Our Greek Odyssey!
Greece | Nov 6 - Nov 20, 2023

James
James N.
Sparks, NV | Reviewed on Nov 21, 2023

From Athens to Santorini, to Crete, we saw many beautiful, historical, and cultural sites, making it tough to pick one memorable moment. Honestly, a positive tone was set from the very beginning with the pickup up at the airport in Athens. Our first guide in Athens was Michael, and he was followed by Haris. Both very outgoing, and very knowledgeable. The Monasteries at Meteora were simply breathtaking, although the bus ride, at least the return, was a bit much. I wish I could remember the guide’s name (he was Canadian I believe), but he too was knowledgeable and personable. On to the views and Blue Domes of Santorini, where after much discussion, my wife and I decided our most memorable experience was the Catamaran trip, and a day on the Sea. We both love the water, whether it be a Lake, a Sea, or an Ocean. A great time for sure. Our other day-trip on Santorini was also worthy of a thumbs up. On to Crete, and what can you say about Crete? The Catamaran excursion aside, my wife and I were both an awe of Crete. From the blue seas, to the majestic mountains, to the charming villages, to the rich history and culture, Crete had it all. We were blessed to have an extremely knowledgeable and likable guide in Alexander all three days. So while the Catamaran was indeed our #1 memorable experience, Crete simply “rocked” from the very beginning. It has to be mentioned how the entire experienced was well choreographed. By that I mean every person involved doing their part by simply being at the right place at the right time. Our departure from Crete started with a 4:45 am pickup, and that kind gentleman was actually early!

Hotel Reviews
11 Enteka Acropolis Suites
Athens – Acropoli

The 11 Enteka Acropolis gets high marks for location, cleanliness. It was also quiet. The room was basic, but modern and clean. Their website advertised breakfast which was not accurate. Although it appears they did update their site, there remained an entry near the bottom that said, “Breakfast 8-11”

Authenticity & Character
The authenticity is in the name. We also like to stay in locally owned and operated accommodations.
Location
All the meeting places were within an easy walk. We took the Metro to catch the bus to Meteora, and the Metro Station was literally around the corner.
Staff
Our interaction was ilimited, but both individuals we interacted with were kind and helpful.
Cleanliness & Comfort
It helps this was a new property because it easily displays this. But the staff also appears to work hard to keep both the rooms and the common areas clean.
Blue Dolphins Apartments & Suites
Firostefani, Santorini

This was a tough one to review. The views were absolutely amazing, as was the morning breakfast served right outside your door. Our room (101), was loated next to a room with a common wall that was “paper-thin.” On the night of a major storm, they appeared to use this room as a secondary office to allow people whose flight was severely delayed to check-in. This went on to 23:00 hours, and we know this could you could literally hear every word. My wife had an unfortunate fall on the wet stairs leading away from the common area in front of our room. Fortunately she only sustained a very nasty bruise. But I have to acknowledge the staff being very courteous and approachable. Very helpful. We did not tell the staff about the fall however.

Authenticity & Character
The character was in the decor.
Location
If you want views, this is the place.
Staff
Very kind, polite and helpful.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Insulate the was between 101 and 102! Cleanliness was not an issue.
City Lion
Heraklion Crete

If you desire a stay in Heraklion, this is a good option. It’s with walking distance of dozens of restaurants and bars, and dozens of dessert and coffee options. Also an easy walk to the waterfront.

Staff
Very helpful. Although the quote, “office hours” were limited, the staff was always available either by phone or WhatsApp.
Cleanliness & Comfort
Very clean!
Activity Reviews
Athens Highlights Mythology Tour
Athens Highlights Mythology Tour
Greece

A beautiful day dawned on us as we walked amongst the birthplace of democracy. To walk among ruins thousands of years old, and with a knowledgeable guide, makes the day worth waking up to.

The Delicious Athens Food Tour
The Delicious Athens Food Tour
Greece

Wow! So many wonderful dishes, locations, and people. It’s always great to meet and interact with locals. Haris seemed to have a magical touch of picking all the right locations.

Quality of Experience
A great way to get to know and understand local dishes.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Haris was outgoing and knowledgeable
Athens to Meteora day trip by scenic train ride!
Athens to Meteora day trip by scenic train ride!
Athens

The Monasteries were truly amazing, breathtaking and memorable. The drivers and guides was knowledgeable and engaging. The “downer” on this trip involved Mother Nature intervening, causing a change in plans from a train ride to a bus ride. For us, the return bus ride was not something to behold, and probably something we won’t likely forget. We had to ladies in front of us. As we began to pull out and head “home”, one rudely reclined her seat all the way back into my wife’s lap, and when asked politely to consider moving it back up halfway, rudely declined. On top of that, my wife woke up the next morning with some rash on the back of her left leg, that we can only assume was picked up on the ride home.

Transport
LS Catamaran Cruise MDL
LS Catamaran Cruise MDL
Santorini

It always helps when the weather is good for a trip like this, and it was. Add in a beautiful setting, a glass of wine, the wind in your face, friendly, outgoing crew members, and you have the ingredients for a memorable experience. And that it was.

Quality of Experience
Being out on the water in great weather!
Food
Outstanding!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
All very polite, and helpful.
Transport
On-time. Our driver was as polite and helpful as the boat crew.
Winter Panoramic Tour 23-24
Winter Panoramic Tour 23-24
Santorini

Again, it helps that this experiences was not during the high season, Anytime you can walk the street in a small, local village, and see little to no people, is huge. I think we saw my Cats that people! Our guide was very outgoing and knowledgeable.

Luxuries of Mirabello with Spinalonga  and Agios Nikolaos
Luxuries of Mirabello with Spinalonga and Agios Nikolaos
Greece

My only complaint on this trip was the closure of the Monastery and the inability to actually take a boat ride out to Spinalonga Island. There appeared to be no real reason why. But overall, the trip was a wonderful experience. I’m a history nut, so walking among the ruins of the ancient Minoan civilization, was an experience worth remembering. Our guide, Alexander, knows all the “nooks and crannies” of Crete, so we knew we were in good hands. Oh, and also, it was very cool to see a 4000 year old Olive tree.

Quality of Experience
Anytime you get the opportunity to see ancient history, you’ve reached the pinnacle of any experience.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Alexander knows his tuff!
Transport
A well stocked mobile refrigerator!
Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace with Lassithi Plateau
Cave of Zeus & Knossos Palace with Lassithi Plateau
Greece

So not only did we get the experience of a very knowledgeable local guide, but we also got the experience of a local expert regarding Knossos Palace. And how amazing it was to descend into the Cave of Zeus. As with the day before, having someone like Alexander at our disposal makes all the difference. I also can’t complete this review without adding the lunch at Taverna Kourites. A small village, a great restaurant, an extraordinary host, added to the grand experience.

Quality of Experience
Seeing so much history, culture and authenticity.
Guides, Drivers and Staff
Alexander’s knowledge beyond what you normally see.
Transport
Again, a nicely stocked mobile refrigerator!
Crete Sightseeing: Rethymno - Argiroupolis - Kournas Lake - Chania
Crete Sightseeing: Rethymno - Argiroupolis - Kournas Lake - Chania
Greece

With the completion of this experience, we had been from one side of Crete, to the other. We went from the Minoans to the Venetians in the history books. As with other excursions, small towns, very few people, and with a knowledgeable guide, simply makes for a better experience.

Quality of Experience
History! Culture! Scenery! No people! A great guide!
Guides, Drivers and Staff
The fast knowledge, and “inside” information.
Transport
Did I mention a well stocked refrigerator?
Local specialist: Angela (Aggeliki) Giannioti
Angela (Aggeliki)
Angela (Aggeliki) Giannioti
Local specialist in Greece | Replied on Nov 21, 2023

Yeia sou, James!

Thank you for your time to leave your feedback.

We are truly happy that you had an overall great time here in Greece with us. 🙂
And thank you for sharing pictures! Awesome!

Have fun in Spain!

Safe travels.
Angela