Greece, sights, sounds , food , wine and experiences - Aug 28 - Sep 6, 2019
Our group of 4 arrived in Athens on Aug. 28th. Our driver was there to transport us to our hotel, the Pi Athens Suite. The hotel was nice, although it’s location (1/2 block from major road) made road noise a bit of an issue. The staff was friendly and they served a made-to-order omelet with your breakfast. Our welcome dinner at Mauro Parvato was delicious. There was confusion as to whether the cost of this dinner was part of our package, or on our own, but this was readily resolved. It was within a pleasant walking distance from our hotel.
Our first full day in Athens started with a Mythology tour lead by Maria from Alternative Athens. It was just excellent! Her knowledge and enthusiasm made it such a memorable experience. We appreciated our small group size (our group of 4 plus 4 others). Any and all questions were welcomed and completely answered. It was a great experience.
Our second day, Aug. 30th, began with an Athens Food Tour, lead by Maria Boli. Again, another wonderful experience! Maria lead us (our group of 4 plus a family of 3) on an extensive and delicious walking tour of various culinary sites in Athens. Well organized, informative, and so enjoyable! Maria’s enthusiasm was contagious! By the end of the tour, we were taking pictures together and exchanging email addresses with the former “strangers” in our group. What a fun time! Bravo, Maria!
Aug. 31st started with a ferry ride to Mykonos. Our accommodations on Mykonos were provided by Aletro Cottage houses, a beautiful small hotel with a breath-taking view of the Mediterranean . The staff was very friendly and treated us like family. A wonderful breakfast and a beautiful pool were just two of our favorite things at Aletro . In fact, when it came time to leave and our transfer to the ferry was late, the owners of Aletro offered, and did, drive us to the port so that we would not miss our ferry!
Our event for this day was a trail ride at Mykonos horses. The horses were good, and the hosts were very friendly. However, the ride itself was underwhelming. Not to the level of our expectations.
The next day, Sept. 1, we scheduled the traditional farm visit and Mykonian dinner. Other than the delay caused by confusion regarding our pick up time, the evening was a lot of fun and we were more than impressed with the delicious food served at our dinner. It was an added treat to have the chef stop and visit with us as we dined, to answer any questions and enhance our experience! A very nice evening!
After a day to transfer to Naxos via the high speed ferry, we arrived at the Adriani Hotel and were pleased to find an attractive hotel with very nice rooms, located within walking distance of the seaside shops and restaurants. The morning meal provided by the Adriani Hotel was outstanding! At least three entree dishes, along with several dessert-type options were included with many other items to make this an outstanding dining option for breakfast!
Sept. 3rd started with a transfer to a small village outside of the main city in Naxos. It was here that we met Katarina and began our cooking classes at her home, along with her mother. The opportunity to spend part of our day in their home was such a treat! They were fabulous hosts and wonderful chefs! An added bonus was the opportunity to meet the local historian and tour his museum. Truly an enjoyable experience! Once again, we had a communication glitch between our driver, our hosts and the organizers. It was quickly resolved, but had us a little concerned.
Our final scheduled event was a bike ride lead by Michalis (Mike) Manios and his son at Real Bike. What a great adventure! High quality equipment and the care and expertise taken by Mike and his son to ensure that we had a safe, yet challenging ride made this day one of our favorites! The route included beaches, city streets, the countryside and an added bonus of a historical site. They were so friendly and accommodating and welcoming. We all had a great time!
Although I cannot say that our trip went off without a hitch, I can say that whenever we encountered a “hitch”, our contacts at kimkim were readily available to quickly resolve any issues. We felt that we would have had a difficult time securing the quaint, family-owned hotels, the local guides and business people and wonderful experiences without the use of kimkim. We will definitely consult with kimkim when planning our next vacation!