Honeymoon

Greece in June

STARMOON44STARMOON44
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edited January 2016 in Honeymoon
Planning a trip to Greece the first week of June. Thinking a couple days in Athens, since we have to fly in there anyway, Santorini, and one other island. Any tips? We're not really into the party scene so not particularly interested in Mykonos. We're looking for great food, pretty towns, a little shopping, and like historic sites.

Re: Greece in June

  • edited January 2016
    Last year we flew into Athens, took a ferry to Paros then Naxos then Santorini, then back to Athens (in hindsight we should have just flown home from Santorini).  In Athens we did all the normal stuff, but we completely skimped on the airbnb, staying at someplace called "The Chamber" and regretted not springing for a place with air-con. 

    Paros: this was smaller of the three islands, and if my memory serves me correctly mostly French tourists.  FI got bit by a fish... We went to the old city of Lefkes, and then hiked back on an old Mycenaean Trail.  We also went to Antiparos for an afternoon and went through the caves there.

    Naxos: we rented a car for a day and drove to a few cites, hiked halfway up Mt Zeus (we're not climbers, and apparently it gets pretty hairy closer to the top).  We then tried to follow the GPS to a highly rated Tex-Mex restaurant (yup, Tex-Mex doesn't exist in Holland, and I get cravings :p) and got SUPER lost, taking us on narrower and narrower roads with every turn.  

    Santorini: we stayed in Thera, but did the hike to Oia which was gorgeous!  We got there around 5 pm, just in time to see the hoards of buses dropping off every single tourist on the island to witness the famous sunset.  We took a look at the crowd and promptly took the empty bus back to Thera.  The next day we did a cruise excursion which took us to the volcano and then enjoyed the sunset on the boat from the sea.

    Most of our days we spent half at the beach and half doing a small excursion, which I found to be the ideal balance between lying in the sun and exploring.  None of these islands were party islands, not like parts of Crete.  

    We're vegetarians, but enjoyed the massive watermelons, vegetarian moussaka, stuffed eggplant, feta, and grilled haloumi.

    Edit: wording
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  • First of all, very jealous! FI got to spend a summer in Greece several years ago for study purposes, and I was very sad I was not able to be with him. It looks gorgeous and we hope to go sometime together in the future, maybe for a 5 year anniversary or something. 

    He spoke very highly of Sparta. He said it was not a very big tourist-y spot; in fact, it is rather provincial and mundane in many ways. But he said of all the places it had one of the most authentic "Greek" vibes he experienced in Greece, and it felt more special and private since it wasn't such a tourist hot spot. 

    Delphi is also a gorgeous place, so I've heard from FI and other friends who have been to Greece. It was the site of the ancient oracle, and many ancient Greek city states donated monuments to Apollo and the oracle there in thanks for prophecies. It is up in the hills, and gets misty in the mornings and it is supposed to have a very ethereal atmosphere. There are still many in-tact ruins there. 
                        


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  • I'm hopping on this post because FI and I are considering Greece too. We'd be going end of June to early July. Probably about 10 days total. I was thinking Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. Any island hopping advice?

    @Spoonsey your itinerary sounds wonderful!

  • tigerlily6tigerlily6
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    edited January 2016
    Also, another place that would be on my itinerary, since it is not terribly far from Athens: Sounion. There is a very well-preserved Temple of Poseidon along a clifface there, and beaches nearby where you can swim in the Aegean Sea.  According to mythology, the sea gets it's name from Aegeus, King of Athens and father of the hero Theseus. Each evening, Aegeus would watch along the cliff where the temple was, looking for the return of his son from Crete. Theseus, who had been sent with other Athenian youths as tribute to Crete to be sent into the labyrinth and killed by the Minotaur, had made a deal with his father that if he returned safely, he would hoist white sails on the ships. If he had died, the ships would keep their black sails. Theseus did survive and return safely, but forgot to change the sails. His father, seeing the black sails, despaired and leaped from the cliff to his death in grief. 


                        


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  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots
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    I went in July a few years ago. Mykonos was really pretty but definitely party central so I won't recommend that as you stated.

    Santorini is probably my favorite place on Earth and you absolutely, positively must go there. Stay way out in one of the cliffside buildings in Oia. There is a huge overlook where literally 200 people come out of their hotel rooms to gather and watch the sunsets together each night. It's absolutely breathtaking.

    I enjoyed Athens but I always say that it wasn't "pretty". You know how some cities, like Paris, people refer to as beautiful? Athens is not, it's concrete and graffiti. But it's still really cool and historic. We stayed at the Marriot downtown which had a rooftop pool overlooking the Acropolis. So badass.

    If you're looking for another non island, we went to Nafplion on the mainland/ southern Peloponnese area. It's about 2 hour ride from Athens and it's exactly what you're taking about- quaint fishing village with shops and cafes. I loved it so much. There's an old fort ruins there called 1,000 Steps (because you literally have to climb 1000 steps to get to the top) but the views are like nothing else.

                                                                     

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  • Hey there!  We went to Athens, Santorini (my fav) Crete (2 different towns) and Mykonos.  

    Santorini is JUST BEAUTIFUL!  We loved it so much FI wanted to get married there but we decided in the end it was more important to have larger numbers of guests attend.



    If you can, try and get a hotel overlooking the Caldera, the views are spectacular and many have pools and hot tubs on the edge of the cliff.

     
    We went out of season in April so Mykonos was not party central at all and very very pretty!  It was probably the prettiest town we visited for the whole trip. Check out the pelicans that walk round the village!  


    Crete was good as it's a big island so has lots of different types of scenery.  

    Top tip, if you go to the archaeology sites it's good to spend a little extra for a private guide.  We did this twice and the ladies that showed us round gave us SO much extra information that we would not have received just by walking round.  For example in Knosos the guide was a retired geologist and was able to show us rocks with sea shells fused within them, many miles from the sea.  This she told us was caused by the tsunami that destroyed Santorini.  It was just fascinating!  I think we gave her 40 euros?  



    You will love Greece, it's such a romantic place and the food is awesome.  
    Prices are very diverse though, we would go from spending 300 euros for dinner in the hotel, to spending 30 euros in a local place round the corner, and all were amazing!
  • Thanks all for the tips! Super excited about it, and that I found round-trip tickets from NYC for only a thousand dollars. Countdown starts now.

    @ScottishSarah which hotel is that? It looks perfect
    ScottishSarah
  • ScottishSarahScottishSarah
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    edited January 2016
    The hotel is called Hotel Katikies, below is FI enjoying breakfast on our terrace.

    Many of the hotels in Oia are set up the same way, built into the cliff (Lots of steps!) with infinity pools overlooking the Caldera.  I think it was around 250 euros per night and we got a free upgrade to a spilt level suite.

    The service was amazing.  When we ordered drinks after dinner on our dating anniversary the waiter asked us to put on swimsuits (at midnight???) then he took us to a cave with the hot tub and we stayed there drinking champagne and talking about our future till the sunrise.  There was even a bell to call for more drinks, but all you could see was the stars and the ocean so really romantic and private.
      


    Oh my you will have a fabulous time, I can't wait to go back!
  • The hotel is called Hotel Katikies, below is FI enjoying breakfast on our terrace.

    Many of the hotels in Oia are set up the same way, built into the cliff (Lots of steps!) with infinity pools overlooking the Caldera.  I think it was around 250 euros per night and we got a free upgrade to a spilt level suite.

    The service was amazing.  When we ordered drinks after dinner on our dating anniversary the waiter asked us to put on swimsuits (at midnight???) then he took us to a cave with the hot tub and we stayed there drinking champagne and talking about our future till the sunrise.  There was even a bell to call for more drinks, but all you could see was the stars and the ocean so really romantic and private.
      


    Oh my you will have a fabulous time, I can't wait to go back!


    Wow. That hotel is $700 a night for our dates! But I will check out similar ones.
  • Yes sorry we were out of season in April so got a great deal.  

    All the hotels in that part of Oia have the same views however which is the best thing about them!  Better to get one with a pool if you can (if you love the water like me) as the beaches are not great in Santorini.  

    I am dreaming of the food and delicious wine now, damn you woman!!!  Some of the local restaurants have plastic tablecloths and stray cats running everywhere but you will never taste better grilled chicken in your life I promise!  And it's like 7 euros for a large carafe of local wine!  

    Oh and do the boat trip to the Caldera it's fab!  
  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots
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    My hotel in Oia looked exactly like that with the same patio built into the cliff. I don't know the name because my Greek friend booked it, so it was like a hotel that only spoke Greek. But @scottishsarah is right that pretty much all the hotels in Oia will be the same, just look on tripadvisor. They all have a lobby/office in the center of town and then they walk you about 15 minutes through town, and windy stairs to get to your private room.

                                                                     

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  • OMG that sounds amazimg! I want to go now! 

    @ScottishSarah how long did you spend at each location? We have about 11 days so I'm trying to figure out a schedule.
  • @Ghostie625 ;

    We flew into Athens then straight to Santorini with 5 nights there.  Then we got a ferry to Mykonos and were there for 4 nights, then 4 nights in Crete in 2 different locations, then we flew to Athens and spent 2 nights there.  We only booked Santorini and Athens, we chose the night before where to go for the other 3 towns.

    Most places are fine for 2-3 nights, however the ferry schedules need to be taken into account as some only have them twice a week which might 'force' you to stay longer IYFWIM.  I think it's better with the smaller Greek Islands to keep moving and live out a suitcase so you can see as much as possible.  It's the best feeling arriving at the next island by boat, each one as beautiful as the last but with it's own special and unique charms and landscape.

    I would, (if I were you) do 4 nights in Santorini, 2 nights in one Island, 3 in another, then 2 nights in Athens so that you have a full day to visit the Acropolis etc. 
  • edited February 2016
    I would absolutely go to santorini. If you have time, taking the ferry from Athens to santorini is wonderful! Also we stayed in imerovigli in Santorini. It is the "romantic" part of the island, much quieter. We stayed at a place called Artemis Villas. The views, room, and service for the price were all incredible. For instance, right when we got there they whisked us up to our room and brought us a "welcome drink": a pitcher of their famous white wine with snacks! My fiance and I went last summer in June and the weather was incredible. (This is where I got engaged.) You will be right in the middle of oia (the famous sunsets) and fira (shopping/restaurants/party area) if you stay there. We also did a catamaran sunset cruise, and the hotel helped us set it up. They woke us up in the morning and helped us get right to the shuttle. Hope this helps a little! I've also heard amazing things about the island crete. 
    Ghostie625
  • I would absolutely go to santorini. If you have time, taking the ferry from Athens to santorini is wonderful! Also we stayed in imerovigli in Santorini. It is the "romantic" part of the island, much quieter. We stayed at a place called Artemis Villas. The views, room, and service for the price were all incredible. For instance, right when we got there they whisked us up to our room and brought us a "welcome drink": a pitcher of their famous white wine with snacks! My fiance and I went last summer in June and the weather was incredible. (This is where I got engaged.) You will be right in the middle of oia (the famous sunsets) and fira (shopping/restaurants/party area) if you stay there. We also did a catamaran sunset cruise, and the hotel helped us set it up. They woke us up in the morning and helped us get right to the shuttle. Hope this helps a little! I've also heard amazing things about the island crete. 

    I stayed in Imerovigli & also recommend it plus it is halfway between Fira & Oia... we were able to walk to both areas from the hotel.
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  • Thanks for everyone's help! Hotel booked in Oia for Santorini and so excited I just bought 3 sun hats online. 
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  • That's fab I'm so jelly!  You will love Santorini, so romantic!
  • That's fab I'm so jelly!  You will love Santorini, so romantic!
    I'm going with a platonic girlfriend :)
  • Oh sorry thought it was your honeymoon!  
    STARMOON44
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