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Greece on Labor Day May 1st

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Greece on Labor Day May 1st

Hi,

My Husband and I will be in Greece on Labor Day May 1st (Tuesday).

From the guidebooks I learned that most archeological sites and museums are closed on that day.

We have a total of 10 days from 4/29-5/8.

Aside from Athens, we would definitely want to visit Delphi/Olympia/Nauplion and a couple islands (Santorini is appealing). Based on our trip schedule and the the different tour packages available, on tuesday May 1st-

1) if we are on a 4 day cruise we'll be visiting Patmos and and Kudasaki; or

2) if we join a tour package that includes a classical tour w/ a 3 day cruise, we'll be in Delphi/Olympia/Nauplion; or

3) Not do any cruise. Eithen stay in Athens or take a ferry to Mykonos / Santorini during the May 1st time frame and then do the 3 day classical tour afterwards.

What are the best places to go on such a public holiday? Would it be much better if we go a week later?

Your suggestions are very appreciated!

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1. Re: Greece on Labor Day May 1st

This is a 10 days trip.

As i understand your question is about "what exact layout to prefer, in order to "absorb" the May 1st day in the best way"

Well, May 1st does not have to be a problem. In Greece you 'll be doing things and visits that don't always have to do with visits to arch. sites or museums. Explaining it:

- Worse scenario is doing the 3 day Classical Tour with May 1st as one of its dates. You 'll be stuck in one of the sites with site closed.

- Being in Athens is not a problem at all. Even with shops and museums closed you have tremendous possibilities for visiting a nearby island like Aegina / Hydra, or strolling in Plaka - Psirri neighbourhoods, or visiting Lucabettus Hill in the center of Athens for terrific Athens high views, or renting a car and visiting in a short ride Ymittos Mt. to have even more spectacular views of Athens.

- Being on Santorini at that day is not at all a problem. Santorini is 60% about "breathing" the spectacular views, which May 1st or not are always there and stunning :)

- Being on a cruise is a double side knife. You must choose a cruise that approaches Santorini on that date. On all other destinations some visit to an ancient site will have to be eliminated ( in Mykonos you 'll have to eliminate Delos, in Patmos visit to monastery and in Kusadase there is a possibility on cancelling the Ephessus visit ).

So, to put it simple:

Do it like:

ATHENS FIRST

Apr 29th, arrival, Athens: Day 1, jet lag, Syndagma Sq., Plaka, Monastiraki

Apr 30th, Athens + Acropolis and sites

May 1st, Athens + Aegina / Hydra / Poros 1 day cruise

May 2nd - May 3rd - May 4th, 3 days classical tour, fly at evening to Santorini

May 5th - May 6th - May 7th, Santorini on a fab hotel.

May 8th back to Athens

May 9th departure

As you may have noticed, i avoided to use May 1st for any domestic trips ( sensible. May 1st is all around the world a day with some tendency on strikes ) while i also have kept a last day in Athens, just to be in, before the long flight back to US.

Mykonos visit has been "evaporated:, but you have an 1 day cruise to Hydra option. Anyway, Hydra is so much more traditional and lovely. Fully pedestrian ( excpet the donkeys that are used for anything ).

If you definitely want to include Mykonos too, some alterations have to be made. Anyway, there is no way to do all four ( 4 day cruise + Myk + Santorini + 3 days Classical tour ). In this case i would either skip Mykonos and the 4 day cruise.

Including Mykonos, one way to do it is like:

ISLANDS FIRST, 3 DAYS TOUR AFTER

Apr 29th, arrival, Athens: Day 1, jet lag, Syndagma Sq., Plaka, Monastiraki

Apr 30th, Athens + Acropolis and sites, Fly to Mykonos early evening

May 1st - May 2nd, Mykonos, visit Delos on the 2nd

May 3rd - Take the cat from Mykonos to Santorini

May 4th - May 5th, Santorini, fly back to Athens early evening

May 6th - May 7th - May 8th, 3 days Classical tour

May 9th departure

This option minimises your Athens stay at end and beginning but adds Mykonos.

For domestic flight fares exploit Aegean airlines. For limited seats they offer fares at 19 euros per flight per person. Keep in mind though that taxes + VAT added, final fare ends up at around 45 - 50 euros; still very competitive to either ferry or normal fare. :)

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2. Re: Greece on Labor Day May 1st

Nick,

THANKS so much for carefully laying out the itineraries for me, specially ond detailing the options I have for May 1st! Now I have a much better perspective on planning this trip.

One key question before I drop the cruise: Am I going to be regretful for not doing a cruise?

The reason I was thinking of doing a cruise was that I will not lose my days in transportation between the islands since the ship is traveling during night time and we will have day time to visit various places and able to see more places in a shorter time frame. My only concern is there cruise only give you an average of 5 hours at each port, with the exception of Rhodes where you have a whole day.

If I do the 4 day cruise, I will be in Patmos and Kusadasi and Patmos on May 1st. Kusadasi is in Turkey, will there be no sightseeing tour to Ephesus on May 1st as well? I am probably okay if I am going to only miss the monasteries in Patmos.

Thanks again!

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3. Re: Greece on Labor Day May 1st

Oops, sorry for putting it in the "hard line"

Taking a cruise is a coin with two faces.

You are absolutely right about the general scenario of a cruise. Cruiseship is like a moving hotel. It gets you there you want, without the hassle of going by yourself.

But your concern is absolutely right too. I 've made this kind of cruises many times and despite the fact that they were very convenient, they all had a common thing. Upon leaving the harbour for the next destination, i always had a very bitter taste in my mouth. As if having a bite of a tiny piece of a delicious chocolate cake in my mouth but not the whole cake. or at least a decent piece of it :)

Cruises are very nice. But staying and spending the night is another thing. Now, as a grown up i prefer to spend at least some days in any destination to relax down and get in its rhythm. Short cruises, now seem to me like a 70's instant Polaroid shot. I do need more things now, at least a decent video tape ( metaphorically ) :)

Don't have any regret if choosing one or another. Or anycase, dropping the cruise will be substituted by more days in several destinations. It sounds to me more juicy, more chocolate :) ( ok, by now you know my chocolate addiction lol )

As for Ephessus: Although Turkey is not as liberal as Greece or other European countries, at least in terms of strikes, there is a possibility of facing closed sites at May 1st, since they have labor parties that have an active role too. But unfortunately this is something far from my immediate knowledge.

As for Greece, May 1st may be Labor Day, but it is also a celebration for upcoming summer. We celebrate by making flower garlands and setting them on top of our home entrance, You may not see this at Athens often, but in islands it is still a tradition.

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4. Re: Greece on Labor Day May 1st

Nick,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the cruise.

Now that I don't feel compelled to include one in my trip, my trip planning is much more flexible.

How is Crete compared to Mykonos if I can only choose one? If I fly into Crete and stay a couple of days there, how long does it take to get to Santorini? From Santorini, I can then fly back to Athens.

Also, will you be able to tell me if there's any car rental companies right by the Piraeus port?

Thanks again!

richmond va
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5. Re: Greece on Labor Day May 1st

Two of us will be arriving in Athens late morning on May 1. Our cruise departs early evening of May 2. Can you make some suggestions for that day? I assume we should take a "tour" on May 2 and would like to book it ahead as it will probably be a popular day due to May 1 closure.

Many thanks for all your advice.

6. Re: Greece on Labor Day May 1st

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