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Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

Princeton, NJ
Level Contributor
10 posts
2 reviews
Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

We are planning on honeymooning in Santorini in Aug 2008. I am a bit overwhlemed by the amount of choices of hotels. I was hoping to get some great advice and rec's from this site.

We would be flying from Newark, NJ on Aug 9. I was thinking of staying in Athens for a day or two to recover from the flight and then head to Santorini. Is this a smart idea, or should we do Athens at the end of our trip?

From a previous post, I found out that Algean flights from Athens to Santorni are very inexpensive (score!), but how long is the flight, and are the planes up to date? I'm so afraid of flying on old planes. (silly, I know, but I can't help it).

We would like to spend around 300-350 a night. By the looks of the tripadvisor hotels, it looks like it can be done, but I don't know where to start. Of course, I would like the hotel to have AC, a GREAT view and a pool.

As I was reading some reviews, there seems to be a lot of discussion on staying in Oia instead of Fira. Is there still a town-like atmosphere in Oia? And how would you get to Fira from Oia? Would you rec staying a few nights in Fira and then in Oia?

As you can tell I'm clueless on where to start.

One more question, I know that flights to Europe during the summer are expensive, as of right now flights from EWR to ATH are around 1300-1500 bucks for coach. Do you think this is the cheapest they are going to get?

If you have read this far, thank you thank you thank you!!!!

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Skopelos
Level Contributor
37,502 posts
39 reviews
1. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

Welcome and congrats:) .... Firstly, since you are travelling during Peak Summer Season, the fares will reflect in the cost..assume you're doing Continental out of EWR..You can also check Olympic out of JFK and Delta - although it's usually the highest - unless you're somehow hooked up with Delta Miles or Amex points! ... also assume you're flying direct..there are alternates via Europe (but do agree, direct, non-stop way to go considering the distance!)...Do not worry about Aegean..wonderful new airline with competitive rates, for sure..and flight time to any isle is no more than an hour..Santorini is approx 40-50 min:):) Now, with regards to Oia vs Fira..personally, we were there in May staying in Oia..we rented a car for a few days and have to admit, when visiting Fira it felt like it was in peak Summer..Fira is the hub as well as getting all the cruise passengers!! Definetely the place for nightlife choices, etc...Oia on the otherhand is more a 'magical' village..small, quaint, and with definetely choices of cafe/bars, tavernas, upscale restaurants, shops, boutiques..it's got it all..but small and manageable with exquisite views and that 'romantic' touch that IMO is pretty unique here:) You don't mention HOW long you'll be staying as it is easier to just stay in one place and visit the various beaches/villages by the great bus network that's available..or rent a car for a few days..this is not a large isle and in a couple of days with a car you'll get to see pretty much all there is! Some prefer to fly out directly open arrival..may as well get it over with right? lol! You've been on a transatlantic for practically 9 hours...usually arriving early..what's an additional few hour wait + 40 min flight to get you there..and finally relax...saving Athens for the finale!! I've done it both ways and personally prefer to head straight out...that first day you're usually pretty 'lagged' and Athens needs some 'alertness' as there is much to see and do here..It can end up being a wasted day especially if you take that 'nap'..again, depends on how you travel!! It is a distance as well as having to contend with the time difference!! Better done on Santorini:):) Happy Planning and Enjoy!

Camarillo...
Destination Expert
for Santorini
Level Contributor
24,051 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

If your incoming flight from NJ allows for it, catch a flight out the same day to Santorini, saving Athens until the end. That way you won't be backtracking just to catch your homeward-bound flight and you'll have a little extra time to get back to Athens for that flight just in case there's a delay out on the island.

Aegean's planes are well-maintained modern commuter jets so no worries about that, and the flight is only 40 minutes.

Almost all the hotels now have A/C. Finding one with a pool is a good idea for August since it'll be

so hot. "We would like to spend around 300-350 night." Would that be USD or Euro? Once we know we can make appropriate recommendations.

Oia is not a "town" per se, but a small traditional village with excellent restaurants, shops, galleries and hotels, mostly in a pedestrian-only setting. The nightlife is mellow there, so if you want lively bars, discos and clubs then staying in or close to Fira is best for your need. I DO NOT recommend splitting your time between villages if you only have a few days. Taxis, buses and rental vehicles are available to take you between villages.

http://www.ktel-santorini.gr/

$1300-1500 sounds like too much money from the east coast to Athens. I understand there was a recent fare hike due to increased fuel prices, so perhaps that's as cheap as it's going to get, there's really no way of knowing. You might look into flights from other airports. I know Delta has direct flights to Athens and so does Olympic, although it's possible Olympic will be out of business by next summer. Another possible route alternative would be for you to fly to Rome for the connecting flight to Athens. Aegean Airlines has cheap internet fares between Rome and and Athens.

http://www.aegean-air.gr/aegeanen/home/

UK
Level Contributor
49,560 posts
91 reviews
3. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

re hotels, your choice may be less than you think, some of the most popular ones are fully booked already, judging by reports here, so dont spend too long deciding :-)

Most people say its a good idea to get to Santorini asap and spend your time in Athens at the end, so that you have a buffer should there be delays due to weather (thats more applicable to ferries than air travel but even so seems like a good idea to me as well)

Aegean air is well respected, so I wouldn't have any worries there.

Its pointless splitting your time between Oia and Fira, they are only 20-25 minutes apart by car/bus and have similar views over the caldera, Oia has the 'honeymoon/romance' feel *much* more than Fira.

Oia has more low-key nightlife, (mellow relaxing bars) so if you want a real "nightlife scene" then split your time and head down to the coast to Kamari or Perissa, there are more bars and clubs than you could visit in a couple of weeks at Kamari.

Princeton, NJ
Level Contributor
10 posts
2 reviews
4. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

Thanks for the advice so far! I did leave out some important information!

We planning on staying in Greece until Aug 20. So that's 11-12 days. I guess I should of asked if we should split time between Santornini and another island that's near by.

And 300-350 USD not Euros.

After reading your advice, I agree that Oia is the place to stay. Hopefully, I'll be able to find a hotel at this time of year

Camarillo...
Destination Expert
for Santorini
Level Contributor
24,051 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

11-12 days is plenty of time to visit 2 islands. On my last 2 trips to Santorini I visited Paros and Antiparos, but many people prefer Naxos. Both are close to Santorini and in August there is lots of convenient daily ferry access between all these islands.

$350 = 237 euro. That gives you several options in Oia with a pool.

Check Nostos Apartments, Strogili Houses, Kima Villas, Aspa Villas, Caldera Villas, Volcano's Villas, La Perla Villas, Atrina and Nikos Villas.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Skopelos
Level Contributor
37,502 posts
39 reviews
6. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

OK:) So 8/9-20 translates to 10 nights..(you loose that day going over!)..Would try to connect directly to Santorini ... also would plan on at least 3 nights in Athens at the end..There is ALLOT to see here so depending on your interests, you may want to add more especially if you're into Museums as 2 full days will barely cover it! Again, what are you into? Since it's a honeymoon would think you'd want some 'relax' time so IMO, I'd shoot for 6-7 days just in Santorini and the last 3-4 in Athens..call me crazy but it will be it the peak 'shuffle' and HOT.. if you are intent on another isle, consider a neighborhing one with good beaches like Naxos or Paros for at least 3 nights (making Santorini a 4 night stay)..You can of course play with the dates to accommodate your interests but travel days between the isles can consume time.. so in essence, those 3 nights actually equate to 2 full days..then off again..get my drift! If you want to just go and mellow out and get a good 'feel' of the place, getting to know it's local color and ambiance, nothing like unpacking ONCE and staying put..after all, a week goes by pretty fast:) Enjoy!

Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
20 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

We will be on our honeymoon July 28th-August 7th year and live near Pittsbugh. We booked our flights a few days ago and the cheapest tickets we could get were $3600 (for both of us)!! That includes the Santorini flight but I was still shocked! I spoke with my travel agent and she could not offer anything cheaper. We fly into Athens and stay there for the first few days then catch a 12:25pm flight to Santorini. Good luck with your flight search and congratulations!!

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
207 posts
9 reviews
8. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

Hi,

My husband and I did our honeymoon in Athens/Santorini/Naxos in May/June 2006. We first stayed 2 nights in Athens - plenty of time to see the Acropolis and all around town. We flew to Santorini and stayed in the Volcano Views Villas. They were a 5 minute cab ride into Fira. They were beautiful, but we had a horrible room. We actually upgraded to the Villa side (rather than the hotel side) and had our own pool and everything. It was very nice. We took a cab into Oia for the day -- grab a table at a restaurant about a half our before sunset. That way you can sit and watch away from the crowded streets. A day trip is enough if you are staying in Fira. We then took a boat to Naxos. This is a beautiful island and MUCH less expensive. We spent two days there and rented and ATV for one of them. We drove to the middle of the island and had a little picnic on the side of the road. I would highly recommend it. We then went back to Athens via boat and stayed one night cause our flight was out of there. I wouldn't go back to Athens again, but it is worth seeing the great sights. You'll have a great trip I am sure!! Feel free to email with any other questions.

9. Re: Help for Santorini Honeymoon!

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