Please sign in to post.

October travel in Greece

So, I know no one can predict the future. I have read the archives. But, here's my question/concern: suppose you wanted to do a portion of the RS itinerary in Athens and the Peloponesse. We are thinking Napflio + Hydra and maybe Delphi, along with Athens. We are thinking we would do it by bus and ferry (have driven in 8 or 9 countries in Europe, but Greece makes me nervous). Anyway, not the whole RS itinerary, because we are looking at a cruise out of Athens/Piraeus which we would catch after our Greek tour. The thing I am worried about, is the many strikes they have these days in Greece. We might get stuck in Napflio because the bus drivers are on strike, get stuck in Hydra because the ferries are on strike and miss the cruise. Not be able to embark or disembark fro the cruise because the port is blocked. Or not be able to get to the airport because taxis and busses are on strike. In which case, we would probably be invited to pay $5K to rebook our travel agent just laughed when I suggested the airline might take pity on us. So, are my concerns valid, to the extent that we would be crazy to pursue this? From what I can tell, strike are generally only for a couple of days and are usually with advance notice. So, I guess you could try and plan around it. But I'm not sure your insight welcome.

Posted by
956 posts

Travel. Insurance. The first time I went to Amsterdam, ( in the early 80's)the public transport workers, the garbage collectors and another public service ( post office?) were on strike. It was a boon for the taxi drivers and there were evidently more bike riders than usual according to the taxis. We walked more and pooled the taxi fares. It was no big deal, you go with the flow, you're on vacation while those guys are going to WORK! We're booked for a cruise in Oct .from Piraeus; going a few days early also. Even though I want to take more luggage than usual, I'll take my wheeled carryon and use my Campmor as a daypack for the pair of dress shoes and eveningwear. I'll be able to take the train from the airport to the hotel to the port ...and then walk to the ship if the taxis are striking, or will take a taxi if the public transport is striking. If it's something else...... I'll already have ideas from the hotel front desk folks.I'd expect the cruise line to have some ideas, too. Any way it happens, it is a story.
Can you simplify your itinerary to allow for being stuck somewhere?

Posted by
1878 posts

We may be talking about the same cruise! I am considering dropping the outlying towns and just doing Athens plus the cruise. At least that would limit my risk of getting stuck somewhere. I am looking into the travel insurance, the insurance that was offered by the cruise line did not include this in covered risks.

Posted by
1878 posts

Also - I gather that you think every mode of transport being on strike at once is unlikely. I hope so - but based upon what I see on the web, it does happen when they call a general strike. Our flight out is very early so metro is not an option - it's taxi or bus for us.

Posted by
1249 posts

As you say it's difficult to predict, but strikes rarely occur with no warning. I Kathimerini has a useful online English section which is worth keeping an eye on. http://www.ekathimerini.com/ekathi/news You have a couple of options: a) arrange your itinerary so that you plan to be back in Athens a couple of days before your cruise departs. That way if a lightning strike occurs you have some slack. b) stay in Athens and do some of what you want to do with tour companies. Chat Tours - http://www.chatours.gr/ - and Go Tours - http://www.gotours.com.gr/ - both do one day tours to Delphi for example. We're off for a couple of weeks in Andros on Saturday and I'm not anticipating any major problems. Have a good trip. Alan

Posted by
4524 posts

Strikes add inconvenience; they don't shut the whole country down. I'd also encourage you to consider driving to Nafplio and Delphi. Getting to Delphi on a bus or on a tour excursion is not a big deal. But Nafplio is better served with your own car. Epidavros and Myceanae are well outside of town and harder to arrange public transportation. As long as you don't drive in Athens itself, Greece is fine. Roads are well marked in English and lightly travelled. You must have an IDP. And for a cruise I would always buy travel insurance. There are numerous reasons why you might miss it, few of them related to transit strikes. Read the fine print to confirm what is covered.

Posted by
1878 posts

From what I have read online, sometimes the strikes do shut down all transportation. If metro, bus, and taxis are all down, how would you get to the airport? I can easily see a scenario where our flight leave without us. I think insurance is a good idea.

Posted by
1814 posts

I severely twisted my knee the day before our first trip to Greece in 2003, so upon arriving at our hotel in Athens (which was the same hotel we were using at the end of our trip) I booked transfers (taxis) to Pireaus, then from Pireaus to the hotel three weeks later, and from the hotel to the airport the next day. Three weeks later, when we arrived at Pireaus on the ferry from Mykonos late at night, we heard from other passengers that the taxis were on strike. We were a little apprehensive, as I still could barely walk a block. As we were leaving the ferry, we saw our taxi driver with a discrete sign with our names. He had come to pick us up in his personal car! And the next day, he returned to the hotel and took us to the airport in his personal car! We were so grateful. What I learned from this is that people often go out of their way to help travelers. So go, and don't worry. I'm sure it will work out. And you could try pre-booking your taxi to the airport for your trip home, and with luck find a wonderful driver like ours!