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Trip report - Paris, Chania (Crete), Athens

Just returned from a 16 day trip June 28 - July 15. As most of you already know - Paris and Greece are HOT at those times. We had no choice really on dates since we were working around kids school and college schedules. Here are some highlights:
In Paris we stayed in Hotel Moliere. It is on a quiet street not far from the Opera. Our room was a bit on the small side for 4 of us, but it was CLEAN and the staff was nice.

We ate at PerBacco one night - Italian food. Good food and reasonable prices - we thought we ordered a glass of wine and ended up with a bottle. I'm sure that was our mistake, but the wine was delicious and we probably needed it after our long trip to Paris ;)
We visited Montmartre on Saturday (this was a favorite area from our last trip). This is the day that the artists are in Artists square. That was probably one of the highlights of our trip. It's a beautiful part of Paris!
We discovered Monoprix on our last visit, it's a drugstore type store that even had decent pain au chocolat when we discovered that most boulangeries are closed on Sundays (and being from Seattle we refused to go to a Starbucks which was open LOL).
We visited L'Orangerie which we really enjoyed. We ended up being there on the first Sunday (which is free for everyone). The lines weren't too bad but it was HOT in line.
We took a side trip to Giverny. I recommend NOT buying a round trip ticket on the train. We bought round trip and ended up being done with 3 hours til our train. On Tuesdays most of Vernon is closed so we ended up having to rebuy our return tickets, no credit is given from the round trip. That was a bit frustrating. We did take the tourist train from the station to the garden and that was fun. Just watch for the return times so you don't have to wait too long to come back.
We loved Paris and mostly just the walking around is my favorite since we'd been 2 years ago and saw most of the main "tourist' sites.
Flew on Aegean airlines (great) to Chania. Chania is beautiful! We stayed in Serenissima hotel which I highly recommend. Everything about it was perfect! Clean spacious rooms, amazing staff.
My husband rented a van at a rental place. Took a long nerve wracking drive to Knossos. It was HOT so go early and bring water.
We rented a car at Kriti plus (highly recommend and more helpful than the first place we used) - they were great and gave us good hints on where to go to find a beach for our daughters to swim at. Loutraki beach is about 30 minutes away with lots of seating options. Water was perfect! We ate in another town close by called Marathi, everyone recommended eating at Patrelantonis there and I do too. DELICiOUS and large servings.
Flew to Athens and stayed at AVA hotel. I will give it an ok. I liked where it was, the staff was nice but after our hotel in Chania it was a let down.
Tip for Acropolis- get your ticket ahead if you can and go to the east gate before they open. One, it's much cooler and two - less crowds. On our way back down we couldn't believe the crowds. We loved the Acropolis museum, it was set up so well!! Our ticket to Acropolis got us into quite a few other sites which was a huge plus. Go see the Ancient Agora and National Archeological Museum too. Lecavittos was pretty cool-took a cab to the funicular and walked back through the National gardens, Parliament, Syntagma square. One thing I learned about Greece is that the government controls the price of bottled water so you'll pay the same everywhere you go. If you go in the summer keep water with you.

Watch for people trying to hand you things or put bracelets on you. We saw this everywhere we went, just keep walking. I saw them handing toys to kids then the parents were stuck trying to giving it back.

We loved our trip and can't wait to travel again.

Posted by
6101 posts

Thanks for this great report. Glad you enjoyed the trip, and thanks for the warning about round-trip tickets to Giverny -- this will be helpful if and when I get to go there. Was the round-trip ticket cheaper than two one-ways?

I too am a fan of the Acropolis Museum, very well designed and laid out.

Posted by
130 posts

Yes the round trip was cheaper - we originally bought first class. We bought second class for our return back and it was almost as much as our round trip first class tickets were.