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Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !

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Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !
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Hello Everyone !

I wanted to post in this forum to get some outsider perspectives on an upcoming trip I am planning to Greece in September 2020. As some background - I am a 25 year old, single male, traveling alone from NYC. I have traveled quite a bit (14 countries and counting!) and am not shaken by the thought of visiting locations considered to be “off the beaten path.” Adventures are cool with me and I really enjoy cultural vibes as opposed to touristy vibes. That being said, I know there are some touristy islands that may be worth a visit.

I am trying to squeeze three different locations into a 9-day/8-night trip through Athens, Greece with the addition of visiting a couple islands and coming back to Athens the last night before departing the next day. The islands I have researched and find myself attracted to are Naxos, Crete, Hydra, Santorini, Mykonos, and Corfu. I am planning to fly to my first destination (probably Crete) and ferry from there to another island or two. Not sure how much time I need in any given place though.

I had planned as follows:

Monday: Arrive in Athens

Tuesday: Athens

Wednesday: Morning Flight to Crete

Thursday: Crete

Friday: ferry to _____

Saturday: Explore ______ Island & Overnight Ferry to another Island _____.

Sunday: Explore _______.

Monday: Ferry Back to Athens for last night

Tuesday: Depart from Athens to NYC

I am looking for any suggestions to my current itinerary that may be worth seeing, worth traveling to, or could make my solo trip through Greece a bit easier! Any info is useful !

Thanks all !

Edited: 1 year ago
Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Chania Town, Naxos
Level Contributor
6,816 posts
126 reviews
87 helpful votes
1. Re: Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !
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Greece is a country where doing less gives you a far richer experience. Every change of location eats up a minimum of a half day so your first task will be to identify the islands that interest you the most and that are on direct ferry routes.

Many experienced visitors to Greece often recommend you get to your first island immediately on the day you arrive in Athens. You need at least 2 hours to catch a connecting flight. Getting over jet lag on an island is way better than doing it in Athens.

So my thoughts on islands. Personally we love Crete and 2 days there is really a waste of time. Its just so big and diverse and you will need a minimum of a week just to explore a bit of the island.

So your first choice could be fly to Crete ( I would choose Chania in the west) Spend a week in this area then fly back to Athens for the end of your trip.

Here is west Crete and Chania

Western Crete https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632115757899

Chania https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632117917828

Second option would be to fly to Santorini on arrival in Athens. There are (or at least used to be several flights a day) Spend 2 or three nights in Santorini then ferry to Naxos. Naxos has been called a mini Crete. Its much smaller so takes less time to see it all. It has great beaches a wonderful old town area topped by a Venetian era kastro, lots of hikes and mountain villages.

Naxos needs a minimum of 4 days 5 would be better.

Naxos town https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632094558042

Trip around Naxos https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157634605629689

Get back to Athens at least one day before your return flight.

Are you sure you only have 9 days can you squeeze in a few more days?

Hopefully Greece will be fully open for visitors by September.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
15,002 posts
133 reviews
82 helpful votes
2. Re: Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !
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I am not going to comment on the Coronavirus situation which probably means that it will be closed up especially to tourists from countries where the pandemic is not being controlled.

First to save time when you land in Athens take a connecting flight to your first island and do Athens at the end. This will save you a day.

You don't seem to realize that you are at the mercy of ferry schedules so you need to plan your islands around their schedule so that you are not wasting time.

Also your arrival day and departure day are a waste so you truly only have 7 full days.

Hampshire, UK
Level Contributor
20,594 posts
93 reviews
119 helpful votes
3. Re: Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !
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Whatever you do, please book flexible, refundable hotels etc. I very much doubt your trip will happen. Even if does, do you really want to travel to places where social distancing may be in place, ruining the atmosphere? I’d strongly suggest rescheduling for at least one year.

Thessaloniki, Greece
Level Contributor
64 posts
4. Re: Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !
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I agree with VS..I wouldn't book anything at this stage.

Greece
2 posts
5. Re: Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !
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10 days is a let to pack in that many places especially if you consider the factor that the mode of transportation, in this case ferries and when they run and duration of journey. Also don’t forget the jetlag if you are coming from US. Other that, I would check out this list of other islands you might want to consider. I would however limit it to a group of islands that are close together that way the duration of journeys when hopping around isn’t that bad.

United Kingdom
2 posts
6. Re: Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !
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In my opinion, this is not the best time to travel because many other people’ are also planning to visit some of this Island so is better to wait till the pandemic is fully control by officials and restriction are takedown.

https://www.itsallbee.com/2020/04/best-islands-in-greece/

7. Re: Eat Pray Love in Greece - Itinerary / Island Help !

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