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wife forcing me to visit greece, backpackers need not reply

wife forcing me to visit greece, backpackers need not reply

Old Feb 11th, 2007, 06:23 AM
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wife forcing me to visit greece, backpackers need not reply

I am an IBM (Italian by marriage) but my wife wants to visit greece, I do not know the first thing about it, we have two weeks I must visit athens but from there how do you get to all these islands.

Please no backpackers replies this is a five star family....No offense intended...benn there done that....
oneillchris is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 06:55 AM
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Ever heard of googling?
elina is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 07:12 AM
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My husband and I visited Greece last March. I must say, it has been my least favorite place in Europe so far. We made a loop from Athens through Meteora, Delphi, Epidarus and Napflio. While some of the sights are impressive, getting from place to place is difficult and time consuming. Greece is very rugged and mountainous, and the roads are very steep and curvy. To get to any of these major sights from Athens required several hours of driving on tortuous roads with fast aggressive drivers on your tail. The one place we loved was Meteora, where we stayed a few days. The monasteries are amazing, and Dupioni House was a great hotel with breathtaking views. HOwever, you would need a car to get around there, and it is a long car ride from Athens. I was disappointed in Athens. The areas around the sights are tourist traps. We could not walk down the street without being constantly solicited by the owners of restaurants, shops and bars. I had to put down my head and rush by these places, which is not an enjoyable stroll in a city! Athens itself is very dirty and lacking in aestetic or architectural interest. It is not a city you would want to linger in such as Paris or Rome.

We did'nt go to any of the islands, so I can't make any comments on those. good luck.
harnold2 is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 07:16 AM
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Great website Elina, I've never seen that one before.

Oneillchris, you sound like you're being dragged to Newark for a two week vacation. Greece is fabulous. Get a good guidebook (Fodors or Frommers are fine) and brush up on your ancient history and mythology.

Athens has many options for luxury hotels. The islands and mainland also have many options, but in Greece, the best experiences are usually in the well-located traditional lodgings which are simple and charming.

dgg is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 07:23 AM
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harnold2, I just saw your post. We must have been typing at the same time. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy Greece. Athens is not a Rome, Paris, London. Many people go there assuming the city is going to look like a postcard of the Greek islands and are disappointed. We know Athens pretty well so we actually enjoy visiting, but I certainly understand why a tourist would want to get in and out as quickly as possible. Advice commonly given is to spend the last two nights of your Greece trip in Athens. That gives 1 1/2 days of sightseeing, which is enough to see the highlights. The Plaka is the big tourist/souvenir area. You can feel like you're "walking the gauntlet."
dgg is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 08:50 AM
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I love Greece and the islands I've been to, but I doubt I could help anyone starting out the way you are.
sheila is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:06 AM
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Try this site:

I hope Matt's personal insights and recommmendations will help you have a better attitude about the trip! True that travel in Greece is not quite as simple as elsewhere, but it is a really wonderful country. You can do a few things to minimize the hassle: Hire a guide to drive you around if you want to see the sites. Or perhaps take a cruise - I've heard that can be a very low stress way to go. Do you sail? We chartered a yacht in the Adriatic, and had the vacation of a lifetime. You can even hire a skipper to go along for all or part of the trip, and then you can really understand more about the places you're seeing.

If you are five-star all the way, I would not recommend riding buses in Greece. That can be a bizarre experience. Ferries are fine, and the metro in Athens should be great because it's brand new.
SeaSkye is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:32 AM
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I'm a big believer that the best way to visit the Greek Isles (as with a lot of islands)is via a cruise. There are some great 5 star cruise lines that do a Med cruise. You might want to consider that instead of a land trip.
patandhank is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:42 AM
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I loved Greece, but I've always been fascinated with Greek mythology and history, and love Greek food and folkdance. So I thought it was great. The only disappointing things was how eroded and in disrepair some of the major ruins are--like there wasn't hardly anything left at Delphi. I went there after Egypt, and in that regard, it was sort of a letdown as many of Egypt's major archeological structures were more impressive and more intact, even though they have pollution and other problems, also.

Anyway, the answer is to get a couple guidebooks from the library or wherever and get a good overview. I only visited the islands of Rhodes (which I really liked a lot as it was more than just the island thing due to the historical town area), Patmos and Mikonos. There are basically two ways to get there -- cruise ship (which I did, there are many small ships where you can do this for a few days) or ferry, or by plane.

In only two weeks, you might pick out a couple where you want to spend several days, and fly between them. I've always wanted to go to Santorini myself. You could also combine a short cruise with a stop at Ephesus on the Turkey coast, that's why mine did and I really enjoyed seeing that for a day.
Christina is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:47 AM
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i'd also vote for taking a cruise... makes everyone happy, little planning required, 5-star available.
suze is offline  
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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Is this post for Ivy League grads only ?
( and , of course, with English as their first language)
Old Feb 11th, 2007, 09:49 AM
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5 star--try a 40+ foot sailboat. It will get you where you want to go. A rental car (I happen to love the buses in Greece--they are the bomb!)will get you inland. I prefer the west coast with stops at Olympia (in the spring), Ithaca (backside of island where the only person you will run into is an almost toothless goatherd and his animals. Hit him up for some milk, he will be more than glad to oblige you, but I warn you, he will blow the flies off through his tooless grin . . . come to think of it, it's probably not for you), and Zakynthos--far fewer people of the non-greek sort.
huckleberryFinn is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 10:13 PM
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OK, I just couldn't resist. Some people just don't get it. Greece is not about 5 star luxury. It's the history and scenery as well as the simplicty of the food & accomodations and the graciousness of the people that are the allure of Greece. If you want 5* luxury, Greece has it, but I would suggest you go to a discreet hideaway in Hawaii or somewhere in the Caribbean. The flights are a lot shorter and much cheaper.

My husband and I took another couple to Greece a few years ago. It was their first time to Greece, and in fact, their first time to Europe. They were obsessed with having the best of everything. The honest truth was that it was soooo much work trying to accomplish that. We missed out on many fine moments because we had to make sure that we were in the BEST hotels and ate in the BEST restaurants everywhere we went.

For you and your wife, I would think a cruise would be your best and safest option. For us, we wouldn't think of a cruise in Greece unless we had our own (or chartered) boat, but for some, it's a safe bet.

P.S. Don't worry about your grammatical errors, especially since English is not your first language. I couldn't communicate at all in French!
dgg is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 10:34 PM
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"Greece is very rugged and mountainous, and the roads are very steep and curvy."

For us, those roads were one of the most memorable parts of the trip. And, we reached the end of the road still alive!
Dave_in_Paris is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 11:52 PM
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Dgg, please and with the greatest of respect...please do not lecture ANY of us about the way to travel to Greece.

I'm sure you think you are the one who actually "has it right" but do condescend to allow some of us to think we do, too, OK?
Dukey is offline  
Old Feb 15th, 2007, 11:59 PM
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I can think of worse things than being "forced" to go to Greece! I have to agree with Dgg, Greece is about the simple things in life, beautiful scenery reached through steep, winding roads, good Greek style home cooking, wonderful people and historical ruins, eroded by 2000+ years of time. OK, there are some tourist traps but these can be avoided. I'm not a backpacker but wouldn't dream of going 5* in Greece (if I could afford it) as that seems so far removed from what the country is all about. Each to their own, I suppose.
Maria_H is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2007, 10:22 AM
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I think these are a lot of romantic ideas that are no more true in Greece than any country -- as to what the country is "really about". I suppose Aristotle Onassis was just some poor shepherd boy, as well as all those other rich Greek shipping magnates. There are plenty of people in Greece who don't spend their time roughing it or enjoying the simple things. It isn't difficult at all to stay in a nice hotel or book a nice cruise in Greece. Besides, I don't think it makes sense to say people shouldn't want 5* things and then say you wouldn't even consider a cruise in Greece unless it were your own boat! ha ha, that's really roughing it, refusing to travel on anything but your own cruiseship.

The cruise I was on was modest and def. not 5*, but I'm sure there are some, so what's so bad about that. There are nice hotels in Athens and that is easy to book.

We don't know anything about the OP, maybe they aren't the roughing it, "simple" type.

I have a quasi-Greek friend now who thinks he's a regular guy, roughing it and basic (perceives himself as some Commie anarchist, they all do), but somehow he spends his time in his upper-middle class family's villas and is hardly hurting for money. He runs some business renting sailboats to tourists, also.
Christina is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2007, 11:03 AM
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The islands are beautiful. BE SURE to include them on the trip.
BarbMH is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2007, 11:22 AM
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How sad that you feel you are being forced to go to Greece. I've been four times, and that was flying from California. It was worth the effort every time.

Athens did not thrill me, I must admit, but the islands were so much more than I expected. People talk about Mykonos being a party island, but I did not find that. I love the architecture, the people, the food, the music, the churches, and the simplicity of it all. Santorini is so beautiful and restful.

Keep an open mind. Yes, there are luxury properties there, so I guess there is something for everyone. I believe there are Starwood (Sheraton, Westin, etc.) properties on Mykonos and Santorini. I think there is a Marriott opening on one of those islands.

Did you see the episode of "Everyone Loves Raymond" where the family went to Italy? Ray fought enjoying the trip until the end when he finally "got it." Allow yourself to "get it" in Greece and you may just fall in love with the country as many of the rest of us have.
luvtotravel is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2007, 01:08 PM
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My brother lived in Greece for two years in the early 1980's. I went to visit him there for two weeks and fell in love with the country. I've never been a 5 star person so I can't comment on that (also because I stayed in his apartment). But I can tell you that when I first saw the Parthenon in person I just broke into tears, very unexpectedly. Visiting all those ancient and often mystical sites is an experience that is hard to describe. I also went on a cruise to various islands and had a wonderful time. Try to let the experience flow over you and not pre-judge. I think you'll find a trip there very rewarding.
SharonG is offline  

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