This week's Smart Deal comes from European Destinations (tel. 877/267-2247; www.europeandestinations.com), which sends you to Athens and two Greek Islands for a starting price of $1,469. The six-night package includes round-trip flights and two nights each in Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos.
The advertised price is for a late April departure -- before the summer tourists descend on Athens and the Greek islands. This means you won't have as much competition for the best spot at a sidewalk café or on one of its many beaches.
European Destinations offers something many providers don't: a price history of up to two weeks for each itinerary. This tool gives you a sense of what kinds of price fluctuations you can expect. For example, a departure from Atlanta, Georgia, for six nights, started from $1,209 for March 30, whereas an Athens, Georgia, departure in mid-June started from more than double that cost: $3,333.
The default option for hotels, according to company representative George Cernat, is typically budget-friendly accommodations. For Athens, you'll stay at the waterfront Coral Hotel, a four-star property (breakfast not included). Once you arrive at the islands, Anemos Apartments (breakfast not included) will be your home for two nights on Mykonos, and you'll stay at Makis Hotel in Santorini (with breakfast) for another two.
How much will you save? Using Kayak.com for a quick fare search, we found a flight on Turkish Airlines that starts $762 for an economy-class with one stop, from New York-JFK, for an April 28 departure. (A nonstop flight started at $1,079). Other New York-based departures, such as Newark, started at $1,072. Compare these airfare prices to European Destinations' $1,469 package, which includes round-trip flights and takes care of your transportation to and from the islands. The package deal also includes six nights' hotel with taxes (for example, rates at Athens-based Coral Hotel start at €90, or around $125 per night for two people).
Trip Type: Air-inclusive; independent
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Round-trip airfare from New York City to Athens, a flight to Santorini, a ferry and hydrofoil between the islands, six nights' hotel (two each in Athens, Mykonos and Santorini), breakfast daily (if stated in the hotel information), fuel surcharges, and hotel and air taxes.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Any meals not included in your selected package
Book By: As soon as possible to ensure best prices and availability
When: Friday, April 28, 2011
Other Details: You can customize the package to spend more time in one island versus another, and you can also upgrade to different hotels if desired. There are dozens of hotels to choose from in the company's database, so you can upgrade to fancier digs if you like.
All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways and any single supplements, which is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers on our Greece Travel Forum.