Make our Greece vacation rock the house, please.
October 19, 2006 9:57 AM   Subscribe

GreeceFilter: Traveling there for the first part of November, with my parents and 3 (adult) siblings. Itinerary inside, please suggest places to go, things to do, eats not to miss, how to avoid baby-throwing gypsies, etc..

I've been here and here already, thanks AskMeFites.

Basically just looking for any travel advice - Mom is insisting on money belts, but I'm of the mind that if I keep my head about me, I'll be fine. Have heard about scams like waiters adding things to your bill or people posing as Americans, taking you to some other club, and then charging their bottle service to your tab, etc.. Again, here I think I'll be OK, but appreciate any other advice/words of warning.

Never been to Greece and haven't had the time to do any research, but Mom has a general itinerary - are we missing something we should definitely see? Where should we eat?


Monday: Arrive Athens, hang around / sight see and acclimate.
Tuesday: Sight see - Corinth, Mycenae and/or Olympia. We are open to suggestions (OTS).
Wednesday: Sight see in Athens.
Thursday: Possibly go to Hydra or any other day trip from Athens (OTS).
Friday: Cruise to Mykonos
Saturday: Cruise to Rhodes
Sunday: Cruise to Patmos and Kusadasi (Ephesus) Turkey
Monday: Disembark cruise in Athens and head up north
to Thessoliniki.
Tuesday: Go to Philippi
Wednesday: Drive back to Athens (OTS for places to see on the way back). Farewell Dinner in Athens!

We have a local friend that will be helping us drive around to a few of the places, but I suspect the hive mind can suggest a few things even he won't know of.

posted by allkindsoftime to Travel & Transportation around Greece (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I've been to Greece twice, and the only advice I can offer is: The more time spent cruising the islands and the less time spent in Athens the better.

Santorini is breathtaking. An afternoon and evening touring the acropolis and the Plaka would do me as far as Athens goes.
posted by Bearman at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2006

Are you missing something you should definitely see? Yes. Of course. That's why you'll go back.

That said, on my first trip I missed out on Meteora, and if I have a must see in Greece, that's it. It's located right smack dab in the middle of the mainland, between the towns of Kalambaka and Kalabaka, and you could always swing by on your way up to Thessaloniki.

Also, while touring the islands, if you throw in Bodrum on the Turkish coast, you get (the nearly non-existant remnants of) four of the Seven Wonders of the World: The Statue of Zeus (Olympia), The Temple of Artemis (Efes), the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Bodrum), and the Collosus of Rhodes (Rhodos).

I'll second the recommendation for Santorini, and add in Samos (opposite Kusadasi) mainly for the coolness of Pythagoras' Tunnel, which he is (legendarily) said to have dug through the hill. It makes for a nice jaunt around the island on scooter, and a fun afternoon of exploration.

Whatever you do, I'm sure you'll have great fun --it sounds like a great itinerary to me as it is.
posted by zueod at 1:04 PM on October 19, 2006

Go to the Acropolis ASAP; it's the single thing most worth going to Greece for, breathtaking despite all the tourists, restricted access, replicas, and whatever. (You might want to read Mary Renault's The Bull From the Sea before you go just to give you a sense of what that hill once meant.)

It looks like you're really into islands, so you may want to go ahead with Hydra on Thursday, but me, I'd go to Delphi Wed. evening, spend the night, and get up early on Thursday to see the ruins before the tourist buses arrive. Delphi is absolutely amazing and the #2 thing worth going to Greece for. (And I took a sip from the Castalian spring and didn't have intestinal problems!)

Have a great time, and don't fear the Gypsies!
posted by languagehat at 2:28 PM on October 19, 2006

Temple of Poseidon is nice. That's just outside of Athens. The Greek countryside is beautiful. The Greek Islands are even more beautiful. The Greek people are friendly and generous. Athens is a disgusting hole that I'd be happy never to experience again.

I have a travelouge here for whatever help that is to you. The Greek stuff comes after the New York and Italy stuff.
posted by willnot at 4:04 PM on October 19, 2006

heh! Athens is a fantastic city, but if you are a grouchy tourist, of course you are not going to like it. I should know, I come from Athens.

A great restaurant near Akropolis is Dionysos. Also Sholarhio is a traditional taverna in Plaka. A lot of nice cafes and restaurants in Plaka and Psiri. Pick one while you are strolling around and sit. Besides Acropolis and the National Museum, I suggest you visit Benaki museum, for some greek folk history and art. Poseidon's temple in Sounio is an hour away from the city. Very nice. Make sure you are there for a sunset. You can also have dinner at Mikrolimano sometime, ouzo or tsipouro and seafood. The metro station in Syntagma is very nicely made.

In Thessaloniki you will find some of the most divine desserts in the world. Go to a Terkenlis bakery (it is a chain bakery store) and ask for chocolate covered tsoureki. Also, make sure you have some bougatsa (either with cheese or with cream). You cannot go wrong with food in Thessaloniki. I recently met up another Mefite in Negroponte taverna near Ladadika. Visit Vergina (Philip's tomb) and definitely the associated museum.

I suggest you drop Corinth in favor of Nafplio, a lovely seaport city near Mycenae. Also, yes, definitely try to go to Delphi. Meteora is very interesting and unique too.

Mykonos is nice and it will be busy even in November. My personal favorite is Santorini but I have never been there this time of year so I do not know how swarming it will be...

My opinion is that your trip is a little too tight: too many destinations, too little time. But adjust accordingly.

I can certainly think of a lot more suggestions, but I will probably overload you. Email is in profile if you have more questions, I will be happy to help.

Have a really, really nice time!
posted by carmina at 8:53 PM on October 19, 2006 [1 favorite]

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