Greek Island Ferries, Athens and Mykonos

Jul 11th, 2004, 03:59 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
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Greek Island Ferries, Athens and Mykonos

I last went to the Greek Islands 30 years ago and remember the ferry passage from Piraeus as very scenic. I am going again in mid September. It looks as though most of the new boats are hyrofoils - does this mean that they travel in rough weather? What are the different amenities in the various classes of passage on the ferry? Which class do you recommend we book and should we get a table or not. Any other tips on the ferries?

We are staying at the Grande Bretagne in Athens and the Petasos Beach in Mykonos. Any tips on those two hotels? Also any recommendations for day trips from Athens and Athenian restaurants? Any Mykonos restaurants to recommend? Thanks.
Lucca30 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 06:21 AM
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A guide book I have recommends if you want the scenery to not take the hydrofoils. It says they're enclosed so you can't stand on the open decks and watch the scenery as well.

Due to this I'm booking an older, slower boat to Santorini in October. I'm also planning on wearing a seasickness patch.

I'm interested in the responses to Lucca's additional questions.

indytravel is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 11:28 AM
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Thanks indytravel. I will plan to take the slower boat which I presume is not a ferry. Watching what Homer called the "wine dark sea" from the deck is mesmerizing let alone the passing islands in the magnificant autumn Greek light.
Lucca30 is offline  
Jul 11th, 2004, 11:29 AM
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Sorry I didn't mean ferry, I meant hydrofoil. Just watching a ferry load and load was fun.
Lucca30 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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I just spend the weekend in Mykonos and stayed at the Mykonos Grand.

As for a highspeed vessel try to book the Highspeed 4 , leaving from Pireaus and bound to Syros ,Tinos, Mykonos (3h30 of a pleasant journey) of the Minoan Flying Dolphins

The best seats are the business class(do not book the higher VIP class!) seats sharing a table and offer a spectacular sea front grand view.
On the HS 4 you can walk outside(rear side) if you need 'fresh' air.

The are also a good choice ,like the b.s Ithaki with a first class ticket of course.

On both lines the accessibility is easy, service is perfect,the areas are very clean and both have excellent bar services on board .

For Athens you made the absolute best choice!
For Mykonos, if you have the possibility to switch to the Mykonos Grand (belonging to same hotel chain Petasos) do it!
In any case the Petasos beach overlooks the 'hippest' beach of Mykonos,has recently been fully renovated and service is absolutely professional!

Athens restaurants:

Lambros ,for fish,meat or Greek cuisine in Vouliagmeni for an alfresco lunch maybe after a day on the beach (the Astir beach of course)you will need a taxi or a car .

One night in Plaka with a view to the Acropolis:

Etrusco for an italian cuisine is the new place to be and a super roof garden ,and a awarded chef.

Stofi for a simple greek dinner and a breathtaking view to the Acropolis.
and some classic choices:

Spondi the best restaurant in Greece!
Boschetto and its superb garden near the Hilton.
Near the GB for a lunch try the '17', Kafenion in Kolonaki(a gem ),Cellier bistrot (a brasserie).

In Mykonos if money is not a problem try, to book a table(not later than 9h30 pm) at the local Nobu (asian-japaneese)restaurant at the Belvedere Hotel at half price compare to the ones in NY of Milan.

N'Ammos on Psarrou beach for a late lunch after bathing.

Kamares for dinner with an incredible champagne bar and perfet service and ambience.

Sea satin ,THE favourite greek taverna for the 'hippest crowd' .Worth the experience for a late,very late dinner after 10h30 pm......

And the more classic Philippi and Katrin's (expensive for what they offer but still high quality places).

mzani is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 10:15 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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I stayed at Hotel Grande Bretagne over christmas and new year.

It's a wonderful hotel, make sure you visit the spa and spend hours in the herbal steam room, and jasmine scented amethyst grotto (all included in your rate). Have a light lunch or dinner in The Winter Garden - their Caesar salad was the best I've ever tasted. Alexander's had equally wonderful cocktails too.

I'd make sure you have an Acropolis view room as it is very pleasant to wake up in the morning and see this from your private terrace, and fall asleep with the Acropolis by night.

Enjoy your trip, it's a super property!
m_kingdom2 is offline  
Jul 12th, 2004, 01:56 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 17
Hi Lucca30
I also will be in the Greek Islands in mid September, and will be staying at Patasos Beach hotel, so will be very interested in any responses you receive.

I'm embarking on the trip of a lifetime in just over three weeks time, first time overseas and leaving the family at home, travelling to the US, Ireland, Europe and finally the Greek Islands.

The Patasos Beach hotel was a definite recommendation by my travel agent. Hope you have a great time as I intend to!
PamelaJ is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 10:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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I stayed at the Petasos Beach Hotel last summer in Mykonos and was pleased with the service and our room. I like the location and we loved Psarou Beach and N'ammos restaurant.
The Breakfast setup was a little weird at the Petasos Beach Hotel. The view was wonderful overlooking the Aegean, but the staff was totally dysfunctional, and the food was very average. Just don't expect anything special as far as breakfast and service.
The pool area is set up great, and many days after the beach we would hang out at the hotel pool, and swim and relax. The only other detail that was lacking poolside, was that the service for ordering drinks was not appealing at all. You had to "search" for people to wait on you. Overall though for what we paid for the hotel it was a positive experience. And yes....go to the Belvedere Hotel in town. It was amazing, and Nobu was so much fun to eat dinner at with the dramatic view and ambiance.

TrendGirl is offline  
Jul 13th, 2004, 11:30 PM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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Hi Lucca30--
I spent my 30th birthday in Greece last year and hit Athens, Mykonos and Santorini with a couple friends. I loved it... and may be able to shed some light on the ferry situation-- at least the inter-island one. We flew from Athens to Mykonos.

We took the regular ferry from Mykonos to Santorini-- it was slow, but beautiful... the weather, the scenery. I would do it again. It was about 4.5 hours and two in my party started to get a bit queasy by the end, but I really enjoyed it. We did not get a table, but it wasn't very crowded, so we could move in/out as we pleased.

Th Grande Bretagne is where we stayed too.... I've never experienced such great service. I was floored... we were down to 3 that night and when the lobby the staff recognized that we were 'overbooked' for our room (it only had 2 single beds) they immediately had housekeeping setting us up with a rollaway.... complete with all the beautiful linens, feather beds and slippers underneath it. I was stunned. They also reached out to us when there was a taxi strike on the morning of our departure. We end up taking the bus to the airport... it was a piece of cake. (If you're the bus-type, definitely take the bus to the hotel too... it's simple-- cost only a couple dollars, and drops you off across the street from the hotel. It's manageable with luggage too (so long as you can carry it.)

The following are restaurants I had compiled from the board prior to my trip... we were only in Athens for 1.5 days, so didn't try any (we met up with some locals/old friends and went a bit further outside of the main downtown area). Perhaps it'll help though:

Kouklis Ouzerie
Tripodon, 14, Plaka
This place serves a dozen different mezes. The waiter brings a hugh serving platter where you can pick and choose which meze you want. We had tzatziki, eggplant, meatballs, calamari with onions and escarole, and stuffed vine leaves. There were other plates to choose from such as beans, sausage, etc. The choice of plates changes (maybe on a daily basis). A bottle of house red Krasi wine as well as a bottle of water is included in the meal. Delicious meal! $19.
10 Agion Anargiron, near the Iroon square.
Phone: 3215-368
Behind our hotel a couple of blocks away is the Psiri area. There were lots of restaurants in this area. We didn't see too many tourists, but locals, especially young people. For lunch Tony had a sausage and peppers in tomato-based sauce and I had pork, cheese, and vegetables baked in parchment. Beer, wine. $21.
Taverna Platanos
4 Diogenous Street, Plaka
We had a hugh meal. Two spinach pies (one is large enough to share), eggplant salad, lamb with eggplant and lamb with peas. We had a bottle of Santorini Boutari white wine. Delicious, filling meal. $29. A Frommer's recommendation.
Taverna Sigalas
#2 Plateia Monastiraki Square, across the metro.
Donar kebabs for lunch with 2 beers and 1/2 liter of white wine. $14. Delicious kebabs. This restaurant is filled both at lunch and dinner. The restaurant next door is owned by the same owner. Walking by these two places in the a.m. you can see the large gyros being cooked. By the afternoon, they are practically gone.
18, Kidathineon Street
Our last meal in Athens. We enjoyed delicious calamari, fried zucchini with garlic dip; hard cheese; and eggplant/cheese croquettes; 1/2 liter of white wine. $20.
Aside from that, I can't help much... we ate gyros round the clock and had a few favorite places on Mykonos, but can't remember anything specific. You'll inevitably be in Little Venice or along the Harbor, so there are tons of places to choose from. Just ask a couple storekeepers/taxi drivers/other locals for his/her recommendations (we always found the best spots that way.)

PS: Are you planning a trip to Delos? If not, you should consider it. If you're on an 8:30 ferry, you can be back by 1 or so--- it's well worth it. Just bring comfy shoes, a hat and sunscreen... it gets really hot out there!

Have a great trip!
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