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Review Wanted for Road Scholar tour of Greece

Looking for input on the Road Scholar tour of Greece. Anyone taken this tour? I know we could go on our own but prefer a escorted tour.

Posted by
8199 posts

I know you are specifically asking about Road Scholar tours of Greece. While I have not done Greece with them, I have done 10 other tours with the company and am happy to answer general questions about my Road Scholar experiences. I've done 5 International ones and 5 in the US.

Posted by
178 posts

How are the included flights? Do they give you the options to pick your own flights? Do they give you enough free time to do activities on your own?

Posted by
8199 posts

I fly from a very small market in the West with one airline so I'm very familiar with what flights work for me. Because of that I've never had RS book my flights.

Most of the Road Scholar tours I've been on didn't have much free time (compared with Rick Steves for example) BUT you can opt out of any daily activities and head out on your own as long as you let your guide and/or leader know what your plans are so the group isn't waiting for you. The only day this wouldn't work is on a day where you are transiting from one location to the next. Ditto skipping group meals if you have something else in mind.

In general, Road Scholar often has a "leader" who is the person that does the administrative stuff and an "instructor" who is responsible for the content, tours, etc.

If you've got a particular tour in mind I'd be happy to look at it and see what the free time options look like.

BTW, there are some rather dreadful Road Scholar forums. They are largely unhelpful with many people asking one question and never coming back. They are so hard to find anyway I'm sure posters are just lost and unable to battle their way back.

Posted by
178 posts

Pam thank you for your help. We are thinking of The Best of Greece: Island Hopping in the Aegean. Rick Steve 2019 Greece is sold out.

Posted by
5629 posts

For Pam -- since Road Scholar used to be ElderHostel, are their tours less ... energetic ... than the Rick Steves tours? Not sure my sedentary 70+ body can handle "strenuous" touring.

Posted by
8199 posts

OK, I looked at the itinerary. I like that they have multiple nights in places - 2 Athens, 2 Mykonos, 2 Paros, 2 Santorini, 3 Crete plus the overnight on the ferry and a windup night in Athens.

It looks like they have a number of lectures slotted in on some afternoons. This may or may not work out that way. I've found that sometimes when the itinerary says a lecture, sometimes it will be a walking tour instead. Most of the lecture type presentations I've had have been done by a professional - like the archeologist who spoke for about an hour or so before we went out to see standing stones in Brittany. You can evaluate how these go and if they are not of interest you can certainly use this for free time.

I also see some built in free time - afternoons in Mykonos, Crete, Chania and your last day in Athens

TBH, I choose trips now based on itinerary. I have to "cheat" on Rick when I like the Road Scholar itinerary better or when they go places he doesn't tour.

Editing to add a comment to LauraB: Well, some are a bit less strenuous than some of Rick's but definitely not the "sit on the bus and look out the window" type of tour. They have revised their activity levels over the last few years and I think they are pretty accurate. I did do a hiking tour in the UK that was strenuous and not rated that way - it's now changed. It was a matter of having a day of 5 miles worth of hikes actually being 8 miles etc.

They also depend on the activity. I've done a couple of US-based birding tours which are by their nature not strenuous as you spend a lot of time standing and looking. The International tours have been pretty energetic. The last one was Cornwall in 2017 and it mostly matched the activity level of the RS Southern England tour I did this year. One difference was that Rick's tour did St Michael's Mount which is strenuous while Road Scholar just did a drive by and opted to do some megalithic areas that Rick's full-sized bus couldn't have reached.

I did do one tour when they were still ElderHostel. It was a hiking tour of Yellowstone and was pretty energetic.

Posted by
178 posts

Pam,

Thank you for your insight. You may have just talked me into the trip. I would skip the lectures. I may opt to include the flight but would hope for a direct flight out of JFK.

Thanks again

Posted by
8199 posts

I'd evaluate the instructor and see how interesting they are and what their plan is.

On the tour of Wales the instructor was Welsh and part of his "lectures" were talking about the language and teaching us some Welsh as well as one where he taught us how the Welsh miners were taught to sing via hand signals . Many/most could not read music so the director used various hand signals for pitches (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonic_sol-fa). It was fascinating. On the last night of that tour we were to have a concert by a local Welsh choir and the surprise was that the Instructor was a member of the choir. Very fun.

If you are traveling on your own I'd recommend the single supplement.