Thank you in advance--y'all have been endlessly helpful for other trips we have taken!
Our family will take an educational trip to Greece in Mid-March. (No option for other dates). On our educational trips, we read & study for the year ahead, and then visit and explore. We still need help on a lot of questions. If you are able to offer help on just one question, or all of them, we thank you! Our kids are 14, 12, 10. They love history. They also are typical kids--at some point, more ruins just look like more ruins! Physical activities work well, balanced with touring. Rather than just focusing on Ancient Greece, we are trying to incorporate a lot of background of the Byzantine Empire and Ottoman Empire and the modern immigrant situation. We welcome any input you have.
Day 1: Arrive Athens apartment
Day 2-5: Explore Athens, including a day trip to Hydra
Day 6: Car rental from outskirts of Athens, visit Delphi, arrive at lodging in Meteora (Kalamata)
Day 7-8: Hike & explore monasteries (Probably doing the "Meteora Hiking Tour")
Day 9: Drive to Nafplio apartment
Day 10-11: Explore Pelopennese Peninsula, hopefully rent a small boat to do independent cruising
Day 12: Drive to Athens, stopping at Corinthian canal
Day 13: Fly home
What activities would you recommend private tours? We really like the "Free City Walk Tours" whenever we arrive in a new city, so we will do that in Athens. We plan to book tour guide for Meteora hike. Any others?
What more modern activities can you recommend? We have plenty of options for exploring ancient ruins and cathedrals, but anything in touch with more modern culture (olive oil tasting?) or physical activities would be great.
Which Meteora monasteries should we visit if we aren't going to do all? We will plan around the days they are closed, and our lodging is at the base of the Holy Trinity Monastery, so we will definitely go there. Please advise on best to visit (Wednesday & Thursday).
Nafplio Boat Rental: this is a quirky one--our kids love the idea of motoring around in the Aegean Sea, looking for an island to dock at. (I know, a bit of a fantasy, but we try to indulge their adventurous spirits). The only boat rental I have been able to find in Nafplio is for yachts. We are thinking ideally of a pontoon type boat/motor boat. (This is a challenging question--you will get big Thanks if you can answer this one!)
Peloponnese Activities: what are your top recommendations for 2 days? We definitely want to tour the Venetian Palamidi fortress in Nafplio. Additional considerations are: Corinth, Epidaurus Theatre, Kaspia Cave, Sparta, Mystras, Olympia. We need advice tailored to a family with teens!
Syrian Refugee Camp: this may be impossible, but.... we have focused on the current refugee situation in Greece, particularly in Athens. We sponsor an organization that serves there, and we care deeply. I contacted one camp to ask if we could visit and spend a couple hours there, but they declined. Ideally we could spend a few hours, possibly handing out items, or just interacting with children. I know this may sound odd, and we don't mean it to make a spectacle of the refugees. It's important to us because we truly care about the plight of the people and have read and prayed for them for a long time. We feel like it truly is part of modern Greek culture, just not very publicized. So any guidance you can give about an organization or opportunity would be appreciated.
Anything else you think we really need to consider? Especially advice because we have kids. We wish we could stay longer this time, but we can't. So we are trying to balance squeezing in all these incredible things without overwhelming ourselves!
Thanks so much.