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April/May in Greece - 28 Nights

We traveled at a slow pace and did many outdoor activities. The weather was cool (except for Athens) and we had only a couple of rainy days.

Things were just beginning to open up - we arrived right at Orthodox Easter time and we’re glad we didn’t go earlier as some restaurants and hotels may have been closed for the season.

For us it was an ideal time - good weather and light crowds.

We were impressed with both Aegean and Sky Express and wouldn’t hesitate to book either one again.

We used very little cash - my husband used his Samsung watch to pay for meals, entry fees, etc. which was really handy.

Gas is expensive ranging from €2.05-€2.25 per liter…that’s $7.74-$8.50 per gallon. Attendants in Greece pump your gas for you and the stations along the highway usually have good snacks and clean restrooms.

Overall, it was a fantastic experience! Greece has so much to offer - great food, friendly people, excellent museums!

It's all good!

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Travel Dates - April 19-May 18, 2022

We flew round trip Atlanta to JFK; then on to Athens. For our return flight, we had a nonstop flight from Athens to Atlanta.

Once we arrived in Athens, we took an Aegean Air flight to Thessaloniki.

We are relaxed travelers and decided to stay at each stop 3-5 days for a more relaxed trip. One of the great things about travel in Greece is that there are many outdoor dining and activity options.

Itinerary:

Thessaloniki - 5 nights

Nafplio - 4 nights

Gythio - 4 nights

Kardamyli - 4 nights

Koroni - 3 nights

Pylos - 4 nights

Athens - 4 nights

Thessaloniki - We typically prefer cities and always enjoy visiting this one! We like the location and amenities at the Electra Palace Hotel.

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Thessaloniki to Athens (Sky Express Flight) -

An Athens Rental Car Company representative met us when our flight arrived. That worked great! We drove to Nafplio from the airport.

If you make this drive be prepared to stop for toll booths - we had to stop to pay tolls 4 times between Nafplio and Athens. They take cash or credit cards and there was always someone there to collect the toll.

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Nafplio - Pension Rigas - 4 nights.

For us it seems that Nafplio has lost a bit of its charm. Partially because it was Orthodox Easter Monday when we arrived and the city was really crowded. Also there was an International Yacht Festival in town - it made us wonder if Nafplio is trying to become the next St. Tropez? We weren’t crazy about our Hotel - Pension Rigas - too expensive for what it was, awkward room layout, and lots of stairs.

There is a nice Wednesday market and it’s a good base for visiting Epidavros. We spent more time than we expected exploring Tiryns - it’s a fascinating archeological site.

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Gythio - Las Hotel and Spa - 4 nights.

It’s a smallish fishing village and there is enough there to explore for a few days. The Las Hotel is modern, our room large, and we had a nice balcony. There was an outdoor area for eating breakfast.

We took a daytrip to Aeropolis - only 30 minutes away.

One of our favorite restaurants of the trip was in Gythio - O!live on the waterfront.

I Trata was a pleasant taverna with good seafood and outdoor seating.

We didn’t, but there are many driving trips you could make south from Gythio.

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Kardamyli - Vardia Hotel - 4 nights.

This was our second stay at Vardia Hotel - the apartments have a great view and are well-equipped.

We spent quite a lot of time hiking around the Old Town.

There is a nice wine and olive oil shop on the main street - it’s Psaltiras Wine and Olive Oil Shop. We had a good cheese and wine tasting experience there.

We were curious about Stoupa and went there for a casual lunch (and to drop off laundry). Stoupa is in a beautiful spot on the water but you’d really have to enjoy sunbathing to spend much time here.

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Koroni - 3 nights - Pelagia Apartments

We had a great small apartment with a terrace that overlooked the water and a wonderful host - it was an easy walk to the tavernas on the waterfront from there.

There is a castle in Koroni with beautiful gardens and lots of hiking trails to explore. It’s a walk uphill and we wouldn’t recommend driving as there is no place to park at the top. The castle is illuminated at night and it’s lovely.

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Pylos - Karalis Beach Hotel 4 nights

Pylos is another small town by the sea with a castle. The small Archeological Museum on the castle grounds is excellent. There is a town square in Pylos with restaurants and tables under the plane trees. It reminded us of a French town square.

We loved the hotel (Karalis Beach); a highlight of the trip. It was a great value with free parking and a wonderful breakfast. This was a good location for a daytrip to Nestor’s Palace and Voidokilia Beach.

We went to nearby Gialova for dinner and enjoyed dining at Notre Maison, a small family-run restaurant with excellent food and wine. I know that janet who is an expert on Greek travel here, suggests Zoe as a place to stay in Gialova. If you want to be on the beach, it looks like an excellent option!

Drive Pylos to Athens - We stopped eight times to pay tolls - total €16.65. The range in price from €1.25-€2.80.

An Athens Rental Company representative met us at the Departures section of the airport - an easy drop-off and a relief that the car was relatively intact!

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Athens - Central Hotel - 4 nights.

The hotel was in a great location but there are probably better options for Athens. The breakfast area was crowded and inside - we’d gotten used to outdoor dining. This was our third time in Athens so we mostly spent time reacquainting ourselves with the city. The restaurants seemed more lively than we remembered and we enjoyed spending time walking around the city. The weather was hot so we had some nice walks in the shady National Garden. We always enjoy dinner at Karamanlidika Tou Fani for meze.

We were confused by the Metro to and from the airport. We expected the M3 line to be direct but each time we had to change to take a suburban train for part of the way. I’m not sure how we could have managed that better.

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Testing for Covid:

We packed 10 or so test kits between us plus the Binax NOW proctored kit for our return test. We tested about 5 days after we arrived; another test a week later; and then tests each day for the two leading up to the day before our departure. We did fine with the proctored test though it was a little awkward to set up the iPad so that the proctor could see everything. It all worked out and we both tested negative each time!

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Really enjoyed your trip report! So many different interesting towns in Greece to explore! I couldn't agree more about how awkward it was to try and get our iPad to face the right direction for the covid test! We used a glass, a book, and the wall to get it to work properly.