Honeymoon in Greece

Old Sep 30th, 2022, 01:20 PM
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Honeymoon in Greece

Hi!

Planning a trip to Greece with my fiancé(34) and I(31) for two weeks. This does include travel time. We would be leaving on a Monday September 4th and coming back Sunday September 17th. This will be our first time in Greece.
  • We love being outdoors, hiking, walking and etc. Interested in sight seeing
  • We also really want to relax at beaches/pools since this is our honeymoon, we don't want too much stress with traveling.
  • We don't really stay up late (early risers), so I am already passing on Mykonos
  • I hear Santorini is really expensive but I also hear from friends that its a must to visit. Any recommendations if we should stay outside of that area, if so where? Is there much to do here? Maybe one night?
  • I am very interested in Crete and heard you could spend most of your trip there
  • For budget, no sure yet but would like to keep it more affordable with maybe a few days a nicer hotel/resort
  • How much does one usually spend on food for a day
  • Roughly how much should we budget for this trip for two weeks?
  • What islands would you recommend going to and for how long?
Thanks
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Old Sep 30th, 2022, 03:30 PM
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Don’t avoid Mykonos because you think you will be in a party scene. We stayed at Petasos Beach and never experienced any of that.
Do not give Santorini more than three nights as it is crowded and touristy, our least liked place.And Santorini is not known for good beaches.
Visit a more typical Greek island like Paros and/ or Naxos. Visit beautiful Napflion on the Peloponnesean Penisula. Give Athens at least three nights. There is so much to see in Athens.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 12:57 AM
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You could spend a couple of nights on Santorini, flying there upon arrival in Athens to save time. I wouldn’t recommend only one night anywhere, least of all Santorini. If budget is a concern you can stay on the beach side of the island rather than one of the caldera villages. Santorini is very small, and it is easy to visit the caldera by bus from eg Perissa or Kamari.

After two or three nights on Santorini you have a choice between ferry to Crete or ferry to another island in the Cyclades, eg Naxos or Paros. Mykonos would be pleasant in September, not as busy as high season. You don’t have to join in with the midnight to dawn nightlife on Mykonos, or the beach parties in some of the beach resorts. Personally I prefer staying in Mykonos Town where you can walk everywhere, taking a quick bus ride to the beaches during the day. A friend and his wife prefer Platis Gialos, a beach resort, avoiding the ripoff joint DK Oyster. The drawback of Mykonos is that everything is more expensive than on other islands, including drinks and sunbeds on the beaches. Check prices on the menus before sitting down, and you can get a reasonably priced meal in Mykonos Town.

As HappyTrvlr suggested, but misspelled, Nafplio would be a good choice on the mainland. It’s only two hours by road from Athens, and is said to be one of the most romantic towns in Greece.

http://www.visitnafplio.com/
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 09:10 AM
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Heimdal, I see Napflio spelled both ways. Wondered which , or if both, are correct?
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 10:36 AM
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We loved Santorini in September. It is not overrun by tourists that late in the season, in our experience.
Do not stay in Fira, though. And Oia is expensive.
We liked being at Imerovigli, which is between the two, situated right on the caldera. Buses and taxis are easy to take from there.
There are numerous nice restaurants along the walk, between there and Fira. Our hotel was the Gold Suites, which included a hot made-to-order breakfast served on our private terrace.
We took a day-trip on a small yacht, to sightsee and snorkel. Nice dinner provided. The company was recommended by our hotel.
We were there five nights, and wished we were staying longer.
https://www.goldsuites-santorini.com

Don't listen to generic complaints about Santorini being overcrowded and touristy. It depends on the time of year.
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 11:03 AM
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I’ve been to Greece twice, most recently this past July. I’ve not visited Santorini, but did spend a night in Mykonos and found it expensive and too crowded for my taste. I much prefer Paros/Antiparos and Naxos and think they’re both good value, particularly now with the U.S. $ as strong as it is. This year I stayed on Paros (in Parikia) in an apartment for less than $100 a night. It was clean, spacious and I could walk to the port and bus station. Food is cheap with restaurant meals, with house wine, costing anywhere from $15 - $40. I can’t wait to go back!

There are many people who say skip Athens and go directly to the islands. I disagree. Athens is a wonderful city to explore and, particularly for a capital city, remarkably inexpensive. On my recent trip, I had two stays there (once for 3 nights, once for two) and both of the airbandbs I booked were terrific. One had a rooftop deck with an incredible view of the Acropolis, the other a two level rooftop deck that was a wild garden delight. I would go back to either in a heartbeat - and I spent less than $70 a night at both. Again, food is cheap. You can grab an excellent souvlaki and Quattro of wine for less than $5.

I also spent 4 nights in Nafplio and loved it! I enjoyed four lazy days at the beach, walked for miles and ate really well. There’s a beautiful Old Town filled with shops, cafes and restaurants and the views of the water and mountains are spectacular. The bus ride was two hours from Athens at less than $25 r/t.

I envy your opportunity to go in September and vow, once I retire from teaching in a few years, to do the same. Congratulations - and if you want more specific recommendations for accommodations, activities and dining, feel free to reach out.

Paros beach

Parikia

Shot from “my” Athens rooftop

Nafplio

“My” rooftop garden in Athens

Nafplio fortress - only 999 steps to climb to the top!

Last edited by nylilly; Oct 1st, 2022 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old Oct 1st, 2022, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
Heimdal, I see Napflio spelled both ways. Wondered which , or if both, are correct?
HappyTrvlr, it’s always Nafplio with the f before the p. You’ve just seen other people misspell it. Look at the “visitnafplio” link in my reply #3. As for Nafplio vs Nafplion, the former is the modern spelling. Due to different transliterations from the Greek alphabet it’s sometimes spelled Nauplio.

If you are interested in the etymology, look at:

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Nafplio

Last edited by Heimdall; Oct 1st, 2022 at 12:06 PM. Reason: Additional information
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Old Oct 2nd, 2022, 03:15 PM
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Thanks everyone for the recommendations and tips! It really has me fired up for Greece! Below is a roughly idea for travel.
  • Monday: Fly in Crete From Chicago
  • Tuesday: Arrive in Crete, get a car, check into hotel and hangout at a beach
  • Wednesday: Crete
  • Thursday: Crete
  • Friday: Santorini (We want to do a lot of walking this day, touristy stuff)
  • Saturday: Santorini, boat tour for the day
  • Sunday: Ferry/drive to Nafplio
  • Monday: Nafplio
  • Tuesday: Athens
  • Wednesday: Athens
  • Thursday: Athens
  • Friday: Athens, head to the airport to go home
Is this doable? We really want to go to Crete for the beaches and hiking. Don't think we could fit in Mykonos which is why we didn't add it. My fiancé wants to leave on a Friday so when we get back Saturday it leaves Sunday open for getting read for the work week and recovering from jet lag.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2022, 01:19 AM
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Clux92, most people think you need at least a week for Crete. The island is so large that it has one main Airport at Heraklio, and another at Chania.

Suggest you fly directly to Santorini the day you arrive in Athens, which will gain you a day on the islands. For beaches, take a ferry from Santorini to Naxos or Paros, preferably on Blue Star where you can stand on the open deck while it sails through the caldera.

From Naxos or Paros the ferry trip to Piraeus would be shorter, but suggest you fly from either back to Athens, then rent your car at the airport. That will put you in position for a good road to Nafplio.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2022, 09:12 AM
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Heimdall, if its recommended to go to Crete for one week, should we kick out Nafplio? Which would give us 6 nights and 7 days. (Thinking of leaving Saturday back to Chicago instead of Friday)
We really want to go to the Crete beaches and do some hiking.

You recommend Naxos or Paros for beaches, are their beaches just as good? Do they have good hiking areas?
I can see for travel, why they would be a good option since they're in between Athens and Santorini, which would make traveling easier.

We are still in the early stages of planning and just want to understand the islands better before booking. I really appreciate the help!
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Old Oct 3rd, 2022, 12:55 PM
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If you can allocate a week and rent a car to get around, Crete would be a good choice. Another possibility would be to add a couple of nights in Santorini and then fly back to Athens from there. The ferries to Santorini leave from Heraklio, and take about 2hrs for the crossing.

I’m not the best person to advise about Crete, but most people seem to prefer the area around Chania, which is rated up with Nafplio as one of the most beautiful small cities in Greece. Hopefully someone else will join in with advice about Crete. One of the most famous beaches on Crete is Elafonisi with its pink sand, and for hiking Samaria Gorge, but there are many others of both.
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Old Oct 3rd, 2022, 02:06 PM
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I think that's the route we'll go. I have no problem renting a car and would probably find it easier than doing buses. I think for budgeting we would probably stick with two nights in Santorini (we know its expensive and so we're going to splurge on the rooms for those two nights).

No worries about advice in Crete! I think planning the itenerary will be pretty easy for us! We are definitely looking forward to going to Elafonisi beach (why we wanted to go Crete in the first place). Samaria Gorge looks amazing, we will put that on our list!

Thank you again Heimdall for all the help!
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Old Oct 6th, 2022, 10:22 AM
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We went to Elafonisi and Falasarna beaches in one day. It was amazing how different they were from each other, one with big waves, the other tranquil.
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Old Oct 7th, 2022, 10:17 AM
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My only experience on an Island in Greece was 2 nights and most of 3 days, on Crete. in October 2018. My trip was 14 nights total, one night on the plane, 13 nights on the ground. On Crete I split my time between Heraklion and Chania. Your supposed itinerary is doable. How many nights and days are you planning to spend in Crete? 3 or 4? Crete is a big island; like others observed it has enough to occupy you for 6 or more days. There is a guidebook called "The Rough guide to Crete" that I looked at before my trip that is probably well researched. I didn't go to Santorini but it did look appealing. I went to Nafplio; it was worth it. Also from Nafplio I took a day trip to the ancient sites of Mykenes and Epidavros. I didn't rent a car. I took the buses. I didn't give myself time for Samaria gorge. I probably wouldn't rent a car in Athens. In the rest of Greece there probably is some small advantage to having a car if you are fine with the cost. I took overnight ferries on Minoan lines from Piraeus to Heraklion and Chania to Piraeus. The ferries took away my need for 2 nights in hotels.
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