How the heck do you plan a honeymoon? Tell me about your trips to Greece/Europe

posted 2 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 2
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Yay!

 

Greece is beautiful! My FI and I got engaged in Satorini!

We stayed on 4 different Islands and used Air BnB on all except 1 (Symi) because Symi is very small and there simply weren’t and ABnB hosts there!

 

We used a plane to get from Athens to our first Island, Rhodes, and used ferries to travel the rest of the journey, including back to Athens. We love being adventurous and doing things free style! If for some reason you decide not to cruise but you’d like to travel different islands I would suggest enlisting the help of a travel agent to make sure your hotel accommodations on the direct islands will line up with the ferry schedule as not all ferries travel to every neighboring island every day. We loved our freestyle trip! The ferries were amazing, they felt like baby cruise ships.

 

We traveled mainly in the south eastern islands (the Dodecanese), except Santorini, which is a little more central.

 

We went from Rhodes –

The two main attractions here are Old Towne Rhodes, which is a giant castle/town that is still inhabited and used, it is one of these most ancient still-used structures in Europe. If you take a Cruise the ship will come to port right next to this amazing town. The first photo is a picture of one of the entrances to the fortresses.

 

The second photo is the other Must-See places on Rhodes. This is the view from the top of the Acropolis of Lindos which is on the southern end of the Island (Rhodes is north). The Acropolis in Lindos is stunning, the town in Lindos is very old and so beautiful. If you end up going to Rhodes you must visit Lindos. It will blow your mind. If you cruise to Rhodes you can visi Lindos by using the public bus system on Rhodes. It’s 2€ a person, and takes about 45 min to get to Lindos and you will get a decent look of the island this way. Buses run from stops about every 30 min, just be sure to pay attention to posted bus schedules.

 

 

Our next stop was Symi. My FI and I totally fell in love with Symi. We both agreed that if we ever were to move to greece we would live on this tiny cute-as-a-button island. We knew nothing of Stmi and it wasn’t on our agenda until our ABnB host in Rhodes insisted we visit. It is a total gem, they follow very strict architecural guidelines is modifications to structures there which preserves it in a Neo-classical era picture perfect state. It was gorgeous, the beaches and water there were the clearest and cleanest we had seen. We stayed in the town of Pedi and traveled by the bus (yes THE, the busiest little bus in the world) to the main port every day to explore. The bus is 1€, and makes its stops once an hour. Again, pay attention to bus schedules as clubs and bars in greece stay open much later than when many modes of transportation (even cabs). If you are cruising, unfortunately you will miss this hidden gem, it is too small for cruise ships to port.

 

Our next stop was Kos. We were not impressed with Kos. It was modernized, packed with crappy tourist shops and restaurants. There was one highly reccomended sight we did not get to see, the natural hot springs, but we saw the other main ones. The fortress, which is much smaller than in Rhodes and is not inhabited. Again, the fortress is next to the port so it will be the first thing you see if you have a cruise stop here. The alleged Tree of Hypocretes is also here, it is supported by scaffolding and the base is hollowed out and sealed to prevent disease from killing the tree. Asclepion is also in Kos, reachable by bus, bikes, scooters, and ATVs. Asclepion is a famous ancient medical school, also allegedly Hypocretes’ alma mader. This was the coolest think in Kos, a very interesting sight.

 

Our last stop was Santorini, which unfortunately is another island you will miss if you cruise. The port is too small for Cruises and is very far from the famed city of Oia. Oia Santorini is the city everyone thinks of when they think of Greece. White homes hanging out of the sides of mountains, churches with blue roof tops. Santorini is beautiful and worth visiting for the best winerys in greece, the most incredible food, including several dishes and vegetables found only on Santorini like Tomato Keftedes. We stayed in the town neighboring Oia, which was a ten min walk away and saved us a lot of money as accomodations are much more expensive in Santorini. Oia is specifically famous for probably the most magnificent sunset in the world, and is an extremely romantic place. It is the number 1 destination wedding spot in the world, we saw many brides and grooms there every day, and saw many couples get engaged there on our trip (including us!) it is truly a place to behold. As far as sights they have a really awesome Museum that illustrates the rich, volcanic history of the island (Santorini is an active volcanic island and actually gets is crescent shape from a volcanic eruption that sank part of the island, it is thought to be the island that inspired Atlantis), as well as the town of Akatori which was preseved in volcanic ash after an eruption much like Pompeii. I would recommend visiting the Museum first and that Akatori, as the museum contains many amazing object recovered from this archeological sight.

 

other tips, if you plan on renting a scooter in greece you need an international driver’s licens. We used many useful travel apps that did not require Internet to use, including a map app. Most people in Greece speak English, so you won’t have trouble getting around. We got crunches on time and didn’t spend any time in Athens (mostly because I have heard it’s really not that great).

 

sorry for the long post! These are only a couple places Greece has to offer! There are literally hundreds of islands you can visit. I wanted to post a couple more pics of each place from our trip but it won’t let me upload from my phone now for some reason. I’ll try a second post later.

Post # 3
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Main port on Symi

 

View from Pedi beach

 

Asclepion in Kos

 

 

Post # 4
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Oia Santorini

 

Akatori Santorini

Post # 7
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

we heard early spring/ fall were the best times to go and we were there in September! It was warm the whole time, between 80-90 the whole time, it is very windy though so we were never burning up. At night the wind can get a little cold, so bring a jacket. Other than the wind I found the weather/humidity pretty similar to Florida, except windier.   I was worried about lugging suitcases too but we got awesome travel luggage from REI that made thinks easier. Huge backpacking style backpacks with wheel rollers and smaller pack backs that buckled into the larger bag. We booked ferries in the morning so we could wake up, check out, and head straight to the port. Once you are on the ferry its super easy. The ferries have large restaurants and common areas with huge couches and plenty of space to get comfy on your ride. They every have cabins, very similar to cruises, with beds, shows, tvs for longer journeys. We booked a cabin for our 10 hour ride from Santorini to Athens and got to sleep the whole way! (clearly loved the ferries). Any lugging you have to do is trugly worth the inconvenience!

Post # 8
Member
9528 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I’ve been to Europe 4 times and the last trip was in August for 2.5 weeks to Greece and Turkey! August was ridiculousl hot, but other than that, we loved Greece!

First, how long do you have – that really  tells you how many differet plces you can go.

Second, how active/relaxing do you like to be – this is also really important and is  just personal style. If you’ve never traveled together before, talk abot this to try to anticapte.

Third, I’d avoid a cruise, just my preference.

So here’s what we did:

Three days in Athens – this could be 2 without losing too much. My only absolute musts were the Parthenon and the Pathenon muuseum, which just openee recently and is one of the best museums I’ve been to. We also did a food tour that I really enjoyed. I also reall just liked walking around Syntagma square in the evening – very happening neighborhood.

Then we rented a car and drove to Delphi – this was my favorite day in Greece. Easy drive (we had a GPS) and then had  time to tour the historic ruins. Delphi is basically a series of temples stuck on the side of a mountain. It was blazing hot and I sweated my ass off climbing up to the top, but ever switchback just got a more amazing view of the mountains and  valley and out to the sea, it was amazing. Cute little tiny town is walking distance to the historic sites. 

Then we drove north to Meteora. This drive was a bit of a challenge since it was going through the mountains. But really pretty and fun. Meteora is where ancient monks built these monastaries at the top of these huge rock formations. It’s mmind boggling. We hired a guide who was absolutely fantastic and told us lots of local history and took us to some great sight seeing spots where we could make a short, easy climb up some rocks and then just get these amazing views.

Then we drove back to Athens and got a flight to Santorini, where we stayed on the beach for 3 days. We did a catamaran cruise and went SCUBA diving and went to the Akrotiri ruins (guide well worth it). This was very laid back and beachy and fun. We did a lot of walking around andn just hanging out at the beach. Good food but really salty tap water, but bottled is cheap. 

I think that was about 9 days. After that we went to Turkey for another week, and I’m happy to tell you about that if you’re interested in Turkey (it was awesome). I relly wanted to go to Crete, but everybody said it’s not worth it unless you can spend a whole week, so that’s going to have to be another trip! I also hard really good things about Rhodes, while we were in Santorini. Mykanos is also popular, especially if you like the party club scene.

Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or would like hotel/food recommendations!

ETA: If I coud do it again, we would have done the ferry to Santorini rather than flying.

Post # 9
Member
232 posts
Helper bee

Ι’m Greek (living in Athens) and not to brag,but I think you’ll love Greece. I agree with your FI though, people on cruises usually don’t get enough time to explore and end up missing a lot. The islands I suggest are Santorini, Crete and the Ionian islands, such as Kefallonia or Corfu, which are more green and exotic. Santorini is very unique because of the volcano, but sometimes it can feel like you are on the moon, black sand and everything. Mykonos is more for party animals, so I’m not sure it’s appropriate for a honeymoon. The best time to visit the Greek islands is September, because in the summer it’s too busy,and in the spring it’ll be too cold to swim. 

 

This is from Santorini. Can you see the volcano steam?

Post # 11
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Pepper15:  I reccomend agents because lining up the ferry schedules with our hotel bookings was frustrating. If you do decide to do it on your own i would first look at the ferry schedules. Certain islands are only visited by ferries on certain days. (a ferry going from Rhodes to Symi only left on Wednesdays for instance), transportation to and from islands should be the first thing you book, then book your staying accomodations second. Just be mindful that the ferry schedules may even keep you from being able to see certain islands depending on how long you are planning to stay on each one. So if there end up being certain islands you absolutely MUST see you may even want to book your ferries first and then your plane tickets so you fly in on the right day of the week to line up with your departure from Athens.

 

We stayed in a tiny apartment in New Rhodes and we LOVED our host, Greg. He was just an incredible guy!! It is no upscale 5 star hotel, but it is extremely cheap and our aim was to spend as little as possible on our hotels because we weren’t going to stay in them much, sightseeing and whatnot! Greg was a super sweet guy and we really enjoyed getting to know him, he gave us great advice for our trip, including our visit to Symi, and Lindos. He even picked us up from the airport!

The only downside is it is a bit of a walk (20 min) to downtown Rhodes where the bus station is and Old Rhodes, but we actually liked the walk!

<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>https://airbnb.com/rooms/3266116?s=8</div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>On Symi we stayed at a hotel we booked online (as previously mentioned, no AirBnB on Symi). The hotel was Captain George’s and it was lovely, clean, spacious, and very reasonably priced!</div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>Kos, our AirBnB host was less impressive, not that she was terrible, but it wasn’t memorable enough for me to even remember which AirBnB place hers was. Honestly I’d just skip Kos, it’s basically a way less impressive version of Rhodes. Although, Turkey is very easily accessible from Kos, you can still get there from Rhodes too. (You can see turkey from most of the Dodecanese islands).</div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>Our last place was in Lithos Santorini which is right next to Oia, a ten minute walk. Katerina was nice enough, we had to have our own transportation from the port, it was a 50€ cab ride, though. The cave home was amazing! It was just totally stunning. The photos don’t do it justice. It has a gorgeous rooftop patio with an ocean view. My FI proposed to me on the roof. 🙂 And there is a really good restaurant a short distance from it, best lamb shanks we’ve ever had and much cheaper than the crowded restaurants in Oia. It’s off the beaten path from the hustle and bustle of Oia in a very pleasant way, it’s much quieter at night. We loved this cave home so much.</div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>https://m.airbnb.com/listings/3944793</div&gt;
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”> </div>
<div style=”color: rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.701961); font-family: UICTFontTextStyleBody; font-size: 17px; -webkit-composition-fill-color: rgba(130, 98, 83, 0.0980392); text-decoration: -webkit-letterpress;”>We were in greece for 2 weeks. :)</div>

Post # 12
Member
9528 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Pepper15:  We booked everything ourselves for our trip to Greece. We mostly us tripadvisor.com and other tourist websites. Mostly very glad with our choices. Greece has a very well establishhed tourist culture (lots of hotels, lots of retaurants, lots of guides, etc) and tourism is a major economy, so it’s definitely possible to plan it yourselves. Public transit is good in Athens but you’ll need a car outside the city. Agents can make things easier and smoother, especially for people who don’t have much experience traveling. They don’t really get you anything different, or special, it’s just easier. But having a stress-free honeymoon, can be worth a pretty penny. However, driving around Greece was one of our favorite things, and it’s just not the same with a taxi. So there are pros and cons, it’s just a matter of preference, cost and value. You could always get some estimates from several travel agents and see if you like any of them or if you just want to do it yourself.

Post # 13
Member
866 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

FI and I took a trip to Santorini last year and it was the most romantic place we have ever been. We are seriously kicking ourselves for not saving it as a honeymoon destination because we seriously have no idea where we are going to go to top it!! You will love it. 

Post # 14
Member
1131 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

Sheesh!! I don’t know why my post ended up with all of the HTML scripts but hopefully you can sift through that and read my post! 🙁 I included links to the places we stayed.

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