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Private guides throughout greece


Making final preparations for our 20 day trip to Greece, leaving Oct 2.

Our group of 4 has an active interest and love (but not a deep knowledge) of ancient Greek mythology, history drama , art and architecture.

We intend to hide private guides for at least some of the ruins/archaeological sites we will be visiting. Would all of the ruins warrant a private guide or is it more advisable/necessary for some but not others.

I've read that it's easy to hire a guide once you get there but is there an advantage to booking a guide in advance and if so, how does one go about it. Int the past, in other countries I've experienced many wonderful guided tours and some that are not so great so any specific recommendations would be much appreciated.

We plan to visit the archaeological museums associated with each site.

Our itinerary will begin with: Knossos and Phaistos on Crete , Akrotiri on Santorini, and then Delos. For the Acropolis and Agora in Athens we plan to use Context Tours. Then we proceed to Delphi and Meteora, then Epidaurus, Mycenae and Olympia.

For which of the sites (and museums) would you recommend guides and who would you recommend.

Thanks in advance.

Posted by
2856 posts

You're a bit late getting around to this, but I certainly wish y ou good luck ... the Best central resource that HAD pvt guides for many places, and LOTS of Info on each guide ... their credentials, experience, rates per hour/group, PLUS reviews -- has JUST closed this guide-locating service, I found this very minute while clicking their book mark. Oh Woe. My guess is, they weren't making enough profit just connecting people with guides for a 3=4 hour experinece, they want to book you for a full day or multi-day tour.... So let me see what other links I have:

KNOSSOS/PHAISTOS -- Have never used a guide in crete myself due to my indepth reading/prep. A good guide definitely will enhance your experience at Knossos AND Museum There are often licensed Guides at the Knossos Gate... but of course they vary in quality, and not at Museum or Phaistos. The "toursbylocals/find a guide" woul likely get you to a Knossos/museum guide then you could inquire about going to Phaistos with that guide.

DELPHI - best-known guide there is Georgia Hasioti - but at this late date, good luck at getting her! Best to email her with exact date & asking if she's booked, to recommend somone she'll give u someone good.

NAFPLIO AREA -- again, the tours by locals is probably your best bet.

METEORA -- I'm not sure you need a private Guide for this, unless you want an indepth discussion of medieval GReek Orthodox Christianity evolvement and monastic practices.. most people just go for the fantastic views from atop pinnacles... many "tours" of Meteora really just provide transportation , accommodation etc, not a licensed guide. your choice.

Posted by
5617 posts

We are in Crete now. We used Niki Vlachou for Archaea Olympia in mainland Greece from RS last year & she was incredible!!! (

She recommended Maria for Knossos & Crete, who gave us a truly superior tour of Knossos earlier this week. Niki made the arrangements, so we didn’t e-mail Maria directly, but had arrangements to meet her at 3:30 a specific day, and were given her phone number. Her tour of Knossos gave us a great reference for visiting many additional Minoan sites we’ve seen in the following few days, as we work our way around more of Crete. Our plan is to see Phaistos on our own in about 3 days, so not certain how Maria might incorporate guiding more than Knossos, but her number is +30 6977368313.

Enjoy Crete and other parts of Greece!

Posted by
2856 posts

Cyn, that's a great recommend but it's also useful to say what the guide's fee is... to help sarah see if it's within her budget.

Posted by
5617 posts

Guide fees might vary, depending on how many sights or other factors. Best to contact potential guide directly. Niki and Maria appeared to know other guides and/or have recommendations for other locations in Greece, too.

Posted by
5617 posts

Went to Festos today. A private guide would’ve been pricey, but would’ve probably helped. There were signs around the site, more than any other Minoan ruins site on Crete, but even so, it was not some to determine exactly which crumbling wall and room was being referred to in a sign. Compared with Knossos, though, both the Queen’s and King’s megarons were more visible, with access up to a rope that prevented you from going inside the space. Testosterone seemed to allow visitors more access, even allowing people to trod on stones that seemed they should maybe be off limits, seeing how many sights were fenced in behind chain like and barbed wire. Some walls at Festos could be walked between, or even on, if someone dated to do that for some reason, and other parts were only visible from a distance. Pilutyi g the whole sight together in context might be easier with a guide.

Rough Guide was less helpful at Featos, while Lonely a Planet was more helpful with explanations, but go right from the entrance, rather than left, as it allows you to follow their route and map, while keeping the book upright. They didn’t specifically say that, and it didn’t help me going left at the start.

Festos is huge, and laid out differently than Knossos, without the maybe-accurate restorations, and a guide might help keep wandering and reading a lot of signs, which 2 guidebooks didn’t replace, more efficient - albeit for a private guide fee. Boy, the views from the sight are beautiful - Minoans knew where to build their palaces and cities. The climb to reach the sight 3,500 years ago must’ve been tough, on foot or by ox cart.

Rough Guide was better for the Gortys, Agia Triada, and Kommos sights today, but their map wasn’t completely accurate or reliable. And both guidebooks understate the prices, which apparently went up some time ago, and the Rough Guide 2019 edition failed to keep current - now €8 for Festos - not a huge amount, but still an increase over what the book indicates. Sites with lots of rocks, some on situ, some maybe placed in a convenient position or place. Lots of Cretan sites remain undug, or have been filled back in, with the artifacts and frescoes now in a museum.