Friday, September 5, 2014

THE GREEK ISLANDS AND ATHENS



For some years we wanted to go to the Greek Islands but in the end, for logistical issues we had decided for other destinations.



In addition to the Greek Islands, we wanted to visit Athens too. For all this we had about twelve days available. For Athens we needed two days, so with 10 days available we could visit up to three islands. We wanted to spend three nights on each island to stay at least two days in each island.Santorini, being very different from all others, was without any doubt one of them.





Sunset in Santorini
Sunset in Santorini


Rhodes was another island we wanted to visit but combinations of flights and ferries did not convince us.


Another option was Crete, where there are the beach of Balos, possibly the most beautiful beach in Greece, the palace of Knossos and some beautiful villages. In addition, there was a direct flight from Barcelona (although we landed in Crete at 3am) and good combination ferry to Santorini. For everything we chose Crete, where we decided to spend four nights: two in Chania to go to Balos and two in Heraklio to visit the Palace of Knossos.




Balos lagoon in Crete
Balos lagoon in Crete


Finally we needed a third island. We decided to go to Mykonos for visiting Delos Island, for seeing whether it was true what it is said about it concerning night life and its beaches and for the good combination of ferries.


Paradise beach in Mykonos
Paradise beach in Mykonos


Therefore for convenience of flights, ferries and take advantage of the early days of september to see the islands (it was September and the summer was almost over) the final route was: Crete - Santorini - Mykonos - Athens.

Maybe I would have preferred Rhodes - Crete - Santorini - Athens, but the logistics would have been more complex and less flexible concerning cancellations.

So this was our trip route from Crete to Athens:


Day 1 - Crete: Chania

  • Beach of Agios Apostoli
  • Venetian Port
  • Splantzia (Turquish Quarter)
  • Jewish Quarter


Day 2 - Crete




Day 3 - Crete: Rethymnon and Heraklion

  • Venetian Port in Rethymnon
  • Loggia, Rimondi fountain and streets of the old town of Rethymnon
  • Fortress of Rethymnon
  • Venetian Port of Heraklion


Day 4 - Crete




Day 5 - Santorini

  • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Heraklion to Santorini
  • Sunset in Oia


Day 6 - Santorini




Day 7 - Santorini



Day 8 - Mykonos

  • Hellenic Seaways ferry from Santorini to Mykonos
  • Mykonos Town
  • Windmills and Little Venice


Day 9 - Mykonos

  • Delos Island
  • Paraportiani Church in Mykonos Town
  • Beach of Agios Ioannis
  • Little Venice


Day 10 - Mykonos



Day 11 - Mykonos Town



Day 12 - Athens

  • Acropolis
  • Ancient Agora
  • Hadrian's Library
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Panathenaic Stadium
  • Monastiraki District

Day 13 - Athens


  • Roman Agora
  • Plaka District



Day 1 - Crete


Chania


Agios Apostoli beach near Chania in Crete
Agios Apostoli beach near Chania in Crete. The small white chapel in the top right of the image gives its name to this beach


Venetian Port of Chania in Crete
Lighthouse and Mosque beside the Venetian Port of Chania in Crete


Day 2 Crete


Gramvoussa


Beach from Gramvoussa castle in Crete
Wonderful beach from the Venetian fortress of Gramvoussa near Balos Lagoon


Balos Lagoon


Beach of Balos in the Greek Islands
The beach of Balos is probably the most beautiful beach not only in Crete but also in the Greek Islands


Gramvoussa from Balos Lagoon in Crete
Gramvoussa from Balos Lagoon


Day 3 - Crete


Rethymnon

Venetian Port of Rethymnon in Crete
Venetian Port of Rethymnon in Crete


Heraklio


Koules fortress in Heraklio
Koules fortress in Crete, the largest island of Greece



Day 4 - Crete


Palace of Knossos


Palace of Knossos in Crete
Palace of Knossos near Heraklio in Crete


Agios Nikolaos


Agios Nikolaos in Crete
Agios Nikolaos in Crete




Day 5 - Santorini


Oia



Fira and Firostefani from Oia in Santorini
Fira and Firostefani from Oia in Santorini


Sunset from Oia in Santorini
Sunset from Oia in Santorini



Day 6 - Santorini


Nea Kameni


Volcano crater in Santorini
Walking to the volcano crater in Nea Kameni with Santorini on the horizon



Perissa Beach



Perissa Beach in Santorini
Perissa Beach in Santorini

Day 7 - Santorini


Red Beach


Red beach in Santorini
Red beach in Santorini



White Beach



White beach in Santorini
White beach in Santorini


Fira


Fira in Santorini
Fira in the evening


Sunset from Fira in Santorini
Sunset from Fira in Santorini



Day 8 - Mykonos


Mykonos Town



Mykonos in the Greek Islands
Boats and white houses in Mykonos town


Little Venice in Mykonos
Restaurant in Little Venice, one of the most popular places in Mykonos



Day 9 - Mykonos and Delos Island


Delos Island




Terrace of the Lions in Delos Island
Terrace of the Lions in Delos Island


Beach of Agios Ioannis



Delos Island from Mykonos
Delos Island from Agios Ioannis beach in Mykonos



Day 10- Mykonos


Platys Gialos Beach




Platys Gialos beach in Mykonos
Platys Gialos beach in Mykonos

Paradise Beach



Paradise beach in Mykonos
Paradise beach in Mykonos



Superparadise Beach



Superparadise beach in Mykonos
Superparadise beach is the one I liked the most in Mykonos



Day 11 - Mykonos


Mykonos Town


Mykonos town in Greek Islands
Street in Mykonos Town


Day 12 - Athens


Acropolis



Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens
Parthenon in the Acropolis of Athens



Monastiraki



Monastiraki Square in Athens
Monastiraki Square in Athens



Day 13 - Athens


Plaka District



Plaka district in Athens
Plaka district in Athens





In summer it is completely feasible to perform this route with public transport, as we did, basically with ferry and bus. The main destinations have daily combinations, often several times a day. In our case, almost all the ferries and buses were comfortable and punctual.

We bought the tickets of the ferries by Internet before our departure to The Greek Islands and picked up them in Heraklio.

These are the means of transport we use during our route through The Greek Islands and Athens:


  • Heraklio - Santorini: Hellenic Seaways Ferry (2h 55€)
  • Santorini - Mykonos: Hellenic Seaways Ferry (2h30 55€)
  • Mykonos - Athens (Piraeus): BlueStar Ferry (5h 34€)

and these are our accomodations during this trip:


  • Chania (Crete): Arkadi Hotel
  • Heraklio (Crete): Irini Hotel
  • Santorini: Afrodete Hotel
  • Mykonos: Andriani's Guest House
  • Athens: The Stanley Hotel

We found the information we needed to plan our route in the following websites:


- What to visit in Greek Islands, advices etc:

  • www.greeka.com
  • www.memarchoasantorini.com
  • www.memarchoamykonos.com
  • www.memarchoacreta.com


- Accomodation



- Ferries and buses

  • Hellenic Seaways: www.hellenicseaways.gr
  • BlueStar Ferries: www.bluestarferries.com
  • Bus in Santorini: ktel-Santorini.gr
  • Bus in Mykonos: mykonosbus.com
  • Bus in Crete: bus-service-crete.com

Other countries and cities I have already visited are:



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