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If you have been to Greece please give me some info! I would love to hear what islands your liked, how many days to stay in Athens (I've heard 2 at most), how you coordinated the boat ride in between islands, and what activities you did.  Thanks!

Re: Greece!

  • I did a stop in Corfu (on the Adriatic, not Aegean) from a cruise and found it very beautiful.  It wasn't what I had in mind for a Greek island, but it was very pretty.  I also did a conference in Athens a little over a year ago.  I couldn't do a lot of extra time, but I did get to see the city and did a day trip on the water that stopped in three nearby islands.  Hydra is really gorgeous and a popular vacation spot it should be easy to get a ferry to that island.  Everyone I talk to raves about Santorini.  And you have Mykonos, the party island.

    I agree that you don't need a lot of time in Athens unless you are really interested in ruins and ancient Greece.  I would recommend staying in the old town at the base of the Acropolis.  Spend some time going up and walking around the Parthenon and doing the Acropolis Museum.  I did a hop-on/hop-off bus to get an overview of the city.   

    I have a potential trip to Crete coming up and have been doing a little more research about returning to Greece.  I had initially thought that I would do a ferry from Pereaus (the port area about 20-30 minutes southwest of Athens), but it takes a long time and for just a little more money (about $100), I can do a round trip flight on Aegean Airways and be there in less than an hour.  Santorini is down that way, so you might find it cheaper to fly to Santorini than taking the ferry.  If Crete is ever an option, you can do a 2 hour catamaran and go between Crete and Santorini. 

  • I've been to Greece few times, and I love the country! I've never been to Athens, though.

    Everybody seems to love Santorini, but it was not my cup of tea. Yes, the view over the caldera is really pretty and the white-washed buildings are beautiful, but that's about it. It was too crowded for me, especially Fira during daytime with all the visiting cruise passengers and Oia during sunset. The sunset in Oia is pretty, but I don't think it's particularly romantic to share it with 200 other people.

    I love especially Greek countryside. Crete had amazing mountains and cute little villages with very friendly folks. Plus Crete had the most amazing food. Inland of Naxos was also very pretty and I liked the old part of Hora there. Parga on the mainland was a lovely small resort with good hiking options nearby. On the mainland I also really loved the amazing Vikos gorge and surrounding villages. Seriously, I don't understand why it is not a well-known destination, since the gorge has so magnificent views. Meteora was also interesting place to visit, but again a bit too crowded. Anafi was a small island close to Santorini, very peaceful.

    Activities, you can go hiking, rent a car or a scooter (not recommended, if you don't know how to ride one), do all kinds of sea activities, etc.

    For ferries between islands, check, they have the timetables. I think generally you don't have to reserve your ticket beforehand, except if you are travelling with a car, book an overnight ferry or are travelling on a really popular day.
  • Crete and Santorini were amazing, IMO. While in Santorini, it was kind of quiet. Maybe it just depends on the time of the year? If you decide to visit, you have to try the Santorini wine!

    Crete was quiet during the day, but at night the streets were packed.
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