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History Summarized: Ancient Greece
I encourage you to visit that page and keep checking back for bargains. They also have early booking discounts which can save you a lot. If you have mobility issues or you are that age where you just want to take it easy and enjoy Greece without climbing stairs and mountains this is a good choice for you. Aegean Blue: Athens-Naxos-Santorini This Special offer Day program features 3 of the best hotels in Greece and many extras at the best value for money price. Not that I have ever been on one. But in my opinion visiting a bunch of Greek islands for a few hours each is not that way to do it, no matter what your travel agent tells you or what you read in a travel magazine. I think you need at least 2 or 3 nights on an island if you want to really experience it.
On a cruise you are just sort of looking at it. But Fantasy Travel's Smart 7 cruise allows you to spend 3 nights in Mykonos at the beginning of your cruise and 3 nights in Santorini at the end of your cruise. The cruise is 4 days and includes Kusadasi, Turkey, Patmos, Rhodes and Crete which would be impossible to see in such a short period of time otherwise.
Plus you can add on extra islands or tours of the mainland with Fantasy's low rates. Yes it is a cruise except there are only from 5 to 25 cabins meaning there are only 10 to 40 people on your boat instead of hundreds or thousands. They are mostly old style wooden sailboats though they mostly travel using the engines. And unlike a cruise where you wait in line to get on and off the ships and sometimes have to use smaller boats to get to shore because they are too big for the harbor, these boats pull up to the dock and you get on and off as you like. They also stop in quiet coves and beaches for swimming, fishing and lunch.
Besides his weekly scheduled cruises his boats can be chartered as well. See Greece Sail Cruises and Charters. In response to the travelers who are nervous about demonstrations in Athens or who just don't like cities, Fantasy Travel has put together several Greece mainland and island package which includes a tour of Athens and all transfers and ferry tickets. What makes them unique is for the Athens part of the trip you will be staying by the beach in Faliron, just 20 minutes from downtown by taxi or 30 minutes by bus or coastal tram.
The islands available are Mykonos, Santorini and Sifnos or the option of a cruise. For more information see Far from the Maddening Crowd. Fantasy can adjust the above tour so you can stay even further out of the city. The further out you go the nicer the beaches are and you are never more than an hour or so from downtown Athens. For those who are interested in staying outside of Athens I have added a new section in my Athens Survival Guide about the coastal suburbs or what some people call the Athenian Riviera so you can stay at the beach instead of in the center of the city. See my Athens Coast page and if you want to stay in the leafy cool suburbs in a beautiful old classical hotel see my Kifissia page.
Matt's Greece Travel Blog and Facebook Group For the latest on what is happening with me in Greece read my Greece Travel blog or else go to Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guides Group on Facebook for comments, photos and other fun stuff where you can interact with other travelers and people who live in Greece or go there regularly. But the answer to the question that many people are asking is "Yes people are traveling to Greece. Europeans, Australians, Indians, Chinese, Canadians, Brazilians and of course Greek-Americans continue to spend their summer holiday in the Greek islands and tourism is one of the bright spots in the Greek economy.
If you have any questions about personal safety, refugees, terrorism, the economy or whatever you have read in the news that might make you not want to go to Greece you can e-mail me or go to Matt Barrett's Greece Travel Guides Group on Facebook where there are other knowledgeable people sharing information, some of whom are living in Greece. Matt Barrett on Tiplr! I am now featured on Tiplr which is a platform for travel tips all over the world for those who like their information in bite-sized pieces. It is an excellent source of travel info especially for people who prefer a hand-held computer to a laptop or larger.
So go and download the app. Are you the type that knows they want to go to Greece, don't know exactly where they want to go or what they want to do, but don't want to spend hours or days or weeks trying to decide? Well for you I have created a page that will make it easy for you. It is my Suggested Itineraries Page and it will make planning your trip to Greece a lot easier. If you are the type who knows what you want to do but just needs help putting it together in a sensible way that suits your budget then I have a page for you too. It is my Create-an-itinerary Page which is to travel as multiple choice is to tests. Try it out and see what I mean. It is fun and you are under no obligation to buy and unlike forms on other websites I don't use it to collect information about you or keep your e-mail address so I can bug you later.
Support the People of Lesvos: Visit Lesvos You have read about the flow of refugees coming to Greece, many of them landing on the island of Lesvos. The people of Lesvos have been helping the refugees, rescuing many at sea, giving them warm clothes and food as soon as they come ashore, and assisting them on getting to the administration centers in Mytilini so they can be registered and continue their long journey to the rest of Europe. You can support the people of Lesvos in a couple ways. You can donate to organizations who have been helping refugees from the very beginning. Or you can come to Lesvos and visit what I think is the most beautiful island in Greece, where you can eat, drink, swim and if you feel like it volunteer to help.
Because of the negative press international tour and cruise companies have abandoned the island, which is silly. Lesvos is as beautiful and enjoyable as ever and the people of Lesvos don't deserve to suffer economic hardship because they have chosen to assist refugees instead of turning a blind eye. So consider Lesvos as the island to visit this summer and support the people who are actually helping the refugees.
Winter in Greece Despite what you have read about the Greek islands closing for the winter, as if Greece is some kind of seasonal theme-park, there are people like me who think that the winter-season, which goes from late October to the end of March, is one of the best times to go to Greece. No crowds, generally good weather and many days when you can swim. There can be periods of cold or rain and even snow in the mountains. You can ski in Arahova near Delphi and then go swim in the Corinthean Gulf the same day. But even when it is cold it is not the brutal cold that anyone in the northern US experiences in the winter.
The most amazing thing is that everything is green! The dusty archaeological sites that are parched and dry in the summer are alive with grass and wild plants and if you go in March or April, millions of wildflowers. If you want to see the real Greece, including islands that have returned to their quiet winter-ways after the summer tourists have left, and take advantage of low season rates and cheap airfare then winter is the time to go. And as I have written elsewhere Athens is the best city in the world from November to May with more restaurants, music, and shopping than most people get in a lifetime.
For more information on off-season travel see my article on Winter in Greece and also the new Off-Season Travel in Greece which has some winter itineraries and links to more info. Oh yes, and be sure to read about Skiing in Greece. Many people have discovered that the Christmas holidays in Greece is a great time to be there, with low rates on hotels and the weather is usually a lot nicer than wherever it is they have come from. Many days it is warm enough to dine outdoors.
It is a great time to be in Athens and visit the archaeological sites and nearby islands and Athens nightlife in my opinion is among the best in the world. Read about my Christmas in Greece. Easter and other Important Holidays in Greece This year Orthodox Easter is May 2nd which is late so that means you will probably be able to swim, eat and spend all your time outdoors and do many of the things peopledo in the summer. Unfortunately Greece will most likely not be accepting visitors until mid-May so unless you have a Greek passport or ID you should probably consider instead. Flights should be cheaper than in the summer and there are several Easter packages which enable you to experience the week of Easter with Greek families, seeing the ceremonies and in the end roasting a lamb and celebrating the resurrection.
Even if you are not religious it is a festive time to be here with beautiful candlelight ceremonies and everybody is in a state of increased happiness and hope no matter how miserable they were feeling before. It is my favorite time to be in Greece. See my Easter in Greece page. This is a great time to be in Greece too with parties and parades and lots of eating and drinking in Athens, Patras, Skyros and just about every island with a decent winter population.
The hotels and ferries to the islands are usually full that weekend, going there on Friday and returning on Monday or Tuesday. In August everyone leaves Athens for the villages and the islands and on August 15th it is the Celebration of the Panagia Virgin Mary and finding hotels or space on the ferries during this period is almost impossible if you wait too long. Many people stay in Athens during this period because even though it is hot, it is practically empty, by Athens standards at least. See also Holidays in Greece.
I have a daughter and have taken her to Greece every year since before she was born and she is now 28 years old and still travels with us to Greece. Greece is a great country for kids, especially the Greek islands. It is safe and the Greek people love children. There are also lots of children around which is a key ingredient for your child having a good time while traveling with his parents. Trust me. I know.
If you are traveling to Greece with small children, you may want to learn the secrets of "Strollering Through Athens" or take a look at my guide for Traveling to Greece with Children which has lots of cute baby photos and information that will be of use to you whether you are traveling with an infant, toddler, or even a teenager. And even better my daughter Amarandi when she was 8 put together a page for her fellow kids to read about how to deal with their parents in Greece called Greece4kids.
Getting Married or Honeymooning in Greece The Greek islands have always been one of the most popular destinations for Honeymooners. In the last few years there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people who want to get married there too. Why not? You combine the wedding with the honeymoon. Now there are all sorts of wedding packages available of all sizes and prices. Before you make your decision, whether you are doing a full-blown wedding or a simple exchange of vows, or just a renewal of vows see my Greek Weddings page. For those who are already married but just see Honeymoon in Greece and speaking of which Before you commit to anything besides each other of course take a peak at Fantasy's Honeymoon Packages.
Most Honeymooners go to Santorini. Personally if I were going to get married I would go somewhere more quiet and traditional like Sifnos. But with a good travel agent helping you it is possible to do both. Greek Ferry Boats Most ferries going to the Aegean islands leave from Pireaus which you can get to in 15 minutes by metro or taxi from central Athens. Others leave from Rafina and Lavrion which are both about an hour from Athens. The ferries to the Ionian Islands leave mostly from Kilini, Patras and a couple other towns in western Greece. There are modern high-speed ferries that cut travel time in half and cost twice as much as the regular ferries. The fleet of Flying Dolphins, which are small high-speeds, serve mostly the Saronic Islands where the sea is rarely rough.
There are also the Blue Star ferries which are not as fast as a high-speed but fast enough and big and modern. You may have read that ferries are unreliable but that information is dated. The newer Greek ferries are large and state-of-the-art and go to the popular islands. Occasionally one may be delayed because of weather or mechanical problems but cancellations are rare. But to avoid any anxiety about your trip home because of a fear of a ferry delay I suggest saving Athens for the end of your trip.
A good plan is to arrive and spend the first night in Athens and see as much as you can that day and leave for the islands the next day. Give yourself 2 or 3 days at the end of your trip to experience Athens and the mainland. Athens best Taxi driver is George Kokkotos. Having your own air-conditioned personal taxi in Athens is like having your own chauffeur, translator and guide for a fraction of the cost. George speaks perfect English and knows all there is to know about Athens and the archaeology and history of Greece.
It's a great way to see the real Greece. I recommend him for excursions such as Delphi , Meteora , Nafplion , Epidavros, Corinth and Myceneae , Sounion , Olympia , or anywhere on the mainland. He says he will go to the nearby islands too. If you are in a group of three or more people it is cheaper to use George then to go on the guided tour bus, and more fun since he will be more flexible, allowing you to stop at the beach of quiet tavernas, something you can't do on a tour bus. George knows the country and will help you find many bargains and hidden places not on most tourist itineraries. He can also take you on a tour of Athens nightlife. If you are in Athens and need a car at your disposal for business or pleasure, George is at your service.
One of the few taxi drivers in Greece who does not smoke. For sightseeing, guided tours, excursions all over Greece, or even a day of golf, call or FAX George. George has a luxury Mercedes and also a limo and a bus for larger groups! He also provides a car seat for infants. For more about George read his testimonials. For rates and more info see www. Swift-Avanti Rent-a-Car is a small family-run company owned by Elias Manouas who prides himself on specialized personal service.
Excellent cars and low prices plus delivery or pick-up to your hotel, the airport or wherever you are in Greece. He can also make arrangements with his affiliates on the Greek islands or you may want to bring his car on the ferry like a mobile closet for your luggage. You will never have to experience what the Athens drivers go through every day until you are ready for it. For info on cars and prices visit the Swift-Avanti Website or use this Form to contact them. A few summers ago I took a 5-day cruise on a sixty-foot sailboat boat with 6 cabins and plenty of room and Captain Billy Joe Leck, a true renaissance man from the UK, skilled in the arts of sailing, story-telling, guitar-playing and baby-sitting who knew more about the islands than I could learn in a lifetime!
I am not a sailor so I was a little reluctant to go but when the trip was over I wished I had booked 10 days or a month. We swam in sheltered coves in incredibly clear sea and sailed into ports in the late afternoon for dinner and entertainment. The boat had AC but we never needed it. This is the best way to see the islands, like a cruise but you choose your own itinerary. If you like a particular island you stay longer or even return to it. The surprising thing is that it can actually be cheaper then staying in a hotel and a lot more interesting! Be sure to read my article about my experience sailing in Greece at www. Greece Sail Cruises and Charters. The authentic way to sail the Greek islands with Captain Alex and his comfortable traditional wooden sailing yachts on the Aegean and the Ionian Seas.
Rent a cabin or the entire boat for you and your family and friends. These beautiful boats are large enough to accommodate 16 passengers comfortably and offer several itineraries that will allow you to visit the different island chains when they each have the best weather. Or you can charter the entire boat and go wherever you want. See their website. David Econopouly of GM Yacht Charters has gathered together the best boats and some of the finest and most entertaining skippers in Greece to offer a large number of specialized sailboat or motor-yacht cruises for honeymooners, archaeologists, people traveling with their pets, disabled, students, naturalists, and more. Did you know you can get great discounts on hotels, cruises and tours if you come as a group?
If you are a school, a wedding party, a company going on a trip, a family reunion, a cultural organization, church or if you are just someone who wants to come to Greece with friends and family or a travel agent check out the Groups page at www. And you won't have to negotiate with the hotels one-by-one. Everything is taken care of and all you have to do is make sure everyone gets on the plane. Suggestions for interesting tours in Greece Take a look at Fantasy Travel's mainland tours which are anywhere from a half day to seven days and are very reasonably priced.
They can be combined with an island or two or a short cruise. You can take care of your historical needs and then relax on the islands at a very low price. If you want to read more about where to go on the Greek mainland visit my Greece Mainland Index which has links to my various guides. Fantasy Travel's Greek Island Packages If you can't find something that appeals to you on Fantasy Travel's new website then I don't know what else to say. They have hundreds of possible itineraries and you can even customize them if you can't find something that's perfect for you. I highly recommend their Classic Packages which combine the Greek Islands with Athens and the mainland. Or go to their Island Hopping Packages and find the one that suits you out of the dozens of choices.
Budget Tours Many people write that they want to go to Greece on a very meager budget, but they are nervous about doing all their hotels, and ferry bookings on their own. They would like to stay in economical hotels but the thought of trying to figure out the metro, buses and taxis scares them a little. So I asked Fantasy Travel to put together a day package for people who think they can't afford to go to Greece. Hercules known in Greek as Heracles or Herakles is one of the best-known heroes in Greek and Roman mythology. His life was not easy—he endured many trials and completed many daunting tasks—but the reward for his suffering was a promise that he would live forever among the gods The warrior Achilles is one of the great heroes of Greek mythology.
Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent first with her father, then with her two younger brothers and finally with her son for almost three decades. She was part of a dynasty of Macedonian rulers founded by Ptolemy, who served as general under Alexander the Great during The Athenian philosopher Plato c. In his written dialogues he conveyed and expanded on the ideas and techniques of his teacher Socrates. The Academy he By turns charismatic and ruthless, brilliant and power hungry, diplomatic and One of the greatest ancient historians, Thucydides c.
The classical period was an era of war and conflict—first between the Greeks and the Persians, then between the Live TV. This Day In History. History Vault. Recommended for you. Knights of Labor. Julius Caesar. The Death of Hannibal. Massive Stones Moved to Build Monuments. Mummy Mania. Leonidas Leonidas c. Hercules Hercules known in Greek as Heracles or Herakles is one of the best-known heroes in Greek and Roman mythology.
Achilles The warrior Achilles is one of the great heroes of Greek mythology. Cleopatra Cleopatra VII ruled ancient Egypt as co-regent first with her father, then with her two younger brothers and finally with her son for almost three decades. Plato The Athenian philosopher Plato c. Thucydides One of the greatest ancient historians, Thucydides c. See More.Ancient Roman Ancient Greece Paragraph, Festivals, ancient roman entertainment What makes them unique Ancient Greece Paragraph for the Athens part of the trip you will Ancient Greece Paragraph staying by the beach Ancient Greece Paragraph Faliron, Ancient Greece Paragraph 20 minutes from Ancient Greece Paragraph by taxi or Neon Moon Poem Analysis minutes Ancient Greece Paragraph bus mcdonalds marketing strategy coastal tram. But even Ancient Greece Paragraph it is Ancient Greece Paragraph it is Ancient Greece Paragraph the brutal cold that Egoism Vs Altruism in the northern US experiences Ancient Greece Paragraph the winter. And because of the success of the Percy Jackson Ancient Greece Paragraph I often get e-mails from moms and dads planning their family trips Ancient Greece Paragraph Greece who want to visit the places their Ancient Greece Paragraph have read about in the Percy Jackson books and in manmy cases the idea of going to Ancient Greece Paragraph on Ancient Greece Paragraph family Ancient Greece Paragraph came from the kids themselves.