Post # 1
After a few weeks of research and back-and-forth with a couple of travel companies, Fiance and are just about ready to book our honeymoon to Santorini and Mykonos, Greece.
But suddenly I’m wondering if I should look into a different approach to Greece. We had been thinking that we wanted to stay in super-luxurious resorts, but now I’m wondering if we would be just as happy doing our own thing at more quirky and quaint places.
It doesn’t help that the trip we’re about to book costs $10K (not including flights and money we’ll spend on food, drinks, and activities while we’re there).
I’d love to hear from bees who have either gone to Greece on their honeymoon, or who are planning a honeymoon there – just to make sure I’m not overlooking any cheaper-yet-still-super-fun options.
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2012 - Pelican Grand Beach Resort
I’ve been to Santorini. We stayed in family-owned hotels the entire time. It was great, but I wasn’t there on a honeymoon. It’s the most beautiful place in the world. I’ve also been to Mykonos, but we didn’t stay overnight.
Post # 4
What about renting cute houses/apartments while you are there? We’ve done a TON of travel internationally, and we find that to be the best way to really immerse ourselves. You have a lot more space than at a hotel/resort, it’s usually way cheaper, and there’s a ton of local character. I’m definitely an advocate of independent, offbeat travel over resorts any day!!
A few websites to check out:
A lot of places in Europe also have city-specific sites. I know of oh-london and oh-barcelona (a couple travel blogger friends have used them. Might be worth looking up for Greece. I’m sure there are more – i’ve used the top two listed personally with fabulous results. We actually use airbnb.com in the states instead of staying at hotels now – when you can get a 2-bedroom apartment for less than one hotel room, what’s not to love?
Post # 5
We are also doing Greece for our honeymoon. We are doing a week in Crete and a week in Paros. We are also hoping to hit up Athens and Istanbul, Turkey while we are there.
We actually are REALLY lucky because FI’s parents have a timeshare through RCI and they have properties all over the world. We are staying at really nice places for like $500 total for both weeks. I will warn you though that our airfare was a little over $3,000. That doesn’t count the small charter flights that we will have to take to get from Athens to the islands, Crete to Paros, Paros to Turkey, and then Turkey back to Athens. However, I think those flights are all relatively inexpensive. Ferries are also an option to get from island to island.
I’ve heard amazing things about Santorini and Mykanos. Maybe if you look into some of the less touristy islands it might be a bit cheaper though?
Post # 6
We did Italy, not Greece, but if they are at all similar, the fancy nice hotesl were just that…fancy hotels. You would have no idea you were in this incredible place, just that you were in a resort. We stayed in one awesome little mom and pop hotel and it was THE BEST. Local food, incredible hosts, and it was very much Italian. I would think in Greece would be similar.
Post # 7
I think Santorini and Mykonos are some of the world’s most beautiful islands. I would love to go, but I can’t afford it. Just a thought-Greece is experiencing some really bad economic and political issues at the moment. There is a strike almost daily. It’s unpredictable right now, airlines strikes, taxi drivers strike, bus drivers, etc. Most of this is occurring in Athens right now, but you most likely have to land there before you go to one of the islands. I wouldn’t advise going right now.
Post # 8
@mrsSonthebeach: Would you happen to remember the names of the hotels you stayed at? I’d love to check them out!
Post # 9
@crayfish: I LOVE airbnb! I hadn’t considered using them for our honeymoon, but I may as well take a peek!
Post # 10
We’re going to Greece for our honeymoon too! At first I started researching small B&Bs and rentals, hoping to get a more authentic Greek experience. But I realized I was devoting a lot of time to planning the honemoon and it was becoming a major headache on top of all the wedding planning. Plus, with the current political climate in Greece, I was worried about what would happen to our plans if we ended up stuck on an island because of a stricke or couldn’t make our ferry.
In the end, I decided to just keep it simple and book through a travel agency, which unfortunately meant big resort-y hotels. But I’m glad that we don’t have to worry as much about travel arrangements and finding our own way during a vacation when I’m sure we’re just going to want to relax. And I figure we can always leave those hotels and go exploring!
(PS: when I was looking into some smaller vacation spots, I found this AirBNB rental on Mykonos and thought it looked AMAZING! http://www.airbnb.com/rooms/216115 )
Post # 11
You can absolutely do your own thing in Santorini. And it’s really one of the most beautiful places in the world, not to be missed. If you want to do Santorini but want to make it less traditional honeymoon-y I would recomend staying in Fira instead of Ois. But definitely make it to Ois one night to watch the sun set!
Btw, I stayed at both Asteras Villas in Fira and Sunset Hotel in Firostefani (between Fira and Ois). Loved both, though Asteras had better appointed rooms and was in a more central location.
Post # 12
@toshella: OH MAN. That place looks incredible! It’s almost enough to sway me from my honeymoon plans entirely! How adorable and windmill-y!
I totally hear you about the planning headache thing. Just choosing between the resorts that our travel agency offers has been enough trouble! Do you think the agency will have you covered if there are strikes, etc.?
Post # 13
If you are curious about strikes and stuff, check out the US Embassy’s page for Atherns, they update it daily about strikes and shut downs.
And no travel agency will cove ryou if a strike happens, but you should get insurance, IF it covers that. The local workers, busses and transportation are striking very often right now.
Post # 14
we’re going to greece in june, staying in mykonos, santorini and athens. this will probably be our last major vacation before kids, so opted to go pretty extravagant with accomodations. but from our research, there are a range of places you can definitely look into. check out reviews/info on trip advisor – i always find that site pretty helpful. you might also want to consider jetsetter. we were able to get a pretty nice discount at the andronis luxury suites in santorini.
Post # 15
10k? Seriously, just get a flight to London and walk into an estate agents here and get an all inclusive deal from the UK. You’ll halve the cost. For 10k you should be going for a month and living like a celebrity. Greece is not an expensive place to travel to.
Honestly, please PM me if you think you’d like help with it 🙂
Post # 16
We hopped around Europe for our honeymoon and our last stop was Greece. We stayed in Santorini for 4 days at a beautiful hotel that was super cheap (compared to the prices of similar hotels in the area that offered the same amenities). The name of the hotel was the Mero Vigla Studios and it is in Imerovigla. We got the room with the Caldera view and it had two separate private balconies off of our room – one was a sun deck and the other one had a little table and chairs that looked over the caldera. Also, this hotel is at the highest point of Imerovigla and our room was the highest up for the hotel so there were gorgeous views and lots of privacy. Here is a link to a trip advisor review of the hotel:
As far as activities go, we went on an excellent wine tour. You get picked up at your hotel by the tour guide and they take you around Santorini to 3 different wineries. You get to learn a lot about how the grapes are grown in Santorini and how the wine is made – which is a little different from how it is done in most other parts of the world. We found them through trip advisor – they were rated as the #1 thing to do in Santorini. Here is a link to the website for the wine tour:
Another cool thing that we did is we booked a boat trip to a volcano in the middle of the caldera. You get to tour the volcano with a guide and see 3 different craters on the volcano. Afterwards, they took us to the side of the volcano to swim in the hot springs. We booked this trip when we were already there – there are several different boat companies in the same area that have variations of this same trip. You will be leaving from the old port of Fira to get on the boats and to get up or down to the port (because it is at the bottom of a cliff) you can either ride a donkey or take a cable car.
The third thing we did was rent a car for one day and went to Perissa Beach – which is a black sand beach.
Greece was absolutely beautiful – you are going to love every minute of this vacation!