Tips on Greece: 2006
If you have any tips on Greek hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, fun activities or creative angles on enjoying the art and culture (especially in Athens and the Peloponnesian Peninsula), we'd love your help. Thanks! Rick
My husband and I went on our honeymoon to Greece in September. We had a wonderful time and would recommend Greece to anyone intersted in European travel.
In Athens we stayed at the Hotel Astor. Not the greatest hotel I'd ever stayed in, but the location was fantastic - just minutes from Syntagma Square and Metro stop - and minutes from the Plaka. The view of the Acropolis from the rooftop restaurant was magnificent.
and for the islands:
In Paros, we stayed in Pairika, at the Pandrossos; in Mykonons, we stayed at Petassos Beah; and in Santorini, Danas Villas. They were all wonderful, and if anyone is intersted in hearing more about the hotels or the islands, please feel free to e-mail me.
Milwaukee, WI USA Sun 11/19/2006
Athens site seeing tip
We enjoyed a brief 8 hour visit to Athens with the help of Spiros at www.athenstaxi.net. Spiros is an independent taxi driver in Athens. We used him in August 2006 and found him to be a wonderful host on our brief visit to Athens. He met us at the pier in Pireaus. He was gracious and helpful. He was prepared and efficiently and conveniently delivered us to each of the sites. He had been recommended by a friend who had used his services in July 2006. We highly recommend him and would consider him reputable. http://www.athenstaxi.net/.
An amusing side note. When he learned that we were from Seattle he turned around and told us that the Super Bowl - Seahawks vs Steelers - was poorly officiated.
Seattle, WA USA Sat 11/18/2006
The easiest ways to travel around Athens are walking or taking the underground (also if you do take a taxi don't listen to taxi drivers trying to make you deals on hotels). I stayed in a hostel(Hostel Zeus) that was near a marketplace & a metro station. The marketplace provided wonderful fresh fruits, nuts, olives and many other things. I also walked to the Acropolis from the hostel several times. When needing quick, good food you can almost always find an Everest on a street corner. Everest's lists food items in English so you definitely know what you are getting. If you are a student, be sure to show your student ID at the National Archaeological Museum.
Ohio USA Sat 11/04/2006
Cyclades , Ios
We recently returned from our 8th trip to Greece. We have decided our favourite island has to be Ios in the Cyclades, at least in September. Don't let the guide books put you off visiting this island. All they talk about is the partying crowd that stays up all night. We didn't see any of this in September. And Mylopotas Beach is the BEST beach I have visited in Greece. The temperature is about 85 degrees in September. There are no crowds and the people have time to get to know you. The owner of the mini market on the beach even asked if we were not there last year. He actually remembered us. The same with the owner at the Nest Restaurant in the town. We love staying at Manthos Place overlooking the beach (firstname.lastname@example.org tel.22860-91605). It is just steps from the Markos Beach Hotel bus stop and has the most amazing view of Mylopotas Beach with only a short walk down the path to the beach. The rooms all have balconies and fridges, and in September you can really bargain. We stayed three weeks for 25 Euros a night for three beds. The owner, Anna, even brought us pastries she had made a couple of mornings. Have you ever heard of watermellon cake? We bought a coffee gaz (little gas burner) and made our own breakfast on the balcony every morning. The bakery on the beach has fresh bread and pastries every morning. We boiled eggs on our coffee gaz (Anna loaned us a small pot) and I even took a small filter coffee maker. I have found breakfasts in Greece to be outrageously expensive.
The bus travels every fifteen minutes from the port to the town to the beach and costs just 1.10 Euros. If you get bored with sunbathing just hop on the bus for 5 minutes and go shopping in the town.
Another bus goes to Manganarie Beach at 11:00 am and returns around 5:00 for 6 Euros round trip. This is another beautiful beach but I wouldn't stay there because there is only a couple of restaurants and no mini market or bakery. Koumbara beach is okay and you can take a bus there for just 1.10 Euros. There is a good restaurant there as well. When the bus forgot to come back at 5:00 the restaurant owner drove us back to the port himself.
There is not an awful lot of sightseeing to be done on Ios but if you just want to spend some time relaxing on a beautiful Greek beach, this is the place to do it. And it is very convenient. Lots of ferry connections. In fact we stayed there and just took a day trip to Santorini (where the prices are unbelievably high). Another nice day trip is to Folegandros.
I also love waking up to the ringing of goat bells in the hills behind us.
I like to visit Athens on my way home from the islands. You really only need two days there. And don't forget to watch the weather when it's getting time to leave the islands. If it's too windy the fast boats won't go and you don't want to be stranded and miss your flight out of Athens.
Mallorytown, Ontari Canada Sat 10/28/2006
The reason that some people may not enjoy the Greek people is because the Greeks are authentic. They are the same to your face as they are inside. Americans are used to people having a superficial happy face that they project to the world while their true feelings are kept hidden inside--two faced behavior. Some people can't deal with people being real, without the mask. Don't take it personally and overeact, and assume they are being rude. They are not, their culture is just different. We are the country of fast food relationships--it looks good and seems ok, but no nutritional content.
Other cultures take time a build friendship and connection more slowly, but more genuine, and fulfilling. The real deal, and that is what you while find in Greece. Their social fabric is strong and their personal relationships enduring. Real ingredients, nothing artificial.
If you take the time yourself to reach into the heart of a Greek person with a smile or genuine friendship, it comes right back and you are in with some of the nicest, warmest people found anywhere. You can make lasting friends here, like I have. When you make a Greek friend, he's your true friend for life.
Another thing--some people are positive and see good in others, while others see bad behavior that is really reflective of their own inner negative life. Time to look in the mirror! Those who have found goodness in Greece probably tend live their life on the sunny side of the street, and those who find rudeness and ill behavior may tend toward the cloudy side. The world we travel in and experience is largely created by our own behavior and inner world.
Boise, Idaho USA Tue 10/10/2006
Hospitality/Attitudes in Greece
I've been to Greece four times in recent years and they are friendly and helpful. I've also heard the same thing about Paris, New York City and can report that people have been helpful there as well. The bottom line is don't let one or two grouches dissuade you from meeting people in any tourist setting. If you go with a positive attitude, you get positive in return.
New York, NY USA Fri 10/06/2006
My husband, sister, brother-in-law and I visited Greece this past May and, without a doubt, it was the best vacation I have had in a long time. This was my fourth trip to Greece but this time I did quite a bit of research prior to going and chose places to stay based on comments on the Graffiti Wall as well as the Frommer's Guide. We were not disappointed! First stop was Chania in Crete and stayed at the Amphora Hotel. It was absolutely charming and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The food at the restaurant downstairs was so good and our waiter, Stelios, was so entertaining that we ended up eating there for the three nights that we were there. The island is beautiful and renting a car is certainly worthwhile if you want to see it. We stayed there for 3 days and it wasn't enough time. Our next stop was Santorini where we stayed in Oia at the Chelidonia Traditional Villas. Authentic accommodation with a spectacular view. I will be back there again and have recommended this to many friends since our return. Only caution is that there are lots of stairs so the trek to and from the villas might be difficult for anyone with physical restrictions. While there, we visited the Canava Winery (one of the smaller wineries that has a lot of character). We had picked up some food for a picnic and we were able to bring it into the winery and eat it there with some fantastic wine. It was then back to the mainland. One place that stands out as one of the most beautiful towns was Nafplio. We stayed at the Omorphi Poli and, once again, we were thrilled with our accommodations and highly recommend it. We also went to Meteora and stayed at the Hotel Meteora. The price was certainly great (40 euros) and the accommodations were clean, however, we could feel every spring in the mattress making sleeping a little uncomfortable. We were only there one night so I didn't really mind too much and Meteora is a site that no one visiting Greece should miss.
Cobourg, ON Canada Mon 09/25/2006
After 7 weeks of travels throughout Europe we finally arrived in Athens to start our Greek Odyssey. Were do I start; Athens and the Greek people are fantastic. I highly recommend a couple of days for walking through the Plaka area soaking up the atmosphere, enjoying the great food and also walking over the Acropolis. We felt totally safe walking round the area day and night. I have no hesitations recommending the two hotels we stayed at in Athens. Both were highly accessible to the Plaka, Acropolis and the main shopping districts - (Cypria Hotel & Hera Hotel).
Newcastle, NSW Australia Wed 09/20/2006
In June we took a cab to the taxi stand at the foot of Lycabettus Hill, hoping to take the finicular up for the sunset and the spectacular panoramic view of Athens. Standing in line for our train tickets, I realized I'd left my backpack, filled with irreplaceable travel gear, in the taxi. Fortunately, I thought, the cabbie had given us his card so we might call him for the return trip to our hotel. Unfortunately, the nearest phone was way down the hill - the booth next door was gutted, the train office had no phone. We nearly started the long walk, hoping we could learn enough Greek to ask the right questions during the call, when we got some timely and very welcome assistance. Three men at the taxi stand, who arrange taxis for a cut, helped us. They asked a cabbie from the same company to radio the cabbie with the pack, and in minutes I had my pack back! Instead of days of regret I experienced just a few moments of absolute panic. The Greek with the most English had the last word: "You never lose anything in Athens."he told us. We choose to believe him and yearn to return.
Everett, WA USA Sun 09/10/2006
the greeks are the best
i have been to most of europe and the greeks have been the most kind and wonderful people i have met. i have gone 3 times and i have booked another trip this dec. and it is because of the greeks that i keep going back. every person i have ever talked to that has gone has said the same thing
los angeles, ca USA Fri 08/25/2006
After traveling to 25 European countries, I finally made it last September to Greece. Paradise! What really made it for me was the incredible friendliness and hospitality of the Greek people. Even though I find something to like everywhere I have gone, my personal friendliness and warmth rating is that the Greeks and Irish are at the top of my list! As a solo traveler it is important for me to connect with locals--crack through the barrier between peoples--and feel welcome. I felt so at home in Greece. For me a smile and a genuine friendliness worked well and built a bridge between me and the people of Greece. I am returning again this September for another journey of island hopping and making new friends and reconnecting with the ones I made last year.
Bellingham, WA USA Sun 08/20/2006
Know about these hotels?
My husband and I are heading to Greece in a few weeks for our belated honeymoon.
Does anyone know anything about the following hotels? Astor Hotel in Athens; Pandrossos in Parikia, Paros; Petassos Beach in Platys Yialos, Mykonos; and Dana Villas in Fira, Santorini?
Milwaukee, WI USA Sat 08/19/2006
We just finished a week in Greece and let me say I have never met a crabbier bunch of people in all my life. Athens and the isles are so beautiful but the experience was somewhat lessened in it's appeal by the irritable and surly behavior of the people we came in contact with. Seeing movies where Greeks were portrayed as such a happy and fun loving warm people did not prove to be the case for us. Every backpacker we met on the road after leaving the country and even some American Greeks when hearing we had been to Greece asked the same question, "Have you ever met such rude people?" Maybe they are only nice to their own people and not to the tourists who put food on their tables. They need to take a lesson from their American/Greek cousins on manners and people skills. In fact, they don't need to go even that far - they could just cross the border into Turkey. The attitude of it's people was a 180 degree difference. The turkish people were kind, accommodating, mannerly and welcoming. The exact opposites from their neighbors the Greeks. There is much of Greece I would still like to see but I will have to think twice about subjecting myself to the rudeness of Greece's people. The whole country needs to be on Zoloft!!
Maineville, Ohio USA Fri 08/18/2006
Don't miss METEORA - Incredible, peaceful almost mystical
By way of Gate 1 Travel 4-day tour around mainland Greece, saw and visited monasteries perched on blocks of rock as tall as buildings (400+ feet). There was one block that reminded me of El Capitan in Yosemite but 6 times wider.
Glendale, CA USA Thu 08/17/2006
Athens and Greece through my eyes
First of all I would state that I am a Traveler and not a tourist. I have traveled all over the world and have seen many wonderful things. I use the word traveler because I find something wonderful about every country I have visited. All places have good and bad. I love Paris, it's the glamour capital of Europe-are the people really rude? I beg to differ, Rome is wonderful, even though the city has much graffiti and grime, London another grand European city with its share of problems. As all cities have good and bad. These three cities are like well laid out museums and I enjoy them immensely.
Next comes Athens and Greece. Athens is one of the most fascinating and maddening capitals of Europe. In the city of Athens you can find pockets of incomparable charm, then walk around a corner and find a dreary repetition of modern facades. In Athens you have to "dig" a little and will be surprised at the "joie de vivre" that exists in this ancient city.
Athens is not laid out like a beautiful museum, however, it is home to the "grand promenade around the acropolis"-which is the longest pedestrian walkway in the world. This walkway connects the major antiquities along a route with neoclassical buildings, 1950 buildings, galleries, cafes etc. It's quite a magical walkway! You are able to view the monuments who set the mold for the neoclassical buildings used around the western world and these architectural masterpieces are still considered the most influential structures built. Additionally, to be able to see the first theater in the world, the first western cemetery (keramiekos), the Parthenon whose architectural perfection that has not been surpassed in 2,500 years (even with all the scaffolding it does not disappoint), the lysicrates monument aka as the first academy award, the kallimarmaros stadium which was restored for the first modern Olympics, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and various other antiquities scattered throughout the city. One cannot miss the ancient Agora (marketplace) and Roman Agora. The ancient Agora is where western philosophy and politics were born and where the "three Biggies" Socrates, Plato and Aristotle spent their time talking and rationalizing.
When visiting other European and western countries always look around you and think of what you saw in Athens/Greece-for this country influenced the art and architecture of the renaissance (the rebirth of Hellenistic Art), neoclassical buildings, the Doric, Ionic and Corinthian (still used over over 2,000 years), philosophy, sciences, gods and goddesses-when I was in Florence and saw the Birth of Venus my thoughts ran to the Greek myth and how much they have really influenced the western world..I could go on.
For museum buffs the city does not disappoint:
1. The National Archaeological Museum houses unsurpassed Greek originals. Very few countries in Europe have Greek originals. Most museums house Roman copies. "A person can only imagine why it is hard to overestimate the legacy of the Greeks. The burst of intellectual genius generated in 5th century B.C. Athens bequeathed to the modern world a heritage arguably unmatched in history." As Oscar Wilde stated "Whatever in fact, is modern in our life, we owe to the Greeks.
If you do visit Athens and walk through this museum remember how our western civilization was influenced by the Greeks.
2. Byzantine Museum, Cycladic Museum, the New Islamic Museum, The Contemporary Art Museum etc. do not disappoint.
After visiting ancient Athens, Byzantine Athens, Roman Athens, then visit "The New Athens" which was reinvented for the Olympics. The new metro is phenomenal, its been turned into mini marble museums.the new tram, take it to Glyfada and enjoy seaside restaurants and shops..go to Piraeus, not the most aesthetic waterfront harbor, however, wow ! it has character and passion, Melina Mercouri made it famous in her movie Never on Sunday-which is highly recommended for anyone visiting Greece.
The areas of Psirri, Gazi, Kolonaki, Kiffisia are fun to walk around in. Psirri and Gazi are the soho area-with much charm and grit. That's what I enjoy about Athens, not everything is beautiful. I think if the ancients saw this new Athens they would approve.showcasing their cultural heritage in such a magnificent walkway, showing the unattractive side ( which in many ways has much charm), walking the streets-the good and bad is what Ancient Athens was all about. Everything in proportion and nothing in excess, maybe that is what makes Athens so charming is its simplicity.
Then there is the mainland.ancient Delphi, ancient Olympia, Meteora, Monemvassia, Nauplion (a Venetian town) etc.
Some of the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen was in Greece.All those writers including Byron, Shelly, Henry Miller, Virgil cannot be wrong ..Greece does not disappoint, however, be prepared for Athens..As I stated Athens is not like a well laid out museum( like many European capitals), however, Athens is a lot like a very old lady, she may not be the most attractive but has much charm..and has the most unrivalled history in Europe.
How does one describe the Greek Islands ? The Islands are so diverse, some more spectacular than others, there is an island for everyone's taste.do the research and decide for yourself-Mykonos, Santorini, Hydra, Corfu, Paros, Folegandros, and Crete I have visited and am truly amazed at their beauty!
Perhaps Lord Byron said it best:
THE isles of Greece! the isles of Greece!
Where burning Sappho loved and sung,
Where grew the arts of war and peace,---
Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung!
Eternal summer gilds them yet,
But all, except their sun, is set
Remember enjoy your travels wherever you are...its not all about beautiful buildings, its about understanding the "soul" of places visited..sit in a café, people watch, talk to people.this to me is the difference between a tourist and a traveler.
USA Wed 08/16/2006
Greece in 3 days
My first thought is with only 3 days, why bother? Greece isn't a place to move fast. But then again, if I had 3 days and was anywhere near Greece I'd be there! I'd suggest if you try to make it to an island, to pick one very, very close to the mainland. You'll probably have to switch ports, the ferries at Patra go to Italy and the Ionian islands, which would make your transfer back to Athens take too long. If you must have an island experience, try Aegina (only an hour or so from Piraeus), Hydra or Spetses. If you try to reach a different island chain you'll waste one of your precious days traveling to and from. I'd also advise you to look into staying on the Peloponnese in Nafplio (a RS recommendation) for 2 days or win the lotto and fly everywhere. I'm also someone who wouldn't mind 3 days in Athens, it isn't an relaxing island experience but it can be a lot of fun.
Seattle, WA Mon 08/07/2006
My daughter and I LOVED Greece (Hellas) in early June! We stayed at Hotel Attalos in Athens at the beginning and end of our time there which was a Class C hotel but was clean, had a complimentary breakfast, and internet access, plus was conveniently located to everything, including the Metro. On Mykonos we stayed at Kymata Pension and Maria and Andres were very accomodating. Please don't miss Ancient Delos if you go to Mykonos or the Folklore Museum, windmills, and Our Lady of the Postern Gate church. We ate at Niko's and Antonini's plus bought bread each morning at the bakery that is in a basement in Old Town. Superb!!! On Santorini (Thira) we decided to stay in Oia (it doesn't ever get prettier than this!)and really enjoyed the Oia Sunset Hotel Apartments. The host, Panos, is very knowledgeable about the islands. We were inspired by the volcano tour after climbing down the 220 steps from Oia to get to Ammoudi harbor for our trip there! We ate at Skala (Yum!) and got excellent treats at the bakery near the bus station. Crete was fantastic too with Ancient Knossos (How old is that? You are kidding!!) which was truly worth the wild catamaran ride to get to that island! Be sure to go to a restaurant that serves Cretan food as it is very different than Greek cuisine. Our advice is to take the regular slower ferries going from island to island. On the islands we walked or took a bus and we only took a taxi to the Heraklion airport when we flew back to Athens from Crete then rented a car at the airport there to drive out to Ancient Epidaurus, Corinth, Napflion (a beautiful small city with a Venetian Fortress that is amazing), and Delphi. All were simply magnificient and quite inspiring! Our other advice is to sit in the cafes and order a freddo (iced coffee)and people watch plus take an empty backpack so you can bring back your "treasures". In Athens don't miss the ancient sites (we did Rick's Walking Tour), the daily fruit, vegetable and meat markets, or the National Archeological Museum and their fantasic collections from all over Greece. The kindness of the local people were what made Greece for us! You must go there someday! We want to go back!
College Station, TX USA Sun 08/06/2006
Quick but relaxing jaunt through Greece
My partner and I are spending 3 weeks in Spain, France, and Italy and ending with only 3 full days in Greece before departing back to Seattle from Athens. The trip is in September of this year. We will be taking the ferry from Bari to Patras and want to include a day in Athens at the end but want to have a little reflection time before heading into the city. Can anyone suggest a good site in the islands that might combine a bit of history with the flavor of the islands and is easily accessible from Patras and Athens?
Seattle, WA USA Fri 08/04/2006
Athens Hotels - Marble House vs. Parthenon Hotel
My husband and I stayed at the Marble House in Athens, Greece in December, 2005. The hotel stated that it is a 5-10 min walk from the Plaka, but is really much farther away(more like a fast 15-20 min walk). It is located at the end of a dark alley in a very seedy neighborhood. If you arrive after 4 pm, don't expect to see any hotel staff until the next morning. The rooms are small and filthy. The bathroom was worse - dirty, moldy, and in serious disrepair. The hotel website stated that "the rooms have recently been remodeled and refurbished, and all rooms have a bathroom en suite, a balcony and refrigerator" - none of which is true. We ended up staying the 2nd night at the Parthenon Hotel - a great hotel located directly across from the Acropolis. It's in a nice area, with little shops and restaurants, and the rooms are simple, but clean. We highly recommend the Parthenon Hotel for a nice stay in Athens, Greece.
Redondo Beach, CA USA Mon 07/31/2006
Villa on Crete
My wife & I spent 8 very enjoyable days on Crete from 7 to 15 June. We rented a car and stayed at the Villa Arhanes located in Pano Arhanes about 15 km south of Iraklion. Arhanes is also only about 5 minutes from the wonderful archeological site at Knossos. The Villa Arhanes has 6 apartments of varying size. The accommodations were great and the hospitality of Marina, the manager, made our stay even better. We did not want to stay on a beach as that is where all of the congestion and tacky tourists hang out. Get out into the small towns and villages in the mountains and enjoy Crete!
Crete would be a difficult place for people with physical disabilities due to all of the walking and sometimes steep slopes.
We loved Crete and can't wait to go back again.
Wharton, Texas USA Sat 07/29/2006
Hotel in Santorini
We visited Santorini in June and stayed at the Thirasia Hotel at Fira. It is a nice family run hotel, with friendly and polite personnel managing the hotel. Each time we left for the day or came back, we were greeted with big smiles, or were offered with some tips regarding our activities around the island. It truly made us experience the Greek hospitality. The hotel's location is excellent, about 5 minute walk to the centre, the main bus station, close to the supermarkets and the tourist area, yet quiet enough. Rooms are clean, with air-con, fridge, hair dryer, tv and private bath. The hotel also has a good sized swimming pool with lots of patio lounge chairs/sunbeds.
Canada Tue 07/25/2006
We spent 4 days in Athens and had a wonderful time following the advice from the Athens chapter. We stayed at the Tempi Hotel (clean, friendly, good location and price, very basic). The recommended restaurants are excellent (friends of ours who arrived in Athens about a week after us did not eat at RS places and did not have good experiences at all!), as usual the suggested walks and sites were perfect! Athens is a great city and easy to navigate and enjoy especially if you make use of the info in the chapter. Can't wait for more information on the rest of Greece!
Dallas, TX USA Tue 07/18/2006
Just recently returned from 16 days in Greece (Athens, Crete, Santorini). Just a tip: be very careful of booking on the "fast" catamaran boats that are so popular these days. If the wind is blowing, these boats don't go! So far, no guidebook we've found has given good instructions on what to do if this happens (and apparently it happens frequently!) It can end up costing you a lot of extra $$. Even though they are slower, stick with the bigger "slow" boats. The extra time you may spend on the big boat is better than the hassle of trying to re-book your tickets and get where you want to go. Information (correct info that is) is sometimes hard to come by when a ferry is cancelled for the day. Greece is great!!! Friendly people, great food and amazing scenery!!!!
Dallas, TX USA Wed 07/12/2006
Santorini - Oia
We stayed in Oia, which is at one end of the island, at Villa Annemoessa. Oia seemed quieter than Fira, and this Villa is on the outskirts of town so it is even quieter, but easy to walk to town. Irina, the manager, is very friendly. The price was around $70 Euros per night, including breakfast. Our room had an ocean view (not on the caldera side) and the hotel has a brand new pool.
San Francisco, CA USA Sat 07/01/2006
Place to stay in Santorini
Hands down, Apartments Gaby. It is family run, clean and full of character. There is no breakfast, but Katarina will point you in the direction of a little store that stocks all the yogurt and honey you could ever eat. It is far enough outside of Fira that no noise will bother you but close enough that after enjoying a famous sunset from your private balcony, you can take a romantic walk into Fira for dinner. Our double room came with a bathroom, balcony, unparalleled view of the caldara for 70 euros a night, in August. There were rooms with kitchens but we were happy with an electric teapot and a little fridge. Prior to our stay in Santorini, I was trying to make reservations at places that charged over 300 euros a night. We thought we'd splurge in Santorini, thank goodness all those places were full! We had ample money left in our budget to rent a scooter, go to beaches and ancient sites and eat fabulous Greek food and drink Santorini's famed wine to our heart's content. Our pictures from our balcony make everyone start planning trips to Greece.
Seattle, WA USA Thu 06/22/2006
We stayed at the Hotel Mediterranean in the new part of Rhodes. It was a terrific bargain, right across from an excellent beach. It provides clean and spacious rooms, modern bathrooms and a full breakfast buffet for 81 euros a night--with an ocean view balcony (less for non oceanview rooms)! Old Town is an easy ten minute walk. See www.mediterranean.gr.
Do NOT miss eating at Yianni's Taverna in Old Town. We have had many excellent meals in our trips to Greece, but this ranks right at the top. I challenge you to find a better moussaka (please let me know if you do), and the Greek Platter contained a mind boggling assortment of food at a bargain price. I'd give you directions, but we rambled through the narrow streets for some minutes before finding it. Just ask when you get into Old Town.
The Odyssey Taverna just off of Socrates Way was also good.
Hermosa Beach, ca USA Wed 06/14/2006
Athens to Corfu
I dont know where you are staying in Corfu but I took a bus from the Pink Palace(corfu) to Athens. You can probably go on thier website for more information. I remember it costing 70-80 euros.
Fl USA Fri 06/09/2006
Transportation to Corfu
Anyone know the cheapest way to travel from Athens to Corfu? We'll consider anything other than swimming.
Englewood, CO USA Wed 05/31/2006
breakfast in Chania
4 words for a fantastic early morning breakfast in Chania, Crete:
HOT, FRESH IORDANNIS BOUGATSA
Bougatsa is a cheese pie, Cretan style. Iordannis has been in the bougastsa business for 30+ years and are open from very early in the morning til about 2 pm. Make sure to get there early (before 7am) for a fantastic breakfast.
I can't remember the exact location of their shop, but it's somewhere within walking distance of the Limani. Ask a local and they'll be able to point you in the right direction.
CA USA Wed 05/24/2006
Sleeping in Crete
Should have included this in the last inquiry....but how about Crete? Any recommendations for around Heraklion, Hania or any other places of interest? We'll have a car to get around.
Dallas, TX USA Thu 04/27/2006
Sleeping on Santorini
Besides the recommended San Giorgio Villas, are there any other places anyone recommends checking out to stay on Santorini? We like Rick-type places...simple, clean and well priced.
Dallas, TX USA Thu 04/27/2006
Crete: After Samaria don't overlook Sfakia
Hi all... I spent some time in Crete this past summer and one of my favorite places on the island was Xora Sfakion in Sfakia. I saw busloads of tourists arrive each day (after a walk down the Samaria gorge) only to get right back on a bus for Chania. My advice is to stay in Sfakia for a few days, its a nice, quiet town. The area is ideal for walking and hiking. Its a really nice, slow paced, and relaxing place to spend time. We stayed at the newly opened Kavros Hotel at the top of the town, in a very nice double room with kitchette and supplies, A/C, balcony with beautiful view, and pool for just 40 euro last June. Sfakia and the southwest of Crete are highly recommended if one wants to escape the more package tourist oriented north of the island.
Buffalo, NY USA Tue 04/18/2006
Athens and Fira
If you're going to Santorini, make sure you stay at San Giorgio Villas. There was a shower curtain, soap, fresh towels daily, and a spacious room with a terrace. There was even a tv with cable for the island station - Volcano.
George is a wonderful host who actually offered us his own room when we decided we'd rather not stay in the main building with the college kids (we didn't know it was European spring college break). We declined and he gave us a room in the next building over - he warned us workers were going to be noisy early in the morning, but we didn't even hear them. He offered us his services to book tours and was gracious when we told him we'd rather walk around by ourselves. He also recommended a laundry that did well by us. There are only drop off laundry services, not a laundromat.
Summers must be beautiful there, but we enjoyed early spring with the flowers blooming and not too many crowds. There is gold, gold, gold all over the place for those who want to shop for it.
Try Mama's for American breakfast - she is warm and welcoming with all kinds of home made jams and fresh Maxwell House coffee. This was also George's suggestion.
Beware of the stray dogs. They are very well behaved but can knock you over when several of them are going in the same direction at the same time.
Try the Chinese Restaurant. It was as good as Chinatown in NYC. Also, across from it, is Moussa - another of George's suggestion. Excellent food with a complimentary dessert called Santorini Pudding (bread pudding).
We took a bus to Oia for something like 1 Euro 10 and a cab back to Fira for about 10 Euros. Both were clean, luxurious and seemed new. The routes were different for each and beautiful!
George, the friendly cabdriver, charged us over twice the regular fare from the airport to the Marble House Hotel in Athens, so be careful about following the advice you read on the Graffiti Board. His son picked us up and was charming, but at too high a price.
Also beware of booking a cab over the internet. We were told it would be 70 Euros from the Hotel Cecil in Athens to the airport. When we were actually staying at the hotel, I was able to arrange for one the day before we needed it for only 30 Euros and tolls.
Cafe Latifa in The Plaka is in a former dairy owned by three generations in succession. The food was so good - especially the Spinach pie - that we actually went back a second time. One of the sons was our server both times and sent us up to the third floor to see the Acropolis at night from their window. The second visit was when he served us complimentary ouzo mixed with some sort of fruit juice. The traditional ice cream is served with the Greek flag and a lit sparkler on top. The first time we were there, we'd just been caught in a torrential rainstorm and were directed to the second floor (third European) to sit by the fireplace. The second time, we sat outside and people watched. The olives are worthy of a separate plate as a side.
Glendale, Az USA Sat 04/15/2006
Rome to the Islands
Check out the Aegean Airlines website http://www.aegeanair.com/aegeanen/home/index.asp There are flights to the islands, but most stopover in Athens. Perhaps there are direct flights to certain islands once weekly.
Tucson, AZ USA Wed 04/05/2006
greek isles flights
Is there any way to fly from Rome directly to any of the greek isles? I am a bit time pressed on my trip and I'd like to avoid a layover in Athens. I have heard about charters, but are these open to the general public or just to groups? Thanks in advance,
atlanta, GA USA Sat 04/01/2006
Aegean Air is offering great sale prices on tickets to the Greek Islands. Something like 19Euros plus tax. So book soon. Or try Blue Star Ferries. I'm using both air/ferry for our 10 night trip in April.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 01/15/2006
Breakfast in Athens
Another breakfast option would be to stop and get a pita, whether it be tiropita, spanakopita, or milopita (apple pie). They are inexpensive, filling, and delicious. You can find them at street stands, or in bakeries.
Buffalo, NY USA Sun 01/15/2006
Breakfast in Athens
The restaurants in Athens are not open for breakfast, because Greek people do not eat much food in the mornings. For a big breakfast in central Athens, go to the small taverna (cafe') located in the meat market in Monastiraki, at Evripidou street, west of Aeolou street. The taverna has rice and cooked spinach, fava bean soup, and other cooked vegetables. Large servings. It is good food for vegetarians. It is located in the middle of a long corridor, you walk by large grotesque things being carved by butchers.
Missouri USA Sat 01/14/2006
Restaurant in ATHENS
My favorite restaurant in Athens is Eden. It is a vegetarian restaurant, located in the western PLAKA section of Athens, at the north side of the Acropolis. It is at Lissou street, at the corner with Mnissikleous street. Walk on Mnissikleous street toward Acropolis from Monastiraki section. Very easy to get to. Moderately high prices. This is one of the few quiet restaurants in Athens. Good recorded music, not loud. Pleasant atmosphere, much art on walls. People who are not vegetarian might like to eat here, because the food is not heavy, as is beef and pork. And no cholesterol. Sea food (crustaceans) are very high in cholesterol. In Greece you will get plenty of cholesterol eating cheese. They put slices of cheese on top of everyting, at other restaurants. And a thick slab of cheese with your breakfast, and a Greek salad has a thick slab of Feta cheeese. The Eden restaurant is located at the point on Mnissikleous street where it becomes steps - uphill to the pedestrian road that goes around to the Acropolis visitors entrance. So plan to eat at the Eden restaurant before or after visiting the Acropolis. (During the winter, the latest time for entering the Acropolis is 2:20 p.m.) And the Eden is in my favorite part of Athens: high on the north side of the Acropolis hill. Narrow streets, it feels like a residential neighborhood, though nearly everything there is a small business selling post cards and souvenir art imitations. An easy walk to that section uphill from the Monastiraki METRO station. I heard of a good small inexpensive hotel located adjacent to the Acropoli METRO station. And the rooms have private bath. An ideal location: walk from the hotel to the ACROPOLIS visitors entrance. The other high priorities for sightseeing in Athens are the National Archaeological Musem, and the Benaki museum. Two days in Athens is enough. Unless you want an extra day there to recuperate from your all night flight from the U.S.A., before you begin your sightseeing.
Missouri USA Fri 01/13/2006
More on NAXOS.
Another good place on the island NAXOS is the vilage Koronida. (Ride bus from Naxos town). Koronida is the highest village on the island. It has small white buildings, below that the slopes are covered with grape vines. One of the best walks on this island is on a trail from Koronida to Myrisis. (You don't have to walk all the way to Myrisis). Persons staying on Naxos could go on a day trip, by ferry boat, to the island Paros. (one hour, by ferry). On Paros the town Lefkes is pleasant, on a hill in the middle of the island. Busses go from Parikia to Lefkes. (a distance of 9 km).
Missouri USA Fri 01/13/2006
I was at Greece for 19 days in November. The place in Greece that I wis to go to again is the island NAXOS. (in the Cyclades islands group. The reason people like to go on vacation to Greece is because they feel good there : good food, sunshine, the Blue Mediteranean Sea, the wonderful atomosphere there. At Naxos I liked the sky and the clean air, it is similar to the rarified air at the top of a tall mountain, but there is plenty of oxygen, and you are at sea level. At Naxos town I stayed at the Appollo Hotel. very nice. Read about it in the Lonely Planet book on Greece. A most convenient location. Taxi ride from Naxos airport to Appolo hotel is quick and inexpensive. All the things toutists need are within an easy walking distance from the hotel (located at the north end of the town).The extremely old part of town (tan buldings), at the top of the hill, is a very short walking distance from the Appollo. The Appollo staff treat everyone with respect. Good Greek breakfast in very nice dining room is included. That hotel is expensive in Summer (June 15 - September 15), but half price all other days. From Appollo, walk to the bus stop. Don't need to rent a car. But you can ride a bus to only one destination (and return to Naxos town) each day. Plan to stay on Naxos for 5 days. I did not want to leave Naxos, ever. Naxos is not as scenic as Rhodes, but Rhodes town is awfully congested, and dangerous for driving - you need to rent a car on Rhodes to see the most scenic parts. On Naxos, its not the beauty, it is how you feel : seeing the sky on a suny day causes a person to feel very good mentally. I have not seen any place that compares with a Greek island. The people on Greek islands are happier than the people in Athens. And generally friendly and carefree. When I was riding in a bus from NAxos town to the quaint hillside village Apeiranthos, I asked "is that Mount Zas"? The bus driver abruptly stopped the bus, on the road, so I could get a good long look at mount Zas, and he said I could walk of the bus to get a better look if I wanted to. I and my belongings were safe on the Greek islands. No theives. I misplaced my small bag in a cafe in Naxos town. An English man vacationing there said "don't worry, you are in Greece, people will look out for you here". That is true. A Greek man who found my bag was walking out on the street looking for me, to tell me where my bag was. Naxos town has a pedestrian only street, parrellell to the water front at the harbor. It is the most pleasant harbor I was ever at. Naxos has better beaches than the island Paros, and less crowds of people. The beaches on Naxos are conveniently located on the west side of the island: quick bus ride from the Ferry boat harbor. Read about more places on Naxos in the Lonely Planet book on Naxos. He knows what he is talking about. - Ken If anyone wants to know my recomendations for a restaurant and souvenir store in Athens, send E-mail to me.
Mo USA Mon 01/09/2006