If anyone needs advice on Greece for a honeymoon, you can let me know as I will be there in end of Apr. Planned my trip ala-carte and going free and easy and so saved me a fair bit of money. )
Btw, mint, I have heard that many people do driving in Greece islands. Should be quite safe and recommended depends on which islands you going to, e.g. Santorini (where there is a limited no of taxis) or bigger islands like Crete (where you can go to other parts of the island).
I don't actually have much of an itinerary. Just decided which islands I wanted to go to and then just booked the relevant flights and hotels depending on which was the cheapest option. Basically, spending 2 days in Athens, 2 days in Santorini, 2 days in Crete, 2 days in Rhodes and 2 days in Mykonos. Let me know if need additional info. Cheerios.
You can click on my nick for my email addy. Thanks in advance.
I'm also planning my trip a la carte to save money. But was thinking of travelling to delphi, olympia, etc, before doing the islands. A bit ambitious and would seem rushed so may just go Mykonos and Santorini.
I was also thinking of going to Delphi and Olympia but changed my mind as figured I would enjoy the islands more and ruins are not really my cup of tea. ) You can consider booking tours to Delphi and Olympia (4 days) but they depart on certain days (like Fri/Tues) so you might want to find out.
Also, if you are planning ala carte, you might want to book early as Santorini hotels are quite popular and booked in advance esp for the good ones with the sunset view of the caldera (which is the key attraction). In addition, Santorini hotels are pretty ex so you might want to bear that in mind too.
u can finish delphi in a day on public transport. the buses leave at abt 7:30am, takes 3 hrs n u will only need 2-3 hrs to finish the site. if u like greek history n myth, then it's a pity not to visit delphi, which was known as the centre of the world.
olympia takes longer to reach by public transport. ruins-wise, there's not much left there. if u r driving though, olympia should be relatively easy to reach.
i was in greece last may and took ferry from athens to mykonos and then from mykonos to santorini. the ferry ride can take up to 8 hours. it was a pretty smooth ride and it's a huge ferry unlike the ones we journey on to bintan/batam.
mint - yes, it's pretty safe to drive in greece. my husband drove in oia which is in santorini. we tried taking the bus but we waited almost 2 hrs for a bus, and finally gave up to take a cab. if u're going to stay in oia and travel out, it's best to rent a car as there're not many cabs in oia. but pls bear in mind that on the way from oia down to the town centre (fira) in santorini, it's a winding road and juz nice for 2 cars (2-way road). juz drive slowly (don't be stressed out by the cars behind u) as it depends on whether u're on your way up or down, u'll be driving next to the edge. it's left-hand drive. my husband doesn't drive much in s'pore so we're both pretty jittery when he drove.
we took a cab from fira to oia then rented the car in oia so that we can drive around the island.
Mind to share more of your Greece trip? I was thinking of going to these two islands as well. How much you spent on airfare & accomodation? U booked the hotels from here?
And any pics to share? Heehee
hi blueroti, i will be honeymooning in the greek islands this may and would like to check with you if it is safe enough to book accomodation only when i'm there. coz i understand that may is the beginning of the peak season so not sure how crowded that would be. thanks!
I booked a free n easy pkg that incl. accomodation and ferry tickets. can't remember how much it was, perhaps about $2.5-$2.8k per pax?
here's where i stayed:
. Santorini - Santorini Image (S$240 per room/night. incl. breakfast. You've to take a cab to the town of Fira, not exactly very convenient. but pretty decent accomodation - very quiet)
. Oia - Museum Hotel (90 euro per nite. it's situated right in the small village of Oia where it's flanked by shops, shops and more shops. the room is quite small, and very basic. budget accomodation)
. Mykonos - Akrogial Hotel (incl. breakfast, can't remember what's the rate. it's next to the beach and there're quite a few hotels next to it. the food at the hotel next to it is pretty good. you've to take a bus from there to town. quiet place)
. Athens - Stanley Hotel (S$240 per room/night. incl. breakfast. the subway station is located juz next to it.)
july, i'm not too sure if u should take the risk by looking for lodgings when u're there. when i was there in late april, early may, it was juz before the touristy season BUT there're still quite a number of tourists (koreans, japanese, hongkongers and europeans). but it's not super packed. perhaps u can try.
some people book their accomodation directly through greek tour operators which is supposed to be cheaper. you can also purchse your ferry tickets there too.
i've to look for my photos, if i can find it, will share with u guys.
u can also chk out my earlier msg that i posted in july last year.
hi blueroti,thanks for the advice! may i know where you signed up for your free and easy package?i'm trying to book the accomodation in santorini over the net but the Greeks seem to be taking forever to respond!
i booked my package with anadas at last year's Natas fair. BUT i wouldn't recommend that you sign up with them coz' their after-sale service is pretty bad. i only got my tickets 2 days before my wedding - which is 4 days before my departure. so i suggest u chk out other travel agencies.
Hi Oriental, as that was my only sea journey in Greece I can't really comment what the other options there are like... But been a scuba diver and decently travelled person, I must say the SEALED vessel was one of the most siong boat rides I've been on. Worst thing is, my friend's wife was three months pregnant!!!! Thank goodness she was alright. So yeah, I would ask/confirm first before I book the boat ride...
If anybody's heading for Crete, I would like to recommend the Casa Delfino Suites.
Four of us (two couples) shared a suite at this hotel, and it was FANTASTIC value (per person). Very nice, accessible, and service was good.
Found this description online: "Casa Delfino Suites is an elegant 17th Century Venetian mansion, carefully and attractively restored as an exclusive hotel of just twenty-one suites. A secluded entrance leads to the large sheltered courtyard of pebble mosaics, where guests enjoy the peaceful shade."
Hi Oriental, yeah it IS a pity to miss the islands so if I were to do it again, I would just avoid those SEALED in vessels. Open ones shd be alright??! You booking with agent or what? They shd be able to check for you, right? Do check with others who have been to Greece to recommend some liners for you... I can only speak of my one experience so don't want to put you off too much also.
(Either way, even after yrs of being on boats, I still do stand by mu trusty Tiger Balm and seng buay haha! You never know....)
hv u taken the ferry to sentosa or tekong? cos the greek ferries i took were much more stable than those. a stuffy indoor environment can make sea sickness a lot worse n the good thing abt ferries is u get to go on the decks.
u can fly to most of the islands too. it's more expensive, but might be worthwhile if ur sea sickness is severe.
Sorry for the late reply. Was busy clearing work in UK so I could come back to SG on hol. Now back in SG and another mad rush looking st BS and trying to settle them before I leave next week.
Anyway, I am taking Agean airlines and I find them cheaper then Olympic Airways, but you might be able to get more direct flights with Olympic. Also, as for the hotels I have chosen, they are mostly about EUR 50-80 a night depending on which island. Santorini is the most ex at EUR 250 as I am having a private hot tub with a view of the sunset and sea so paying extra. Figured that might as well splurge as I don't know when I will be going back. You can try www.tripadvisors.com as they do give quite good recommendations and what I did was basically search the hotels based on the top 10 reviews by travellers. Hope this helps. )
yap taken the ferry to sentosa before and also to batam donkey years ago..it was bearable..but i am thinking the trip frm one island to another is abt 5hrs..abit long..
think i shldnt b so worried. wat the heck, jus go n take the ferry. the most i'll jus pop a few more motion sickness pills.
Is July a good time to go?
thanks for the advises!
that's the attitude! if u find the ferries in sg bearable, think u will do quite well in greek ferries.
july is peak season actually. the ferries will be crowded. i was told that the cheaper ticket classes dun even guarantee u a seat on the ferry cos the ferry is so crowded. if u r worried abt sea sickness, spend a bit more on ur first ferry n get a ticket that guarantees u hv a seat.
yep, och is right. the greek ferries are ok, more stable than the ferries we take to bintan for eg. so don't worry too much but if you're still worried, u can always get motion sickness pills. and what i did for the long ferry ride was to sleep or read a book. time flies by pretty fast.
Will be going to Greece end of the month for my second honeymoon - 3 nights in Peloponnese, 2 in Athens, 3 in Mykonos, 4 in Santorini & 5 in Crete.
Basically, we booked our own air tickets & have a Greek travel agent settle the accomodations & ferry tickets. I did the sums, we are paying the agent a bit of a "premium" to help us to arrange all these but the advantage is that in case any of our ferry connection is cancelled, we dun have to pay cancellation charges for any accomodation we prebook unlike booking ourselves over the internet with the hotels directly. Moreover, we will have someone local to help us make alternative arrangments in such an event.
Initally, we tot we will just book air tickets and go free & easy there but after doing our research (surf a lot & read many guidebooks) we realise that there are many sights that we will like to cover... knowing where we will be sleeping each night will allow us more sightseeing time...
Just 2.5 weeks to our trip, really looking forward to it
We will be flying Gulf Air to Athens transiting in Bahrain. The air fare is S$1.1k per person inclusive of tax. It offers the shortest transit time & best flying schedule for us in this price range.
The Greek agent I used is Aegean Thesaurus Travel (www.thesaurus.gr). I liaise with Panagiotis who has been very prompt in answering my queries. He always managed to reply within 24hrs. He was also very helpful with suggestions where we can visit. We prefer to do more hiking than visiting ruins, he helped put together our itinerary to suit our preference - we are staying mostly in boutique hotels.
If you are thinking of using a Greek agent, I would suggest that you get quotes from a few agents to compare their quotes. I went with Panagiotis coz he was the only one honest euff to advise me to best avoid the 3 or 4 day cruise as the cruise company can't guarannte the vessel as it's in the midst of acquiring new ones, so the situation is unstable. The others were happy to quote me a fee and were not very upfront when I asked which vessel we will be travelling on. Ultimately, it depends on who you are comfortable with and who offers you the best price
For your itinerary, most Greek agent offers a island hopping package that you can consider. You can go to www.tripadvisor.com search for travel agent in Greece. There are a few recommended ones there.
It's less than a month away to my trip and I still have not booked anything yet so far. Was planning to do Athens up to Meteora then 3 islands, Mykonos, Santorini and Rhodes. Not sure enough time or not to complete all in 10 days. Sigh!! And lodging is a big problem too. Someone help!! heehee!
Thank you for the contact. I emailed to Panagiotis and he is indeed very helpful. I will be booking my trip with him.
After reading your posting about the sealed vessel, I'm really worried too. What is the difference in timings if we take the slower ferries? Also, are the slower ferries more comfortable in the sense that we won't start vomiting 10 minutes into the ride?
hi xiao mao mao, i brought my own travel hair dryer. greek hotels generally use 2-pin european plugs. the pins r round (a bit like our 2 pin plugs). as for whether u want to bring a kettle, i think it depends on how much space u hv n whether u can do without hot drinks.
Hi Mint, as that was my only ferry ride in Greece, I am afraid i can't comment. Perhaps you could get some info from those who hv taken slower ferries? I will check my travel journal again, but I seem to recall it was abt 3 hrs...
wlc, i think it will be quite warm n sunny. i think it's always a gd idea to bring a jacket cos there might be strong winds. if u r going to meteora or the highlands (olympus), a jacket might be needed too. can pack an umbrella if u hv space lor, though i doubt it's really necessary.
hi mint, slower ferries r like the superstar virgo type of ferries, maybe a bit smaller.
Just checked my ticket, the arrival time/travel time was not indicated, sorry. I DID find the namecard of a Greek travel agency I went to in Athens - u shd be able to get useful info out of them. Try emailing [email protected]. The website is www.ginis.gr
I think it will be cheaper to book there if you are able to collect the tickets in Athens at some point in yr trip.
Santorini: I stayed in the Oia Canaves. Pricey, but they've a nice pool - the place is very small so nice to have something to do and somewhere to hang in yr hotel during the scorching hours in summer. I wd recommend this for sure. I've got a photo of it if you'd like to see.
Also, try these restaurants in Santorini
1) Nikolas - it's in Fira. The tel is 02860 24550.
2) Taverna Thespis. Tel: 32 38 242. Simple but gd home-cooked Greek food. V near Oia Canaves.