Greece

 


Greece is one of my dream destinations. I planned my Greece trip for several years. The flights from North America to Greece are rarely on sale due to the long haul distance. Greece is the birth of European civilization. The earliest urban civilization of Europe belong to the Bronze Age Minoans of Crete and Mycenaean Greece, which ended around 11th century BC as Greece entered the Greek Dark Ages. Greece has large varieties of attractions for cultures heritage sites and nature beauty of Greek islands, 80% land is mountains. 


Must Do

1. Santorini is must see and the most famous Greek Island. I recommend tourists to fly directly to Santorini  (Thira) from other nations - approximately 20 countries with direct flight. We flew from London, UK for only 31£ only person by easyJet.  

2. Take bus (€2.50 cash only) to visit the whole island of Santorini. Airport has a shuttle bus to the town center of Santorini. 

3. Plan to see Oia sunset (most beautiful sunset of the world) during your trip in Santorini. 

4. Buy combined tickets when visiting Acropolis of Athens. 

5. Unlike most European countries, Greece does not have high speed train network. Join Keytours (the largest Tour Operator with lowest price) for a bus tour to explore Delphi, Mycenae sites and Meteora. Coupon is always available on their website. 

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6. Stay at a hotel or Airbnb property near Syntagma Square in Athens. All major attractions are in walking distance, no city transit needed. Book Airbnb from the link below will save you $62 CAD/$43 USD/41 instantly for your first stay anywhere around the world

https://www.airbnb.ca/c/weic3807?currency=CAD

7. If you arrive at Athens airport, take the bus of route x95 to Syntagma Square (City Center) for €6 one-way.  

8. Prepare Euro currency for your Greece trips. Most retailers do not take credit cards. 

9. Food is extremely affordable in Greece. Experience local cuisine with large portion (e.g., seafood) for under €14. Try Mediterranean Fruits (e.g., pomegranate for only €1, size is twice bigger than the one sold in North America).

10. Buy olive soaps as souvenirs (best place is supermarket between €0.33 and €0.80 per piece). 

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Avoid

1. Avoid driving in Greece due to narrow roads on Greek islands and difficult mountain roads in Northern Greece. 

2. Avoid visiting Greece in July and August due to high temperature and crowds. 

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Trip Highlights (2018)

London to Santorini by easyJet (nice long haul flight)

My son enjoyed the amazing view from our hotel room balcony in Santorini

Private Pool outside our hotel room balcony 
in Santorini

 Santorini Town Center View during the day

Beautiful Sunset of Santorini 

Beautiful Sunset of Santorini 

Beautiful Sunset of Santorini 

Santorini  in the evening 

Santorini  in the night

 Santorini  Cliff View. Nice coastal line.

 Santorini Town View 

 Nice church in Santorini 

The most famous blue domed Church in Santorini: really breath taking.  I remembered when I saw the photo on National Geographic several years ago, I was totally shocked by the beauty of church and surrounding coastal line. Regardless what angles you take, it looks like postcard. 

We had a day trip to Oia. Beautiful Church in Oia

Oia, Santorini, Greece

Amazing Costal Line of Oia

Beautiful Town View of Oia

I recommend a good restaurant (
Laokasti) in Oia that we found on Tripadvisor.  Good price and excellent food. We love Beef Pasta. 

Nice Church in Oia 

Beautiful Blue Domed Church in Oia 

Walking Street in Oia 

All tourists are trying to find the best spot to see Oia's sunset

Sunset of Oia

. Our last night in Santorini ended with Beautiful Sunset of Oia. We flew to Athens by Ryanair on the next day. 

We joined Keytours from Athens heading to Delphi. Most  routes are very narrow mountain roads. I don't really want to challenge my driving skills. 

Amazing Theatre in Delphi. The ancient Greeks considered the centre of the workd to be in Delphi (UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987) 

Stadium in Delphi
Temple in Delphi

We enjoyed the buffet meal at Divani Meteota Hotel 

Beautiful View from Divani Meteora Hotel Windows

Meteora Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988) on the peak of mountain 

The Monastery of Great Meteoron is the largest of the monasteries

The Monastery of Great Meteoron: Inside View

The Monastery of Great Meteoron: Inside View

The Monastery of Great Meteoron

The Monastery of Great Meteoron

The Monastery of Great Meteoron

The Monastery of Great Meteoron

View of The Monastery of Varlaam on the top of The Monastery of Great Meteoron

Town View from  the top of The Monastery of Great Meteoron

In this photo, you can see all five Monasteries in Meteora

James Bond 007 Movie - For Your Eyes Only (in 1981). Filmed here in the Monastery of the Holy Trinity, which situated at the top of a rocky precipice over 400 metres high. 

The Monastery of St. Stephen has a small church built in the 1th century and decorated in 1945. It was shelled by the Nazis during the World War II who believed it was harboring insurgents. The monastery was given over to nuns in 1961 and they have reconstructed it into a flourishing nunnery. 

The Monastery of St. Stephen

Inside View of The Monastery of St. Stephen

Inside View of The Monastery of St. Stephen

Inside View of The Monastery of St. Stephen

Zappeion in Athens

1st Modern Olympic Stadium in Athens

View of Acropolis from bottom of hill in Athens

Acropolis Museum (very small museum inside: below my expectation)

Acropolis Museum

Syntagma Square with Soldiers

Syntagma Square with Soldiers
We joined another day tour with Keytours. Corinth Canal connects the gulf of Corinth in the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf

Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus was constructed at the end of the 4th century BC

Nafplion: A famous coastal city in Greece

Mycenaean Chamber Tomb built in 13 century BC (UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999)

Mycenaean Citadel

Impressive Entrance of Mycenaean Citadel

Mycenaean Citadel: Site inside

Athens Herodes Atticus Theatre inside the Acropolis

The Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion in Athens  

The Acropolis

The Hadrian's Library

The Roman Agora in Athens

Kapodistrian University of  Athens

Athens

National Archeological Museum of Athens

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