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Athens and the Heart of Greece

Hi, we are thinking this might be our next tour. Some questions for anyone who has already taken the tour,
1) did the bus time seem long?
2) any area you didnt feel you had enough time?
3)any bad hotels?
4) did you stay extra days before or after the trip, if so what you do?
5) overall impression of the trip?


Posted by
2734 posts

If you search this forum, these questions have been asked and answered. There are several good trip reports on Greece.

Posted by
9868 posts

1- no
2- well, in a perfect world would stay much longer, but did not ever have the, sense of being rushed
3- no
4- yes a week in Italy

Posted by
31820 posts


A few thoughts on your questions.....

  1. No, especially since regulations require the drivers stop at set intervals for a set length of time. The usually stop at a rest stop, where tour members can get a coffee or pastry, and use the WC.
  2. Not really. The stops seemed to be just about right.
  3. Not that I can remember. There were some very memorable hotels though, such as the ones in Nafplio and Hydra.
  4. I did some touring in Italy before the Greece tour and went to Naxos and Santorini after the tour. After Santorini I was off to Switzerland, France & Germany.
  5. The tour was awesome..... highly recommended!

Hope this helps.

Posted by
2216 posts

Took this tour a couple of years ago-fantastic! To a answer your questions:
1) no, not at all. We made stops at least every two hours, always to see something amazing, eat or drink something amazing or do something amazing. European law requires bus drivers take a break every two hours so the fun times were built right in!
2) no 3) no. All of them were unique and lovely. 4) Yes. We spent five days in Santorini before joining the tour. Then 2 extra days afterwards in Athens. Easy flights through Athen to Santorini.
5) You can probably tell from the little bits I've written that I enjoyed this tour immensely . Everything about it was awesome to me. The food was a real stand out experience. Read some of the trip reviews and take a look at the scrapbooks posted on the Rick Steves ETTBD site for a better look at a tour. Frankly, (and after the fact) I felt this tour or more likely, Turkey, should be the first tour taken. Some much history that comes after started here.

Posted by
295 posts

We did this tour three years ago.
1. Not really, but know that the tour takes you to some remote places, which can make a bus ride seem long. However, the bus does stop quite often and each trip is broken up nicely.
2. No, because most of the towns are small and easy to see in a few hours. We took time out of sight-seeing to hit the beach every chance we got, therefore not seeing each town fully.
3. No bad hotels. Know that most are small, family run hotels.
4. We arrived a day early and walked around Athens and The Plaka. We also went up Fillopopau Hill at dusk for an awesome view of the Parthenon. After, we flew to Naxos for 3 nights, then took the ferry to Santorini for 2 nights. We then flew back to Athens for a night before heading home.

5. The trip was fantastic! The people are super friendly, the food is great, and the beaches are awesome!

Take a swimsuit and hit the beach every chance you get. Take sandals that can get wet, like Chacos or Tevas. You'll want shoes with a back. You won't need a jacket, only a light sweater. It's the easiest trip to pack for because you'll live in shorts and swimsuits. I learned more about Greek history and mythology from the tour than I ever did in high school or college. Being there, seeing the Parthenon and historic sights, really brings history to life.

edit I forgot to say-there is no way we could have planned, seen, or driven the route the RS tour took us on. It is a very comprehensive tour and well worth taking!

Posted by
15365 posts

April-May 2017.
1. Most of the bus time was scenic.
2. The only places that felt rushed were the museums in Athens
3. Not all hotels (or all rooms in each hotel) are equal, but none were unsatisfactory and some were stellar
4. I would have stayed after in Athens, but hotel prices were significantly cheaper in April than in May, so I spent several days in Athens before the tour and flew home right after. The more time you can spend in Greece, the better.
5. The guide and driver were both excellent. The tour itinerary was very good. Tons of photo ops. I can't believe it took me so many years for my first visit. I know I'll be back before too long.