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Best of Athens and Greece 14 days 2020

My wife and I are considering this tour for June 2020. We are veterans of several RS tours although we are concerned about the level of "strenuosity" of this tour. We are both 65, in good health and quite active although of neither of us are serious hikers, walkers etc. Nor do we have chronic knee or back issues. We completed the Best of Switzerland in 2018 (similar level of strenuosity) which seemed manageable. I'ld like to hear from some other seniors that have taken this tour and how they managed the stairs, etc. Oh, we are also planning to avoid the summer heat. Thanks for your feedback. Craig and Denise

Posted by
7475 posts

Wonderful trip. Given your described level of fitness, you should have no problems.

We did it end of June/early July, due to teacher schedule, and cooler would have been nicer.

Enjoy!

Posted by
1939 posts

I took this tour when I was about the same age as you and I enjoyed it so much I am taking it again in April during Greek Orthodox Easter. It will be a completely different experience. I didn't have any issues at all last time and although I am a little older now, the tour is rated the same and I am not worried at all. I have to say though, I live at 6300' altitude, hike/walk consistently and have a distinct advantage when hiking/walking for sustained periods of time below that altitude. That said, I will continue all the exercise I normally do every day plus step it up a bit after the New Year. It just wasn't that strenuous for me then and I don't expect it will be this time, either. If there is something scheduled I just don't feel up to taking on, I would let my tour buddy and/or the guide and anyone I am traveling with know I will be doing something different and meet the tour later. Avoiding the summer heat is key; good plan. First tour was mid October. We had some rain but it was warm enough then.

Posted by
2804 posts

This is an amazing tour. We took the tour 2 years ago in the month of September. The weather was pleasant. From your description you should find it manageable. We are both active seniors and serious walkers. (We walk 5+ miles every day) and upwards of 10 miles on tours. As far as stairs, some tend to be slippery (Acropolis). Some of the hikes have uneven terrain. That said, having comfortable shoes with a good tread is advisable.

Oh, and I will be celebrating my 72nd birthday next week. My husband will turn 74 the following week. ;)

Enjoy your planning!

Posted by
262 posts

We absolutely loved this tour, took it in late March/early April of 2017. I would say June is going to be v v warm. You might consider going in April or early May to avoid the heat. Wildflowers were gorgeous when we went.
This is a very vigorous tour. Some on our tour thought it was more difficult than Sicily which is rated highest in activity level. However if you have no issues with knees, back etc and do some long walks including hills beforehand, you’ll be fine. I have a slight disability and was able to keep up, with my husband’s occasional assistance.

Posted by
2466 posts

Start walking, seriously. The terrain in Greece is rough. We did this tour when we were your age and did fine. But some of the optional hikes were difficult but so rewarding we were gad we got in shape.

Posted by
28 posts

I took this tour a few years ago, when I was older than you, and it was and is my all-time favorite (so far). There is a lot of walking and uneven terrain in Greece, but with no chronic issues and a good experience in Switzerland I would expect you can handle it fine. I'd say you don't have to be a runner or "serious" walker. But you do need good balance and the ability to go up and down hills, and must pay attention to the footing.

I'll also echo the suggestion that you consider taking an earlier tour if you have the flexibility. I was there in late May and it was already quite hot in Athens, somewhat more tolerable elsewhere. Our guide suggested April as best for pleasant temperatures, weather, flowers in bloom, long days, etc.

I strongly recommend this tour!

-Ben

Posted by
1582 posts

My husband was about your age when we did it and he had a bum knee. Other than intending to skip the planned hike to the top of Momenvasia ( which turned out to be closed because of weather), he was able to handle everything and had no problem keeping up. The approach to the Acropolis is usually done in stages, so there was no trouble with the climb. We took collapsible hiking poles, which we really didn’t need.