has long been a tourist destination which offers the best of
great historical monuments and the fun and sun of it's world
famous islands and beaches. We were able to get a quick
introduction to all that Greece has to offer on a recent weekend
trip to Athens and the islands of Poros, Hydra and Aegina.
We had a very pleasant
experience with the Greek people. Most seem to mind there
own business and get on with daily life. I must say they
didn't really go out of their way to help out, but they seemed
to be helpful when asked. The staff in the hotel we stayed
at were particularly helpful in pointing us in the right
direction and helping us book tours etc. You'll find
that most Greeks in the tourist areas speak English, but we
didn't get the feeling that everyone spoke English. They all
seemed to smile when we attempted the occasional "Thank
you" in Greek....who knows they might have been laughing.
Things to Know
We visited both
Acropolis and the Temple of Zeus on our weekend visit.
Acropolis was completely swarmed with people by 10:00 am, so it
is wise to go early. Tickets to get in were about 6
euros. The Temple of Zeus was deserted when we arrived and
remained as we left. Cover for Zeus is 3 euros. Both
places are quite breathtaking especially when you think about
how old these monuments are. The view of Athens from
Acropolis is particularly good, especially if you get a clear
day. One word of warning...both monuments are under serious
restoration, for if you are in the Post Card making business,
better wait until next year.
We had a hard time
finding a hotel in the Plaka area of
Athens, as it is quite nice
and close to everything. We stayed about a 5 minute walk
to the Plaka district, at a hotel called Phillippos Hotel.
It was 100 euros a night, including taxes and a light
breakfast. It wasn't good value, as the room, was not the
nicest in the world, but the location is ideal and as said above
the staff was excellent. The hotel didn't have any irons,
or electricity converters so be sure to bring your
Things to See and Do
In the two days we
were there we did the following things:
- Climbed Acropolis
(it is a climb)
- Visited the Temple of Zeus
- Walked around the Plaka District (lots of shops etc.)
- Took a one day cruise of Poros, Hydra and Aegina, three
islands off the coast of Athens
The day cruise which
went to Poros, Hydra and Aegina was a great way to spend outside
of the city and see a sample of Greek island life. The
boat we went on was quite large and seemed full but not to
were bars and shops on board and also a
variety of shows which we avoided completely. We must
admit that the cruise itself is a little cheesy, but the islands
more than make up for it.
Poros is the smallest
of the islands and has only a small strip with cafes and a few
shops. There is also a small harbour where the fisherman
pull in with their catch of the day.
Hydra is slightly
larger and has a beautiful port with houses in many colours
facing the harbour in ampitheatre style. Hydra's ocean
front is full of cafe's and small shops. A great place to dock
your sail boat and spend a few days.
Our last stop on the
cruise was Aegina. It is the largest of the 3 island, 85
km squared and with a population of 15,000 people. Aegina,
although not as pretty as the others, has many restaurants
and shops and has the cheapest pistachios we've ever seen, (they
are grown there).
We had a fantastic
time in Greece and plan to return to see the rest of this great