3 weeks in Greece, September 18 - October 9, 2010

My husband and I are going to Greece for our 35th wedding anniversary this fall. So far, we have airline tickets and two nights booked in Athens when we arrive. We need help arranging the rest. We are comfortable doing things on the fly, but need some guidance. Napflion? Peloponnese? Corfu? Crete? We would like to rent a cottage or apartment in one or two locations and do day trips. Is that feasible? Or is it better to go the bed and breakfast route? We know you cannot see the whole of Greece in 3 weeks, but would like to visit some of the most beautiful, least touristy areas

Posted by Lee
Oregon
1635 posts

Right off the top, you need to realize that the "Most Beautiful" are not in the "Least Touristy" areas. Unfortunately, to see much of the beauty of Greece means to go where so many others have gone and are still going. Napflion, Peloponnese, Corfu and Crete are all well-travelled and popular destinations. Of course there are areas where natural beauty and no tourism exists but these areas are usually way off the beaten track and are only accessible by car, and you won't find them listed anywhere. You just have to go see what you can find that fits your image of beauty.

Renting a cottage or apartment only makes sense if you're planning to stay in one area where there is a lot to see and do within a day's drive, and IF you have a car. Arranged tours take up too much time and don't let you see anything other than what is on the itinerary, which is usually the most popular and easily accessible "usual suspects" of tourist attractions.

Since we don't know what would interest you I think you should probably spend some time with a good guidebook to help you focus in on making a plan.

http://tinyurl.com/38ybp6m

You can also go to http://www.tripadvisor.com and ask in the various Greece forums for advice once you have some specific questions.

If you plan to rent a car be sure to go to your local AAA office to pick up an International Driving Permit, no test or membership required.

Posted by Sandy
Independence, MO, USA
3 posts

Thank you so much for your reply. Hopefully, by going in mid September, we can avoid at least some of the crush of tourists that are there in high season! We have Rick Steves' book which we are in the process of pouring through as well as one by Fodors and a map of the whole country.
We went to Europe once before with a tour group and although we saw a lot of real estate, spending 45 minutes in a particular seaside location and then getting back on the bus is not our idea of absorbing the culture and the beauty of the landscape. We watn this trip to be much more leisurely and relaxing.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2373 posts

The other poster is correct, almost anywhere you go that is wonderful will be touristy.

I highly recommend staying in Nafplio as a base for a few days. You can see a lot with day trips to Mycenae, Epidavros, Corinth, Mystras and even Olympia (a long day). Plus the city is one of the most popular in Greece for good reason. Monemvasia is highly recomended by people I know (I haven't been there) and would be somewhat less touristy since its off the beaten path.

Delphi is a must and I'd consider staying in a nicer town nearby like Galixidi rather than overrun Delphi.

Can't comment on islands.

You will need a car outside Athens. Pick it up in Athens and drop it off on your return. Do not drive in Athens other than the minimum and don't go anywhere near the center. You will need an International Drivers Permit.

To me, renting an apartment only makes sense if you are planning to stay longer than a week, want to eat most of your meals at home, or have a large group or family. Otherwise, Greece is pretty cheap so it would likely make more sense to stay in hotels or B&Bs.

Posted by George
Philadelphia
653 posts

Sandy...To get the feel of Greece and to get to know the locals you do not want to be in an apartment preparing your own food, etc.

Three weeks is a good visit. I would fly to Athens and from there directly on to one of the islands, particularly Santorini for four nights, ferry to another island such as Naxos for three nights, ferry to Piraeus, and start my auto trip from there. Save the LAST three nights for Athens, drop off the car upon arrival.

This gives you 11/12 days to explore some of the Peloponnese, Olympia, Napflio, Delphi, etc. Greece has many small hotels/inns which will probably not be too busy at the time of your trip. Breakfast is usually included at a resonable price. Dinner out gives you another chance to get to know Greece and those who live there. Greece is a wonderful trip. Have a great anniversary!

Posted by Charlene
Centennial, CO, US
908 posts

My husband & I are around your age, and our favorite place in Greece is the island of Lesvos, specifically Hotel Votsala in Pergi Thermi (just outside Mytilene). You can check reviews on Trip Advisor. It's the most relaxing, welcoming place we've ever been, run by the most interesting, hospitable Greek family, with many opportunities for day trips around the island and to Turkey. I'd recommend a week there, followed by some time in the Peloponnese. You'd want to fly to Lesvos and back from Athens (it's a long ferry ride). Your stay there will be very inexpensive and give you a true taste of Greece.

Another good resource for you is Matt Barrett's website (http://www.greektravel.com/).

Posted by Carolyn
Lehi, UT
126 posts

recommend spending some time on the islands and second the endorsement for matt barrett website. its great.

Posted by Maria
Crown Point, Indiana, USA
3 posts

I prefer the islands close to Turkey; Ikiaria, Samos, Patmos, Chios and Lesvos. We set up base in Samos and then took day trips to Ephesus and Patmos. You and the locals have the islands to yourself, flights are not expensive and Samos is rich with vegetation. Some islands do not have much or any vegetation.

Posted by Paul
Cedar, IA, USA
2371 posts

In three weeks, I think that you can do some great things. It has not been mentioned, but Corfu would really be out of the way and much travel for just that........The idea of using Nafplio as a base is very good, you could burn up most of a week, more if you tried to do Olympia or points South, work out other parts of the schedule and see what you have time for.....From there, you could day trip out of Athens for Delphi, The a week plus swing through the islands, or just a quick stop in Santorini and a week in Crete.

Posted by Douglas
Oak Park, Illinois
2373 posts

Paul - I think you missed that this thread is older and had been bumped by a spammer. The person's trip is (hopefully) happening as we speak.

Posted by Sandy
Independence, MO, USA
3 posts

We are here in Greece now. Based in Ermioni, we have been to Hydra, Nafplio, Didima and will be traveling to many more places in the next two weeks. It is so beautiful here and we are having the time of our lives!