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Oh where to go?!?

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Oh where to go?!?

So I'm planning a trip (very early stages) for my Mom's 60th. The first 7 days we are going to Italy. The last 5 or 6 we want to do Greece for the first time. Preferable we want to stay on an island in an apartment/villa (no hotels). We would also like to briefly see some of the sights in Athens. Is there somewhere we can stay and then day trip to Athens? Or should we just plan a night in Athens on one side of our flight? Which islands do you recommend? We love seeing ancient sights, drinking wine, and my Mom loves smaller peaceful towns with charm. Like I said I'm really just starting, so all recommendations welcome!

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1. Re: Oh where to go?!?

When are you coming ?

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2. Re: Oh where to go?!?

Hi,

Athens can be visited from the nearby island Aegina at any time of the year:

http://www.aeginagreece.com/

San Francisco...
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3. Re: Oh where to go?!?

Either May or October 2015

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4. Re: Oh where to go?!?

Why no hotels? I can think of lots of places that would give you what you're looking for, but I haven't seen anything in the way of villas.

I'd second AjarnAndy's suggestion of Aegina for convenience, especially if you only have 5 or 6 days. Another option in the same chain would be Poros, from which you could go to Galatas, rent a car, and visit a couple of the most impressive sites in Greece, Epidaurus and Mycenae.

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5. Re: Oh where to go?!?

I don't like staying in hotels. I always use VRBO or Homeaway and rent apartments when I travel. I've already looked and there are loads to choose from all over Greece. It gives me my own room/space, freedom of a kitchen so I can have some meals at home, and to me feels less touristy and exposes you more to how locals live. It's just a preference. It's pretty much how I go in the states or abroad if I'm staying anywhere more than 3 nights. It's also more space for your money in my opinion (I can usually find a 2 bedroom for equivalent hotel prices). I usually travel with my Mom or a friend, and the idea of being crammed in a little hotel room when our sleep schedules are all screwed up sounds like the trip from hell to me. :) I'll check out Aegina for sure.

Edited: 20 October 2013, 17:26
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6. Re: Oh where to go?!?

I generally share your view on hotels vs. villas - I've often found that villas are far less expensive and far more spacious than hotels (Positano and Costa Rica, for example).

But in Greece, I've never found a villa that offers the same benefits. I often travel with my brother in law and we just get two single rooms. They always have balconies with great views over the harbor, have fridges, and often have cooking facilities (though with meal prices so low in Greece, I never bother with cooking). And I've never paid more than $50 a night. The villas I've seen tend to be outside town - I'd much rather sit on my balcony, sip a glass of Retsina, and watch the touts try to entice tourists into their restaurants than have to find my way into town for dinner and then have to limit my wine consumption because I have to drive back to the villa.

Also, Greek hotels tend to be small and family run, so you can get the "living like a local" experience.

Edited: 20 October 2013, 18:22
Devizes, United...
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7. Re: Oh where to go?!?

Hi there

5 or 6 days isn't much time to see much of Greece. I'd base yourself in Athens and if you really want to see an island or two, take the ferry to the close by Saronic Gulf islands like Aegina, Poros, Hydra, and so on as a day trip, easy enough to do. You need a bare minimum of 2 full days to see the major outdoor sights in Athens, 3 to be thorough and more should you want to visit some museums. You can easily spend a full day in The National Archaeological Museum plus the New Acropolis Museum and the Benaki Museum are, in my opinion, must sees, time permitting.

If you did go to an outlying island, then you'd have to be back in Athens the day prior to your homebound flight to be sure of catching it which then seriously limits your time on the island.

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8. Re: Oh where to go?!?

I know the 5 days isn.t a lot, but it's all we have. We are really wanting our Greece portion to be more low key. We don't want to stay in the hustle and bustle of a big city...so Athens seems to be a no to me.

What about just doing Santorini?

@Zakrosian - pricing wise it would cost us a lot more to do 2 hotel rooms (I am paying for both). I also really like having th kitchen, often a washer dryer, etc. feels more like home. I don't like staying somewhere where everyone else is just a bunch of Americans or other travelers. . Haven't picked a place/ location yet obviously, but we have found quite a few places to stay that are what we are looking for:

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p268105

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p940140

Like I said just a preference. So we are looking for an area we can stay in a place like that and walk to a smaller town and eat or pick up goods at the market. Or where we can ferry to bigger towns for sightseeing. For instance, last time we went to italy we stayed in an apartment in a small Tuscan town, we day tripped via train to the bigger towns for sightseeing, . We could walk to restaurants and sights, but had the quiet environment of our own to rest up and recoup. It's just more our style I guess.

Sorry feel like I'm doing a horrible job of laying out what we are exactly looking for!

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9. Re: Oh where to go?!?

There is also a possibility another family member may go so that's the other reason we are only looking at apartments.

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10. Re: Oh where to go?!?

Maybe I should say this is suppose to be our relax with ocean views part of our trip. We are going hard in Italy for the first half and want the second to be a little more "enjoy the scenery with wine". It's not absolutely neccessary we see the major sights. I just thought it would be nice if it was an option somehow to do a bit of both by day tripping to Athens, but doesn't sound like that's feasible based on location etc. So if you were going to one island only for a good taste of Greece and good ocean views where would you go?