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4 weeks in Greece and I didn't want to come home!

4 weeks in Greece and I didn't want to come home!

Sep 25th, 2007, 09:23 AM
  #1  
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4 weeks in Greece and I didn't want to come home!

We have arrived home from our 4 week trip to Greece and frankly it sucks to be back. You'd think after all that time maybe I'd be ready to come home but I'm not. The rythmn of life in Greece is just too comfortable and each trip there it feels more like home.

Our flight over was very pleasant in b/c on the Delta direct from Atlanta. We had the best flight crew and some really nice women sitting next to us who chatted a lot with. They were a pleasant surprise because normally the business class passengers aren't that friendly.

We got in a little late but nothing too bad and Thrifty was waiting for us with our little orange Kia Picanto. We had gotten a good rate of 18 euro a day the car was also very good on gas.

Once on the road we were heading to Spetses to visit my husband's aunt and uncle who own a hotel on the island, his parents were also going to be there as they had been in Greece for a few months already. On the way to Spetses we saw a fire near Epidavros that was still smouldering but it appeared to be out for good, from the road the damage didn't look to extensive thankfully. We saw lots of fire damage on this trip but luckily we didn't any more direct contact than that. Once we got to Spetses and said hello to everyone we quickly got ready to go to the beach, nothing beats jet lag like a swim in the Med! The first week of the trip my husband needed to do some work. We used Skype for the first time and it worked like a charm and was so cheap. The family in Spetses has no internet so we had to go to a cafe but it still worked well.
Spetses was a little quieter than normal I'm not sure if it was because of the fires or the upcoming elections but we still had a pleasant visit and were glad to be there because it was very hot at the time.

Trish is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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After our 2 nights in Spetses it was off to Patras for two nights to see the rest of the family. It was crazy hot while we there and the family home doesn't have a/c so it was tough to sleep. We didn't do too much exciting except go to the beach and over to Nafpaktos to hang out one night.

On the 31st we headed back to Athens to pick up my Dad and go to Kea. We originally were going to go to Evia but with the fires we thought Kea would be a better a choice and it didn't disappoint. Kea is very easy to get to from the airport as it's only a thirty minute drive to the port at Lavrio and then an hour ferry boat ride.

We had a hard time getting hotel accomadation everything was booked solid. After trying 10 places we managed to get rooms at Hotel Korissia which was great, our rooms were large and comfortable and an easy walk to town and the beach. The restaurants were tasty and resonable. Our favorite meals were at Akri where they put the tables out on the beach and at To Milo Tis Eridou up in Ioulis where we had great pizzas. We also liked Anna's in Otzias the beach there is also very good, sandy with trees and free umbrellas for shade the water there was also fairly warm.

All in all Kea is a great island to relax on. There isn't a whole lot major must sees on the island but there is a couple of great beaches so our major decisions were what beach to go to and what restaurant to eat at. So it was a great place to unwind before heading to Crete where our schedule would be a little busier. One other note about Kea is that there wasn't many foreign tourists and it may be a little tricky if you don't speak any greek. The gentleman who owned our hotel did speak some english but not a lot so we spoke to each other in a weird mix of both languages.
Trish is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 06:56 AM
  #3  
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After our 4 nights in Kea we took an Aegean flight to Heraklio. We had quite heavy carry on bags but luckily they were not weighed. Our flight to Crete was fast, pleasant and cheap. We were met at the airport by Thrifty again to pick up another Kia Picanto this one silver. I think our rate was 15 euro a day here.

We were quickly on our way to Agios Nikolaus. The drive was very quick with the only slow down being through Malia. We had a little bit of a problem finding our hotel but the man who owns it was saving us a parking spot which was nice when we got there. We stayed at the Pergola which is recommended in Lonely Planet it was full the whole time we were there and saw a lot of people show up asking for rooms. The Pergola isn't new but it was very clean and our room was good size with a huge bathroom by greek standards (even a tub). Our room didn't have a sea view but lots do and they also have a huge roof top area with tables and chairs and lounge chairs. We paid 30 euro for the double and 25 for the single which was a great value.

There is a great restaurant below the Pergola with a deck that goes over the rocks and water they had the best grilled octopus it's called Parasties Taverna (I may have spelled it wrong it was written in Greek). I enjoyed Agios Nikolaus more than I thought I would it's a very pretty place and it is touristy but no more than say Hania or Fira. We were supposed to go see family on one day when we were in Agios Nikolaus but unfortunatley Papou was in the hospital in Athens so we missed them. Instead we visited the laikee(sp?) in town, went up to Kritsa over to Elounda and some of the other local beaches. We also heard lots of local music because there was benefits for the fire victims going on several nights with local musicians who were very good.

After 3 nights in Agios Nikolaus we were off to Plakias. On our way there we stopped at the Boutari winery. It's a new facility built in 2004 the tour was ok they showed a movie and took us on short tour of the vines and production area. The tasting was very good and they served us dakos with it. We bought 6 bottles whiched they wrapped in bubble paper and boxed for me.
Trish is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 04:29 PM
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I'm not sure why no one is replying to your post, but it sounds amazing. Welcome home.
LadyOLeisure is offline  
Oct 1st, 2007, 04:36 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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I wouldn't want to come back either! Great start, keep it coming.
laartista is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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We were shocked when we got to Plakias because the waves were huge on that beach (not by Pacific standards but the biggest I've seen in Greece)the water was also nice and warm. We checked into the Hotel Livykon which is just above a cafe by the same name. I can't say enough about this hotel the rooms were amazing. My Dad had an ocean view and ours faced to the back but was larger. The rooms had just been redone in the winter. They had small kitchens equipped with utensils and plates and glasses, sink, and stove . The bathrroms although not large were well equipped and drained well and had the all important shower curtain. All rooms had nice balconies with drying racks.

Once we checked into the hotel we quickly headed to the beach, we couldn't resist the rough surf. It was tough getting past the break because there is a rockey stretch at the shore and the waves were knocking us down and there was a pretty stong undertow too. My Dad never did make it out after getting pummeled by the waves he went back to the beach and took pictures. George and I spent an hour or so out in the surf but I had to go in because my bikini got so full of sand it wouldn't stay on anymore (not good with your Dad on shore). Some of the waves were so big they went over my head and I'm 6ft tall. When we emerged from the waves I had a bruised knee and George had a cut foot but all in all fun was had. We were in Plakias for three nights and the waves were big everyday although they were largest in the late afternoon.
Trish is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 03:22 PM
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Hi,
I am so happy you enjoyed your trip to Greece. We were in Crete this summer and enjoyed all of the little villages, the great beaches, the antiquities, Chania, and of coarse the food.
yipper is offline  
Oct 15th, 2007, 04:47 PM
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Sounds wonderful and makes me want to return to Greece. Thanks.
SharonG is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:21 AM
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From Plakias we did a few day trips, one was to Moni Preveli which was beautiful and not too busy, I didn't have to pay to go in but I think they usually charge an admission. From the monastary we went to Preveli beach where we did pay to park before making the hike down to the beach. The hike down although steep is very pretty and in most places quite wide so it was was easy for people to pass if they wanted to. The beach is quite unusual as there is a river flowing across it that is flanked with palm and oleander trees, you can rent peddle boats and go a ways up the river if you want to. You can normally take a boat from Plakias to the beach thus avoiding the steep hike but beacuse of the high surf all boats were cancelled when we were there.

On another day we drove over to Frangokastello there was a ton of goats all over the road as well as a few donkeys which I did have to get out and visit with and feed a few apples to. The drive was a little scary in places because the roads were so narrow through the villages and there were switch backs so you couldn't see the oncoming traffic and not all the turns had mirrors. We also noticed lots of what appeared to be bullet hole in the signs in this area. The beach at Frangokastello was very nice (no waves) it was sandy and clean and not very busy. There was beach chairs if you wanted to rent one as well as a beach taverna if you wanted food. When we got back to Plakias that day I tried to body surf again but the waves were even rougher and I didn't last as long as there's only so much seawater I want to ingest through my nose. One other note about Plakias I was surprised how many young Cretan guys were around in the evening that were dressed in traditional clothes. I didn't see it any other place except in Heraklio at the political rallies.
Trish is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:25 AM
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Great report,a ndthe Crete stuff is all places I've not been yet.
sheila is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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From Plakias we were off to Hania we drove up by way off the Imbros Gorge. It was a nice drive and not to tough around the gorge they are also doing a lot of road work in that area's that needed it. We got a little lost getting to our hotel but once we found the parking area at the base of Theotokopoulou it was a snap. We stayed at the Enetikon Rooms which is just above a restaurant by the same name. These rooms are in a great location and they are inexpensive but they had one problem they were DIRTY. Actually my Dad's wasn't just ours. The beds were clean and the bathroom was clean but the floors were nasty (and hairy). Were were only in Hania for two nights so we just sucked it up (our room was 25 Euros and Dad's was 15). I wanted to complain but for some region George didn't but we did find a broom and swept up and kept our shoes on the rest of the time! The room rental was definatly a side business for them with the restaurant being the prioity. The food in the restaurant was excellent and very resonably priced.

One nice thing in Hania was that a lot of the cafes along the harbour offer free internet so it was a good place to use skype. We went to the town beach in Hania the next morning and was pleasantly surprised. It was a nice sandy beach, quite clean and plently of space if you didn't want to rent a sunbed. We also went to O'Aremnios to pick up some Cretan knives, we had a great visit with the family and the pet pigeon. We also had a visit with the old lady next door to them who tried to teach me to make a Cretan head scarf but alas I was hopeless case but she gave me one to use wear when I tsifeteli. We had one bad meal in Hania at En Plo Taverna, the ambiance was lovely with live music but the food was overpriced and kind of bland. I know Hania is very popular on this board but it wasn't our favorite, maybe it was the hotel, maybe it was the number of people but we wouldn't rush back.

Our last night in Crete before going to Santorini was in Heraklio. On our way to Heraklio we stopped Knossos which was nice, not my favorite ancient site but still ok. We were lucky because it wasn't too busy so parking was a breeze and we could walk around the site easily. In Heralkio we stayed at Hotel Lena, it was a lonely planet suggestion and we had a very nice room for 55 euro. Parking in this area is non-existent, thankfully we were dropping off the rental that day. The girl was sweet at Thrifty and gave us a lift back to the hotel as it was a long way back. Iraklio was busy the night we were there as there was 2 election rallies going (pasok and kke)It appeared that all the older people were at the pasok and younger at kke. In Iraklio I was finally able to get the Korres products I was looking for which made me happy and I had an amazing bougatsa that made me even happier!
Trish is offline  
Oct 18th, 2007, 09:30 AM
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We went to Santorini because the ferry schedule from there worked best for my Dad's flight home. For George and I it was our third time there and the second for my Dad. We've stayed in Perissia before (I'm one of the few who actually don't mind the black sand beaches) as well as Oia but this time we decided to try Fira. I'm not sure I would stay there again though. We stayed at the Villa Rena which was a lovely hotel with a cute pool, wireless internet and parking for 50 euro a night. The family that owns the hotel spend their winters in MTL so english is widely spoken. They maintain the hotel to a very standard but the location isn't the best. It's on the backside of Fira down a ways so the walk into town is quite steep. The plus was that I did find a good restaurant that I would not have otherwise found called Acropolis. The family that owned it was so sweet and the my husband really wanted soutzoukakia and she said she had everything for them so even though they weren't on the menu she made them. Her Santorini pasta was also to die for.

Our first night we also visited the Sigalas winery. We've been obsessed with their wine for about 5 years now so we were really excited to go. The winery is just outside of Oia and is quite small but they have a nice garden where you can sit and enjoy your tasting the also have a small menu of mezedes that you can order to go with the wines. We left this winery with another 6 bottles so now we're up to 12, which as you can imagine were heavy to carry for the rest of the trip.

We found Santorini oddly quiet this trip especially the evenings in Fira, it may have been the weather as it was quite windy (blowing either a 6 or a 9 on the beaufort scale) we were worried my Dad's ferry may get cancelled but the night he left the winds calmed only to pick up again when we left. I do hope that the development on Santorini slows down I couldn't believe the changes around Oia, how the town spreads all the way down towards Finnikas, the same goes for Fira and it's really taking the charm away from the island in my opinion.
Trish is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2007, 01:09 PM
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We left Santorini after three nights this visit to the island allowed us to see a few of the beaches we hadn't been to before, spend some time in Pyrgos, have a lunch down in Ammoudi but we mainly just relaxed.

We caught the Flying Cat to Sifnos on Sunday which was election day and it was packed I'm glad I bought it early when we still in Chania. I was also happy we got business class since the boat was so full. Thankfully we took a precautionary dramamine and wore our sea bands as well because that was a wild boat ride. The waves at times were hitting our windows on the second floor especially on the way into Folegandros. Luckily we were not ill and arrived in Sifnos safe and sound.

We made reservations the day before from Santorini to stay at the Hotel Stavros. We had a huge apartment basically with seperate kitchen, dining room, bedroom and a seafront balcony for 50 euro. We thought it was a great bargain and the hotel and their car rental service is run very well they couldn't be more efficiant. The beach in Kamares is very nice but very shallow you have to walk way out just to get water deep enough to swim in. Kamares has a nice selection of tavernas as well as cafes. We really Da Claudio's which is an Italian restaurant that had a nice selection of pizza, pasta and other favorites, they even serve limoncello after the meal. One night we ate up in Appolonia and had an exceptionally good meal at O'Kyalos. They have traditional Sifniot food as well as ancient Byzantine choices. The food was amazing as was their wine list I highly recommend it.
Trish is offline  
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