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Fabulous trip to Greece!

Just returned from a fabulous two-week trip to Greece. I went with four lady friends and we used Rick's Peloponnese itinerary as a guide. We traveled in the opposite direction, though, with some changes. We spent three days and nights in Athens, then picked up our rental car and headed to travel the Peloponnese region. We skipped Hydra altogether and stopped in ancient Korinthos (Corinth) on our way to Nafplio. It was awesome to see the remains of the court where the Apostle Paul was once charged with breaking the law for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I took some awesome photos of the temple of Apollo with the Gulf of Corinth in the background. Unfortunately due to some delays we were not able to visit Mycenae.

We did go to the Palamidi fortress where two of our group climbed down the 999 steps! After two nights in the region we headed to Monemvasia, stopping in Mystras. I didn't realize how much time and hiking it would take to see all the Byzantine churches so this took a good part of our day. It was well worth it though! More awesome photos. By that evening we were checked into our AirBnB in Xifias, on the outskirts of Monemvasia. My sister and I hiked up to the upper town of the castle. More awesome photos and more muscular pain. Lol

After two nights we headed to Messenia, checking in to our AirBnB house up in the mountains. The entire village was made of stones - house and roads alike. It was beautiful! We enjoyed the beach at Stoupa and also visited the beach in Kardamyli - where I ended up being assisted into the water by a Greek actor and director. I could not walk on the stone beach. However, this gracious Greek who insisted on helping me "into the water so you can swim and when you're ready I will help you out. It's called Greek hospitality" made this a very special memory.

After two nights we were on to Olympia. We were in Olympia one day and night but it was long enough to take in Archai Olympia and the fabulous museum. More awesome photos. We even had a comical race at the site of the first Olympic games.

Next was a scenic drive to the Delphi region. We were unable to visit part of the ancient remains due to an ongoing fire. We drove on to the spectacular village of Arachova where we spent two nights in the most beautiful AirBnB yet! The hostess was a gem, baking us morning cakes to take on our trip to Meteora. Visiting the Meteora monasteries was unforgettable! We took the 4-hour tour and then returned to Arachova. After two nights it was back to Athens for one night before flying back home to America.

Important things for you to consider: if you have trouble walking and hiking, this itinerary is not for you. If driving on very narrow roads up and down the mountains - where a 19-mile destination will take 45 minutes, this trip is not for you. I drove the entire time and at the end of the day I was so ready to get out of the car. But by morning I was raring to go and see more fabulous sites. We went everywhere we wanted to, ate out whenever we wanted, wore a mask when required (inside shops if other customers were present, the monasteries, anywhere they were required) and took our vitamins. We were all Covid negative before returning. I fell in love with Greece and the people and was heartbroken to leave it behind. I hope to go back someday. Another piece of advice: when ordering your meal at a restaurant, it's best to share it with a companion because all the dishes, including salads, are HUGE portions. Greeks are generous with their hospitality, their service and their love for Americans!

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esther07pauling,
Thanks for a great trip report! How wonderful for you to have made such a lovely trip with friends!

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499 posts

How was the weather? I would love to go to Greece, but I don’t like heat and humidity so I have to plan it around weather.

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438 posts

Were the crowds bad in Athens? Would you suggest buying skip the line tickets for the 'biggie' things?

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2818 posts

“Greeks are generous with their hospitality.” I couldn’t agree more! So much of your details reminded me of our experiences in Greece. Very active trip. We loved the hikes. Every time I read a trip report like yours, I wish we were back. So true about HUGE food portions! We always shared. I recall having Greek Salads often and the wonderful Greek Yogurt with honey, fruit & walnuts. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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The weather was hot and humid. I wore mascara only the first few days because with perspiration it would start to run into my eyes and burn. I bought the wonderful water bottle from this website and would fill it with water the night before and leave it in the freezer overnight so I wouldn't have to drink hot water during our hikes. A couple of our group bought those little touristy decorative hand-held fans and they really did help when you're standing in line in the hot sun. Buy one!

The crowds weren't exceedingly bad. I wouldn't bother with Skip the Line. We didn't have to wait all that much - it just felt like it because of the hot weather.

While in Athens we used the Metro. It got us where we needed to go very quickly and efficiently. We bought daily tickets so we didn't have to pay each time we rode. Incidentally, I recommend learning a few Greek phrases, even though most Greeks speak English as well. It'll help when you are in the small villages where not everyone speaks English and you can get a waiter's/vendor's, etc attention very quickly by simply saying, "Signomi" (excuse me). They are instantly friendlier when they see you attempt to speak their language.

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Not many people will appreciate this but we had a super fun trip also because one of my sisters back home had asked me to take pictures of "hot Greek men." It became a sort of game and our entertainment. I was careful in who and how I asked for their pic and no one turned me down. The men laughed when I told them afterwards why I wanted their picture. They were tickled that they "made the cut." Lol One of them actually turned the tables and embarrassed me when he said afterwards, "Ok, ok but I have a theory - it wasn't your sister." We all laughed so much. This truly was a trip of a lifetime.

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1956 posts

I loved reading your report of how you traveled independently. You drove everyday- that’s a great service to your friends. I just returned from 10 days in Venice and a friend told me to bring home a hot Italian so I ended up taking photos of handsome gondoliers. We had a lot of laughs over my pictures.

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Don’t know where people get that taking pics of hot men (or women, for that matter) is illegal if they are willing subjects, fully clothed, no favors were exchanged and no suggestive poses. How can that get us arrested? Heck! They had a laugh and enjoyed being part of the fun. Everyone we met enjoyed laughing with us and some became friends for life. Absolutely love Greece! Fantastic people!