First visit to Greece - Advice please

Sep 26th, 1997, 08:16 AM
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First visit to Greece - Advice please

My husband and I are going to Rome in February with a tour group. We are extending for one week and plan to visit Greece. We have comperable fligts prices on Alitalia and Olympic Airlines. Would one be better than the other to fly round trip from Rome to Athens. Besides Athens, what is a must see on a week visit to Greece. The week in Rome will be hectic and we are looking for a more moderate pace in Greece. Would appreciate your advice. Any recommendations on hotels and favorite restaurants would also be helpful. We are looking at the Athenian Inn or the Acropolis View in Athens.
Sep 27th, 1997, 01:38 PM
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We found the service on Olympic to be rather awful, although the flight itself was ok. I loved Delphi; the ruins are magnificent in a beautiful mountain setting, although the roads might be bad when you are going.
Sep 28th, 1997, 03:19 PM
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You might consider visiting Corinth. There is a well preserved agora and temple. I especially liked the preserved part of the entrance road from the coast. This was one of the highlights od this area. Of course, if you can, get to Epidaurus. This has a very well preserved theater with great acoustics. Most of the other sights I consider must-see are too far to travel from Athens. Although I definitely recommend Delphi and Sounion. Sounion is on the tip of the coast south from Athens, about an hour or so away. Extremely great Temple of Poseidon. Have a great trip!
Sep 28th, 1997, 03:53 PM
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Suggest obtain the Michelin Guide to Greece. This lists and rates all the major tourist sites and gives excellent descriptions of all. I spent three weeks driving throughout Greece and I suggest you see Meteora. Near Athens is the Heraklion headlands and you should go there shortly before sundown. From there you can see all of Greece and the small peninsula with its temple at sundown is a sight you will long recall. Go to the top of the Lycobitos (spelling doubtful) hill in Athens where the view of the Parthenon is terrific.
Sep 30th, 1997, 11:10 AM
Neal Sanders
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February may not be the ideal time to visit Greece (you may encounter rain), the the Peloponnese peninsula should be very pleasant. This past May, we spent a week by car doing a "great circle" of the archeological and cultural sites, including Delphi, Olympia, Bessae, Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Corinth. We logged about 900 miles at a leisurely pace, staying at Delphi, Olympia and Mycenae. E-mail me if you'd like particulars on hotels, restaurants, etc. It was a trip I'd wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who is interested in the roots of western culture.
Oct 1st, 1997, 03:22 PM
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There is enough to see in Athens in a week if you want to be leisurely! Most hotels try to get you situated facing the Acropolis if they are near it. I like the Electra Palace in downtown Athens. You can walk to the Plaka which a sight in itself!

February tends to cool 50's and can be wet but that is the way it is any part of the world that month!

All of the historical sights of Athens especially their museums can take up a good part of the trip.
If this might be your only trip to Greece I would try to see all that I could - relax at home!

If you don't want to go to the islands off the coast, Athens has three small islands that you can tour to get the feel of island life.

Try to get to Pireus which is the harbor of Athens to see the ships - that is what the Greeks are famous for!

E-mail me if you want more detailed info!
Oct 7th, 1997, 07:32 PM
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My husband and I just returned from a trip to Greece. Olympus mis-handled one of our bags and it was transferred to Air Italia instead of TWA. It made it home, but a few days later. We were surprized that some of the passengers smoked cigarettes on the flight from Athens to Rome, despite no smoking signs. Quite uncomfortable in such close quarters!
Oct 27th, 1997, 08:55 AM
Andy Barksdale
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Greece is one of the few places in the world that we have visited where the "touristy" places are ALL WORTH SEEING! I'm speaking of geographical and historic spots, of course. If I only had a short time, I would forget the islands (although they are wonderful) and lay out a tour encompassing the major spots already mentioned above, mostly outside the city.
Oct 28th, 1997, 08:16 AM
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Athens is a modern city. Please don't miss the monasteries at Kalambaka. It's truly a sight to behold. A one day cruise of the islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra is being offered by all travel agents and is quite reasonable. Our taxi driver said
we shouldn't have missed Santorini. Maybe, next time... We rode Alitalia from Rome and everything turned out great despite the strike at the Hellinikon Airport in Athens. By the way, we just arrived from there three days ago.
Oct 29th, 1997, 02:46 PM
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I went to Greece last year (Athens,Mykonos and Santorini). Santorini was by far the best of the three. I highly recommend visiting Santorini if you can; you'll return so relaxed! If you do, I recommend staying in Oia, visit Kira Tira, a fabulous jazz bar, take the boat tour to the volcano and climb it, upon returning to Oia (you have to climb tfrom sea-level to Oia via stairs - noone told us, so be prepared and wear comfy shoes - there's a rooftop music bar that's owned/operated by a former investment banker from NYC, I can't remember the name of it, but ask around you'll find it...after a day of climbing the volcano, you can sit and relax (maybe with a frozen drink) and watch the sunset -> which was the most amazing I've EVER seen!
Oct 30th, 1997, 07:43 AM
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I agree with Maureen. I was in Santorini in May and the island is incredible. The volcano/sunset cruise is hike the volcano and then cool of in a bay near an offshore island. There are great restaurants in Oia,Thira and on top of the caldera at the middle of the island is the Blue Note. It overlooks the whole island and the main harbor, great views and food!! The beaches and people are great. As Maureen said, the sunsets are incredible..we actually took two rolls of film just on the sunset alone. You can't miss with Santorini.
Nov 1st, 1997, 08:50 PM
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There has long been a running joke about the poor quality of Olympic Airlines--we (being some Greek-Americans) call it "Kolimpiaki"--phonetic for both "swim there" and more roughly, "Butt" airlines. Just to be safe, take Alitalia. While in Athens, you must take the tram up the moutain to the restaurant (Le Caviton). Also, the Plaka is great too and shopping in Monostiraki. In general, you will either love Greece or hate it based upon the extent you perceive you are being ripped off. They tend to try that alot (not more than say, the Spaniards in Barcelona or even unscrupulous American Cabbies) and would often try to cover it up once I revealed my Greek-American Origins (fluent in language and writing). But the exchange rate is always very good. Go to Santorini if you can--you've seen the posters of the White buildings on dark volcanic beaches, and it's worth it. I can't wait to go again (1981, 1987) so have fun for me. If you're into archaelogy, history a/o mythology, even your side trip will have resonance for you. "Yia sas" and "Kalo Sorisete".

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