I didn’t realize how hard planning a trip to Greece would be, there are so many amazing places to see that I didn’t even realize. When I first thought of this spectacular country my mind went to the islands and Athens, but as I started planning I realized how many more great stops there were. I had about 10 full days in Greece to plan but quickly realized I could easily spend an extra 10 or event 20 days there. Ultimately I decided on four places. Athens, Meteora, Paros and Santorini.
The first problem I ran in to was airfare. It is not cheap to fly to Greece from the USA. I had saved up miles with my United Mileage card and had quite a few but not enough to get me to Greece. The first thing I did and you should always do is look in to all the airport options. Athens is obviously the first that comes to mind but there is also a major airport on the island of Crete and one in Thessaloniki. That didn’t drop the price to where I wanted it to be so I found another way around it. My miles were enough to get us to Paris and London but not to Greece. The great thing about Europe is once you’re there the plane tickets are cheap. We ended up flying in to London and spending a few days there then we bought a cheap ticket to Athens and then on our way home flew from Santorini to Paris and then used my miles to fly from Paris home. The airfare within Europe for one of us cost about a total of $500. Not only did we save a great deal of money by doing that we also got to spend time in the great cities of London and Paris.
Deciding on where to go proved to be challenging. Athens is an obvious one, you can’t go to Greece without going to Athens. Santorini was another place I knew I had to visit. You always see photos of Santorini and for me I had to see it in person. After that I wasn’t sure where I wanted to spend my time. Of coarse all the islands seemed wonderful. I decided though that since I was going to Santorini I wanted to go to an island that wasn’t as touristy and busy. With a lot of research I decided on Paros. I ultimately chose Paros because it seemed to be less developed but still very easy to get to by ferry. Finally, I kept going back and forth on Meteora. I couldn’t tell if it would be worth the several hour train ride from Athens. Should I go there or Olympia, Delphi or another island. In the end the photos of the monasteries pulled me in and I knew I needed to see Meteora.
Looking back I am happy with my decisions. Meteora took my breath away and I longed to stay in Paros for a few more days. Athens did not disappoint and Santorini is as beautiful as they say. If I could change anything I would only stay one day on Santorini and spend more time on Paros. There are plenty more places I would love to go back and see, but for the time I had in Greece I think it worked out.
Have you been to Greece? What was your favorite location?