I am extremely new to this so apologies in advance. I am branching out to try and find some helpful tips or ideas regarding my honeymoon to Greece in September 2020. So far, we are arriving in Athens and staying 2 nights there, then we will have twelve more days to fill up our trip. We want to island hop a bit but not too much. We want to be able to stay on 2 or 3 islands for the remainder of our trip before we fly back, out of Athens, to the States. I am interested in Santorini but it isn’t a must for me. I have found a hotel we like in Aroktiri, Santorini but have now realized that it is a bit remote so we are having second thoughts about it. I would really love to see Milos but is it an island worth staying on? I know for sure, that we are not interested in Mykonos at this time and Crete seems a bit out of the way as is Rhodes. I am open to the idea of staying on 1 island and then day tripping to others in the surrounding areas. We are grateful for any suggestions, tips and tricks for our special trip.
Hi! We just returned from our honeymoon in Greece 2 days ago and would love to share. First thing I’ll say is that everything on Santorini is a few minutes apart by vehicle. We visited Akrotiri and it took us maybe all of maybe 15 minutes max to get there from Fira where we stayed. However, in the height of summer season, LOL, anywhere is probably faster on foot as the hordes of people and traffic on the one lane roads is horrendous. Akrotiri is a definite MUST see and is not remote. We had to rent a car because transportation during the winter season is sparse (so are the crowds), but if I were to do it in September, I might consider renting a scooter rather than a car for ease of moving through the insane traffic jams everywhere, but then again, with the hot sun beating down and with improved bus schedules with the crowds, a public bus might be preferable.
If for some reason your accommodation doesn’t finalize, we would HIGHLY recommend Portara Luxury Suites–if you can get in. Christina, the woman who owns it is phenomenal. She goes above and beyond in every way and she loves her job. She is a tremendous informational resource for your visit.
We spent 3 days in Athens, then rented a car through Swift Rental car. They’ll pick you up at your hotel and drive you to the outskirts of the city and beginning of the highway. It’s a great service, especially if you’re pressed for time–and LOL a parking space. We went to Olympia, Delphi and Meteora. Each of which was breathtaking and well worth the full day we spent in each one. We only had time for 2 islands and they were decided by the winter season transportation schedules. We went to Santorini and Naxos–both completely different from each other. Santorini is somewhat desert-y, similar to AZ or NM and of course very geared for tourists. You’ll find all your amenities there. Naxos is very green and lush and is known for its cheese because they have cows there due to the greenery. And we ended up with a surprise extra day so after returning to Athens from Naxos we rented a car and went to Nafplion and visited Mycenae. Mycenae is similar in age to Akrotiri but Akrotiri is covered whereas Mycenae is a castle on top of a hill. Both well worth the time as well. Nafplion is a very pretty seaside town well taken care of compared to the huge city of Athens. We ate at a place right on the harbor that had won awards for its seafood dishes. I’m spacing on the name right now, but it’s the only one with the award advertised in the front window so won’t be hard to find. It was truly delicious.
Crete was our first choice to visit and we also wanted to visit Mykonos as well as Roades BUT time and transportation were our issues during this trip there. We’ll have to save them for another time.
In total we were gone from the USA for 2 weeks that includes flight time.
If you want any other info, I’m happy to share, just write back or PM me (is that possible on this site?) Anyway, we’d go back to Greece in a heart beat. Two weeks was not nearly long enough. Wherever you go, I’m sure you’ll have a memory making time.
Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this information. You answered a lot of questions I had about Santorini and I feel like I have a better idea of what to expect when we arrive there. I do believe we are going to go ahead and stay in Akrotiri, as we found a beautiful hotel and now knowing that we aren’t too far from the bustling city areas. The nightlife scene isn’t really important to us. We may try it out a night or two but overall, I think we looking forward to a more relaxed honeymoon.
I do have a couple more questions if you don’t mind…?
First, did you all fly or ferry to the islands from the mainland and what was that trip like? How long did you stay in Naxos? What kind of beaches did they have or are they similiar to the pebble beaches on Santorini? Did you two find yourselves ferrying to other islands for day trips? Like Antiparos or Milos?
Was Naxos super windy like I have heard?
We would really like to check out Meteora when we come back from the islands and before we fly back home. We will have 2 days before we fly out of Athens. Did you all stay in/outside Meteora when you visited or is this something that could be accomplished during a day trip?
Also, (sorry, soo many questions ) did either of you have an IDP to rent cars/ATVs?
Your trip sounds so lovely and similar to the things we want to see
I appreciate this so much!
Have a great day.
yay! Absoultely possible!
That was an awesome trip you guys had!
It’s amazing how many places in Greece you managed to visit.
In my opinion, this is the beauty of Greece an not many people actually know that: it’s an extremely diverse country! You can be up on the mountains skiing an in 100km away you may have an amazing tropical beach (try Pelion mountain the next time and you will be surprised)
You are right on saying there are so many places you left out so I suppose you will need to visit again!
Crete is also amazing but the Ioanian islands (between Italy and Greece) like Corfu and Kefalonia are equally amazing…!
Hi Britta, So sorry I have not responded until now. I had thought I’d get a notification on my regular email when/if you answered back or you’d PM me, but someone else did which motivated my curiousity so I logged back onto the site and found your email!!
I need to correct an error I made in my original email. I mixed up the name of the place we stayed in Santorini. Christiana is the owner of Platia on Santorini. NOT Portara–which was where we stayed on Naxos. Christina is the best we’ve ever met and a most wonderful ambassador of the beauty of Santorini. And, her place is also the best we stayed in of all the places we traveled throughout Greece.
So happy to hear the info was helpful. We too are not nightlife people, and in the winter season (Jan-Feb) where we were in Fira, there really wasn’t a bustling nightlife. I suspect it starts when the tourists begin flocking there in May.
We flew on Volotea Airlines from Athens to Santorini (total for us both together was about $120–quite a few empty seats). We then took a ferry from Santorini to Naxos. Then we flew on SkyExpress from Naxos back to Athens (about $106 total for both of us together–quite a few empty seats). We had limited time and in the winter season there are limited transportation options so I researched with whatever would fit within our time frame.
The ferry was cheapest for us to get from Santorini to Naxos… I think it was like $25 per person for the 2.5hr trip. I’ve been on ferries before but NEVER one this massive. It was like a cruise ship! LOL I was amazed to watch massive semi-trailer tractor trucks backing on! There were lots of food places, lots of different areas to sit, lots of walking around if you wanted. We were surprised and quite pleased with the experience. This was the winter so I’m sure things will be different in other seasons, but the ferry had a LOT of empty seats in every area. There really weren’t many people onboard. I had paid extra for what they called ‘air seats’ (otherwise the trip would have been less than the $25 each), they look like comfy recliners, but they’re not. They’re slippery and very …gushy. My back hurt sitting in them–so I got up and walked around quite a bit. If I were to do it again, I’d just get the cheapest fare and get a seat around one of the tables that are scattered everywhere or on one of the sofas. Oh!! make sure you visit the restroom while onboard. One whole entire wall is glass so you can watch the ocean as you wash your hands. It’s really cool!
We were in Naxos from late afternoon, the full day the next day and left mid-morning the following day. I guess that counts as almost 2 days maybe?? The day we were in Naxos it was windy and rainy on and off (this is winter season). It was the only time in our two week visit to Greece that encountered anything other than bright blue skies and warm temperatures. We rented a car in Naxos to drive around and visit the different villages but as neither of us is a beach person per se, we didn’t visit any beaches. Having said that, the place where we stayed was about a 5 minute walk (if that) from the port and our room was actually right ON the beach. In the morning we could look out and see Apollo’s gate to our right. It was a little piece of heaven to hear the waves lapping just a few feet away from our little porch. We stayed at the Portara Luxury Suites which were very nice… but the location is what wowed us. Also maybe about a block away from a whole string of restaurants (maybe 5 or 6 blocks of them in a line) that faced out to the ocean/sea.
We would have liked to have visited other islands (besides Santorini and Naxos) but in the winter season transportation is very limited or even non-existent between islands. Often if you want to travel from one to another you have to go back to Athens as the connecting point…whether by ferry or plane.
Meteora, in my opinion, is a definite breathtaking must-see. I hear there’s a train that goes from Athens to Meteora but as our time was limited and we wanted to see Olympia, Delphi as well as Meteora, renting a car for us worked out the best. Google it, but I believe the train between Athens and Meteora is about a 4.5hr to 5hr trip so might be kind of tight to do it as a day trip… depending how many monasteries you wanted to experience. Each one is different.
I believe there are tours that will take you from Athens to visit 2 of the 6 monastaries, so that would be an option to research as well. You can also google photos of the monasteries of Meteora and see some of the photos and read about them to decide if there are any you’d specifically like to see. The Monasteries are fascinating but it’s the scenery, the way the mountains have formed that’s so breathtaking. So I’m not sure it’s necessary to try to get inside each of the Monasteries…just enjoy taking fabulous photos from the various hills and scenic lookouts. Which actually has raised a question for me, the Monasteries are not that far from each other but they are a hike plus you have to walk up many, many stairs for each of them as well, which while a fabulous experience is time consuming so having transportation while there would certainly make them more quickly accessible as your time sounds a bit limited like ours was. So maybe renting a car in Athens, like from Swift rental car-- they’ll pick you up where you’re staying and drive you to the outskirts of the city. Leave Athens early, drive there, enjoy the day, then stay overnight and head back early the next morning. This might give you more flexibility to do what you want, where and when. Check online for which days each of the Monasteries are open and the times, as they do vary from each other and during different seasons.
The two closest towns you can stay to Meteora are Klambaka and Kastraki. Kastraki is the closest town to Meteora, but we chose to stay in Klambaka which is literally only a few minutes away. They’re both so close it really wouldn’t matter. If you get a chance, try out the Panellionion restaurant in Klambaka. The food is excellent, a lot of locals eat there, and the decorations are very kitschy, antique-y and fun. We were also referred to a place called Fortounis Tavern as a good food place but just didn’t have time to get there.
Yes, before we left my partner picked up his International Driver’s License from AAA for I think around $25. Surprisingly out of the 4 different places we rented a car, the only place he was asked to show it was on our last day when we rented a car to get to Nafplio and Mycenae.
Let me know if you have any other questions. It’s fun to share the info!
Yes we covered a lot of ground but still had a lot of time to relax, enjoy and really absorb. I’d love to get back there again someday hopefully soon.
Sounds like you’ve been there a few times?
It’s been my goto place for holidays since the 90’s…! Once you visit Santorini (especially before the internet…) there is no way you won’t fall in love with it!