, but after research and advise I booked the Agali Houses in Ferostephani and Nassaki Beach in Naxos. First trip to Greece, but I'm looking forward to both hotels. Headed to Paros and Mykonos after that....wish I was able to fit in Crete. Enjoy!

Posted by
4 posts

We’re looking for beaches and close to the center of restaurants etc. and yes some historical places. We have been doing the planning by ourselves and not sure where exactly in Santorini and Crete to focus on

Posted by
4860 posts

Based on the Rough Guide guidebook, Iraklio (aka Heraklion) would seem to be the best single home base. Close to the historic Knossos site, as well as the key Archeological museum, plus north coast beaches west and east of the city.

A more upscale, resorty city would be Agios Nikolaos, towards the east end of Crete’s north shore. Sounds like great food, nightlife, beaches, less history, and more expensive.

West end of Crete has Hania (aka Chania), apparently a prettier town than Iraklio, with beach options and museums of its own.

With 2 weeks, we’re thinking of 1/3 of the time in Iraklio, 1/3 in a town on the south coast (still to be determined), and the remaining 1/3 in Hania. For a single home base for 4 nights, Iraklio would seem to be the best bet for what you’re going to Crete for. Hotels there range from €40 to €90 per night. Have a great time on Crete and the other islands!

Posted by
827 posts

A budget is always helpful when recommending accommodations so can't say what would suit you.

I stay at the Attalos Hotel in Athens on Athinas St., close to everything one wants to see in Athens. Great rooftop bar with outstanding view of the Acropolis and Athens.

I stay in St. George Beach on Naxos. Decent beach and a short walk to Naxos Town and waterfront. I stayed at Studios Naxos.

I haven't been to Santorini nor do I plan to.

I stayed in Chania on the west end of Crete. One of Greece's most beautiful towns. Great place to base yourself to explore the western side of Crete. I stayed at Jason (Iason) Studios near Theotokopolou St., the most scenic area of town filled with character and beautiful Venice architecture. With only 4 days it will only be a tease of what Crete has to offer.

I'm a budget traveler so most of the places I stay are basic but are clean, safe and centrally located.

Posted by
395 posts

We were in Crete for about a week last June. We traversed about half of the island zigging and zagging north to south. If I were going to base in just one area I would choose Chania and western crete. The old center of Chania is beautiful and filled with great shopping, restaurants, and small interesting museums. We enjoyed live traditional music on a couple of nights. We booked a sail and snorkel out of the Chania harbor which was a relaxing diversion. There are lots of good day trips to hiking (Imbros, Samaria), beaches (several such as Elafonisi), garden (http://www.botanical-park.com/, great place for a long lunch on their terrace). Having said all that I would have to include Heraklio to see Knossos and the national archeological museum . Perhaps an option would be fly into Herakio and leave via Chania to avoid doing the couple hour drive between the two cities twice. Or make that a day trip as well from Chania and see a few additional sites along the way like the Arkadi Monastery. All depends on what activities appeal to you.

Posted by
4860 posts

For our trip this September/October, we’re flying in to Iraklio and out of Hania, but have 2+ weeks, and are planning on more than one “home base.”

Posted by
2556 posts

Crete isn't just an island, its an entire country. Seeking one "home base" for a visit of more than 4 days is wishful thinking, and traps you into lots of backtracking drives. Better to fly in to Chania and go Out of Heraklion especially if you are planning to continue to Santorini (because the ferries mostly go from Heraklion). If you plan to come FROM Santorini, do the opposite. Chania doesn't have many ferry connections... mainly the overnight to Piraeus. In my visits to Crete, I've found what works well is a 3-point plan fly into Chania, do that area for several days... Drive to a point south -- depending on your interests (gorges, Matala, southern villages), then going N.E. to Heraklion or its area for final 1-2 nights... depending on whether you want to cover Knossos & Herak Museum or not.

The main thing is not to get fixated on idea of unpacking suitcases into drawers & closets, putting family pix on bureau tops, and creating "home away from home." That's not what Crete (or Greece) is all about ... its the joy of discovery and new things each day, and then moving on... at least it's always brought joy to me.

Posted by
6519 posts

We spent two weeks on Crete based in Chania. We went to Heraklion to visit Knossos and the Archeological museum and are very glad we didn’t stay there. Stay in Chania.
Also take a night from Santorini and add it to Athens which needs more than two nights..

Posted by
4 posts

we're visiting Greece the last 2 weeks of September (14/9-27/9) flying into Athens and we booked our stay 1st 2 days stay in
1. Athens at the Acropolis Plaza Smart Hotel and Spa which is relatively new. Just want to know your thoughts on this place.
2. then we move on to Naxos and stay at this lodging Naxos Colosseo, Agios Prokopios, any thoughts.
3. Then we stay in Chania at Forum City Apartments, Chania. we'll also be in Santorini and want suggestions on Winery and also curious about the making of Olive Oil.

Thanks for any information/thoughts

Posted by
4860 posts

Looks like your place in Athens has a spa, and is northwest of the Acropolis. We stayed in a hotel south of the Acropolis, so can’t give you direct info.

On Crete, their wine region is to the south of Iraklio, southeast of Hania, but have no specific winery recommendations - yet. We leave for there in 2 months!

Posted by
6519 posts

Santorini is not known for it’s beaches and “reasonable” and Santorini are not often used together. It was our least favorite place in Greece., overtouristed, crowded, and did not feel as Greek culturally.
On Paros, stay in Naoussa, charming town and very near beaches. Visit Antiparos too. Or Naxos. These islands will give you a more Greek experience than Santorini.
Four nights on Crete will give you a tiny taste of this large island, 160 x 35 miles. The western side of Crete is the most scenic. Stay in historical Chania, one of the most beautiful towns in Greece, which also has an airport. What do mean “best island to stay on” in regard to Crete?
Ferries for Santorini depart from Heraklion.