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Greece Guidebook Tips/Updates

We just returned from a trip to Greece in late March 2015 using the Guidebook. The trip was amazing and the guidebook was invaluable. I wanted to offer a few tips and highlight a couple of items for anyone else traveling to Greece.

Opening times. As the Guidebook states, don't rely on opening times. We found the best source for accurate opening times was the Ministry of Culture and Sports website (http://odysseus.culture.gr/index_en.html). We visited Athens, Delphi, Meteora, Olympia, Kardamili, Monevasia, Nafplio, Mycenea, Epidavros. The times listed here were correct.

Hydra. As stated in the Guidebook, the ferry and taxi service to Hydra is subject to weather. We had to cancel our visit to Hydra because all ferry and taxi service was cancelled due to weather. Unfortunately we didn't call ahead before driving to Metochi. When we arrived the place was a ghost town. There were no taxis. I called the ferry number listed on the closed booth and was told no service due to weather and to try Ermioni. We then drove to Ermioni. We missed the ferry and the weather was still too bad to take a taxi. One tip, Metochi port for the ferry is not easy to find. It is only a small sign and easily missed. It's also difficult to find on Google Maps. If you want to get driving directions, you can use this address in Google to get to the port.

Ekklisia Agios Charalampos
Ermionida 210 51
Greece

Here is a list of phone numbers of water taxis from both Metochi and Ermioni:

TELEPHONE CENTER : 22980-53690
GEORGAKOPOULOS KOSTAS 6944738100
ROUSIS KOSTAS 6946929710
AKLIROS CHRIS 6977248369
AKLIROU THEODORA 6944907396
ANARGIROY PANAGIS 22980-52698
GEORGAKOPOULOS ILIAS 22980-54005
GARDALINOS ANTONIS 22980-52114
GIONIS EYAGGELOS 693 2421114
MANIATIS STAMATIS 6977676189
ZOGOS CHRIS 6947905855
ZOGOS GEORGE 6944242141
KALAFATIS GEORGE 6944366118
ZOGOS LEYTHERIS 6948118213
LOUDAROS MANOS 6978925840

Caves of Diros. Don't trust the closing times for the Caves of Diros in the Guidebook. We arrived at 3:45pm to find out we missed the last boat (evidently no one showed up at 3:30pm so they decided to close early). We tried to call the number listed in the Guidebook but it was incorrect. It needs a "3" added to the end. Anyway, even though we missed the last boat, we drove down to the port and accidentally entered the caves from the exit (it wasn't marked "do no enter" and no one said anything when we walked in). They came and kicked us out but not before we got to explore. Well worth the trip if you get the chance.

Meteora. I really hope Rick adds Meteora to the Guidebook. It was worth the 3 hour drive (from Delphi). I see he is going to Greece in a few weeks. Rick if you are reading this, please consider adding the monasteries at Meteora. It's right up your alley. I realize it's quite a drive (train/bus ride) but it was the highlight of the trip for my kids.

Thermopylae. Also, if you a driving up to Meteora from Delphi, don't forget about Thermopylae. This is the site of the last stand of the 300 Spartans and King Leonidas. It is just a small monument with a statue but it has a good description of the event and the hill across the road where the last stand happened. Worth the 30 minute stop as it's on the way. Kids liked it.

All the other information in the Guidebook was spot on. We skipped the islands because we were visiting off season and it was still cold (60 degrees most days). I can say that the lack of crowds was a real bonus. At sites like the Agora in Athens, Delphi and Olympia, we felt like we had the place to ourselves. We never had to fight any crowds or tour groups at any of the museums (except the National Museum in Athens). I highly recommend visiting off season if your focus is the archaeological sites.

Thank you Rick for making another trip a success!

Posted by
10344 posts

There's a specific place on the Rick Steves website where you can post corrections to guidebooks and the Rick Steves guidebook editors will read them.

Posted by
6514 posts

Correct Kent, but nobody on this forum is likely to read them there so I think the OP just wanted to give those of us heading to Greece a heads-up. Thanks Joseph.

Posted by
16883 posts

Since I've found this report, I'll forward it on. Thanks!

Posted by
3118 posts

Thanks for your post Joseph!

We're visiting Greece soon with an itinerary similar to yours--the info that you provided will be really helpful!

Posted by
179 posts

We had a ridiculously busy itinerary because we squeezed everything into our kids spring break. Be ready for a lot of driving. It was a 5 hour drive from Meteora to Olympia. About half the time highway. The other have winding mountain roads. If you get car sick, this may be a problem.

Here is some info on the hotels we stayed at as I was happy with all of them. Some were in Rick's Guidebook. Some were not.

Athens
Electra Palace Hotel
http://www.electrahotels.gr/electra-palace-hotel-athens/the-hotel
18-20, N. Nikodimou Street, Plaka, Athens
+30 210 3370000

Meteora
Guesthouse Iridanos
http://www.iridanos-guesthouse.gr/indexeng.html
Kalambaka, 42200, Greece
+30 243 2024552

Olympia
Hotel Pelops
http://www.hotelpelops.gr
Varela 2, 27065 Ancient Olympia
+30 262 4022543

Monemvasia
New Malvasia Hotel
http://en.malvasia-hotel.gr/
Monemvasia Castle, Monemvasia, Peloponnese
+30 273 2063007 / +30 273 2063008

Nafplio
Amfitriti Palazzo Hotel
http://amfitriti-pension.gr/en/
Potamianou & Fotomara, Nafplio, 21100, Greece
+30 275 2096250