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9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Sydney, Australia
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9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Hi everyone,

This will be our first trip to Greece (couple on 30s). Would you be able to advise/comments on our 9 days plan from Friday, 11 April to Sunday 20 April: Athens-Meteora-Santorini? As it is Easter week over there, please advise of the best options for transport-accomodation and sightseeing purposes, We like sight seeing, scenery,culture and festivals (Not a party/clubbing type couple).

Thinking of:

Friday,11 April , Athens airport arrival at noon -stay in Athens so we still have half afternoon to explore plaka and surrounding (acropolis if possible), hotel in Plaka

Sunday, Easter 20 April, Athens Airport departure at noon.

Trip: Athen-Santorini-Athen by ferry, Athen-Meteora-Athen by train, walk/bus for getting around.

Accomodation preference: Athens (Plaka with acropolis view), Santorini (Oia/Imoglia with Caldera view), Meteora (not sure of Kastriki or kalamba, which one has better view to Meteora)

Therefore, the remaining 8 days will be: 2 days in Meteora, 3 days in Santorini, another 1-2 days in Athens on top on my first half afternoon on arrival) and either 1-2 days left either Hidra, one of other island.

Then the difficult part:

1. Where is best to spent our Easter Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday?

2. Would I get a problem for my airport departure on Easter Sunday from Athens (Trying to get back to Athens at least Saturday night for Sunday departure)

3. If Santorini is the end of my trip (Thursday-Saturday easter), Would I get a problem with the ferry to Athens on Saturday? Should I buy ferry ticket in advance to guarantee the spot?

4. Better Easter weekend at Meteora or Santorini or Athens? in term of things to see/experience..

5. Meteora: is it safe to walk around at night, I meant if we want to see the sunset, then it will be so dark when climbing down back to the village. (or if going for sunrise, then climb up in darkness)

Thanks so much for your kind advice/suggestions.

Athens, Greece
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1. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

hi and welcome..

1).for the last weekend (19-20 of april) the place to be is definitely athens,as you will have more going on ..

Good Friday: for Orthodox Greeks a day of mourning and abstinence. The church bells toll continuously, until the early evening, when the Epitaphios, the bier of Christ, decorated with flowers, is carried in solemn procession through the streets..every church has its own eitafios and each one tries to make the ''best'' one..people wonder through churches of athens on good friday to compare them.. on saturday people are putting the finishing touches to their preparations for the celebrations. At midnight in the churches the Easter flame is passed from person to person; the bells ring out triumphantly and people exchange the greeting ''Christos anesti'' ''Christ is risen'' and the reply ''Alithos anesti'' '' he is risen indeed''. be prepared for massive fireworks at midnight,as soon as the priest says ''christos anesti''..be preared so that you won't be scared..

people then begin to make their way home through the streets..

on sunday people gather with their families and celebrate with lamb,wine and traditional music..in the touristic places around athens (plaka etc) the restaurants will have the traditional lamb,it is great,don't miss it..

2)no,unless there is something unexpected like a strike that affects tourism,which is so rare nowadays it's not even worth to mention,,,( strikes that affect tourism are always declared illegal and cancelled)..check this site a few days before,just for typical precaution http://livingingreece.gr/strikes/

3)like i told you,athens is the place to be at the end of your holiday..the best way to get to santorini is flying,,huge time saving and if you book now it can be even cheaper than ferries..here are the two sites of the two domestic companies..

http://en.aegeanair.com/

https://www.olympicair.com/en

sign up for their newsletters..they alert you for offers via email

4)like i told you,athens

5)can't help you with that

Edited: 24 January 2014, 16:06
Parga, Greece
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2. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Question 5)

<<. Meteora: is it safe to walk around at night, I meant if we want to see the sunset, then it will be so dark when climbing down back to the village. (or if going for sunrise, then climb up in darkness)>>

I assume that you mean Kastraki when you say village and the answer is yes. There are many good places where you can watch the sun rising and setting which are easily accessible from or almost on the road - obviously you will need a good torch.

Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Hi Athanasios and ConnySir.. Thank you for both of your suggestions...I will then stay at Athens for the easter week. I prefer to go to Santorini by ferry considering the scenery along the trip (which most people recommend it).

Few more questions if possible:

1. Night time at Santorini port should I decide to go there from Athens late afternoon. Would there be public transport to Oia/imoglia at midnight? is it safe to arrive at night and the bus trip to hotel?

2. Night arrival at meteora, would there be transport to Kastraki at night? is it safe by bus? is it possible to walk?

3. to catch either sunrise or sunset from / to kastraki, as it will be dark and relying on good torch, is it safe? is it dangerous to climb up for sunrise or climb down after sunset?...if taking bus ride, is there any before sunrise or after sunset?

4. checking the ferry website, one way trip from Athens to Santorini is 37.5 Euro per person, is it normal? or anyway to find a discount, (in some West Europe train website, we can purchase advance ticket at massive discount). any similar case with Athens' train to meteora and ferry to santorini?...

Thank you so much for your kind assistance. Though I have 3 Greece's travel guide right now, lonely planet, DK eye and insight.. but, This forum is truly a helper for tourist.

Oslo, Norway
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for Oslo, Naxos, Norway
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4. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Here is to give you an idea of the Greek Easter traditions (this is from Naxos):

http://tinyurl.com/ddga86

Athens, Greece
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5. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

hi again,for questions 1-3 you have a better chance of an informed answer if you post these questions at the dedicated forums of santorini and meteora-kastraki..

for question number 4, 37.50 euros sounds good and standard for a ferry ride..no discount on ferrys that i know of..

for the train form athens take a look at the train site,the prices are not expensive..

https://tickets.trainose.gr/dromologia/

Bangkok, Thailand
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6. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Hi, we (2 asian women in 30s) are planning a Greece-Turkey trip in this April too.

We plan to stay in Kastraki exploring Meteora on foot. We will be arriving there around 1pm. So, we initially plan to walk around until the sunset too.

But after found out that two Japanese girls get raped/killed while walking around in Goreme/Capadocia (Turkey) last September, we start to worry about safety walking around . So, could you share how crowded it is at Meteora? I found at some website that it's very crowded that sometime it needs 30-40 mins in queue to enter the monastry. Are there many people walking on street in normal day time in April? I understand that April is a nice month to visit Meteora?

Thank you.

Oh, and about the ferry, have you checked the schedule? I did November last year, it said the service is not available unitl April 26. So, from Athens to Crete and Crete to Santorini, we booked the plane instead.

Athens, Greece
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7. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

hi..greece is not turkey,it is a european country..please do not mix them in your head,it is overall a safe country..meteora is a place of faith,whith monasteries and tourists like you,it is totally safe..

the only thing i would worry about this plan of yours is getting lost or stepping over a rock you didn't see because of the dark and fall..just bring a torch with you and know where you are going.

the only places that need some extra caution in greece are a couple of rough neighbourhoods in athens,like omonoia at night,where illegal immigrants are.

just take some normal precautions you would take in your country..you wouldn't do some things in your country,like walking somewhere unknown without knowng how to get home .why do them somewhere else?

enjoy the trip and be safe.

Edited: 29 January 2014, 11:30
Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Hi Athanasios, Thank you for your advice. Echoing the concerns of walking down in darkness after sunset, would there be many people doing that, especially in April, a week prior to easter?.. If there are many people, we might be able to ask/follows,minimize the chance of getting lost or fall down as we can help one another hence bad guys (if any) won't get a chance too.

How dangerous is the route to walk down to kastraki in darkness? It's not like fall down from the cliff, right?..

Should we choose sunset or sunrise, what's your advice?

Thank you so much... Nothing beats Local's advice... :)

Sydney, Australia
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90 posts
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9. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

Hi Athanasios, Thank you for your advice. Echoing the concerns of walking down in darkness after sunset, would there be many people doing that, especially in April, a week prior to easter?.. If there are many people, we might be able to ask/follows,minimize the chance of getting lost or fall down as we can help one another hence bad guys (if any) won't get a chance too.

How dangerous is the route to walk down to kastraki in darkness? It's not like fall down from the cliff, right?..

Should we choose sunset or sunrise, what's your advice?

Thank you so much... Nothing beats Local's advice... :)

Athens, Greece
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10. Re: 9 days Athens-Meteora-Santorini Easter week 2014

hi,sorry but can't help you with that..hope that someone jumps in