1 independent reviews for Greece ancient monuments tour

Reviews for Greece ancient monuments tour

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review 5 Oct 2019

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The ancient monuments, and the historical and archaeological insights of our guides...warm welcome at very comfortable local hotels with character and delicious breakfasts...swimming in the ocean off Napthakos watching a purple sunset, boats, a fortress on a hill...visiting the church at Mantineia and by chance meeting its architect who explained the symbolism behind his designs...climbing all around the Palamidi fortress high above the town and sea...escaping the bustle of Athens for the beautiful natural scenery of the Peloponnese...delicious meals at local restaurants...learning about organic olive farming and beekeeping...hearing about life in modern Greece and about historic events at places we visited.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Just do it! Don’t overpack, as you will be going from place to place so don’t want a heavy wheeled trunk bag. Bring layers, walking shoes, bathing suit, something to cover up should you visit a church..bring a good camera as sights too beautiful for just a cellphone. Forget your diet, or you won’t get to try great local food. Read up a little at least on the classical sights, tho the guides are great and will answer your questions. Sort out your cash, cellphone etc beforehand so you’re not wasting your trip time changing money, etc. Be sure you can walk several miles a day at a decent clip over uneven steps, around archaeological sites as these cannot be made wheelchair accessible or smooth. You will often be standing a long time on marble so avoid museum feet and go for sensible shoes, no high heels. Depending on season, bring or be prepared to buy a hat and sunscreen and be aware that Greece is warmer than many places.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

I hope so. The hotels were lovely, friendly, local, not chains and employees were locals. Altho we drove because of landscape and itinerary, we linked visits to minimize miles, and we walked everywhere in our free time. We mostly spent money on experiences rather than a lot of stuff, tho we did buy edible and useful products from the farms we visited (that we had shipped home). And we bought small gifts for relatives from local stores, things made locally to extent possible. We were struck by the kindness of the Greeks to the free roaming dogs and cats—I saw one restaurant worker bringing out scraps (presumably tourist leftovers?) to the cats. In many towns we visited, tourism is a major employer (those who travel -shame others for their carbon footprint flying overseas should ponder this...)

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

I have travelled all my life, usually organized solo or family trips, a couple of big bus tours. This trip was one of my best ever. The model of small groups and local experiences, promoting local producers and using local guides, with many alternative sights to the usual mass market trophy tourism, is perfect. They accommodate different interests, prior knowledge, and fitness levels. Appropriate for many ages and stages tho probably not hyper little kids (some historic sites are not as safe as some parents of small children might wish—it’s not Disney!). But a 26 year old and a 60 plus parent equally enjoyed the itinerary. Tho the basic trip was great, they also worked tirelessly to add and include stops or experiences related to our interests. for example we managed to fit in stops at Nemea, Corinth and the church at Mantineia as well. Plus a couple of castles And some museums extra. The trip more than exceeded expectations. No disasters or problems. We were pampered, logistics were taken care of, questions answered, and we had enough free time each day to fit in things like a hike, a swim, visits to local sights that caught our eye. Very good balance between intense, enlightening visits to great sites like Acropolis, Delphi, Olympia and Epidaurus, Mycenae and relaxing, fun local experiences that gave one a sense of modern Greek life. We would happily go on another of the operators trips. Far better and more restorative than brute force figuring everything out oneself from the internet.

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