Local travel agent ?

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Oct 23rd, 2006, 04:54 AM
  #1
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Local travel agent ?

I've read about Greek holidays and the need for a local travel agent to sort out the ferries, hotels, etc. Is that true ? Are there risks in booking yourself on the Net ?
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 06:02 AM
  #2
 
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We traveled between 6 islands during the month of June a couple years ago. What I found out was that most Greek agencies only book one line -- or they certainly push that line. In Iraklion I went to five different agencies trying to book the big ferry to Santorini that I had found on the net and they all told me that it doesn't run. All tried to sell me tickets on the hydrofoil, which I finally did. When we arrived at the port in the morning, there was the ferry I wanted about to set sail, but we already had our tickets for the hydrofoil. I was told that the ferry line doesn't pay as much commission as the hydrofoil (of course since it is a whole lot cheaper).

And many agencies will have deals with hotels, so while you may get a bargain (or not) you may be more limited than doing the research yourself.

If I were returning, I'd book everything myself!
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 06:33 AM
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On trip last May, although we did most bookings ourselves, we also booked a few hotels through http://www.yourgreece.gr

YourGreece provides bookings for some very lovely, smaller, hotels and guest houses, which we would unlikely have found on our own. And in most cases, those hotels either had no website or the website was in greek-only. We felt the 15Euro fee they charged was worth it.

I would not automatically rule out the use of local greek agents, although admittedly YourGreece is more a "specialty" agency, and not a typical travel agent.
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 07:10 AM
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Matt Barrett is very popular on this site, and his vacation Guide to Greece is excellent. I used it extensively when we went to Greece last year. He has lots of local agents on his site: http://www.greecetravel.com/
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 09:04 AM
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If you prefer having all tickets in hand ahead of time and/or if you're planning to travel during Peak Season, then advance purchase of ferry tickets and reservations are recommended but not required. Ferries are seldom full except in late August. There's always a room available somewhere. But if you want specific hotels then book ahead. If you want local assistance then contact Fantasy Travel or Dolphin-Hellas in Athens. They are extremely reliable and honest and will serve you well. If you have problems they're close by and will respond immediately with assistance.

fantasytravelofgreece.com/english/ index.html

www.dolphin-hellas.gr

I always book myself by direct contact with the hotel I've chosen. I've never used a booking service.
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 09:55 AM
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I used a local travel agent to book my overnight ferry tickets from Crete to Athens because I'm a bit of a worry wart - I didn't feel confident in trying it myself.

I also used the agent to book my hotels in Athens and Crete - the rates they gave me were lower than the rates I saw posted on the hotel websites.
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 10:41 AM
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Chop, if you are travelling in mid-Sep, as one of your earlier posts indicates, then I would say you certainly don't need to use a travel agent, or even book ahead for that matter. Were you travelling in Jul or Aug then that would be a different matter.

If you've never been to Greece before, and don't feel comfortable making arrangements on your own, then use one of the in-country travel agents mentioned by brotherleelove. If you are adventurous and self-confident, there's no reason why you can't just turn up in Athens, take the bus to Piraeus, and hop on the next ferry to the island of your choice. There will be English-speaking hotel owners at the docks on every island with rooms at prices far better than you can book on the internet or get through a travel agent.

One of the best Greek holidays I ever had, I didn't even decide which island to go to first until I got to Piraeus.
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Oct 24th, 2006, 04:50 AM
  #8
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Thanks all, I usually organise my own trips so looks like I'll go that way.
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