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How Long Do We Want to Stay?

My advice is to stay as long as you can. To get to Greece is expensive and the flights are long so it's probably in your best interest to stay as long as you can. I would say the minimum amount of time I would consider staying there is 1 week and the maximum- as long as you can! Keep in mind that when you travel to Greece you generally arrive there the following day, but when you return you arrive on the same day that you left.

The amount of time you stay will also depend on what you want to do while there. Do you want to spend time in Athens? See a few places or just spend all your time in one place? If you travel between places in Greece will you travel by ferry, plane, public transportation or taxis?

As a general rule, if you want to visit a few places, I would stay a minimum of 2-3 days in each place you want to visit. You can stay less, but then your holiday becomes a marathon site seeing sprint, instead of a relaxing vacation. Checking in and out of hotels, getting to and from hotels, airports, bus stations, ferry docks etc.... can take up almost a full day, so each day you travel is one less that you can't relax in one spot on.

Getting between many destinations is quick easy and efficient, while others there is no direct connection or it's not on a daily basis. When you start combining different destinations, the planning becomes much more difficult as you'll have to figure out transportation schedules and to get to various places from other places. The other thing to keep in mind is that there is always the possibility that a flight or ferry can be canceled, leaving you with a hotel reservation at a destination you can't get to and not having one where you are stuck. For this reason it might be a good idea to use a local Greek travel agent to help you out(remember that 10am in Greece is 3am on the East Coast of the US and midnight on the West Coast- not many agents will be up at that time and probably won't be able to help you if they are!). I normally recommend Fantasy Travel at www.FantasyTravelofGreece.com

There is also the question of Athens. I can't tell you how many times I've been asked "Is it worth visiting Athens" or "How much time should I spend there?". It's hard to answer that, but I personally enjoy spending time in Athens. It's an interesting city that is relatively safe and fun to explore. The historic sites are worth a visit, especially if you don't know when you'll get back.(We lived in Greece in the 1960's and 70's when you could walk inside the Parthenon. Now it's roped off and you can't get in. Who knows what limitations will be added in the future to keep you farther from the sites?).

One suggestion I do have is to stay in Athens at least one day at the end of the trip. If you are planning to fly, ferry or drive to Athens on your last day and then catch a flight back home you are taking a risk. A delay or cancellation could cause you to miss your flight and that has the potential of becoming a full-fledged disaster...If you miss a flight you are responsible for hotel, food and transportation and the airline who's flight you missed has no obligation to get you home(but they usually will help you). This can turn out to be expensive and very inconvenient. Ask my sister who spent 3 days in the Madrid Airport trying to catch another flight to Athens after she missed hers.

So....how long to stay in Greece?.... As long as you can.... You won't have trouble filling your time with things to do....on the other hand, no matter how long you stay, you'll probably leave saying..."I should have stayed longer!"

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