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Just got back from Greece . Some feedback . Read this !

Opa !
Just got back from Greece & it was well worth it . There is absolutely nothing to fear , we saw a couple of demonstrations while sitting in cafes , & it was fine. The people are warm , as is the weather . Outside of the larger urban areas the driving is a breeze , if you drive slow just stay to the right , if you want to put the pedal to the metal then go ! just be careful speeding thru some of the larger towns , & keep your eyes pealed for signs , the Greek gov't really struggles with this department . Use a map & don't be afraid to ask for directions , the Greeks might laugh a bit , but they are happy to help .
Gas is expensive ($1.40 average .. & that's in Euros!) . Always ask first whether or not a gas station accepts credit cards , some do , some don't . Greece is a "cash country" , you will use credit cards for large purchases (hotel , car rental , etc) , but , other than buying gas , expect to pay cash for purchases , meals, souveneirs , etc.
23% tax on every menu item (wish I had gone a few months previously ..hehehe).
Here is a quick review of our trip ; started in Athens which was fun ! We only stayed 2.5 days , but I could have stayed longer.
DON'T EVEN CONSIDER DRIVING IN ATHENS !
nuff said.
Rented a car (more on that later) & drove to Delphi which was fantastic!
We stayed two days & it's a great place to unwind after crazy Athens . I really wish we had stayed longer. The ruins are truly stunning & rival anything I've ever seen , sunset on the ruins is a must . It's free of people. it's a very easy town , the locals gather in main street after the tour busses leave & the kids play soccer.
We had a room at Pitho rooms & I can't even begin to explain the hospitality of the owners George & Wendy . George handles most of the business & he truly is a lovely person . We arrived & stressed as we were , ie: me (Greece is not well signed) George put us right at ease . Wendy & the kids are great! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED !
Use half a day to visit Thermopylae , we did . C'mon guys .. admit you want to see it !
From Delphi we drove to Olympia . We used Olympia as a halfway point , Hotel Pelops was a great choice , we had dinner & an early night , just more of the same tourist shops as Athens & Delphi , no big deal . The museum was closed (election day) & we felt we would skip the ruins.
From Olympia we made our way to Kardamyli , which was a definite highlight ! Just a lovely place to relax , unwind & be a temporary Greek . Don't rush thru or you'll miss the whole point of being there.
From Kardamyli to Monemvasia .
Monemvasia is a MUST !
(again , I'll be happy to answer any questions)
From there we went to Nafplio.....
I wish we had skipped Nafplio , the driving is stressful , not much to see unless you like tourist traps. It has a waterfront & a few square blocks of shopping & eating . The rest of the place is dirty & congested . & just a heads-up .. the climb up to Marianna Hotel is no easy feat , my wife & I are both fit & it's a struggle .
Mycenae is worth the visit ! but I would just stay in the town of Mycenae , see the ruins & get out , Just my opinion.
The ruins are ... magical . It is so , so , old & perfectly situated between two mountains with a commanding view !

Then Santorini .
I hated it !
nuff said
my wife didn't hate it but she didn't like it.
expect crowds & tough walking.
more details upon request.
I loved Greece !
Loved it !
GO !

Scott & Colleen.

Posted by
976 posts

Great report. I love Athens and always stay for a few days before and after heading elsewhere. Haven't been to Delphi, maybe someday. We found Nafplio to be a lovely town and based ourselves there for 7 nights and did lots of day trips to Mycenea, Epidavrous, Tolo and a day cruise to Hydra. We stayed at the Hotel Leto, uphill (not as "uphill" as Marianna) but in a quiet, out of the way area and a short walk to Old Town and Waterfront. We haven't been to Santorini and have no real desire to do so. We are headed for Athens in a few days then nine days split between Astypalea & Amorgos. We love Greece and have been going every year since 2010. We have found that we enjoy the smaller, less touristed islands and parts of the mainland. Kardymili is on our "To-Go-To" list, maybe 2016, but there are several other islands and parts of the mainland to experience. Glad you had a great time. Greece is one of the best bargains in Europe and with the US Dollar almost equal to the Euro even better! Go to Greece, spend some Euros and not only will you be amazed but you'll help the Greek economy!

Posted by
16 posts

We'll ... most people say see the ruins in Delphi then get out .
I sure don't agree . But one man's Nafplio is another mans Delphi .
Thanks for the reply.

Posted by
2788 posts

To reflect on what Scott and Colleen said, I took the RS Greece Tour last year and one of the members of the tour had gone to Santorini for two days prior to joining the tour. She said it was a waste of her time.

Posted by
976 posts

Everyone has their own idea of what they want for a Greek Holiday. We thought Nafplio was lovely but skengly/Scott not so much. I haven't been to Santorini because while it may be visually stunning it will be overrun with tourists, pricey and won't give you a "feel" for a "real" Greek Island. However, many people swear that Santorini is what a Greek Island is all about! We have been going to Greece every year since 2010, mostly islands like Sifnos, Milos, Naxos, did day cruise to Delos (loved it!), Mykonos (another Big Name "Santorini" type island that is just as touristy), stayed in Chania on Crete (lovely Old Town, but more people than we would have liked, but still would recommend) and spent 7 days in Nafplio which we loved. We are headed to two small, less touristed island of Amorgos & Astypalea early Oct. and after our yearly visits to Greece realized we prefer those types of islands. It may be because of our "age" but we still love to have a good time, but we want it to be a "Greek Island" good time . . . not a travel agent's version of a Greek Island. In the end everyone should go where they want and experience Greece, whether it's the mainland or an island. I think almost anywhere in Greece you'll find Greece still retains a lot of it's Old World Charm, polite & courteous people and great prices, even during the off-season and even on the Big Name Islands!

Posted by
16 posts

I couldn't agree more , & thanks for bringing this to my attention .
..Our hosts at Marizan caves in Santorini couldn't have been better , & our room was great !
If you must visit Santorini , then Marizan Caves is highly recommended.