In October 2020, even in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, we had our first trip to Greece and here are some of the details about our planning and first things to think before heading to this beautiful country.
Although we had plenty of time during the year to plan, we were only sure we would actually go, the week before we boarded.
After our tour through Germany, Switzerland and Lichtenstein in the summer, we were apprehensive if we would really travel again.
Of course, because the pandemic leaves uncertainties in everything these days and it could not be different with an international trip.
Our original flights were purchased in November 2019, but were canceled during the summer of 2020.
Fortunately, it was possible to reschedule a different route and despite the uncertainties, we decided to keep it and visit Greece for the first time.
Part of our itinerary had to change at the last minute as well, as we encountered other cancellations for the travel between the mainland and the Greek islands.
OUR ITINERARY IN GREECE
The original idea was to visit 3 places in Greece, in the two weeks of the girls’ fall break at school. It is two week break called Herbstferien here in Germany.
See here How to choose your next travel destination post.
ATHENS – MYKONOS – SANTORINI
But due to the unforeseen events and having booked some last minute things, since we were not sure that the trip would actually happen, our itinerary unfortunately had to change the week before boarding.
ATHENS – MYKONOS – PELOPONNESE PENINSULA
And that’s how our itinerary ended up: 3 nights in Athens, 6 nights in Mykonos and 5 nights on a beach in the Peloponnese Peninsula and 1 night back to the Athens region (airport).
Here’s what happened: we had to cancel that part of the trip altogether because the ferry no longer had a place for our rental car.
Gladly, we weren’t able to change the car reservation anymore, but we managed to cancel the hotel there.
Everything was okay, no money wasted, but it was really unfortunate, as I am sure Santorini is an incredible destination.
HOW TO GET TO AND AROUND GREECE
We flew directly from Frankfurt > Athens, in a crowded, but rather quiet flight of about 2.5 hours. We wore a mask at all times and got a wet tissue for cleaning when we boarded.
In Athens, we took our rental car, which we kept for the whole duration of the trip. We decided to pick it up and return it in the same place, which makes the rental a little cheaper. This time we used the Enterprise to rent the car in Greece.
For the kids, we took one of their car seats and booster from home, which is more comfortable and economical. Personal car seats and not used by thousands of people are way more hygienic and has no cost to take on the plane with all airlines).
After our days in Athens, we took a ferry boat to the island of Mykonos. We chose this way because we could take the car and not have to go through the whole boarding process at the airport.
In addition, we fount it was more spacious and relaxing for families, than aircrafts.
The company we used on the way in was Sea Jets (took about 2h 50min with 1 stop in Syros) and on the way back, we sailed with Fast Ferries (slower, made the trip in 4h 40min and with 2 stops in Tinos and Andros).
We booked the tickets on Ferry Hopper website and everything went well. It is handy because it gathers the routes of several companies traveling through the Greek islands.
HOTELS IN GREECE
We use the site where we usually search for accommodations, Booking. We chose an apart-hotel in Athens and hotels in Mykonos and Kalamata.
I will talk more in detail on each specific post, but we approved our choices a lot (total credit to Diego, who did the research and selected the hotels).
ATTRACTIONS in GREECE
Again, on each specific post, I will talk about the tourist attractions that we visited, but due to Covid-19, we didn’t include everything, as a way to avoid agglomerations and protecting us from unnecessary risks.
I believe that taking into account the current situation, we were lucky to visit so many sites with way less crowds.
In general, the cities (mainly Athens) were with a very reduced amount of tourists for what would be normal (from what we heard from the locals).
However, there is also the fact that October is already the end of the season (early autumn) for Greece (specially on the islands) and usually there is less tourism.
Many restaurants and hotels in Mykonos were already closed or closing their doors in the coming days or weeks, only reopening in March/April of the following year.
So consider all that when booking your trip to Greece in October. For us, it was great to be there in October, we totally recommend.
Stay tuned for the next posts, where I will describe some of the things we saw and did, while in Greece!