29 Days in Glorious Greece

Old May 30th, 2022, 06:18 AM
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29 Days in Glorious Greece

It's been a couple years since I did a TR and I decided to do a highlights of our trip to Greece. We left IAD at the end of April and returned on May 26. This was our third trip to Greece and perhaps my favorite.
Below is my itinerary & our accommodations. Overall all the accommodations worked out great. We had some very quirky places, but that just made for more interesting stays. I'll be happy to answer any questions.

4 Nights Athens Stylish Stays Groovy apartment
6 nights Rodos VRBO Belvedere Medieval Villa
1 Night Delphi Nidimos Hotel
1 Night Meteroa Hotel Doupiani House
2 NIghts Zagori Zagori Suites
1 NIght - Archaia Olympia Leonidaion Guest House
2 Nights Dimitsanas Amanites Guesthouse
3 NIghts Gialova Zoe Resort
4 Nights Mani Akrolithi Boutique Hotel
1 NIght Monemvasia Vecchia Casa
3 NIghts Nafplion 3Sixty Hotel
1 Night 15 minutes from Athens Airport Seasabelle

View from our Athens Apt - Groovy

Last edited by yestravel; May 30th, 2022 at 06:20 AM. Reason: typos
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Old May 30th, 2022, 07:03 AM
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Oh, good! Now Ill get to enjoy your trip twice!
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Old May 30th, 2022, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
Oh, good! Now Ill get to enjoy your trip twice!
You'll have everything in 1 place! I'm doing mostly a copy & paste.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
You'll have everything in 1 place! I'm doing mostly a copy & paste.
Looking forward to it!

Now in Porto and its a bit cool and overcast with rain on the way, so trip reports (mine and others) will keep me busy!😉
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Old May 30th, 2022, 08:05 AM
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Looking forward to your TR, were also just back from Greece, but only 13 days. Nafplio, Santorini and Athens, we had a very similar view of the Parthenon from the terrace of our apartment and sat out every evening till late night.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 08:10 AM
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Days 1-4 Athens


This is my third time staying in Athens and I still enjoy the big city for what it offers, but it's one of my least favorite cities. The museums and archeological sites are wonderful, but I find the majority of the city itself rather unattractive. I will say it was exuberant and lively come nighttime.
On our first full day we explored the area around Syntagma Square and took a Free Walking tour. The guide was excellent, but the day was very hot and we were very jet lagged so after about 2 hours we bailed and went back to our cool apartment and rested until we went out to dinner.
We had lunch at a fabulous Pie Shop and I highly recommend it. Lunch -Spinach & cheese pie for me and bacon, red pepper and Gouda cheese pie for gottravel and my fav crispies. Grand total of 6 Euros for our lunch. We were to drop in there a few more times during of stay i n Athens
https://culinarybackstreets.com/citi...RmyN27VTPgB3fY

Dinner our first night was in Psyrri, the nightlife/live rembetika music district. Very fun area with lots of bars and restaurants and music everywhere.

Museums:
The Benaki Museum - Happenstance can be a wonderful thing. The Benaki Museum in Athens has a wonderful exhibition, A Greek Soul, of British painter John Craxton. We were unfamiliar with this artist, who lived for fifty years in post World War Two Crete and was friends with other expatriates ranging from travel writer/adventurer Patrick Leigh Fermor to songwriter Leonard Cohen.


Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation of Contemporary Art - Loved this Museum! It is considered one of the world's most valuable art collections with art from all the big names, Czanne, Van Gogh, Chagall, Monet, Mir, Picasso etc. It was nice to have a break from antiquuities and see modern art. Its in a lovely, leafy neighborhood, Pangrati.


Archeological site -- Of course the Acropolis. I had bought our multi site tickets online in advance. This allowed us to avoid the lines & gave entry to 6 sites. We went late in the afternoon when it was cooler and there were sparse crowds, actually no line to buy tickets. We didn't have time to go to the new Acropolis museum that day and thought we'd go on our last day. But that didnt happen - next trip.

We had one excellent meal at Electra Palace Hotel. It has great views of the Acropolis and I had outstanding lamb there. Relative to other places it was expensive.

Leaving Athens turned into quite the event. I had made the mistake of booking our flight to Rhodes on May 1 -- May Day or International Workers day or Strike Day. It's called protomagia in Greece. When I realized this I researched how we would get to the airport. What I found was that when May 1 falls on a Sunday, any strike is moved to another day. And in any case the metro would likely run but taxis might be hard to come by. I figured, no problem, we will just take the metro. Foolishly I never paid any attention to this once we arrived. I had read right before departing for Greece that ferries were on strike on May 1, but nothing else. So we were sitting at dinner on our last night and fortunately some English speaking people were at a table nearby and we could overhear their conversations. I heard one guy say something about the metro being on strike on Sunday -- my ears perked up, I googled and I asked the waiter who went and confirmed that yes, on Friday night they had decided to strike. The apt mgr for our apt was excellent so I immediately what's apped her and she said she would get us a taxi which she did. Whew, the crisis averted we thought. Sunday morning, May 1, we were all ready to meet our taxi in the next hour or so and I got a text from him --could we meet him earlier as there are demonstrations all over the city and he's worried about us getting to the airport on time? No problem, we'll meet him outside in 10 minutes. As we walk across the little plaza to the street, I notice police all over and yellow tape blocking the roads. Seems the demonstration is a mere block away and the entire area near our apt has been cordoned off. OMG! Now I panic and text our driver telling him of the situation. He says, "Stay where you are and he'll figure it out."

Having never been one to follow instructions if I see an option I started walking towards what appeared to be an open street about a block away. I went up to a police officer and asked if our taxi would be able to meet us there? He said yes and even called the taxi driver for us to give directions as to where we were. FInally our very excited taxi driver found us and we were on our way. Because the city was pretty blocked off he offered to take us a roundabout way along the sea which was fine by us as we had plenty of time. He ended up giving us a fabulous tour and all sorts of background info about the area surrounding Athens. In the end it was a very delightful way to end our time in Athens.

NOTE on prices-- I have been going back to my original reservations as I do this report. I am finding that prices for accommodations have in some cases doubled since when I booked them back this winter. I think I may have gotten some "pandemic" bargains.







Our Groovy apt



Presidential Guard

Benaki Museum - John Craxton

Acropolis- Porch of the Caryatids at the Erechtheion which contains a number of ancient sanctuaries. It was built from 421 BC to 395 BC

View from dinner at Electra Palace Hotel

Thanos Tsingos The Port

On the way to the Athens Airport

Last edited by yestravel; May 30th, 2022 at 08:51 AM.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by geetika View Post
Looking forward to your TR, we’re also just back from Greece, but only 13 days. Nafplio, Santorini and Athens, we had a very similar view of the Parthenon from the terrace of our apartment and sat out every evening till late night.
It really dominates all of Athens, doesnt it? I couldnt stop looking at it…so enchanting. Hope you had a great trip.

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Old May 30th, 2022, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by yestravel View Post
It really dominates all of Athens, doesnt it? I couldnt stop looking at itso enchanting. Hope you had a great trip.
It really does, doesnt it? We had to pinch ourselves every evening to be sure we were actually seeing the Parthenon so close to our apartment. A fabulous trip, waaaay too short!
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Old May 30th, 2022, 09:53 AM
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Wow, Greece! A place high on my list but have not made it there yet. Welcome back. Looking forward to enjoying Greece from your perspective.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 10:25 AM
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Hi tp -- nice to have you along. I was just referring someone to your NZ TR.

So shoes--everyone is always asking about what shoes to wear when they travel. I will say for climbing around ruins and cobblestone streets you can't beat any sort of tennis/running shoe. What's in style? -- white. Saw it everywhere in the fall in Paris too.


Athens -- aside from white shoes I would say the dominant color of clothes was black.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 10:50 AM
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Rhodes
Days 4-10
I picked Rhodes as an island because we had never been to it. I thought it was large enough to keep us occupied and not with mainly beaches. I picked Rodos as our base as we like old towns.
I liked Crete and hoped Rhodes might be somewhat similar- Loved Rodos and was very happy with our selection of it as our base for 6 nights and overall Rhodes as an island for 6 nights..

We stayed in a "medieval villa" and it was great -- very quirky, steps everywhere and you did feel as if you had stepped way back in time. You walked from a gate to your accommodations. Ours was about a 7-10 minute walk with much over it over cobblestones--packing light always pays off!

Cruise ships arrive in the port of Rodos - fortunately we were not bothered by the couple that did. The day trippers from cruise ships and land tours seem to disappear by mid afternoon and don't arrive until mid morning. It was very easy for us to avoid them as we were doing day trips around the island most days. Mostly Rodos was a quiet place and I loved wandering around it and enjoying the sights and many alleyways.

view from a window in the morning














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Old May 30th, 2022, 12:42 PM
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LOve your Rhodes photos ... did you stay at "The Medieval Inn" -- I discovered that 15 years ago ... the bonus is that it's tucked away right against the ancient walls, down a tiny lane -- and it is far away from the Wall gate where all the armies of Cruise Crowds come pouring in. At the Inn you really DO feel as if you've stepped back into the 16th century ... and just across the lane, there's an opening into a hidden square, which has an odd "fountain" structure in the midst. Turns out it was the place where Muslims washed their hands before going in to services at a (now gone) temple. Some of Rhodes is "ancient-fake" for visitors, but you can't blame Rhodians -- aa lot of of the fake-restoration was done during the Fascist era, where builders were triying to please Mussolini (who planned to make Rhodes his Summer Ruling Place) ... example: the actual Grandmasters Palace was pretty much destroyed in a fire, so "restorers" just built a castle they knew Mussolini would like.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 12:53 PM
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Beautiful photos, yestravel! Its really a pleasure to see them all together.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by travelerjan View Post
LOve your Rhodes photos ... did you stay at "The Medieval Inn" -- I discovered that 15 years ago ... the bonus is that it's tucked away right against the ancient walls, down a tiny lane -- and it is far away from the Wall gate where all the armies of Cruise Crowds come pouring in. At the Inn you really DO feel as if you've stepped back into the 16th century ... and just across the lane, there's an opening into a hidden square, which has an odd "fountain" structure in the midst. Turns out it was the place where Muslims washed their hands before going in to services at a (now gone) temple. Some of Rhodes is "ancient-fake" for visitors, but you can't blame Rhodians -- aa lot of of the fake-restoration was done during the Fascist era, where builders were triying to please Mussolini (who planned to make Rhodes his Summer Ruling Place) ... example: the actual Grandmasters Palace was pretty much destroyed in a fire, so "restorers" just built a castle they knew Mussolini would like.
Thank you! Its been a couple years since I did a TR here and the photos are tripping me up. We stayed near the Saint Athanasios Gate, well away from all the cruise ships. We were in a rental, so not "The Medieval Inn. https://www.vrbo.com/8372021ha?adult...unitId=4429295 Its one of our accommodations that we got quite the deal on relative to its rates now.

Funny about the Grandmasters Palace. So much got destroyed by earthquakes or fires.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
Beautiful photos, yestravel! Its really a pleasure to see them all together.
thank you! Posting them has been a challenge. The Rodos ones I forgot to caption and apparently cant be added.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 02:14 PM
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Yestravel, I love your photos! Especially your photo of the Acropolis and Parthenon! Wow!!! So much better than ours.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by KarenWoo View Post
Yestravel, I love your photos! Especially your photo of the Acropolis and Parthenon! Wow!!! So much better than ours.
Thank you! I love my iPhone 13. Takes the best photos.
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Old May 30th, 2022, 06:35 PM
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What else did we do in our 6 nights in Rhodes? We got a rental car delivered by Efrem who were wonderful to deal with and very reasonably priced. Only issue was we were returning the car at the airport the morning of our flight and their lot was not right at the airport. It worked out ok, as I got dropped off with our 2 suitcases and gottravel returned the car to the lot and walked back to the airport.

Over three days we circled the island. Easy driving and some gorgeous scenery. It was the first of weeks of stunning scenery -- a feast for our eyes. One of the days we walked up 302 steep steps in gusting winds to see the Panagia Tsambika, a tiny remote hilltop church on the east coast of Rhodes with the views of a lifetime. It is topped by a small Byzantine church dedicated to Our Lady. A local legend says if an infertile woman climbs the hill she will be blessed with a child, which must be named after the monastery. Things like this are why we travel.
We visited Kamiros which is an ancient city on the northwest coast of Rhodes. Kamiros is one of three Doric cities that combined with two others to form the city-state of Rhodes. Its residents, however, gradually abandoned Kamiros to move to the city of Rhodes.

After Kamiros we moved on to Monolithos Castle was considered one of the most powerful fortresses on Rhodes. Built in 1470, not much of the castle remains today save the external walls. There is the stupendous view at the top of the hill that overlooks the sea. We didnt realize there were actually steps to climb to get to the castle and went up the hillside. I was getting worried about how we would get back down without slipping. Thankfully just as we got to the top we saw steps! I was never so happy to see steps in my life.
Lastly we visited LIndos where I had considered using as a base. Very glad I chose Rodos. Lindos was a mob scene with so many people weaving their way thru the tiny alley ways. It reminded us very much of one of the Cylclades islands with its white buildings and blue doors & shutter. It had a nice beach. I cant even fathom what it must be like in the summer here.

Tsambika Monastery

View from Tsambika Monastery

Tsambika Monastery

Tsambika Monastery

Ancient Kamiros

Monolithos Castle

Lindos

A rare empty alleyway in Lindos

Lindos beach
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Old May 31st, 2022, 04:32 AM
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Our final day on Rodos we took the ferry to the adorable island of Symi. It about 1.5 hour ride and the ferry was filled to the gills. The winds the previous 3 days had prevented the ferry from going so everyone was trying to get there on this Friday it seemed. Symi is a picturesque, pastel colored island. Its harbor is circled with neo classical homes and the colors seems to bounce off the blue waters n the harbor. We had about 4 hours to spend on this idyllic island. We had a nice seafood lunch at the harbor and then just walked all over, looking at nothing in particular but the lovely houses, the crystal clear water and the splendid views.

On the way to Symi

Harbor

Stacked pastel houses

One pastel house after another -- quite different from RHodes.

Lovely water & boats

Crystal clear water

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Old May 31st, 2022, 06:05 AM
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One of the most memorable things from this spring trip was the spring flowers everywhere -- just gorgeous flowers everywhere we went. Many we had never seen before. Here's a sampling of some of the thousands we enjoyed during our time in Greece.












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