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Greece - just feel like chatting about it!

hibbeln

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No specific questions, but I know other TUG-gers out there have "been there, done that". We're not even doing this as a timeshare vacation (we'll be moving around too much). We're going to Greece next Easter with the kids (14 & 11), hubby and MIL.
Oia on Santorini first where we're going to stay here. www.ariscaves.gr Looks so sweet! We'll be there Thursday through Monday.
Then back to Athens where we pick up a car and drive to Nafplio/Nauplion on the Peloponesse Peninsula. Have a little cheap, quaint, family run hotel there for 4 nights.
Then back to Athens for a quick 2 night visit (and this will be over Greek Orthodox Easter, so looking forward to experiencing that!) then we head home.

So anyone out there have exciting recollections of their trip(s) that I just sparked?
I was to Athens too long ago as a 19 year old backpacker with my brother. Spent a week there and really think two nights will suffice just fine. This will be the first trip to Greece for hubby and kids.
Just wondering if anyone has any favorite spots, ideas, tips, anything! We're starting to get excited even though it's months away! :cheer:
 

lprstn

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A friend of mine is doing Greece with Tradewinds timeshare...who knows it may be a deal. Get someone to refer you...

Also, Greece is my dream trip. I hope you have a blast! The place you are staying looks amazing...please post trip and pics..
 

Jimster

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Greece

I've written this probably a 100 times, but be careful driving in Greece and take a rabbit's foot along and hope you have more luck than the rabbit. Driving is unbelieveably hazardous in Greece-drive very defensively!
 

Miniwheat

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All Time Favorite

This was the best trip I've ever taken...so far. We stayed in Athens 3 nights and didn't run out of things to see. The Plaka is so fun to walk around in and experience the culture. Of course, you have to see the Acropolis. We also went to several museums, saw the students picketing in the streets because they have to spend too much time in school, and just walked through the different parts of town.

We then flew to Rhodes for a week, which was even more fascinating than Athens. Old Rhodes is a walled city right on the Sea, utterly fascinating. We spent several days just walking around Old Rhodes. We drove around the entire island and stopped at different castles, an acropolis, and other little towns along the way. We were going to take a short cut to the other side of the island that looked easy on the map. We got to the top of a peak where a little town was perched and looked around. We went into a little "pub" and they gave us drinks and snacks. They seemed quite interested in us even though we couldn't speak with them. They would act out to us that someone was sleeping. We thought that they took afternoon naps and then met at the pub for snacks afterwards. After about 20 minutes, a lady came that could speak English and told us that we were at a funeral reception. We felt bad for interrupting, but I think they were a bit intrigued. We never saw another tourist there, and I don't think many tourists venture to that part of the island often. It was one memory we never forget and always chuckle over when we think about Greece. The island really took us back to another place in time.

Have a wonderful time!!!!!!
 

KforKitty

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I've been to Greece several times and have done a Greek classical tour but I think there are two places that stand out for me: I love the harbour area around Nauplion and the views from Delphi. Enjoy.

Kitty
 

hibbeln

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Miniwheat, where did you stay in Athens? We're looking at the Attalos Hotel which is right on the edge of the Plaka with a rooftop bar with a view of the Acropolis that can't be beat.....hopefully it will be warm enough to be out there at least bundled up in April! AND...it's a "reasonable" price which is pretty darn hard to find in Athens for a quad in a decent location and a decent room (don't need fancy, just not scary).

Now you make me want to go to Rhodes! We chose Santorini over Rhodes because of....well......that view. Hopefully the weather will be nice for the few days we're there because there is not a whole lot of "sightseeing" to do (unlike Rhodes)....more just soaking up the ambience and the culture and....that view! Maybe another trip......in a timeshare.......for a week......
 

Carolinian

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I second the comment about driving in Greece, which has some of the most aggressive and reckless drivers I have ever seen.
 

hibbeln

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You're scaring me about the driving! Especially since our kids will be along.

My husband has driven in Germany, Austria, France, as well as the more hair-raising Spain and Italy (including Sicily! Even through Palermo! Yikes!).
 

dmharris

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I saw Mama Mia the movie last weekend, and wanted to go to the island where it was filmed. I especially want to go to the little church up on the hill. Does anybody know where that church is?
 

CarlK

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When in Greece, I drove as Jimster suggests -- defensively. Given your husband's driving experience, particularly in Italy, my guess is he knows all about driving defensively.:eek: We also did a couple of organized bus tours which were good. But, there are times when only a rental car (or a hired driver I suppose) will get you where you want to go.
Carl
 

hibbeln

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That's the case with the Pelopponese Peninsula (Nauplion area). Folks have told me that driving out there is MUCH more sane.....just because I think they are mostly rural roads. Our Athens driving will consist of "pick up the car at the airport and FLEE!".

I am 99.99999% positive that the island in Sisterhood OTTP 2 is Santorini (that's where we're going!). It's a small island, so I know we can find "the church".
 

dmharris

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I am 99.99999% positive that the island in Sisterhood OTTP 2 is Santorini (that's where we're going!). It's a small island, so I know we can find "the church".
Is that the same one from Mama Mia?
 

Jimster

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driving

Oh did i mention the roads aren't marked??? Honestly, while I drove in Greece (much like mentioned above- get the rental at the airport and flee) once i got to the timeshare I took chartered coach tours. It is really dangerous- I don't care how good of a driver you are. One of many favorite stories was when I had the nerve to stop at a stop sign and the driver behind me horned me and pulled around in front of me and cut me off. Stop signs appear only to be advisory LOL We did cut short several side trips simply because of the problems. Also we were in rural areas too so I don't think the problems are confined to the areas around Athens. BTW I recently drove in Ireland and Scotland (left hand side of the road with a stick shift) with fewer problems.
 

hibbeln

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Mama Mia was filmed on Skopelos and Skiathos. I went to that moving THINKING it was on Santorini.....then realized I was in the wrong film and should have been in SOTTP2!

Sounds like driving in Naples.......when we had the gall to stop at a redlight, a local actually rammed against our rear bumper and tried to PUSH us through the intersection! Wow. :eek:
 

Carol C

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This was the best trip I've ever taken...so far. We stayed in Athens 3 nights and didn't run out of things to see. The Plaka is so fun to walk around in and experience the culture. Of course, you have to see the Acropolis. We also went to several museums, saw the students picketing in the streets because they have to spend too much time in school, and just walked through the different parts of town.

We then flew to Rhodes for a week, which was even more fascinating than Athens. Old Rhodes is a walled city right on the Sea, utterly fascinating. We spent several days just walking around Old Rhodes. We drove around the entire island and stopped at different castles, an acropolis, and other little towns along the way. We were going to take a short cut to the other side of the island that looked easy on the map. We got to the top of a peak where a little town was perched and looked around. We went into a little "pub" and they gave us drinks and snacks. They seemed quite interested in us even though we couldn't speak with them. They would act out to us that someone was sleeping. We thought that they took afternoon naps and then met at the pub for snacks afterwards. After about 20 minutes, a lady came that could speak English and told us that we were at a funeral reception. We felt bad for interrupting, but I think they were a bit intrigued. We never saw another tourist there, and I don't think many tourists venture to that part of the island often. It was one memory we never forget and always chuckle over when we think about Greece. The island really took us back to another place in time.

Have a wonderful time!!!!!!
Thanks for bringing back fond memories of Rhodes. We stayed in a coastal timeshare there a few years ago and bookended that stay with two nights in Athens on each end. It was a great trip...and yes, Rhodes is enchanting, and people there kind and generous. It is also quite different from Athens in that it is so close to Turkey and steeped in that culture from the music to the food. So many wonderful surprises driving around the island...especially during off-season. It was just a bit sad though, because they don't apparently have spay/neutering programs...and cats were wild and starving in the off-season when handouts from restaurants and tourists were slim to none. Other than that, Rhodes is wonderful indeed.
 
S

Steamboat Bill

My brother is engaged to a Greek woman and they want to get married in greece next year, thus I guess I will be visiting soon.
 

sml2181

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Mama Mia was filmed on Skopelos and Skiathos. I went to that moving THINKING it was on Santorini.....then realized I was in the wrong film and should have been in SOTTP2!

Sounds like driving in Naples.......when we had the gall to stop at a redlight, a local actually rammed against our rear bumper and tried to PUSH us through the intersection! Wow. :eek:
If you would like to visit Skiathos and Skopelos, then try to add Skyros as well. It is the smallest of the 3, not so well known among tourists (although a lot more now than 10 years ago-) and it is a hidden gem. No timeshares there though.
 

Miniwheat

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Athens Hotel

Sorry, I can't remember the name of the hotel that we stayed in. It was about 5 or so blocks off the Plaka across the street from an area that had some ruins in it. We were there in early and mid March. I would usually have a sweatshirt on and always a jacket with that I usually didn't need during the day. It was nice enough that we would sit outside and eat at the restaurants. I hate cold and easily get cold, but had no problem at all with the temp there in March. So I would think April would be warmer yet. Since it wasn't the high tourist season, it was easy to get into any sights you wanted to see without crowds. We didn't rent a car in Athens and didn't need to. We drove all around Rhodes though with no problems or traffic at all. The trip was so much more fascinating than I ever expected. I definitely want to go back some day to show it to my kids (who are teenagers now).
 

hibbeln

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I was in Athens once before.....first week in March, and remember buying a sweater and a sweatshirt there because we were just coming from living for a year in Africa and we were COLD!!!! :rolleyes: But coming from Michigan now, I'm sure we will enjoy the Spring weather there in April! Sounds wonderful!!!!!
 

Dave&Linda

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Try Matt Barrett

We were in Greece in Sept 07 for more than three weeks, one week on a Tradewinds catameran out of Corfu, the rest in Athens and a bus tour through Pelopenesia and Meteora, and the southern islands and have got to recommend Matt Barrett's website to you. He is at www.greektravel.com. We used his advice for just about everything from hotels and restaurants in Athens to stuff to do every place else. The guy is right on and an interesting character who really knows the country. BTW, we have nothing to do with him personally and never have met him or have any interest in his website. All I know is that his info was extremely helpful. Have a great trip!
 

hibbeln

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Hey thank you! That's great information! I will check out the website.

I'm just hoping all the unrest in the big cities settles down before we get there in April......
 

Carolinian

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I hope Greece will calm down. At the moment it is racked by lots of riots, arson, and looting, particularly in Athens. The government does not seem to be able to crack down on the young thugs committing these crimes, so it is continuing, day after day.
 

jbrunson

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Hadn't seen this thread until now with it popping to the top. I don't know how useful my info is, but we stayed at the Attalos back in 2001. It was a pleasant hotel, no complaints. There was a rooftop bar with a view of the Acropolis which is really nice lit up at night. The hotel is convenient to a number of locations. AS you noted it is very close to the Plaka. It is an easy walk to the Acropolis and the walk up is not strenuous. Thea Agora is near there as well. The National Gardens and Syntagma Square and Parliament were also convenient. Unless it has changed dramatically, you made a good choice.

And for you Rhodes fans, ditto!
 
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