10 days in Greece Jun/May
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Nov 17, 2012 1:14 PM Last Post By: neckervd
Nov 15, 2012 10:16 PM
10 days in Greece Jun/MayHi all- I am new to the forum and need some help with Greece. My wife and I will take a sabbatical leave next year and go for a 9 month half-world trip.(excluding America&China). We are leaving from HK and will spend 3 months in Europe Apr-Jun. We will allocate 10 days for Greece and wanted to know where you guys think we should be visiting.
here's our plan:
1) Arriving in Athens from Italy by plane/ferry
2) Athens for 2 days (we'll cover Italy and Egypt in our plan and saw some threads saying Athens' similar style but not as well preserved compared to those 2, is that true?)
3A) Delphi+Meteora(including the return transport from Athens we are planning of 3 days total is that enough?)
3B) Nafplio+ Olympia. (havent decided which A or B, any advise?)
4) Santorini (i know its tourist trap but wife always wanted to go there, thinking of 3 days there)
5) any recommendation for the last 2 days? Naxos/Paros/IOS/Crete?
6) We'll go to Istanbul next, haven't decided flight or ferry. Any advise?
also i have a few questions regarding the bookings:
1) Shall we book ferry online or just buy them at the port?
2) we'll be staying at hostels in cities and probably a better hotel on Santorini. Do we have to book ahead or can just walk in, is there a big discount pre-booking them? This is our first time trying hostel/budget hotel travel, our experience in the past is that you can get over 50% discount pre-booking a high-end hotel compared to walk in, is that true for hostel/budget hotel as well?
we are from China and both 29 years old (hence the rush to travel before turning 30!), not so fond of party(so passed Mykonos) and enjoy hiking/photographing/meeting people from all over the world.
Nov 16, 2012 7:37 AM
1History, culture, architecture of ancient Egypt, ancient Greece and ancient Rome are completely different. There are about a dozen more or less well preserved Greek temples in Southern Italy, hovever, as this area was settled by Greek people before Rome conquered it.
I suppose you will stay at least 3 days in Cairo and surroundings, 2 days in Luxor and 2 days in Assuan (absolute minimum). All what you will see there is completely different from Turkey/Greece or Italy.
There are well and badly preserved ancient temples, theatres, etc in all Mediterranean countries, it's absolutely impossible to say that those in one country are GENERALLY better preserved than those in other countries.
2 days is just enough for a somewhat decent (although short) visit of Athens. Add more time if you want to visit the surroundings (Cape Sounion, Korinthos, Mykenae, Argos, Nauplia, Epidauros, Hydra).
How many days did you plan for the Athens - Istanbul journey? The bus ride takes about 20 hrs, by ferry it takes much more time. You must first take a Greek ferry to a Greek island close to Turkey (Rhodos, Kos, Samos, Chios, Lesbos), then a local ferry to the Turkish mainland and finally a bus or low cost plane from there to Istanbul.
Your itinerary will depend on the places you want to visit in Turkey:
if you want to visit Ephesos, you travel by ferry via Samos to Kusadasi/Ephesos and visit Istanbul later;
if you want to visit Antalya,you travel by ferry via Kastellorizo to Kas - bus - Antalya and visit Istanbul later;
if you want to visit Fethiye, you travel by ferry via Rhodos to Fethiye and visit Istanbul later;
if you want to visit Bodrum, you travel by ferry via Kos to Bodrum and visit Istanbul later;
Nov 16, 2012 10:11 AM
2thanks for the advise neckervd. i havent really planned Turkey yet, sounds like i should plan it together with Greece, let me do some work there.
Btw i'm putting down one month for Turkey+Israel+Jordan. Do u think that's enuf compared to 3 months Europe? I need to finish Europe+the 3 countries before Mid Aug to catch the Kenya Migration.
Nov 17, 2012 12:35 AM
3I think that 10 days in each country is very limited time, I would rather focus on specific destinations rather than countries. For example 5 days for Athens with a possible side trip, 5 days Santorini, 1 day travel to Istanbul, 5 days for Istanbul etc etc. The more you move around, the more time you loose on transit, half of your trip will end up been memories of ferries, trains and planes rather than memories from actual destinations! Also, it helps to count full days on each area excluding arrival/departure days or at least count for half day lost on arrival/departure. For example "2 days in Athens" is different if you mean arriving Monday departing Tuesday(1 overnight with a few hours each way to spend) or if arriving Monday living Thursday (3 nights/2 full days plus maybe a few hours on arrival/departure). I know this sounds like over-planning, but it really matters when trying to allocate X days for Z destination.
You say visit will be sometime around April to June, but this makes a huge difference in terms of crowds, travel logistics, rates and so on. April is mainly off season to most islands, ferry schedules are sparse and weather still iffy, while June is summer season. Advice will differ a lot according to when you plan to be here !!!!
Side notes: 1)Hostels is not a very common concept in Greece. Budget places on the island or rural areas are rooms to let, small clean and tidy en suite rooms often coming with a couple of cooking rings and spartan kitchen equipment. Rates vary, a bare minimum would be 15 euro/person on a shared room. In some areas like Delphi or Olympia, I think small family owned B&B hotels are more common than rooms to let. Sometimes you may get 15 euro/person, more commonly around 20-25 euro/person including a filling breakfast (usually continental rather than English-type).
2) As I said, less is more, and advice rely on each individual's interests and trveling style. But on my opinion Athens deserves at least 4 nights/3 full days ditto the tiniest island such as Santorini. I would forget large islands such as Crete or Rhodes unless you have to go through them due to travel logistics. I suggest to have a look on sites such as gtp or openseas or get a copy of T.Cook island hopping guidebook to see how ferry system works. Look on a map to see where each place is, how large and how far away from other areas of interest.
One full day would be about fine for sites such as Delphi and Olympia, assuming this full day starts early AM and you do not plan to see anything else in the area other than the archeological sites and museum. For Meteora it depends on which/how many monasteries you want to visit, one day would be ok. Nafplion, assuming you talk only for the town, one full day is ok to get a glimpse of the city, but not much else. People heading there allow 2-3 days to see the near by sites too such as Mycenae, Epidaurus etc. Otherwise why to go all the way there just for a day?
3)Assuming that you stick more or less to your original plan and assuming your 3 days = 2 overnights, and you plan to hire a car to drive routes your selves between your A and B I would go for A, simply because B does not make much sense. Olympia is a long drive away from Nafplion and even Athens, so you have to overnight there to make this work, and one night is not enough for Nafplion! On your A, from Athens, having a somehow early start, you may be able to take in or all most of Delphi in a day, overnight, see rest of Delphi or drive straight to Meteora (long and tiring drive), arrive Meteora and depending on specifics, visit some Monasteries or wait for next morning. Next noon make your way back to Athens (long but somehow easier drive than the Delphi-Meteora one).
Nov 17, 2012 7:05 AM
Nov 17, 2012 1:14 PM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$162.61 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$15.33 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$115.78 per night