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Gearing up for Greece '15

Travel Forums Europe Gearing up for Greece '15

1. Posted by Ujwala (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Hello Travellers,

I've plans to head from India to Greece this May '15.
Planning to visit Athens, Chania, Santorini, Mykonos in this order and could be some parts of Italy if my pocket allows ;) .I'm on a real tight budget :)
n I've only 15-20 days to spare from my work schedule.

Browsing through numerous travel sites , i'm confused and i need help with my stay n sites to visit at these places.
There are quite lot of hostels /hotels and places to visit that i came across through these sites which ranks them in the order , but need real advice on which one to pick up.
I read that May could be a better month as it is just the start of the peak season and crowd n prices could be less.

So travellers who've already been to these places or who are heading out there, help me up!!!
Talking about me, i would like to visit places with scenic beauty , beach walking, trying out local cuisines ,street walking with window shopping ;) and less partying.

Cheers
Uj
:)

2. Posted by mariha2912 (Full Member 115 posts) 1y

Decide on your dates and book Athens-Chania flight as soon as possible. You will have to get to Heraklio to get a ferry to Santorini then,as there is not one from Chania. Do note that Crete-Santorini and Santorini-Mykonos direct links are on fast and more expensive ferries, while you have more options going back from Mykonos to mainland.
It is hard to advice without you asking specific questions. As far as you decided on said destinations, you may have some ideas on what you want to see and do there. Please provide a budget in euros if you want accommodation advice.

3. Posted by Ujwala (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Thanks mariha2912 for the response,

Here goes my draft plan (this is just a quick plan after checking my airlines)
May 1-5 @Athens
May 5-9 @Chania
May9-12 @Santorini
May12-15 @Mykonos
and if my pocket n schedule permits
May 15-22 @Milan,Florence,Venice,

My flights will be arriving at the Athens international airport and CHQ airport and i would like to get suggestions on hotels or hostels (with the lowest/medium budget possible) at better locations which gives me good travel options for site seeing. And from Chania to Heraklion ,how long does the bus ride take?and how much does the ticket cost. Also i would like to know on the stay options once i arrive at Santorini and Mykonos. Also do i need to pre-book for my ferry tickets from HER-SAN-MYK. and how much is the ferry pricing. Is it better through air or ferry to hop these islands?

4. Posted by mariha2912 (Full Member 115 posts) 1y

There are many different bus routes, but the more direct ones between Heraklion and Chania last ~90 minutes and cost is I believe about 7-8 euro.

Depending on type of ferry and route, duration of trip and rates vary.
The faster (and more expensive) ferries cover the route (Athens)Piraeus to Chania in about 9 hours, the slower can take even 16+hours... For the cheaper, berth, non-reserved seats' tickets, rates start on something like 35+euro. A reserved seat or cabin etc ticket costs more. If you check the website of Aegean Airlines and book far in advance, you will sometimes find flights from Athens to the islands for as low as 50 euros. I just tried to make a dump booking Athens to Chania on May 5th and a rate of 43 euro came up on their Go Light programme. Of course check what type of ticket suits you, but even if more costly, consider that flights are never longer than 50 minutes (to Crete, say flights Athens to Mykonos last only 20 minutes really...). So it migth be preferable to fly to distant destinations at start of the trip and maybe the end, rather than travel on a ferry for ages. Flights among islands are nearly non-existant, so you may get the ferry experience latter on the trip. Ferries timetables for May will be announced sometime on March. The best site to find them is http://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp , so keep checking closer to your dates. You may check www.openseas.gr too and on this site you may put past dates and check what was available last May. Of course there is no guarantee for next season, but you may get an idea on the ferry network patterns.
In season there are some direct flights from Santorini and Mykonos to some Italian airports, but usually they are available after middle June I believe. Again Aegean offers tickets starting form ~70 euros for a Mykonos-Athens-Milano on May 15th.

Actually your tricky part is you arriving on May1rst. Is this set? If not, could you postporn your arrival by a few days? May 1rst is labour day and sometimes strikes may interupt traveling. If everything is up and running, why not to fly directly on Crete upon arriving in Athens airport, then continue on your island itinerary, finishing off in Athens? You will have more options for flights from Athens to Italy then and you will not have to backtrack to Athens twice. ;)

I will come back latter on your other questions.

5. Posted by Ujwala (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

Thanks for the updates and Hey Happy New Year :)
As of now this is just a draft plan and i can still work on my dates regarding the May 1st part and also on my routes.
What do u think - where to shift my dates - towards the mid april side or towards the june?

6. Posted by mariha2912 (Full Member 115 posts) 1y

Happy New Year Ujwala!

The more you move your dates into the season, the more travel options you have and the more lively ambiance too. You do not mention what exactly you plan to do on the islands, but for example Mykonos is popular for its scenic main town, the side trip to Delos and then mostly for its beaches and nightlife. On early May most people find the sea too chilly to swim comfortably and in reality there is not much nightlife around. So for example if this is what you are after, June is much better than May.

On the other hand, if you are into say hiking and sightseen, the earlier in the season the better, some people chose April for hiking in order to avoid the heat as much as possible. Hotels/Hostel rates tend to increase the more busy the season gets, but on June there are still some bargains to be found. Do note that by choosing Santorini and Mykonos you choose the two more propmoted and expensive Greek Islands though...

I think for most first timers, very early season might not be appropriate... But deciding between May and June, your busget and interests dictate. If you are not too much into sea-related activities and vibrant nightlife- and I think you are not- maybe start this trip 15-20 May. If you want to share a budget in euros (excluding your flights from/to India, because I do not know how much those may cost), you may receive some advice on what is doable and what is not...

7. Posted by Ujwala (Budding Member 4 posts) 1y

So which one could be the best month both in terms of site seeing n budget for visiting these islands?
Do you have any other suggestions on places (apart from these islands) for site seeing. And also which is comfortable and safe for a single female traveller.

Crete was something i'd in my mind from long time back , and i'd picked up the the other islands and Athens from the sites while on my search on Crete.
Like i mentioned , i'm a less party person (though i love to be amidst te nightlife) who enjoys walking through beaches, exploring local streets and scenic beauty places .......

Regarding my budget , i'm luking for the lowest budget hotels/hostels . And depending on what is in offer @Greece ,i'll be planning for my Italian episode :)

8. Posted by mariha2912 (Full Member 115 posts) 1y

Quoting mariha2912

I think for most first timers, very early season might not be appropriate... But deciding between May and June, your budget and interests dictate. If you are not too much into sea-related activities and vibrant nightlife- and I think you are not- maybe start this trip 15-20 May. If you want to share a budget in euros (excluding your flights from/to India, because I do not know how much those may cost), you may receive some advice on what is doable and what is not...

Out of the Blue

15 stops on this trip

  1. Athens, Attica, Greece
  2. Chania, Crete, Greece
  3. Heraklion, Greece
  4. Santorini, Greece
  5. Mykonos, Greece
  6. Milan, Metropolitan City of Milan, Italy
  7. Cadenazzo, Switzerland
  8. Lugano, Switzerland
  9. Locarno, Switzerland
  10. Como, Italy
  11. Florence, Tuscany, Italy
  12. Pisa, Italy
  13. Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
  14. Siena, Province of Siena, Italy
  15. Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy