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Athens - Aegina - Crete - 12 days! Does it make sense??

Travel Forums Europe Athens - Aegina - Crete - 12 days! Does it make sense??

1. Posted by Annika87 (Budding Member 2 posts) 35w

Hi everyone..

My boyfriend and I have decided to go to Greece this summer - from 9th to 22th of august, and I'm trying to plan our trip. But now I'm not sure if it makes sense with the amount of days that I'm planning for each place.
Plan is:
1)Athens from 9th to 13th of august.
2)Aegina Island from 13th to 15th of august
3)Crete from 15th to 22th of august.

1)
We both want to go to Athens for a few days, see the main sights like Akropolis, MonastirĂ¡ki and Plaka, but also have time to feel the city a little, explore, have a drink or two maybe and relax with some good food.
With our current plan we will have 3,5 days in Athens. Is this too short??

2)
Then I really wanted to see the Island of Aegina. I read that it's less touristy than other islands, that locals usually go there and in general should be a very charming island to visit with a real Greek feel to it..
My bf think its a very small island and was afraid that a whole week or more would be to much, so we compromised, and now thinking of doing both Aegina and Crete.
Aegina for app. 1,5 day according to the above time-schedule.
Again, does this make sense? Is it to long/short or should we cut out Aegina from out plans entirely and use the extra days in either Athens or Crete?

3)
I've been to Crete once before many year ago, lived close by Heraklion, and didn't see much else.
Now we're thinking about staying in Chania or Rethymnon, but finding it very hard to decide which.
As with Athens, out main goal is to get a feel of the island, see maybe some villages, some main sights (haven't decided about knossos yet) and explore the city we will live in. We're not big beach-goers, but it would be nice to have the opportunity to go to a nice beach once or twice. I don't think we will be doing the Samaria gorge hike, since august will probably be very hot, and we're not the hiking type of couple in general - but if there are shorter similar tours, with great views that would definitely be and option for us.
We're also planing to rent a car for some days and we both want to go to Elafonissi beach..
Any recommendations to which city to choose?
Chania is a bigger city with more life, is that correct?

Thanks!
Annika :)

2. Posted by OldPro (Respected Member 289 posts) 35w

How long is a piece of string? When ever someone asks if x days is enough time in a place, that is what I think they are asking. You may find 2 days somewhere long enough while someone else is unhappy to leave after 7 days. There is no universal right answer, there is only how long YOU will need to see and do all that is of interest to you in a given place.

Personally, with only 12 days, I would not attempt to visit 3 different places. I would fly in to Athens and immediately hop on another plane to Crete. I would then return to Athens on an early morning flight from Crete and spend 2 days in Athens before my flight home.

Even doing that really wouldn't be enough time for me in Crete. It is a big island with a lot to see and do and you will not have enough time to cover all the island. I would suggest you concentrate on only one part of Crete and leave the rest for other visits.

As for where to stay, I would not stay in any of the places you mention. I always look for a smaller village on any island I visit. That is where you are more likely to get a 'feel' for Greece. There are plenty of small vilages all along the south coast you could try. Here is just one example:
http://cretetravel.com/guide/makrigialos/

While you will have no problem with finding a room to rent, a restaurant to eat in and things to see and do, places like that are not where you want to go if you want to spend your time 'clubbing' on your vacation. There is night life but it is far more laid back and relaxed than the frenzied nightlife in the more popular tourist areas.

3. Posted by Annika87 (Budding Member 2 posts) 35w

Hello OldPro!

Thank you for you're answer!
I know it's very hard to answer how many days are best, since we all have different priorities..

We are starting with Athens as we are planning a flight from home to Athens, and then to take a direct flight from Crete home - for some reason the tickets are cheaper that way..

We're not into clubbing, but like the idea of bigger cities with different restaurants and cafes to choose between..
But the south coast, sounds very interesting too! Didn't even look into that before! Will definitly do that, thank you!

We've talked about it, and several ppl have already told us to skip the little island of Aegina, so we will stick to Athens and Crete..