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Chrismas to Greece

Hi, we are heading out for Greece between 12/22/2013 and 1/1/2014. Is it a good idea to stay on one or two top visited islands? I am getting a mixed messages about the ferry schedule. If I book a hotel on the islands, Will the ferry still open to take us to the islands during the time?

Thanks,

Ping

Posted by
4522 posts

There won't be much open or active, like hotels, restaurants and shops, on the islands during that time. If you really want an island experience, you could try one of the larger ones like Crete. Ferries are few and far between in off season but cheap flights to the larger islands are still an option.

Start searching for open hotels now because there might not be a lot. If you find one, then figure out how to get to the island.

Another option is to stay on the mainland. Athens will be quiet but active and is a much more pleasant city in the off season. Nafplio is a charming small city with many ancient and Byzantine sights nearby. Delphi is always worth a day visit.

Posted by
1246 posts

Ping

We always spend Christmas and New Year in Greece.

Some islands are still lively. Syros, the capital of the Cyclades, for example. It is also possible to fly there in around an hour and internal flights are relatively cheap.

Having said that I would stick to the mainland. There are ferries but they are less frequent and weather, especially high winds, can make them unreliable.

Nafplio is an excellent option. It's easy to reach by public transport, if you don't want to drive, is a beautiful little town and is always lively at that time of year. We were last there for Christmas 2011 and wrote up our take then.

[url]http://www.greekramblings.org.uk/Nafplio%20overview.html[/url]

We're going to be in Athens at that time this year, so let's both keep our fingers crossed for good weather!

Alan

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks Douglas and Alan for your advice.

Posted by
1246 posts

James is wrong on the date of Greek orthodox Christmas, although right about some of the other orthodox churches. Since the Constaninople Congress of 1923 Greece has celebrated on the 25th December, as has Cyprus, Poland and Romania. Russia and Serbia stuck to the old calendar.

There is a nice page on Christmas customs in Greece here

[url]http://www.sfakia-crete.com/sfakia-crete/christmas.html[/url]

Since the economic crisis there has been a severe reduction in the amount spent in Athens on public celebration. No real tree in Syntagma Square, for example, and much less music in the streets.

Alan

Posted by
8 posts

Thanks James and Alan for the information.