Hi I am planning our September 2006 honeymoon to Athens- Santorini--Florence-Venice and trying to find the easiest, cheapest way to get from Santorini to Florence. I looked at those flights and they were very expensive and I would have to connect via Milan or Rome. What seems to make the most sense is a flight from Santorini to Rome for $172 (and take the train rome-florence), with an 11 hour daytime layover in Athens (starting around 8am, so we'd have the full day).
We are planning on spending the first night of our honeymoon in Piraeus, since our international flight gets in at 10:45 pm and we are leaving for Santorini by high-speed ferry in the morning (I'm assuming they'll have morning ferries/catamarans?). I was planning on staying at the Ideal hotel, has anyone been there? Is it okay? We don't need fancy,we'll just be sleeping- just quiet, comfortable and convenient to port. With that schedule, we would not have had a chance to see Athens yet. I thought we could see Athens on our way back from Santorini with an 11 hour layover, and we could use this layover day to go to town and see the acropolis, and then get on to Italy.
Question is- when you have an 11 hour layover, booked Santorini to Rome, can you check your luggage and have the airlines hold onto it or do you have to pick it up? If we have to pick up I need to figure out what to do with the luggage. I suppose we could rent a car and leave it locked in that (is that safe) but we'd rather not drive and take the metro instead. Will it be a problem, and if so, any ideas?