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Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

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Lake Macquarie...
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Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

Hello,

We have 8 weeks planned from May '14 and wish to fly from Sydney to Athens.

Although we are not "beach" people would like to visit Santorini and possibly some other islands.

We would then like to rent a vehicle outside of Athens (do not like driving in big cities) and then head up north to Croatia and onto Trieste for the final of the Gira d'Italia bike race.

We would be able to have 4 weeks doing this.

We are a couple of 60 year olds, fit and healthy, loving the outdoors but wanting to see the culture of the country.

We also don't mind train travel (did some of this in Italy).

In Europe, we have only visited Italy and France, but after Trieste, would cover parts of Italy we missed and then onto Germany (the month of June). (I will visit other forums for this part of the trip).

I would appreciate suggestions as to whether driving to Croatia is a good idea, knowing we have to cross other country borders.

South Pole
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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1. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

You have a potential great trip lined up & hate to pour cold water on your plans but this needs a rethink. You will not be able to cross national borders in a hire car. Also one-way rentals within Greece can be expensive as it is not the normal practice. Also not generally possible to take a car between mainland & islands. Very few trains in Greece & none that cross borders. Your only realistic option is to fly between Greece & another country, unless you are partial to long & tiring bus journeys.

It's not clear exactly how much time you are allowing for Greece - is it 4 of the 8 weeks? If so then it's a nice chunk but don't try to fit in too much as you might get quantity over quality. Travelling around Greece is not so easy as Oz - distances look small but can be time hungry as there are not many main highways, very few straight roads & a lot of mountains!

Absolutely no need at all for a car in Athens. The main historic sites are all in a compact walkable area & the public transport is excellent & cheap. A car would just be a liability.

If you want outdoors & culture then you can get that in spades on the mainland - look at Peloponnese, Pelion, Zagoria, Prespa Lakes etc etc. A road trip on the mainland would give a wide variety of what Greece has to offer. Island hopping does of course eat up a lot of time just being in transit & checking in/out of hotels & on & off ferries. 4 weeks is soon gone!

Lake Macquarie...
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455 posts
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2. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

Thank you for your informative and quick response!

I will definitely give a lot of thought re the planning.

You have pointed out so many areas for me to investigate.

Yes, we would have the 4 weeks - always wanting quality not quantity of places to visit!

Thank you for your interest.

South Pole
Destination Expert
for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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13,323 posts
22 reviews
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3. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

With 4 weeks I would certainly give 3 or 4 days to Athens, maybe 3 days max to Santorini, another 4 days on somewhere like Naxos & use the remainder time to do a tour of the mainland from Athens (ie arrange a hire car from there). You could do some highlights of Northern Greece (Meteora Monasteries, Zagoria villages), Delphi (stunning site & beautiful countryside), & a circuit of the Peloponnese (so many places - not enough time!). You need to study a general guide book, make a list of places that appeal & then work out a schedule. For each area/island come back & post on the seperate forums for best local advice. Do stick to islands that can be easily connected (ie in same group) for most efficient use of time.

Happy planning!

Athens, Greece
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4. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

Some of the places worth visiting

Kalambaka

https://www.google.gr/search…

Delphi

https://www.google.gr/search…

Nafplion,Mycynae

https://www.google.gr/search…

https://www.google.gr/search…

Santorini is well known so no need to mention it here

Chania

https://www.google.gr/search…

Edited: 10 October 2013, 09:02
Athens, Greece
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5. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

also pelion,mystras and monemvasia castle

Lake Macquarie...
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6. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

Thank you all for your assistance.

Yesterday I collected brochures from a travel agent to get ideas of the logical sequence of areas to travel.

I now have a lot of researching to do.

Bristol, United...
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for Messenia Region, Laconia Region, Magnesia Region
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7. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

Do get a good guide book like the Rough Guide to Greece or Lonely Planet. These will give you a lot more useful information than trave agents' brochures.

Edited: 10 October 2013, 22:44
8. Re: Good choice of areas for first time travellers to Greece

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