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Trekking Poles on the Athens/Heart of Greece Tour

How useful are trekking poles likely to be on the Rick Steves-Athens/Greece tour? I'll be checking my bag, so getting them there is not a problem.

Ricka

Posted by
31 posts

VERY USEFUL! How I wish I’d brought mine. One of the couples on our tour did bring theirs and the rest of us were quite jealous.
Lots of walking on uneven ground, trekking down steep stairs etc. bring them, you won’t regret it.

Posted by
1572 posts

Probably similar to the Sicily tour, where I found my poles very useful and other people wished they had them.

Posted by
55 posts

Thank you both. I will definitely take them.

Ricka

Posted by
969 posts

The main thing is be careful when you visit the Acropolis, the surface is very slick and one of our tour members took a spill and landed on her back. The volume of people who have walked on the Acropolis over the last 3000 years have worn the surface to a marble like smoothness, our guide stated that on a rainy day it was difficult to take groups up because it was so slick.

Posted by
3728 posts

We didn’t have trekking poles on the RS Greece tour. That said, they would have been helpful on the uneven terrain we encountered. I will also advise caution when walking at the Acropolis. I had treaded sneakers on and still slipped. The worst steps we encountered were in Santorini. Our hotel had 197 marble steps to our room. It was challenging. One gal did fall and fractured her leg. Good plan to bring the trekking poles. Have a safe trip & enjoy!

Posted by
379 posts

I have a pair of fold-able hiking poles that I take on trips. Often I bring just one, that is usually enough for the 3rd point of balance that I need on slick and uneven trails. They are right about the slick rock surfaces near many of the ruins. Others have lot of small rubble between the sole of your shoes and the firm earth. It tends to make one's shoes slip a bit.

Along with poles, good walking or hiking shoes are helpful. I am far more sure footed with a pair of light weight hiking boots or shoes on my feet than ordinary shoes or, worse yet, sandals.

Ireland is another good place to bring poles. Again, lots of ruins and trails with slippery or un-firm surfaces to slip on.

Posted by
725 posts

If bringing walking sticks/hiking poles, wouldn’t these need to be in checked bags? I considered bringing some on our basque tour but I really don’t want to check a bag.

Posted by
55 posts

Thanks everyone. I had been warned about how slippery things can be around the ruins, so I will be very careful. Poles are definitely going into my checked bag.

Posted by
379 posts

If bringing walking sticks/hiking poles, wouldn’t these need to be in
checked bags? I considered bringing some on our basque tour but I
really don’t want to check a bag.

I suppose it depends on what is more important to you - Having no checked baggage or having a hiking pole that will extend your ability to walk about. I know what my answer is to that that. I will gladly blow an extra 30 minutes to wait for my luggage so I can have the pole to help me if I need it. I figure I am traveling thousands of miles and paying thousands of dollars to see the ruins of the shrine to St. Mozzerella. I don't want to hang back for want of a pole to help me on a slippery trail. But, that's me. YMMV.

Posted by
55 posts

Yes, they have to be checked. Personally, it's worth it to me.

I definitely will be taking mine. Thank you all for the feedback.

Posted by
55 posts

Thought I would come back and update this post, since I'm now back from Greece. Due to the amount of lost checked luggage, I decided not to check my bag, and therefore couldn't bring my poles. They would definitely have come in hand a few times on the RS Greece tour, although I did fine without them. When I went on to Kea for my food/cooking program, we did do one steep hike and I was able to borrow poles from our host. They came in really handy. Once the airports get their act together again, I will definitely take my poles when the plan is to do a lot of steep hiking.

Ricka

Posted by
3728 posts

Ricka- Thanks for coming back to the forum to let us know all went well. Great news. ;)

Posted by
68 posts

Having done the tour and then needing to bribe a random stranger with money to give us a ride back down the rocky unstable hill we climbed via a very long road very out of the way to where we came from! We were stuck! I whole heartedly say yes, take those poles!!!