I'm taking my two 12-year-old granddaughters (cousins) to Greece May 1-12 and need advice as to how best to spend our time. Everyone talks about Santorini but I fear it's really touristy. Anybody know a sweet little quiet island that's a beautiful? Also wondering if anyone has had an over night ferry experience. thanks for your help! Juliet
Santorini won't be really touristy the first 2 weeks of May, but if you prefer an island that's less-developed in the same group take a look at Antiparos, Anafi, Sikinos and Folegandros. I've been on one overnighter, what do you want to know?
Juliet Sifnos might fit the bill. Kamares is a nice little town which is used to tourists but not dominated by them. There is also a good bus service so it is easy to get around the rest of the island. The island is about 4 hours from Piraeus by fast ferry. We also really like Andros. Fits the bill for being sweet and quiet, especially if you go to Chora. We often stay in these rooms which are wonderful. http://www.androsrooms.gr/ANDROS_chora_studios_apartments_Greece_rooms.htm Ferries to Andros leave from Rafina and take abou 2 hours. There is a bus direct from the airport to Rafina so, depending on timings of flight, it would be possible to go direct to Andros from the airport and then come back via Athens. (I assume you'll want to spend at least a couple of nights in Athens to see the Acropolis etc.) Finally, not an island but you might want to consider combining Athens and Nafplio. A beautiful little town three hours from Athens by bus and with good access to Mycenae and Epidavrus if you want to do sites. It also has a small museum of historical costumes which might be of interest to 12 year old girls? (There is also one of these in Plaka in Athens.) They are lucky to have a grandmother who is taking them to such a great country! Alan PS Be aware that 1st May is a public holiday in Greece and accommodation on the islands will be busy. This is especially true as easter is late this year - 24th of April in Greece - and so some people will take the opportunity of combining the two holidays.
The tourist season doesn't start here until June so it's good until then. Only problem with Crete is that you a car to get around anywhere outside the cities and that can get expensive (30 euros/day).
Juliet does that May 1- 12 include your arrival/departure days? In that case you only have 10 days & must plan accordingly. The weather & pre-teen interests may dictate choices... and the right SEQUENCE is vital, to avoid time-wasting backtracking. CHOICES: Unless these 2 are jr. historians, many ancient sites will be a yawn, and remember, its TOO cold to swim. Also "everyone talks about Santorini" does that mean all your friends who went on a cruise? It's 9 hrs by regular ferry. OPTIONS: May 1 arrive, Athens sightsee May 2 & 3: May 4 & 5 Two-day KEY or CHAT co. excursion to Nafplio & area. You see ancient stuff PLUs have full afternoon & next AM to explore gorgeous Nafplio huge FORT, castles, towers etc. 130€ Tourist Class Hotel (arrange 3rd bed in double room) http://www.chatours.gr/sub_cat_page.asp#7 Check it out: http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/551991579dJbWvh slideshow of May Nafplio trip. On Fri, May 6, hi-speed ferry to Santorini (5 pm-9:30pm) sightsee 2 days max On Sun, May 8 10:30pm ANEK ferry (o'nite) arrive Mon May 9 @ 7:15 am Tues & Wed May 10/11 ... you can make a quickie island visit (1 hr ferry) to nearby Aegina or Angistri ... latter is teensy isle full of charm, girls can rent bikes to ride to beaches. Running out of space; PM me for details. then overnite ferry on night 3? Day 4 Athens sightseeing. D
The above reply may be confusing; the Steves word-limit makes us over-condense. KEY or CHAT tour is €130 per adult for everything (except 2 meals you buy). They pick you up at hotel morning of day #1 (or u go to their nearby office), and return you to your athens hotel about 7 pm on Day #2. Both co's offer a deluxe 1st class hotel but don't choose it ... it's outside town, and Tourist-Class hotel is in Central Nafplio. It is a stress-free way to see some great stuff without driving, with LOTS of free time. There's even a cute little pebble beach to try ... kids this age love Nafplio, not just grownups.
Another PS: that dangling line at the end of my first post was just a loose end... disregard.
Thanks so much for your advice, Janet. Is it best to arrange the trip to Nafplios with the tour company in advance, or can we jus do it when we get there? I'd like to avoid the expense of renting a car if possible and it sounds like it is from what you say. I love the idea of the display of costumes -- the girls would love that.