My husband and I are traveling to three countries as part of our honeymoon (married Oct 2013) in May 2014. Athens and the Greek Islands are my biggest headache simply because we’d like to spend the majority of our time there but don’t know much about it! I am very overwhelmed by all the research so any help is appreciated!
Right now the plan is to fly from Tel-Aviv to Athens on May 9th (preferably in the morning) and then take a flight from Athens straight to Santorini or Mykonos. My husband would like to stay on one island and take days trips elsewhere but I would really like to stay on two islands and experience as much as we can. Then we would depart which ever island we are on by ferry or fast shuttle on May 15th in the afternoon and spend the night of the 15th and all day and night on the 16th in Athens to fly out May 17th in the morning to Brussels. I have been to Athens before and feel it is important for my husband to experience it as well but feel we only need a short period of time to see the sights. We’d like to concentrate on more time in the Islands.
My questions include:
What is the best way to travel between islands and the duration of travel times? I don’t really know much about all the smaller islands and traveling to them, although I have read that ferries are not very dependable.
We are in our mid to late 30’s and would like to sightsee as well as go wine tasting, spend a day on the beach, and relax. Which two islands would be best to stay on, or is staying on two, too much in such a short time period? We would have approx 7 days for islands staying and hopping. We are definitely foodies and enjoy a good local bar but are not really into a wild nightlife of clubs and 20 year olds. We’d like to be tourists one day and act like locals the next!
If we chose to stay in Santorini, what area of that island would be best? Same for Mykonos? Also would we be missing out by only visiting one of these two islands? How can I saw I went to the Greek Islands but never went to Santorini? Also we’d want to be within walking distance to restaurants, bars, and a grocery store if possible.
Because we are traveling to three countries budget is important. We’d like to spend roughly $100-$150 per night for lodging (or less) and I am considering AirBnB, because we really like the idea of having a kitchen and making some of our own meals. I am also considering arriving with no set accommodations and speaking with hotel owners that wait for you by the ferry. If we are flying in, is this still an option?
We weren’t planning to take any guided tours, but as Americans in a foreign place, should we? Are there certain sights that we would benefit from by taking a tour? Especially if we do not stay in a hotel with a concierge?
Any insight from anyone who has been would be very helpful! Also if there are questions you feel I should be asking but are not please comment as well. We have roughly two months till the trip and are overwhelmed by all the options! I really want this to be an amazing once in a lifetime trip for us!