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After much dithering ....

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After much dithering ....

We have *finally* chosen ( rather late in the day, too, I might add:-)) to visit Greece over London/Normandy. We had planned to, last year,and I'd posted a few questions then, but that trip didn't pan out, so here I am back again on this forum :-), fingers crossed.

We have only 12 full days, excluding travel days between New York and Athens. Our vacation is from May 23rd to June 6th.

Will 12 days suffice for visiting Athens, Kos and Crete? I know we'll barely graze the surface since Crete alone needs several days to explore its wonders, but for first-timers who are mainly interested in Greek mythology/archaeology ( not nightlife, shopping, sunbathing on beaches) will we be able to see some of the major sights at least?

We would love to spend a day or two in Corfu ( for its associations with Durrell)as well, but felt we needed to give that up, given our limited vacation days :-(.

How should we split the days? Could we visit Kos on a day trip from Athens or do we need to stay there overnight? Should we do Athens-Kos-Crete-Athens or Athens-Crete-Kos-Athens?

Thanks a lot.

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1. Re: After much dithering ....

Hey and welcome neighbors:-)..and unfortunately, no, you cannot day trip over to Kos! Greece may look small on a map but covers some major turf! You've picked isles that don't have exactly the easiest connections..lol..but nonetheless, you've spoken correctly in that Crete is HUGE..without a specific destination in mind, better off leaving it for next time..If still interested in some sights (say, Knossos in Heraklion), would suggest an immediate flight connections upon arrival at Athens airport! Since you're leaving from NYC area, you can check www.olympicairways.com/ and book yourselves straight throught to Heraklion and not deal with luggage retrieval in Athens:-) Now the issue comes up on getting to Kos from there..There is a way of doing it but it'll take some time and at least one connection via the ferries..You can also check www.skyexpress.gr/ These are small aircraft with limited luggage space that may work! If you decide not to go to Crete, you can always plan on a flight connection out to Kos! Am sure someone here will kick in on ferry connections! Either way, try planning on heading out the the isles first and save Athens for your finale with some consecutive nights and not splitting the stay up! Also ensures your return flight! Happy planning and ENjoY!

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2. Re: After much dithering ....

Hi Litsa, thanks for your reply :-). We're not neighbors, alas... we'll be flying in from the West Coast to New York and then on to Athens. But we did live in Brooklyn *and* Queens... a long time ago!

If we skip Crete ( awww...sigh), what parts of the mainland( besides Athens) do you recommend as musts, for first-time visitors who may not be able to make a second trip?

Kos is a must for us, so that island stays! :-)

Will we be able to see Corfu if we skip Crete? ( Ouch, it hurts just to type those last two words in that sentence!)

Thanks again.

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3. Re: After much dithering ....

If Kos must stay (it would be easier if Crete had to stay, LOL) how about if you combine Kos with Rhodes?

You could fly straight to Rhodes, then ferry from Rhodes to Kos and then fly or ferry from Kos to Athens and spend 2-3 days there.

I don't think you can combine Kos with Corfu.

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4. Re: After much dithering ....

Hey again:-) The only way you can combine Kos with Corfu would be via flights connecting/changing in Athens:-) Hey! It's your trip..and you're not the first to make such a combination:-) Check the airline flight schedules and just plug in Kos TO Corfu and it'll show you all the available connections..As for the land portion, you can always head South to the Peloponesse to see some incredible wonders there..Epidauros threatre, Mycenae, Old Corinth come to mind..best with a car rental (assume you DO drive coming from the 'other' coast..lol!) and can be combined with a return flight from the isle portion of your trip..Easy pick up at one of the rentals at the airport..check www.aia.gr/ and drop off..Again, try and save Athens for the finale! Keep plannin'..and enjoyin'!

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5. Re: After much dithering ....

Thanks, Thalia ( I read the London forums!). Looks like Corfu needs to go :-( .

I forgot to say earlier that Knossos and Phaistos are the two places we really wish to see in Crete.

We did think of Kos and Rhodes but Crete still draws us.

How many days do we need to visit the Acropolis, the archaeological museum, Delphi,Corinth? We have Meteora on our list too - but it is closer to Corfu so I guess we'll have to drop that? I guess I'm asking how many days we need to visit Athens and surrounding points of interest.

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6. Re: After much dithering ....

Hey Litsa, thanks for the encouragement. True, it's our trip ..but I don't want to ruin it by rushing all over the place just so we can cram everything in! We'll have to pick and choose :-(, sigh.

Oh, we *do* want to go to Crete.... :-(

Yes, we were thinking of renting a car - but I understand driving is best reserved for when we're outside Athens? Is it safe, traffic-wise? What about on the islands - do people drive or use public transport or walk?

And yes, we were thinking of the Peloponnese - it has all the sights/sites we have long dreamed of visiting ( Olympia, Corinth, Sparta,....).

Thanks for your suggestion to leave Athens for last -makes sense and will certainly be less hectic if we don't keep moving back and forth from Athens.

Should we start in Crete, then?

Help!

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7. Re: After much dithering ....

From what I can see, you're pretty well set on Crete..so why not head over to Heraklion and take in Knossos..it is an incredible site:-) Don't be expecting an idyllic isle feel to this place though..Heraklion is a busy, bustling, metropolis and you'd hardly know you were on an isle! Again, this isle is huge and diverse..Have you considered spending more time here..renting a car and exploring?! As for 'City' driving, you needn't drive IN Athens (not recommended anyway!) since the airport is located well out of the City and leads direct to the highway leading South! Your call on this since just Crete along with some mainland would make for a great trip..Athens as finale of course! Enjoyin'!

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8. Re: After much dithering ....

Hi again!

OK, let's see, Athens sights need 2 days. If you wish to add a museum (or two) that takes us to 3. You can do Corinth, Nafplio and Epidaurus or Corinth, Epidaurus and Mycenae in one day IF you rent a car but it would be a rushed day (think of starting at 7am the latest)!

May I ask: why Kos? Crete for 6 days, Athens for 3 and the Peloponnese for another 3 would make an excellent itinerary!

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9. Re: After much dithering ....

Hey Litsaki, great minds! :-)

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10. Re: After much dithering ....

Exactly:-) Same consensus here..give it a thought! ENjoyin'!