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Visiting Athens, Greece between 12/22/09 to 12/30/09

Any suggestions how we should plan our stay, things we can do and can we visit any of the islands and the prices involved. I've heard the weather is fine but not as good as summer. Please advice. Thx

Posted by
2583 posts

Have you already bought a ticket for this period? Is there any compelling reason why you must be in Greece at this time ... being sent to a conference thus getting a free ticket, being in an adjacent country etc? Where have you heard "the weather is fine"??? Did you even check for yourself on this incorrect hearsay? It is the rainy season, and cold. The Med is NOT the Carribean. And Greece, particularly the islands is meant to be enjoyed in warm months.

The best-known islands will be virtually "shut down" for tourists. Only major cities in places like Crete, with large permanent populations, will have many faciilties you expect. If you persist in this misguided venture, your best bet will be to stay in Athens, which has festivities involved with Christmas, and plenty of indoor attractions. Another place to consider (an easy 2.5 hour intercity bus ride away, is Nafplion on the bay of Argos ... the most beautiful city in Greece; its Old Town is a World Heritage Site; lots of history, also lovely shops & restaurants. Still, the best advice is NOT to GO; save your $$ for a May-June visit, when Greece is at its loveliest, yet the huge tourist crowds haven't arrived yet.

Posted by
4 posts

CAN YOU SUGGEST ANY OTHER EURPOEAN CITIES, THAT WE CAN GO TO AROUND CHRISTMAS. HOW ABOUT SPAIN? THX

Posted by
4 posts

JANET, I KNOW I'M IN TROUBLE BECAUSE WE ALREADY BOUGHT THE TICKETD ON BA FROM PHX TO ATHENS. WE ALSO HAVE A HOTEL RESERVED IN ATHENS FOA A WEEK.IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS, EITHER WE CAN FLY INTO ATHENS, SPEND TWO DAYS IN ATHES(CANCEL OUR HOTEL BOOKING FOR THE REST OF THE DAYS) AND GO TO ANY OF THE NEIGHBOURING CITIES. ALSO WE WERE WONDERING, ABOUT GOING TO THE ISLAND OF SANTORINI NAD MAYBE TWO OTHER ISLANDS. WILL THEY BE OPEN? SHOULD WE FLY (WILL THE FERRIES BE OPEN?) HOW MUCH TIME (MAYBE 2 DAYS ON SANTORINI BE GOOD). THX

Posted by
1249 posts

Tyron

Don't panic! Janet's being over pessimistic about both the weather and what is likely to be open. We've been in Greece every Christmas and New Year for the last twenty years, and will be again this year.

In that time we've had mixed weather, but we've always had some sunny days, even on occasions when we've also had snow. The last few years the weather has been fairly mild at that time of year, and we've often sat out for lunch. Layers and a waterproof are probably worth packing.

Janet's idea of Nafplio is a good one. A beautiful town,easy to reach from Athens, and lively at Christmas time.A lot of younger Athenians take the opportunity to get away for a few days.

In terms of islands we've been to Syros and to Crete at that time of year and there have been plenty of places open.

If I was you though I'd consider Aegena. It's very easy to get to from Piraeus, the port of Athens, and has a nice island feel and a couple of good sites. It's easily done as a day trip, or you could overnight if you fancied something a bit different.

Photos of our daytrip there in December 2007 are here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanstpaul/sets/72157604342830254/

There are also some winter pictures of Athens on my photostream.

I'm sure you'll have a good trip. Museums, sites and restaurants are less crowded than in the summer and the weather is often absolutely perfect for wandering around as long as you come prepared (and don't expect days on the beach!)

Cheers
Alan

Posted by
4 posts

THANK YOU ALAN. IT'S NICE TO GET INFO FROM YOU ALL. IT IS ENCOURAGING TO HEAR THAT PEOPLE STILL GO TO GREECE AROUND CHRISTMAS, AND JANET I APPRECIATE ALL YOUR HELP TOO. WE'VE HEARD A LOT ABOUT THE ISLAND OF SANOTRINI (I DON'T THINK I SPELLED THE NAME CORRECT). CAN WE VISIT IT ON THIS TRIP, IF SO WHAT IS THE BEST WAY, SHOULD WE STAY THERE ONE OR TWO NIGHTS. ALSO GIVEN THE AMOUNT OF TIME WE HAVE APPROXIMATELY SIX DAYS, HOW SHOULD BE PLAN BETWEEN ATHENS AND THE ISLADS, AND WHICH ISLANDS?THX

Posted by
1249 posts

Tyron

Santorini is very beautiful, but I'm doubtful about it in December. I was there in March a couple of years ago and almost nowhere was open.

I'm sure you could find somewhere open, and it's possible to get an internal flight there, but I suspect the town would be almost completely dead. Depends, of course, on how you balance the view against atmosphere.

Alan