A holiday in Greece also offers sunny islands, picturesque landscapes, delectable cuisine and an unrivalled sense of history. Ancient Greece is encapsulated in a myriad of archaeological monuments, most notably the Parthenon which dominates the capital, Athens, while modern tourists discover the delights of traditional island villages and the sandy beaches of the islands inmore
Traditional Greek Village - Bob & Lynn. Date of travel: Jun 2009
We have travelled to the Pelion Peninsula for the last 7 years and each year, we cannot wait to go back again! The views are spectacular, sunsets magnificent; we have met fantastic people, made new friends, met up with old friends and stayed in unspoilt Greek resorts, well off the British tourist track. Well worth the effort to get there.
Brand-new Boutique Hotel in Milina, Pelion - Bob & Lynn. Date of travel: Jun 2009
Whilst staying in the unspoilt and friendly resort of Milina, Pelion, (our third stay here) we came across this brand new hotel, just off the seafront. The very friendly owner kindly asked us inside to show us around and we were so impressed by the standard of workmanship and quality of the hotel and its individual “boutique” bedrooms, we had to write to tell you about it. The owners of the hotel are brothers Paris and Christos (of the famous “Paris” Restaurant in Kala Nera – easily the best in the area!) The brothers have been working throughout the winter months to add the finishing touches to the hotel, with hand-made unique light fittings and lamps made out of driftwood. Their skill and workmanship is apparent throughout this impressive, top class hotel. We would recommend this hotel to anyone wishing to stay in a typically Greek village/resort but in luxury accommodation, which is just off the small beach with shops and tavernas all very close by. We thought the room rates were very reasonable for the high standard of this beautiful hotel.
Ferries in Greece - Anonymous. Date of travel: Sep 2008
If you are booking ferries in the Greek islands, be careful of who you book through. We booked our ferry via the Internet and when we got to Milos to pick up our tickets, we didn't have any. After many phone calls to Paleologos s.a, they we finally got the ferry booked again. However, instead of a room with berths to sleep, we ended up sleeping on the floor in what was called the 'living room'. It has now been 2 months and I still haven't gotten the credit for difference in cost between the tickets we originally paid for and the ferry tickets we ended up with.
Kalymnos - Vathi - Margot Hinz. Date of travel: Jul 2008
Kalymnos - Vathi
If you ever feel the need to get away from the world, Vathi is the place to escape to. Accessible from the main town of Kalymnos by car, or by yacht or tripper boat, it's the perfect little get away. Coming by boat, the entrance is rather daunting first time around, it looks like you are sailing into a tiny crack in the mountain. The fjord ends in a village, with small pier and a few choice tavernas, and by the time evening arrives and the tripper boats have left you have the little place of heaven all to yourself.
Leros - Little Jewel - Margot Hinz. Date of travel: Jun 2008
Leros - Little Jewel
Our first experience of Leros was interesting. Being on a yacht, we moored in the little fishing harbor of Panteli. After spending the day lost among the cobble streets and tiny villas, swimming in the crystal clear sea, and a seafood dinner rivaling top hotels, we spent a quiet night being rocked gently to sleep. Next day we awoke to find that our captain had a mysterious headache (nothing at all to do with all the ouzo consumed the night before) and our boat had gently rocked itself into a shallow trench, we were grounded.. With the insight of the local fishermen and imagination of the crew, and our tummies full of the best apple pie imaginable, we finally made it out of the harbour. Needless to say, we were always greeted with open arms and big grins each time we returned.
Ouranoupoli and Mount Athos - Stelios Lageris. Date of travel: Jan 2008
Ouranoupoli and Mount Athos
On the top of the Mount Athos peninsula and at a distance of 120km away from the airport of Thessalonica lies Ouranoupolis, the Gate of Mount Athos. Ouranoupolis is a divine landscape, combining mountainous and sea beauties, promising unforgettable holidays, especially for the travellers seeking the relaxation, away from the stress of the town. The village seems to be a serene portrait which welcomes the pilgrims and prepares them for their spiritual journey to Mount Athos. Besides that Ouranoupolis means in Greek, the city of Heaven, the city who drives you up to Heaven... Its visitors are welcomed by the Tower of Andronikos, the “alert protector” of the city for centuries, built in 1344 by the monastery Vatopediou as a protection from the pirates. In front of the tower lies the port, the gate of Mount Athos, where either the ferry boats travel to the monasteries or cruise around the peninsula at a distance of 500m from the beach. In Ouranoupolis the visitors apart from the hospitality and the friendly spirit of the residents, have the unique chance to savor fresh fish caught in the Mount Athos Golf in traditional fish taverns, to relax in pleasant cafes or bars drinking cocktails on the beach watching the sunset. During the day the activities give unique opportunities for swimming or fishing at exotic beaches across Ouranoupolis, on the small isles, which can be visited either by small fishing boats or small speedboats. There are ferry boats which daily set off from the harbor for the Mount Athos cruise. Diving, sea sports, cars and motorbikes for rent are being at the disposal of the visitors. Ouranoupolis is surrounded by a wonderful forest which is being offered for walks and exploration, viewing to the village and Mount Athos. Inevitably Ouranoupolis is the last stop for all pilgrims who wish to visit Mount Athos since they have to collect early in the morning the Diamonitirio, a written authorization and the ticket for the ferry boat.
Everything you need to know about Mykonos, Santorini and Athens via Gate 1 Travel - Aaron Shepard. Date of travel: Sep 2007
My wife and I just returned from our Honeymoon in Greece and had a wonderful time. We booked the 10 day trip with Gate 1 Travel, which included 3 nights in Mykonos, 3 nights in Santorini, and 2 nights in Athens. After making it to Athens we had to get a flight over to Mykonos. Gate 1 had a representative there to meet us, which was great. Unfortunately, we got in at 12:30pm and did not have a connecting flight until 7:00pm. Gate 1 did put us up in a 5 star hotel across the street from the airport, which was beautiful and nice, but we lost an entire day so we weren't very happy about that. Later on we came to find out some people flew in to Athens at 9:00am and had the same connecting flight we had, what a waste. Hence, getting into Athens at a reasonable time does not necessarily entail getting to Mykonos any earlier. Mykonos: Definitely necessary to be near/in Mykonos town. We stayed at the Tharroe and had a great experience there. All the hotels offer free breakfast. Of the 3 hotels we stayed at, we thought this hotel had the best breakfast. Breakfast saved us a lot of money, as we would try to eat as late as it was served so that we could just have a light snack mid-afternoon and then would really only have to pay for one meal a day. We found Mykonos town fun to walk around in, but we did get lost walking in circles for about an hour down there (maps don't help because there are no street names), so be forewarned. Also, we found that there was nothing we saw there that we couldn't have bought in Santorini or Athens for cheaper, so unless you're desperate to buy something in Mykonos or think you found something really unique, you'll find it cheaper elsewhere. There are lots of great restaurants right on the water. Beautiful sunsets by the water where the piers are. The Delos tour was one of our favourites throughout the trip, highly recommended! You will need a tour guide to make this a great experience though. Therefore, we do recommend booking this trip through Gate 1 if you're going that route, but can find cheaper deals once you're on the island if you're looking to save money. Another couple we met there rented a scooter, and the place required a motorcycle licence, but you may be able to rent from other places without one. One thing we wish we had done was rented a scooter or ATV while we were on Mykonos, as there are a lot of beaches in various parts of Mykonos island that we did not get to. Speaking of beaches... we went to a restaurant called Nammos on the beach that is known for having famous people. This place had a great atmosphere, perhaps one of the best, however the food wasn't amazing by any means, but the prices were pretty high. Cocktails are about €10-€14 a piece, which adds up quick. Also charge a €5 per person "cover charge" (many restaurants do this, but usually is about €2 a person). We spent way too much at this place! FYI if you try to get a picture petting Petros the Pelican (good luck fighting the crowds), watch out, he'll turn around and bite you (luckily he has no teeth). All-in-all we felt that Mykonos was a must only for the day trip to Delos. Santorini: We took the flying cat catamaran from Mykonos to Santorini, which was set up through Gate 1. The boat was scheduled to leave at 2:30pm, but didn't arrive until 3:30pm, this apparently is common. The boat arrived in Santorini 4 hours later, and again we lost a day in Santorini. Santorini was by far and away our favourite stop on the trip. The sunsets are amazing from the caldera, shopping in Fira town was great (and relatively cheap compared to Mykonos), and we enjoyed the beaches here. Stayed at the Caldera Lilium Vilas, highly recommended! Right on the Caldera, unbelievable suset view, and the hotel restaurant was incredible - food and presentation. Our first full day we rented an ATV from a place called Markos for only €25 a day. This was well worth it! We hopped on the ATV and went down to the Red Beach, another must see. FYI there is a short little hike down to the beach. Down at the beach my wife collected some pumice stones, which she was excited about and the water and view were spectacular. We then rode down to one of the black sand beaches, which was just like most other beaches, with the exception of the black sand, but had fun there and would go again. We then drove to the Boutari winery where we did some wine tasting and bought some bottles of wine for relatively cheap. Unfortunately, they do not ship back to the US, so we only bought 2 bottles, one to bring back home and one we drank while watching the sunset. Oia is the "famous" sunset spot, so we drove there to try to catch the sunset. We did get a little lost, as the signs aren't great, and almost missed the sunset. It was nice, but didn't feel it was worth the effort, as the sunset view at our hotel was just as good, if not better. We did come to find out the reason Oia is known to be the place to see sunsets is that in the months of July and August the sun sets between two of the islands in the near distance. The next day I decided to book one of the trips to hike up the volcano and hot springs, of which there were many to choose from and all significantly cheaper than going through Gate 1. However, we were not entirely enthralled with the decision to go, as the Volcano is a bit of a hike to get up to the top, and in the words of my wife: "I climbed up this whole thing and don't even get to see lava!" The only thing to see from the top is a few steam vents from the "active" volcano. We then hurried back down to catch the boat to go to the hot springs. When we got there we anchored about 30 meters from the actual hot springs, so had to swim a bit to get there. The water there is brown, and not all that envigorating, particularly when swiming from the luke warm hot springs to the Agean sea that is probably about 10-20 degrees colder (or at least felt that way). Only reason to do this trip is to say you did it. I think we ended spending a total of €56-€60 for the two of us, definitely not worth that. Things I would have liked to have seen that we missed were Kamari beach, which apparently is like Fira town (a bunch of shopping) and the beach there; the wine museum; and the view from the highest point on the island (Pyrgos). Athens: We flew out of Santorini back to Athens. We actually got into Athens around 1-2pm, so we didn't loose a whole day! Staying near/in the Plaka/Acropolis area is vital. We ended up going back and forth between our hotel and the Plaka/Acropolis multiple times throughout the day secondary to our feet were killing us and there wasn't all that much to do. We had the best luck shopping in the Plaka. If you haven't bought any presents up until you get to Athens you will be fine. The Acropolis is amazing and obviously a must see. Even more amazing is they only charge you €12 a person for visiting 4 or 5 different sites. We spent a good 1/2 to 3/4 day walking around. FYI: bring water with you into the Acropolis, it's a lot of walking around and there is only one vendor (at least that we saw). We stayed at the Royal Olympic, which was a good location (right across from Zeus' Temple). This was an "upgrade" from Gate 1 as we were supposed to stay at the Divini but it was overbooked. We weren't overly impressed with the hotel, but heard for an extra €120 a night you can stay in an amazing suite. We roamed around Athens a bit outside the Acropolis and got to see the Olympic Stadium, the Parliment building and got to see the "changing of the guards." 1-1.5 days in Athens was more than enough. Some how I ended up booking a flight out of Athens at 6:45am, so we were picked up at the airport by a taxi (paid for by Gate 1) at about 3:00am, so that wasn't all that fun. We did end up back in the states by 12-1pm, so that worked out well. Overall, we had an amazing time, and hope to return. We felt that Gate 1 did a great job overall, and would book through them again. Worse thing was losing an entire day in both Mykonos and Santorini, which were not entirely in their control. The only excursion in our view that was worth booking through Gate 1 was the Delos trip. Other FYIs: Seafood is ridiculously expensive, stock up on your fish fill before you go. The exchange rate is awful and things that would cost $5 in the US costs about €5 in Greece. You can also rent a car on any of the islands for about €35-€55 a day. Bartering in Athens is "expected," we did get some good deals this way. I'm sure that you can barter on the islands as well, but we did not try. We had no problem speaking English only. And perhaps the most important info: Food was great here, however, you need to plan to be sitting and eating for about 2 hours. You must ask for the check or they will not bring it. We were told at one point that one of the restaurants had bad service because they rushed you in and out, so basically American service = bad service in Greece. Many times if you spend a significant amount of money, and/or are sitting there for a while they will bring you a shot of Ouzo or something else on the house.
I loved Greece - Daisy. Date of travel: Jun 2007
I loved Greece! I want to go back there now! Only came back yesterday! We went right in the heatwave so great weather! Nice kind people.
Sun, sea, sand and mountains - Jean Meacher. Date of travel: May 2006
Crete is a fanastic island with small beaches - some sheltered from any strong winds - a historic past so interesting. Trips are plentiful. Mountains coming down to the sea make it so dramatic.
Ray and Alicia. Date of travel: Jul 2005
We went back to the "Real authentic Greece" on the island of Kalymnos. The pace of life is slow and tranquil and island has an aura of peace about it.The locals do not stand on ceremony as mass tourism has not reached this area. We were made to feel very welcome. We stayed at the Panomormitis Studios which are in an idylic spot with great views and only a short walk to the town such as it is. Accommodation had a swimming pool.The local tavernas are really traditional but expect to take time over your meal. Plenty of Ouzo served up, much of it free. In some of them you are treated as family!! Tour Operator: Manos
Jasmine. Date of travel: Sep 2004
We selected Tapestry Holidays following recommendations from friends. Their website was superb and we used it to select Gikorama Studios in Katigorgis. Fortunately we hadnt paid the full brochure price. But if we had we'd have been highly dissapointed. Tapestry do provide nice extras like a welcome hamper, but when you think about it theyre only giving you something worth £3-4 locally. We had some real issues with the rep, who didnt seem able to action anything. We had poor water supply and the pool was too cold to swim in. The location was fantastic, but the accomodation, transfers, and flight were all sub standard. Be warned if you travel to Volos and the toilets fill up on the flight out, you wont have a toilet on the way back (Volos didnt have the facilities to get rid of the waste). If you can stand 4-5 hour flight without a loo then Tapestry is for you. My advise: Dont pay full price or you'll be dissapointed. Tour Operator: Tapestry Holidays
Greek Ferries - J. Tamarind. Date of travel: May 2004
It is fun and easy to island-hop in Greece on board the local ferries. Rather than be pinned to one island for your Greek holiday, its easy to move about a bit. Not many people realise that they can find schedules and book online for all the lines, Anek, Blue Star, Minoan, My Way, Ventouris and Superfast at www.Greekferries.gr. The site also covers ferries from Ancona, Bari, Venice, Brindisi and Trieste in Italy to Patras, Igoumenitsa, Athens, Delphi and Olympia in Greece, as well as connections to the main holiday islands. The daily updated ferry database offers prices, price comparisons for various ships, departures, arrivals, connections and schedules.
Hotels in Greece User Rating
5-Star Hotels
Athenaeum Inter-Continental | * * * * * |
Grande Bretagne | * * * * * |
King George Palace | * * * * * |
Metropolitan Hotel | * * * * * |
Astir Palace Aphroditi | * * * * * |
4-Star Hotels
Kaningos 21 Design Hotel | * * * * * |
Titania | * * * * * |
Art Hotel | * * * * * |
Fresh Hotel | * * * * * |
Astor Hotel | * * * * * |
3-Star Hotels
Hotel Rio Athens | * * * * * |
Athens Gate Hotel | * * * * * |
Esperia Palace Hotel | * * * * * |
Beis Beach Hotel | * * * * * |
London Hotel, Glyfada | * * * * * |
2-Star Hotels
Eriva Apartments | * * * * * |
Cecil Hotel | * * * * * |
Economy Hotel | * * * * * |
Galaxy Hotel | * * * * * |
Hotel Omega | * * * * * |
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