Tips on Greece: 2007
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
- Please don't post questions here. Use our Travelers Helpline.
Preparing for a trip by Learning the Easy Way
We're taking a Rick Steve's tour of Greece and have been watching "The Great Courses" Famous Greeks and also Ancient Greek Civilization CD's by THE TEACHING COMPANY. They're not cheap (I don't know $140) but they provide great kinda of ah, college level lectures (interesting ones) on all kinds of subjects. We're going to Greece so we're watching ones relating to Greece. Point is, they're interesting, fill in the gaps and/or refresh what you already knew and you can watch the segments in 20 min. increments. Spending 2K on a tour - get educated (or in my case, re-educated - it's been 30 years!) We are of course reading alot as well but sometimes the lecture along with audio/visual aids is a plus.
San Diego, CA USA Sat 12/29/2007
I was surprised by the minimal coverage Rick has of Greece. In September I fulfilled a lifetime dream of touring several Greek Is. Our experience (two reasonably fit 60+ yr olds) exceeded all my expectations and we had an amazing time on a limited budget of NZ $!
We also did a 7 day cruise to 4 islands and to Istanbul and Kusadasi in Turkey. There was no comparison between the experience of Greece we had by staying on the islands for several days in small family owned hotels and eating at little Greek tavernas, and the few hours spent ashore with hundreds of other tourists on the cruise.
Our favourite islands were Poros, Naxos and Crete, which were not as touristy as Santorini (though we stayed in a wonderful cave house there and loved Oia and the wineries), Mykonos and Rhodes. On Naxos we drove over the mountains to little seaside villages, swam in clear blue water, ate delicious local breads, cheeses and chargrilled octopus and visited authentic weavers, distilleries of oil and liquers, and walked in century old olive groves and vineyards. A highlight was the wonderful concert in the cellar of a Venetian Mansion in the old town. These are held regularly and are well worth attending. Posters are everywhere listing events and dates.
Best food experience in Santorini was Taverna Nikolas in Thira, just up from the main square, no bookings, just queue, its worth it for authentic traditional Greek food well prepared and very reasonable prices.
On the mainland we were disappointed by the Acropolis, surrounded by scaffolding, hundreds of tourists and with the museum closed for removal. In contrast the drive up to Delphi through little villages to wonderful accommodation at Hotel Leto (very reasonable, spotless, delicious breakfast) and the talk given by Penny, our host at Hotel Leto and guide at Delphi, brought the history alive. A memorable and moving experience.
We loved the Greek Islands and found it very possible to have an authentic Greek experience away from the tourist hordes.
Auckland, New Zealand Thu 11/08/2007
Long Story, 2-20 October 2007
Ours was a great trip. We stayed in Athens, Thessaloniki, Chania (Crete), and Oia (Santorini). Domestic travel was done mostly via Agean Airlines with whom I reserved months prior, getting fares as low as 25€.
The Macedonian city of Thessaloniki is a worthwhile visit. It features a good museum covering its role as a onetime center of Sephardic Jewish culture and another museum concerning its past as the second city of the Byzantine Empire. Throughout the town you find Roman ruins, Byzantine churches, Ottoman buildings, and a network of city walls that lead uphill to a view of the Agean Sea. Getting around was easy and cheap using city buses. You can buy a 2€ daypass aboard the buses, and that covers Line 78 to/from SKG Airport. A subway line is now being built. NOTE: The guidebooks LP, LG, and RG all say the tourist info office is at the port; t'aint so - It's near the Byzantine Museum. KTEL buses were used for our daytrips to Edessa and to the royal tombs at Vergina.
Western Crete has the best beaches we've ever seen. Elafonisi (direct KTEL bus from Chania) and Balos (KTEL bus to Kissamos, then excursion boat) both have lagoons containing clear, waist-high water, while also having exposed areas for those who want waves. Chania is an appealing hub in which to base yourself.
Everybody loves Santorini and we're no exception. Our base was at the north tip of the crescent island and that's where you get that stereotype view of blue-domed churches scattered in a sea of white buildings cascading down the cliffside. From here you can see along the coast all the way to the southern tip.
Athens is the big ugly city everyone says it is, but we spent there 3 nights upon arrival from home and 4 more nights prior to going home, and had plenty to do. We did the heavily promoted guided trip to Delphi, where upon arrival I wondered if we endured the 3 hour bus trip only to see piles of rocks, but became well oriented/educated at the adjacent museum and came away very satified. Another organized trip was the 3-islands-in-a-day cruise. Do this one before you do Santorini or it will be a letdown, exascerbated by the corny on-board "entertainment". The other daytrip was on our own; we took the KTEL bus to Nafplion on the Peloponese where you'll find a charming port town crowned by an interesting Venetian fortress, up to which we took a taxi but afterwards had a pleasant walk down into town. Contrary to some guidebooks, there's no train going to Nafplion, just rusty rails visible from the bus.
The greek alphabet was surprisingly easy to figure out, and figure it out you should. This especially helps when reading destination signs on buses.
Walnut, CA USA Tue 11/06/2007
Greek Islands Tour Review
We took a Costa cruise which visited: Olympia (via Katakolon), Santorini, Mykonos, & Rhodes. Here are some impressions and tips:
If I had to do it over, I'd prefer to do these islands on our own. With a cruise, the problem is that you have so very little time to see the islands in depth to experience their true essence and flavor.
Katakolon Olympia - We hired a taxi driver to drive us to Olympia (site of the ruins). His name is George Letsios (recommended on cruisecritic.com) His website: taxikatakolon.gr, cell: 0030-6944-579917. If you just need a reliable, efficient driver to take you from point A to point B, he is your man. However, I did not find him to be an exceptional tour guide, i.e. one who spends alot of time giving you historical facts of the place you are visiting, or interesting background of the places, or culture, etc.
Tips Olympia: Make sure to budget enough time to visit the museum in Olympia - especially, the museum across from the ruins - an extensive collection of greek statues, vases and other treasures.
Santorini: One of the most beautiful islands, but extremely crowded. Took ship's tour to see Oia & Thira. Agree with other people-- Thira (Fira) is an absolute zoo. This was late September, and it felt like the entire population of N.Y.C. had descended on this island. If you can, try to visit during a less crowded month (maybe October?). Tips: If you're traveling during peak season, make sure to budget enough time to return via cable car to the ship - 1 hour or more is not a bad idea, depending on the number of ships in port. In Thira, to escape the crowds, and enjoy splendid views of the Caldera, visit Cafe Vertigo - it's hip, modern, and ultra cool. Just look for something that looks like someone's outdoor backyard patio (they have outdoor tables, and sofas facing the caldera). You can sip your martinis, and enjoy the view. Cafe is located on the side nearest the Caldera about a 1/4 to 1/3 mile away from where you board the cable car.
Oia: Gorgeous, a photographer's paradise. Tips: I found the shopping better in Oia than in Thira, also don't miss the view point at the very end of the trail w/panaromic views (not just of the caldera, but of the other nearby islands as well).
Mykonos: I found this island to be o.k. We arrived in time to see the sunset from Little Venice & the windmills. The vibe and crowd were a bit too upscale and trendy for us. An island for shopping and dining for the "up and coming" those who like to see and be seen.
Rhodes: Loved it! It has so much to offer. We had a very complete tour of the island in roughly 7 hours thanks to an excellent driver and tour guide, Themis Gounaris, who was recommended by an established local travel agency. His email address: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell phone number: 30-6942404731. Themis can tell you all about the history, culture, and habits of the island and its people. He is a very amusing and an entertaining story teller! We also visited Filerimos (a monastery located in the mountains which has views overlooking the islands). Nice mosaics there. We also visited Lindos (the acropolis) and managed to see part of Old Town (Palace of Grand Masters), visited the Greek countryside, (ate figs from a tree and drank water from a Greek spring), and also did a little bit of shopping. And thanks to Themis, we had, what was possibly the best gyro on the planet! I only wish we could have spent the night over on Rhodes to experience some Greek Dancing Shows, plate breaking and general partying! Tips: Lindos is about 10 to 12 degrees hotter than old town, try to visit in the morning to avoid the crowds and the sun, and if it is hot, you may want to consider riding the donkey to save you some energy (it takes you at least ½ to ¾ way up the hill) and bring plenty of water with you. After the donkeys drop you off, there are still a few more hundred stairs to go and they are steep, so wear appropriate clothing and tennis shoes! – very rocky!)
Well that's it! Enjoy the islands and what they have to offer! They are truly amazing!
Lisa, a CPA
Los Angeles, CA USA Fri 10/26/2007
A great beach south of Athens
Anavyssos beach, about an hour south of Athens, is not crowded nor is it in the Lonely Planet guide book. There is a coach-like bus from Cape Sounion (Temple of Poseidon) to Athens that runs every hour. I was fortuante to share my sisters hotel room at the Plaza Resort while she was at a conference. Private beach and nice robes!
Cleveland, OH USA Fri 09/28/2007
Hotel in Athens
The Attalos Hotel was a good option near the Plaka area. You can book on the internet. Moderate price. I found the recommendation on a travel website.
Cleveland, OH USA Fri 09/28/2007
Hotel Tempi in Athens was OK - >90 stairs to the 3rd floor! But, clean and safe. The location was perfect for touring the Acropolis area.
White Salmon, Wa USA Tue 09/25/2007
Learn the Greek Alphabet
I found when catching buses, knowing the Greek alphabet, or at least how to spell your destination in Greek, was critical. You have to think fast when flagging down a bus, and some letters look the same but are not pronounced the same as the English alphabet. Also, some of the directional signs are written in Greek only. I stayed an hour south of Athens and took the bus twice.
Cleveland, OH USA Mon 09/24/2007
Antica Gelateria di Roma, Nafplio, Greece: Absolutly fabulous gelato in Greece! Delicious flavors, biscotti provided and happy servers, not far from central square.
Long Beach, Ca. USA Fri 09/14/2007
Greece and the Peloponnese
We spent 9 days at the end of June in Greece.
We arrived in Athens from Budapest on an Easy Jet flight at 4am (not what I reccommend)! Our hostel wasn't very good, so I won't mention it here. But it was affordable. We spent that day and another full day in Athens, before departing the next day.
We rented a car from Swift Rental Car. I HIGHLY reccommend this rental car company. Everything was great. We headed toward Delphi. Gorgeous! We stayed at the Hotel Sybylla. No A/c but a great breeze, and the most beautiful view from the balcony, all for 25 Euro.
We then drove over to Diakofto (beautiful drive, make sure to stop at the breath taking beaches along the way to swim!) The cog rail line to Kalavryta and Zahlorou is closed for repairs until late next year (2008), so we day tripped to those towns instead. Without the cog rail line, other than a fantastic meal, this was my least favorite destination of the entire trip. We were just bored from time to time, to the point that we left a day early for our next destination. The beach here was good, and it was a nice lazy place to relax with almost no other tourists around. We stayed at the Chris Paul Hotel. Clean, simple, and cheap..with A/C. A double room was 30Euro.
On our way to our next destination we stopped in Ancient Corinth and climbed Acrocorinth. Do not miss Acrocorinth. It's not highlighted in the guidebooks much, but I enjoyed it greatly. But it's a mighty hike. Just follow the signs from the site of Ancient Corinth (in your vehicle) to the base of Acrocorinth.
We then drove to Nafplio. Gorgeous town, give yourself at least two full days here. We stayed at ACRONAFPLIA pension. They have 5 different buildings. It was adequate, but not nearly as nice as what was online. This was the least comfortable place that we stayed. Great view though, just see your room be for renting.
From Nafplio, definitely go visit Epidivaros, the huge theatre. We skipped Mycenae..we just couldn't handle the 110 F temps all day long, and something had to go. We may regret it later, but we had our fill of hot ruins by then. Nafplio beach was spectacular. By a snorkel and mask, it's worth it. Also get gelato at Antica Gelateria di Roma. Better gelato than I had anywhere in Italy.
We then drove down the coast and through the mountains to Neapoli on the southern tip of the Peloponnesean Peninsula(not for the faint of heart. We should have taken the national road..if you go through the mountains, it is secluded, treacherous, and wonderful all at the same time. Breath-taking, but that area is on fire right now.) :(
Neapoli is quaint and we found lodging on the fly no problem. Super cheap, and a fantastic room. I can't remember the name, but I can look it up if someone needs it (email me). Advice: If you're going to Kythira from Neapoli on the ferry, call the moment you get in the country to make a reservation. We were told reservations wouldn't be necessary, but this was not true. We made it on the ferry by waiting list, but were told one week later and we'd be SOL.
We took the early morning ferry to the island of Kythira. It was great! We stayed in Chora at the Pension Nostos. It was an escape, with antique furnishings, top of the line everything, and totally affordable at 60 Euro a night with a superb breakfast (eggs, break, yogurt, fruit, honey, cereal, tea, coffee, meat, cheese..on and on). However, tourist season doesn't start until July so Chora had little to no dining. We spent all of our meals and time 2km away in Kapsali on the beach. Our favorite place we went.
Kapsali is beautiful, but also make sure you visit the venetian castle at the pinnacle of Chora.
After our time on Kalavryta, we made the long drive back to Athens, and stayed at The Student & Travellers Inn, right on the Plaka in a private double. It's busy and it's a hostel, but it was wonderful and relaxing with free a/c. The perfect end to a trip. They were so helpful in helping us get to the airport and with our rental car return. It's no taj mahal, but is affordable and centrally located.
Sorry so long. Feel free to contact if you have any questions about our trip or other things Greek! I fell in love with the country and her people!
Chicago, IL USA Fri 08/24/2007
I agree with you. It appears that Rick does not like Greece. It's not even included in his Best of Europe. Greece is the cradle of western civilization, he should be a bit nicer or maybe give Greece a chance. It's one of the most touristed countries in Europe and he does not even have a tour book on it!!! hopefully someday he returns to Greece and really see's how beautiful it really is...
USA Thu 08/23/2007
Greece info from Rick Steves is outdated and wrong
UPDATE YOUR ENTIRE SECTION ON GREECE...
More people are coming here than ever before (this years figures are expected to top 17 million visitors to Greece, up from 15 million from the past 2 record setting years). Get with the game!
Athens, HELLAS Mon 08/20/2007
Hotel and Restaurant in Athens
We just returned from almost 3 weeks in Greece. While in Athens, we used Rick's chapter found on this site, and, as expected, it was great! We highly recommend staying at the Art Gallery Hotel. It is a 2 minute walk from the Sygrou-Fix subway station in a non-touristy area. We walked to the Acropolis in about 10 minutes, and we could see it from our room. There are many bakeries and cafes just outside the door, so it is not necessary to pay the hotel rate of 10 euros per person for breakfast. We ate at a GREAT, locals-only restaurant (twice) called Ambrosia that is 2 blocks from the hotel and immediately outside the exit of the Sygrou-Fix subway station (on the Drakou side). This is a great neighborhood, MUCH less touristy than Syntagma or Ommonia. With that said, those tourisy areas are just 2 and 4 subway stops, respectively, from Sygrou-Fix.
Clarendon Hills, IL USA Sat 07/21/2007
We followed our Greek ETBD tour with a visit to Crete. The overnight Minoan Lines ferry from Piraeus to Heraklion included a berth (two beds, not bunks), outside view, shower and WC, the cost of euro 168 total for two persons covering both transportation and accommodation. Cretan KTEL buses were reliable and also provided us a street view of the island; we traveled from Heraklion-Hania and Heraklion-Phaistos by bus. The Athens metro is effortless to navigate, both from the airport and the port of Piraeus.
Oak Park, IL USA Mon 06/25/2007
Accommodations in Greece
My family spent 3 weeks in Greece in May,2007 and would happily recommend two hotels, the Villa Konstantin in Mykonos and Paros Palace in Paros. Both hotels were very clean, in fine locations and had extremely helpful staffs. We rented 2 apartments at the Paros Palace and for the excellent facility including a wonderful pool area and fantastic terraces the price was incredibly reasonable. Villa Konstantin was also a bargain and Sharon was the friendliest person we met in Greece. When her pool and deck area are completed it will certainly be the place to stay in Mykonos. In both locations we spent happy evenings watching the beautiful sunsets. If we are ever lucky enough to return to Greece we would definitely stay at these 2 places.
San Francisco, CA USA Wed 06/06/2007
Rick's Web guide great for our 3 day visit! Watch your step: many sidewalks are broken and are real "trippers". Avoid the Moslem Museum area: only men (hundreds),but NO women. Everywhere else, wonderful people!! Greetings in Greek always are a good start and bring a smile: my pronunciation is probably why! Diogenes restaurant in the Plaka SUPER!! The Daphne is elegant, and priced accordingly. The busy Electra Hotel a 10" walk down from the Plaka, on the pedestrian street, Ermou, includes a full and delicious American/European breakfast, starting at 7AM. Fofi, Magda, and entire staff are just great.
Sammamish, WASH USA Mon 06/04/2007
Travel agent in Athens
In early April, 2007, we had a very positive experience with a wonderful travel agent in Athens. We arrived in Athens without firm plans for an islands trip and decided to try a local agent to help organize our wishes. I recommend Toula Mavridou at SunWays travel agency. The address is Xenofontos 15A, one block south from the SW corner of Syntagma Square. A Greek-Australian, Toula can help English-only or non-Greek speakers plan their travel experiences. She helped us plan our trip to three of the Greek islands, and took care of everything we wanted: flights, ferry trips, hotels, and even pick up and return to-and-from the ferries. We also stayed at the Hotel Plaka in the Plaka. Highly recommended. Great location. Great views. Great breakfasts!
Bellingham, WA USA Tue 04/24/2007
athens and greece
This is on rick's website from someone that has gone to greece and italy...it's an interesting perspective on Ancient Greece vs. Rome...I was very taken by her viewpoints and saw both cities in a different light....
Too Much Sun, Too Much Rome
Rome reminded me that I always preferred the Greeks to the Romans (except for the Spartans, that is, who were so very ... Spartan). Rick Steves calls Rome "brutal", "magnificent", and "required". Well, I'll buy required, if you go to Italy at all. Brutal, certainly in the summer sun. Magnificent? Yes, the Romans did magnificent very well. But what about admirable? I don't find the Romans particularly admirable. Hot baths and central heating - oh, yes! Aqueducts - yes. Good roads - yes, we're still using some of them. But all those legionnaires out defeating the "barbarians" and expanding the empire? Not so much. The Coliseum the tourists flock to see? Built as a killing ground, for men and animals. Many of the monuments? Built to cement the power of a current or future emperor, and recording the conquest of yet another people.
Of course, I've realized that magnificent and monumental, like rococo and baroque, don't particularly appeal to me.
Rome also means Vatican City, of course, the world's smallest country. And that means the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's Basilica. St. Peter's is magnificent all right. I don't know whether Luther ever saw St. Peter's but surely that's all it would have taken to turn him Protestant. It's easy to see how a man occupying the throne of St. Peter in the middle of so much grandeur could imagine that he is the mouthpiece of God. For in-your-face, arrogant one-upmanship, St. Peter's would be hard to beat.
boston, ma USA Thu 04/12/2007
I stayed at John's Place in Athens, and I wouldn't stay there anymore. Cockroach on my jacket was just too much! Hotel Tempi is easy to find & inexpensive - lots of stairs, no elevator.
we drove all over the Pelopenese and it was the best trip I ever took. Easy driving, don't even think twice about it! Naphlio (Pension Marianna), Monemvasia, Gythio, diros caves,Kardamylia, Olympia, Delphi. great great trip.
Vancouver, BC canada Mon 04/09/2007
Arrived in Athens from Rome by plane. Aegean Airlines was cheap (~100 Euro for my wife and I) and served us the best meal I have ever had on a 2 hour flight. Very Impressive. Airport is very nice and the metro trip to Syntagma is easy (if a bit long, it took us almost an hour after leaving the airport, plus 25 min waiting for the train to leave).
Exited Syntagma station to find the square surrounded by Greek youth carrying banners and shouting (turned out to be a march for Education reform). We were a bit disoriented coming out of the station, but found Amalias St. For a minute we were in the no-mans land between the protestors on our left (one of which was whacking on a steel bus stop overhang) and the riot police with shields and batons on the right. We ducked into the GNTO and got the info we needed and escaped to the Plaka.
Adonis Hotel was small and simple as advertised. Spiros (owner) was quite funny. He was however a pretty heavy smoker, so if you have an aversion to smoke, you should probably avoid this place.
We ate at Taverna O Thespis and the Bekri Meze was quite tasty. The owner offered us a shot when my wife ran to the bathroom, but she is 10 weeks pregnant and passed (meaning that I got both shots). I expected Ouzo, but it was more like moonshine. Very nice none the less. The Plaka was very empty, must really be off season.
After a trip to the Acropolis in the AM we were off to Nafplion. We took the metro to Onamia Sq. and caught the 051 to the bus station. If you did not have a map, you would be hard pressed to find the bus stop for the 051 when exiting the metro station. With a map, it was fine. The bus station is like most bus stations in the world, nothing to write home about.
Nafplion was beautiful. We stayed at Omorfi Poli Pensione and was the best place we stayed in either Italy or Greece. Big rooms, hearty breakfast, nice and quiet. When we left we had to take the early bus back to Athens (before they served breakfast in the am) , and so they brought us our breakfast for the following morning, the night before, so we could enjoy it in our rooms in the morning (with hot pot for tea and everything). Very nice folks.
We mostly ate Souvlaki in Nafplion, cheap filling meals. The one meal we ate at a sit down joint (recommended by Frommer's) was marginal at best. There were a lot of restaurants available, and most were quite empty as it was very quiet in town, but we were just looking for simple by then.
Acronapflia fort is definitely worth climbing up to if you are so inclined. Great views.
Unlike Italy, we spoke mostly English in Greece (with the exception of Please, Thank You and You're Welcome) and it was widely spoken there by anyone you needed to do business. The Greeks were very nice to us.
I hope that this helps someone in the future.
MN USA Fri 03/09/2007
My husband, teenage daughter and I were in Greece last June. We stayed for over a week. We visited Athens and Santorini. We'd recommend the hotel in Athens that we stayed in: Best Western Hotel Museum (right next to the Archaeological Museum). Rates (105 euros at that time) include a good breakfast. It was perfect for us. There is an internet café nearby (right across the Archaeological Museum). There are more greeks than tourists in the area so there are many good places to eat. And the hotel staff was very helpful and friendly. You can also store your luggage if you need to get away for a few days.
We took the ferry (Blue Star) to Santorini. We chose to rent a cabin because I get seasick. If you can afford it, I'd recommend it just because there are just so many people in the ferry that people without cabins would sleep on the floor or on uncomfortable chairs. And it can be noisy. And it's a long ferry ride – 9 hours.
When in Santorini, please try not to stay in Fira. Stay in Oia, much more charming and quiet. After staying a couple of days in Oia, we took the bus to Fira, and we were so disappointed. Noisy and too many people. We stayed in Lotza Studios in Oia, a most charming cavehouse. We paid 70 euros per day, with extra for taxi pick-up. The room we stayed at has a kitchen with supplies. It does not have a bath tub, but it has this great shower made of stone. The place is just so charming, clean and friendly. It also has a small pool. Lotza Studios is in a pedestrian-only part of town so it's so quiet all day. It is a 10-15 min walk to the caldera. There is a nearby general store (with very friendly staff), butcher, and bakery. But be forewarned, there is no view of the caldera. You'd have to pay top dollar for that. Santorini btw is just beautiful. We've seen almost all of Europe and I have to say it is one of the most beautiful places we've seen.
Bowie, MD USA Thu 03/01/2007
Working in Greece
I am considering workng at a hostel in Greece during the summer. Any tips or insight from former/current hostel employees?
Tampa, Fl USA Wed 02/28/2007
Athens, Nafplio, Crete
We traveled to Greece from 12/28/06 through 1/12/07. TripAdvisor.com is a great place to read hotel reviews - any hotel I saw mentioned here was double checked there before booking. Hotel Attalos in Athens has about the lowest price and is VERY good. Hotel Cecil is 2nd.
We paid to have clothes washed. Both in Athens and Nafplio, it was about 8 eruo per load. The front desk at Hotel Attalos gave directions (the hotel gives out very good maps of Athens).
Ask about the breakfast included with the hotel room. If it isn't "worth it", don't buy it and eat out. In Nafplio, we ate at the "Trendy" about three blocks away (parallel w/ the seashore) 1) for less than the cost at the hotel, 2) for a better breakfast, 3) made to order. We did the same thing when in Athens at the Attalos. However, an advantage to eating in (when at Hotel Cecil in Athens)they have such a good breakfast and nice room they serve it in, that it is better to eat in there - I sat for about an hour each morning, reading and drinking coffee, waiting for the family to wake up. A few places recommended using a travel agent to book cars, hotels, etc since they don't add a commission. I contacted one and they wanted me to fax my VISA card front and back to them - NO WAY. So I booked using resources on line. Two friendly car rental agencies: Athens - www.kosmos-carrental.com Crete - Athens cars - they have very low rental rates w/ 4 crete locatons phone: 2810 821 424 We just saw then from the central square of Keraklion and phoned the number (it was early in the AM) and the man came immediately.
Buy a phone card for 4 euro (or so) and you can call 1) rental agencies (like above) 2) back to your hotel to arrange meetings w/ family ... I should have done it first thing on the trip. My cell phone didn't work on "roam" as T-Mobile said it would.
Winter is a great time to go to Athens the Peloponnesian Peninsula, Delphi and even up to Meteorea (it was cool and windy but above freezing). I would not go to Crete (or probably any island (perhaps look into Rhodes) - Crete was closed down. On the mainland, we (from Minnesota) were warm and had our coats off or unzipped as the Greeks were walking around w/ full winter coats and gloves on. Our sons got some odd looks the two or three days they wore shorts.
At the Peloponnesian Peninsula, Nafplio is a beautiful town to stay in and travel out to visit sites.
In Delphi, Acropole Hotel (www.delphi.com.gr) was one of the best hotels of the trip with the best breakfast of the trip.
Prior Lake, MN USA Sat 02/24/2007
I'm not sure what you mean because the Parthenon (the temple of Athena) hasn't been open since 1970's. It is too delicate for people to walk around on. It is currently been restored and covered in scaffolding. However, there is a really neat workshop next to it where you can see the different parts being constructed. The Acropolis, the hill where the Parthenon, the Acropolis museum and a few other temples are, is rarely closed. That's why the tourists are in Athens. Where did you hear this vicious rumor?
Seattle, WA USA Sun 02/18/2007
Ferries to Santorini from Athens
My wife and I are planning a trip to Greece for the last week of June. I've found an overnight ferry from Athens to Santorini. Is it a good idea to go ahead and buy ferry tickets now? Do ferry tickets tend to sell out during the summer months, or can we wait until closer to our trip to buy them?
Wheaton, IL USA Thu 02/15/2007
Help! I heard that the Parthenon is currently closed. Is this true?
Washington, DC USA Thu 02/15/2007
Movies for Greece
My DD and I are spending 3 days in Athens post cruise. I have searched both brand name book stores for Ricks Greece travel book but to no avail. The library doesn't have it either. Does anyone know what is the movie list for Athens and/or Greece?
Stockton, CA USA Tue 02/06/2007
Re: Best way to go
Ultimately it would be up to you, I've only been able to do it on my own. I think cruises offer you the opportunity to see many different places in relative comfort and without a lot of hassle hauling luggage on and off ferries but you also give up a lot of control about how long you can stay on an island and the kind of feel that you get from it. I think it would be neat to see Greece from a ship, ala Odysseus, but I also remember sitting on our balcony on Santorini and watching the cruise ships dock only for a few hours or send people onto the island for most of the day but collect them back for dinner before sunset, robbing them of the fundamental Santorini experience of watching the sun slowly set from the caldera edge while drinking cheap delicious wine and wishing that some obscure relative you've never heard about would die and leave you millions of dollars so you would never have to leave the very spot you're sitting in.
Seattle, WA USA Mon 01/29/2007
What's the best way to go
My husband and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary this summer and would love to travel to Greece. The issue we are having is the best way to go: cruise or on our own. Help..
Verona, WI USA Sat 01/27/2007
the best islands!
the best islands to visit if you love partying in greece are: paro(naousa) and mykono... i suggest patmo if you organise to go with many friends!!! hydra is an island for chilling out..no cars..only donkeys! andro is quite big and great for relaxing! enjoy!
Athens, Greece Wed 01/24/2007
Cruising the Greek Isles
My wife and I are considering traveling to Greece in early June, and would like to take a short (few days) cruise around some of the Greek Isles. We'd prefer going on smaller ships or, better yet, a sailing ship. Can anyone recommend such a cruise line that is also not too expensive? Thanks!
Aurora, CO USA Tue 01/23/2007
I haven't been to Patmos...yet. The best way to get around on the islands is by plane by best I mean fastest and easiest but usually it is also the most expensive and many of the smaller islands aren't accessible by plane. I know Rhodes is and I also know that Aegean Airlines is running crazy cheap specials from Athens to Rhodes right now, so it is worth checking out. The other airline is Olympic Airlines but many of the islands are also serviced by Bristish Airways and Lufthansa. Ferries connect most of the islands and you should be able to find connections from Patmos to Rhodes (or vice versa) because they are in the same island chain. If you can afford it, take the faster ferries. Ferries can be fun in Greece but not for more than four hours.
My recommendation for staying in Rhodes is Cava d' oro http://www.cavadoro.com/. It can be a little pricey for a Rick Steves traveller but it is right in the heart of the medieval city, making it very easy to visit all the ancient and crusades era sites. The breakfast is fantastic, the accomodations are very nice and the staff will bend over backward to help arrange rental cars, taxis, and dinner reservations. If you don't like it, at least stay in the medieval city, it is magical and so much better than staying at the beach resort areas on other parts of the island but I assume that if you're interested in Patmos and Rhodes, you're not visiting for the beach. Have a wonderful trip! I adore Greece.
Seattle, WA USA Sun 01/21/2007
I want to travel to Patmos and Rhodes this Spring. What is the best way to get there from Athens? Any idea of a good place to stay?
editor's not: all questions must be posted to Travelers Helpline
USA Sat 01/20/2007
horse riding in naxos
i was on naxos 08-06 to 09 -06 and i went horse riding with naxos horse riding owned by a young lady called iris neubaur and what a good time everybody had riding through the bamboo jungle and along the beach and seeing things and places you would not normally see i can recomend this tour to anybody going to naxos in 2007 i know that if i go back to naxos again i will take the trip again as it was well worth the money barry from slough
slough, berks Uk Sat 01/13/2007
Apartments Gaby Photos
Hi all. I am going to Greece in May, and I'm just wondering if anyone knows how I can get to see some photos of the Apartments Gaby on Santorini?Everyone who has mentioned staying there on the Graffiti Wall, says it is exceptionally good value but I have not been able to find a specific web site to check it out. Alternativley, if anyone knows of any other places that are reasonable, that have sunset views and have character that they can reccommend on either Santorini or Mykonos, I'd certainly appreciate any help. Thanks. Perri
Santarini, Greece Sat 01/06/2007
If you want to go to one of earth's most beautiful place you have to go to Delphi Greece. It is magical! When you go there you must stay in this beautiful hotel with incredible view named APOLLONIA and eat at the better restaurant tavern i have ever eaten in my life called TO PATRIKO MAS. It's a beautiful place built in 1850 with stones and passed from father to son until the fifth generation opened it to the public offering marvelous food. It's not the food we call it "touristic" but nice cooked meals straight from home. Hope you can enjoy it too.
Fortaleza, Ceara Brasil Thu 01/04/2007