Like every year June 2018 was again a holiday month for us. Firstly because it is vacation time for my daughter and secondly because It is my birthday month. This year we decided to visit Greece. Obviously the first thing which comes in our head is white and blue but Greece is much more than that. After lots of research and conditions, that we have a 5 year old with us we agreed upon visiting 3 places – Athens , Crete & Santorini. We skipped Mykonos as got lot of reviews that it’s quite a party place and with a 5 year old around late nights are obviously tough ( though our daughter is quite ready & happy attending late night parties 😉 ).
Crete is not a very popular destination with Indians, I don’t know why. But we picked it basis lots of good reviews on tripadvisor. As June, July is peak season we have booked all our flights and hotels and travel well in advance. Even the taxis were booked online in advance and trust me with a kid around it works the best. Also for getting a good deal on hotels at least 2 months advance booking is recommended. Santorini is not at all a cheap place so doing it even 3 months in advance will not harm you. (Many hotels were sold out when we were booking 2 months in advance).
Flights, ferries & Intercity Travel
Our itinerary was
1 Night is Athens
4 Nights in Crete
3 Nights in Santorini
- We chose Etihad airways to reach Athens via Abu Dhabi as the transit time was very less and Etihad is famous for its luxury which helps our 5 year old tiny bum. Though, to cut on your expenses you can choose flights like Aeroflot which can decrease your cost of travel & gives more scope to spend the Euros there 🙂
- From Athens to Crete it’s 50 minutes flight, we took Olympic air (Aegean) which is a low cost carrier but is quite famous there. You have to buy check in luggage separately like in case of almost all low cost airlines.
- From Crete to Santorini though you can fly but we chose to take a 4 hr ferry which was the best decision. There are fast ferries also but we wanted to enjoy those 4 hours taking the feel of a cruise and It worked well.
- From Santorini to Athens It was again by air – Ryannair – again a low cost airline but as It was our “Holiday over flight” we took priority checkin’s and advantages to feel good 😉
- From airport to our hotel we have booked taxis all online beforehand only but you can choose bus service also which is also quite comfortable & reasonable.
Athens we just spent a day and visited Acropolis and nearby areas and did lots of shopping. Sun was out till 9:00 pm so we had almost full day to enjoy Athens and as we do not enjoy much of monumental beauties It was enough for us. But history lovers need 2 more days to cover It all.
Crete was surprisingly the highlight of our trip. We loved every bit of it. Our resort was truly the most awesome one – Bella Beach hotel, Heraklion. We were their first Indian guests and they left no stone unturned to please us. We enjoyed the beach life there to the fullest. There are many day trips that can be taken to nearby islands and places as Crete in itself is like a country.
Santorini, as expected amazed us as soon as we stepped out of our cruise ship. The water, the caldera , the walls everything was mesmerizing. We reached our cute tiny hotel and just could not stop staring the views. We were staying in Fira which is the most popular town in Santorini. We visited Black beach, Red beach, Winery, Akrotiri , highest point , Oia , traditional villages but what attracted us the most were the blue doors and tiny lanes and churches. We spent hours looking at the Caldera just sipping some local wine & food. There is something really amazing about this place.
Everyone was trying to capture the beauty through their lens but Alas ! justice not done. You have to visit it to see how mesmerizing It is.
You can hire car, ATV ,bikes and scooters here. Most commonly used are ATVs because of the tiny gullies and roads.
I actually had the hangover of this holiday for many days post coming back. Everyday I used to think about it. This was the first time I felt so much about a place. Greece truly is a dream.
- Local food and drink binging – Souvlaki & Gyro are must along with lots of Gelatos.
- Caldera View evenings with some real good food
Must Carry – Lots of Euros 😉 & sunscreen
I have tried pointing out whatever maximum I could to help you guys plan your next trip but for any other detail you can comment and I will try my best to solve.
Cheers to Greece and to travel !!!