Girls trip to Greece

Sep 26th, 2013, 04:51 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 170
Girls trip to Greece

We are a group of 5 (or maybe 4 or 6) 60ish college friends. We have talked for years about going to Greece together because one of our friends lives there. 2014 might be the year. It would be the first trip to Europe for 2 of us, the second trip to Greece for 2 of us. Figuring out an itinerary that will accommodate varying comfort levels with such a trip is overwhelming. We would definitely want to spend a few days in and around Athens since our friend lives there. We have considered an island cruise as well. One of us (me) would like to go to Meteora as it was so amazing the first time I visited. How can we plan an itinerary that will make everyone happy? We're thinking about a 2 week trip. Does anyone have itinerary ideas or know of a tour company that could handle it for us? And did I mention that one of us will be bringing her teenage son?
Carla is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 07:49 PM
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Don't plan on all of you being together for the entire time. Build in a few days in the middle where you agree you'll split up, that keeps the peace and keeps everybody happy.
michelhuebeli is offline  
Sep 26th, 2013, 08:51 PM
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Fantasy Travel and Dolphin-Hellas Travel, both in Athens and both at the top of the agency list, can offer you some excellent options.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2013, 06:11 AM
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I have just planned and executed a trip with one another interest (one couple. You are dealing with 4+ other interests = more difficult), I would say drop an expectation that you can make everyone happy. You should be glad if all accept the realities and uncertainties inherent in travels especially in Greece.

I have read many accounts of planning a group trip here, and the same issues came up frequently.

1. During the trip, many would say, ok, that looks fine. This hardly means the participants have looked into the itinerary, checked against their capabilities and resources, and validated the itinerary. They still hold a "fantasy" that itinerary can be changed on a fly during the trip to meet their interest.

2. Expect that items that the participants clearly decide not to do suddenly become must do.

Sometimes these items can be accommodated right at that time and sometimes it cannot. If the group has to be at a certain monument to avoid mid day rush, the closing time, etc, and if one might suddenly want to take a rest, it can push back the plan for the rest of the day. Very few people understands that if they can just wait 10 more minutes, that person can rest as long as they care at a cafe at museum, etc, while the others can do the tour and only the person resting in cafe will have to tradeoff rest vs. the visit time. Non leaders are usually very casual about critical times like the boat departure time that if one misses, the group gets stranded another night.

4. Expect people to be separated. Having each group possess a cellphone would be a godsend.

5. There many ways to move between the islands (if the is your destination) as well within the island. Some are willing to wake up at 4am to catch an early morning cheap ferry while other might be willing pay more to catch a more expensive fast boats with better time or even fly. If everyone want to move together, this can be a problem.

6. Expense sharing process should be discussed early. If people think they can split all the bills as they go along, it would be a major headache in having the right changes. Some things, like buying gyros at a stand, paying for museum entries, can easily be done individually. Buying ferry boats tickets on assigned seat boats would be asking for a hassle if done this way. If one person buys all 6 tickets, you will more likely to be able to sit together. Realizing these issues, we decided to just make a running tab of who was paying for what and if one person was paying more in shared expenses, the other couple would be paying for buses, taxis, food, etc, until the running tab became more balanced.

Read many group tour trip reports posted in this forum.
greg is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2013, 06:43 AM
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Do consider an island cruise, as the islands are the most beautiful and varied part of Greece. There are various length cruises, but for your group, I'd spend at least a week . Plus it will give you time together to relax, talk, etc. Probably best to do this right after Athens, as Athens is big and hectic.

As indicated above, you can do this by ferry, but a cruise offers a place to stay so that you can see a lot of different islands without constantly packing and unpacking.

As to "how to plan an itinerary" the first step will be for each of you to read a good Greece guidebook, highlight the things each of you wants to see, then get together and decide what you can do together and what you can do separately. Then get out a map and see how to connect it all up.
dwdvagamundo is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 03:27 PM
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Posts: 170
We took the advice and have booked a cruise. We're going to Greece about 5 days before the cruise and will be staying with our friend, who has an apartment that we can use. Meteora has been discussed as a side trip. We've looked into some tours, which are a possibility. Since there are so many of us, we were thinking of hiring a driver/guide and maybe a van. Can anybody recommend a tour company that could arrange such a side trip?
Carla is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 09:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2011
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Meteora would take 2 days of your time, as it is located 400 km away from Athens and would require an overnight in Kalambaka.

One day excursions from Athens would be Delphi or the Argolis.
There are organized tours going to both places, a few good companies are Key Tours, GO tours and Chat Tours.

Hiring a guide and a van to go to Meteora would be pretty expensive, as you would have to pay for the expenses of the drivers and the guide.

There is no driver/guide qualified to take you to Meteora, it has to be a licensed guide.

If you want to have a quotation for this tailormade tour you can contact Amphitrion Holidays at [email protected]

They have the advantage of owning a big fleet of coaches, taxis and mini vans and are one of the biggest incoming agencies of Greece.
clausar is offline  
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