Back from Greece with a few suggestions?

Apr 1st, 2007, 09:15 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
Back from Greece with a few suggestions?

I am not going to write a trip report as previous posters on Fodors have done a wonderful job-suffice it to say that I REALLY appreciated everyone's imput on a great mother-daughter trip.Although we lost 2 days of our trip due to the weather conditons and cancellations at JFK that weekend,my daughter and I had a fabulous time and enjoyed her last spring break from college before she graduates in May.
We did use the Attalos Hotel in Athens and loved it along with its great location. I was hestitate when coming up from the metro as it appears to be a residential area complete with hardware stores lining the street but the hotel was less than 2 blocks from the metro and definitely in the mainstream of EVERYTHING!Our hotel room had a balcony overlooking Athinas street with a view of the Acropolis that was amazing especially at night. The rooftop bar is not to be believed with the views.Doubles were 60 euros/triples were 70 euros. The rooms were clean,great hotel staff and included cable TV,minbar and safe with hairdryer in bathroom. Showers had the head in the center of the tub which was interesting but whatever?
Metro is terrific-clean,very new in many parts and mostly stainless steel with marble. It is soooooo easy to use from the airport-10 euros for 2 persons and leaves twice an hour for the direct route to the city. It has plenty of elevators and escalators and it is so easy to use hauling your suitcases-not like Paris where there are nothing but stairs.
We took the metro everywhere including down to Pireaus for our one day island stop.The metro costs .80 euros each way(be sure and validate before getting on as there is a huge fine) or you can get an all day pass for 3 euros.You DON'T have to use a travel agent to do this!We had stopped at two agencies and they were worthless as they only tell you about the ones they want to. Simply go down to the port,take a left out of the metro and walk across the street to E9 pier where most of the daytrip boats leave out of. We bought tickets directly from the Flying Dolphin people to Aegina-1 hour and we did not go until 2 in the afternoon so you can just do a short trip if you are inclined.Ticket was 10 euros per person one way-we had to buy a ferry ticket back in Aegina as the 500pm that we wanted on Flying Dolphins was already booked. Easy and just had to pay about 5.50 euros per person for the return on the ferry.Had a little lunch,gelato and walked around for 3 hours there and it was quite nice.(I had done the 3 island cruise years ago and felt very rushed-this cruise is now being offered for over 83 euros a person so I felt we got what we wanted with the shorter 1 island ride.)
Use the grocery stores for things like water,nuts and wine for your hotel room. We really enjoyed the wine from Nemea as some of the wine is really acidic(sp?).FYI- Our favorite bottle water was AVRA which alot of Greeks felt was the better tasting of all of them.
Mother and daughter enjoyed daily red wine with calamari at 4pm everyday-always great people watching and the snack held us to a later dinner!Tap water is free and tasty with every meal so you don't have to pay the extra expense of bottled water with everything like in Italy.
Because of switching our trip around due to JFK, we stayed an extra day back in Athens and were lucky to participate in their Independence Day(March 25th) ceremonies by the square. This was amazing complete with a fly by airshow that lasted over a half hour and review of the troops that was over an hour. We bought our Greek flags and waved along with everyone else-very special memory!
Other tips-go to the Acropolis earlier in the day before all the tours arrive.......geez there are alot of people visiting it.For 12 euros you can buy a 4 place ticket to Acropolis,both Agoras,etc. The arch. museum has its own ticket. My daughter used an international student ID and it saved her money at each site so be sure to get one before going.There are so many construction projects going on right now that it is literally difficult to get a pic of the Acropolis with a crane in the background. We cabbed it from our hotel and it was less than 4 euros. Coming back another story. We got in the cab and the cabbie announces that because it is after 11AM until 2PM he will be charging us 9 EUROS a kmp-WHAT? (My daughter and I don't remember reading any of that in any book other than the time between midnight and 5am.) So I ask to be let out of cab and he refuses until we are down at the metro/train area where I wanted to go to catch the metro to Arch. museum. He announces that he wants 19 euros for the past 5 minutes and I told him forget it. After screaming to me about being a #@($&%^ American-I throw him a 10 euro and tell him that I will report him for being such a ripoff.Talk about price gouging!So be careful about the cabbies up at the base of the Acropolis as I think they know they got you.
I have a few more suggestions for Corinth,Nafplio and Epidaurus along with renting a car but will do that later as I have to get to an appointment. Hope that I haven't bored you all...........
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 30
I'm glad you enjoyed your trip after the delays at JFK. I'm interested to hear about the rest of your trip, particularly renting/driving a car in Greece.
upstate_girl is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 05:23 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 469
Thanks for the report. It was very helpful.
suntravler is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 559
Hi dutyfree,

Can you explain:
"The metro costs .80 euros each way(be sure and validate before getting on as there is a huge fine."

I'll be in Athens in Sept. and intend to take the metro to Monastika. Where do you validate your ticket?

travginny is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 07:20 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 5,525
There are yellow boxes before you go through to the train or metro that you need to feed you ticket to get it validated-very much like the bus in Rome or the turnstiles in Paris.
dutyfree is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 08:31 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 13
Dutyfree: you did not bore me for one split second. Thanks for all the tips-- will be there the end of May til the second week in June. Going to Crete for 5 days and Santorini for 3, then island hopping on day trips before going to the mainland for the rest of the trip. Have been to Hydra, Aegina and Poros but it was 30 yrs ago and am wondering if they have changed at all.
I'm glad you didn't let the cabbie rip you off too bad. Good for you! Thanks again.
wantago is offline  
Apr 1st, 2007, 09:46 PM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,146

Your report will be a great help for anyone traveling to Athens. Very,
very good.
chatham is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 05:06 PM
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dutyfree, what happened to the rest of your report? I looked for it under your name and couldn't find it.
Lily is offline  
Dec 12th, 2007, 11:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 786
Hi dutyfree

Any good eating out suggestions, was the calamari of the ink included variety or not and where?
The Athens cabbies are the biggest rip off artists in the world, I was caught too once and I had been warned. Some more of your travels would be great to read.
KathyNZ is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 01:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 20

Driving is zero problem in Greece. I drove on Mykonos, Santorini, Athens and all around the Pelopponese with no problems at all.
danalou55 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2007, 06:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,460
Dutyfree, I am just seeing your report now, and I am glad to see it because I remember when you were planning your trip. Sounds like you had some great adventures and some less than great ones. Brings back memories of my spring break trips with my daughter when she was in college.
Nikki is offline  

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