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Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Concord, California
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Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Greetings fellow trip advisers. I am planning a trip to Greece for my wife as a 1yr/birthday celebration. My plans are as followed: Depart from San Francisco to Athens; Athens to Santorini; and Santorini to Crete. I planned on staying 3 nights in Athens, 3 in Santorini, and 7 in Crete. Is it ideal to take the ferry between the islands? Should I spend more/less time in certain locations? If i decide to take the ferry, should i take overnight trips vs day trips?

My wife and I are very excited. Any information would be awesome. thanks in advance

Athens, Greece
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1. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

hi and welcome to the greek forums.

you can fly from athens to santorini,and it's highly recommended..the ferrys take over 8 hours...the actual flights take a few minutes (i would say 2-3 hours total if you count waiting time,boarding etc)..the sooner you book the cheaper the flight can be,and the prices can be very competitive nowadays if you book early,as cheap as 20-30 euros if you catch a good deal..you can sign up for their newsletter,they alert you for special offers via email..also,use the ''low fare calendar'' in the site i will give you,it shows you the dates that the prices are low for each destination.

here is the site of the local airways,aegean (a very good company)

http://en.aegeanair.com/

in santorini you can stay in 1 of the 4 villages that offer the gorgeous vies that you see in potos of santorini..a short description of them here

1 - Fira. This is the islands main town and the hub of pretty much everything. In high season (july-august), it will be extremely busy pretty much all of the time, not only with everyone else staying there, but also day visitors from other parts of the island and the hordes of cruise ship visitors who are tendered ashore here. To my mind, Fira in high season is a definite no no as far as staying there goes.

2 - Firostefani. This is a small village a shortish walk away from Fira, but a hell of a lot quieter. Many people who'd like to be close enough to "enjoy" Fira but who don't want to be in the centre of the madness choose to stay here.

3 - Imerovigli - This is the quietest of the caldera side villages with limited shops, restaurants etc. However, due to its higher eleveation, you get some of the best views that Santorini has to offer, including the sunsets.

4 - Oia. This is the most beautiful of the villages and where many of the photos of Santorini that you see on postcards and in books and brochues are taken. There are any hotels, bars and restaurants to suit all pockets, from the affordable by everyone to the likes of places you'd need to be a millionaire to stay at. Nightlife is fairly quiet, small bars etc, no clubs or discos.

once you choose the village that sounds right for you it's time for the hotel room,which is important,as it gives you access to the great views

if you go to santorini forum

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g189433-i245-San…

and ask for advice from the santorini experts they will give you the best choice for your budget..just state your daily budget in euros for the room and your requirements for it(view,pool,etc)

things to do in santorini

tripadvisor.co.uk/Attractions-g189433-Activi…

after santorini an alternative is naxos.

i mention naxos because it's only 2 hours with a ferry from santorini ..

info about naxos here

mygreecetravelblog.com/2014/…

you can stay in a hotel in st.george beach and walk to naxos town (10 minutes' walk) for restaurants-bars at the evening.

if you choose crete ,the ferry (3 hours ride) leaves you at the capital ,iraklio town,which is a not the most charming town..it is used as a base for those who are mainly interested at the nearby archeological sights (knossos etc)..90 minutes from iraklio by rental car (a rental car is recommended for the islands,it gives you independence) or local bus

is rethymno,a charming coastal town with its venetian harbor .photos here

http://tinyurl.com/lzyw8mc

beach in walkable distance from the town.

also ,there is chania,which is a bigger version of rethymno,the same charming harbor and old world feeling,but more busy..photos here

http://tinyurl.com/nn56u3o

chania also has an airport (unlike rethymno),so if you choose it you can fly back to athens (again,with aegean),again in a few minutes' flight and avoid the endless travel with a ferry (something like 12 hours).

in athens ,stay in one of these areas..plaka,syntagma,monastiraki,akropolis..all central and close to the archeological sights..use metro (be careful of pickpocketing) and walking to move around..

things to do in athens

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g189400-i194-k47…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189400-i194-k5999…

Edited: 24 June 2014, 15:03
Athens, Greece
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2. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

naxos also has an airport,so you can fly back to athens in a few minutes..

tickets here,in olympic airways (now merging with aegean)

https://www.olympicair.com/en

the same rule applies,the sooner you book the cheaper generally..they also have a newsletter you can sign up for good deals,and a low fare calendar

ferry schedules if you need them here -if you are planning for next year expect them to be out around spring-

http://www.openseas.gr/openseas/index.html

http://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp

Edited: 24 June 2014, 15:07
Chester
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3. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Hi,

what month will you be traveling in?

What sort of accommodation do you want in Crete, 2 * or 5*, SC, BB.

Keith.

New York City, New...
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4. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Hey and welcome Rommel L:-) When will you be traveling?! Looks like a dual celebration.. 1 year anniversary and a Birthday;-))

To start, you are coming a long distance.. and along with it will follow lag and all it accompanies to include rubber legs and a buzz head;-) Since you'll be arriving off the trans in Athens, look to grab a flight straight out to Santorini upon arrival.. an isle makes for a great place to de-lag and get into zone.. as opposed to hitting the concrete in a major metropolis with all the walking/climbing involved! Save Athens for your finale.. you'll be ready by that point to take it on.. as well as ensure your return flight(s) back home:-) Also note that keeping the itinerary running consecutively.. no backtracking.. is a huge time saver as well;-)

Having said that, after you pick your jaws up off the floor in Santorini .. you can ferry onwards to Herakion in Crete.. the fast ferries take as little as a couple of hours.. I don't know the isle well having only been to Heraklion a couple of times.. for specific, would post in it's dedicated forum where those in the know can find you and give you some excellent advise/recs on your week there;-) The isle is humongous.. am guessing you'd be looking to grab a rental (don't forget to get your Int'l Driver's Permit from your local TripleAAA) and explore a bit.. you can then fly back to Athens to save some time.. the isle has a few airport to include Heraklion, Chania and Sitia;-) You're now ready to explore and take on Athens and all it offers.. without backtracking.. and without rubber legs;-)

As far as overnighters on the ferries, you can of course opt to get one.. for example back to Athens.. you'd need to check ferry schedules for your dates.. can be a fun experience.. assuming you'll be booking a cabin.. really personal call here.. some opt for it for the mini-cruise experience.. others just want to save time and go for the 50 min or so flight;-) Your prefs dictate.. your travel style rules:-) Congrats on the Anniversary and am sure whoever is celebration will have a Very Happy Birthday;-)) Happy planning.. and EnJOY!

Concord, California
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5. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Athanasios: THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH. Your information is extremely appreciated. My wife and I are in the middle phase of booking the flight. We are basically fine tuning which island to start at. Litsa made a strong point about starting in the isles before exploring Athens. We experienced the "rubber legs" feeling when we first arrived in Paris the first time. Would it behoove us to start on one of the islands before Athens?

Although we are interested in Crete, I tried to do research on activities and what to expect. Do you think it makes sense to visit Crete vs. Mykonos or similar island? We are set on Santorini and Athens, but the 3rd location is still in the air.

Litsa: Thank you for your well wishes to my wife and I. We are enamored by your kindness. If we decide to go to Crete, we plan on renting a car. Any suggestions which side to spend most of our time?

Thanks again for the kind suggestions.

Athens, Greece
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6. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

yes,heading straight for the islands and leaving athens for last is ofter recomended here,especially after a long trip from the states,for various reasons..find a corresponding flight with a good layover (let's say 2.5 hours),long enough so that you are not anxious if you are going to make it but not too long so that you won't get bored in the airport..athens airport (there's only one) is very easy to navigate,all under one roof,so don't stress too much..

as for which island to choose after santorini (which is a must for 3 days,to get your trip started with on a good note),the 2-3 islands we are talking about are different...i suggest watching a couple of videos in you tube,it's the best way to get an idea of a place..

i have only been to crete and mykonos..mykonos is a small island,like santorini..it has the whitewashed houses in the main town..famous for its nightlifeif ..what date will you be travelling?if budget is important i would avoid it,as along with santorini they are the two most expensive greek islands..you can still enjoy it and don't spend much money,if you do your homework..if you go to mykonos-santorini forums here and google ''on a budget'', ''cheap restaurants'' etc at the research bar you will find previous answers..(this technique is the best way of finding answers to all your questions)..the default is in relevance,yu can change it into date for more recent answers.

crete is huge ,if you look at its size it's a country rather than an island..that plays role in logistics,for example like i told you to get from iraklio to rethymno you need another 90 minutes at least,which added to the 3 hour ferry makes it a 5 hour journey,that's a lot of precious time.if you end up in crete i really recommend chania and rethymno towns.again..google them in you tube and see some videos.

this is why i ended up with naxos,although i have never been there..i have seen so many positive reviews here that it makes sense for you..only 2-3 hours from santorini with a ferry,st.george beach a 10 minute's walk from the main town and if you rent a car for a few days you can visit the mountainous villages the site i gave you mentons..there is apeiranthos,the ''marble vilalge'' and others..

Edited: 26 June 2014, 19:15
Concord, California
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7. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Athaniasos you are a life saver my friend! Thank you so much for your responses! I will do more research and keep you updated once I formulate my itinerary. Cheers!

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Hey again Rommel L.. and always a pleasure:-) You've certainly got some great options.. and great advise.. I couldn't agree more about Crete.. HUGE! A ferry to Naxos.. or Paros.. make for a great contrast to Santorini offering loads of wonderful beaches.. and from where it's an easy commute back to Athens for your finale;-)

And yes, do fly out to Santorini upon arrival in Athens.. as mentioned, is a wonderful airport.. all under 1 roof or terminal building.. modern (newly built in time for the 2004 Olympics) and super user friendly.. you can check it out at www.aia.gr/ which is the airport's official site;-) You simply go from arrivals up 1 flight to departures.. piece of cake;-) You're travelling a very long distance.. another couple hours wait for the 40 min puddle jumper is well worth it;-) Grab some air.. head across the Street to the Sofitel where you'll find a café/bar with lots of outdoor tables and chairs as well to partake in some of the Country's national pastime.. people watching.. over a coffee.. snack.. glass of wine (or 2;-)

You still don't mention when these wonderful events will be taking place?.. soon?;-) It can make a difference, if for example, you plan on traveling in August.. as opposed to Oct;-)) Keep us posted.. keep Enjoyin'!

..

Moncton, Canada
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9. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

The Blue Star ferry to Santorini is seven hours but a really nice cruise. It stops at Naxos and Paros on the way. Go to the upper deck seats for best view if it's not windy. There is a high speed ferry that gets there quicker but is prone to delays for rough weather. There are ferries to Crete from Santorini but I haven't been to Crete for 25 years.

Moncton, Canada
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10. Re: Help: Planning a 1 yr wedding anniversary to Greece

Stay in Oia when you get to Santorini. It's quieter than Fira and has lots tp see. Your wife will love the shopping there and the crowds gather there for the famous sunsets at the Oia castle.