First greek trip, Greece - Sep 15 - Oct 7, 2018
Tasos did a superb job setting up what is, perhaps, a somewhat unique trip. No islands but remote, ancient Byzantine churches. No beaches but many monasteries. No classical sites but every Byzantine site within reach. With other travel agents we've had to go back and forth several times to convince them we knew what we wanted. With Tasos - one time and he had it. Thank you.
In 3 1/2 weeks there are so many spots we loved that we can't list them all so here are some highlights:
Thessaloniki: great city for walking, Byzantine sites around every corner, great climate and sitting on the bay, enjoying a great ice cream cone and watching the ships come and go can't be beat.
Kastoria: fascinating old town best suited for wandering and discovering. At the Byzantine Museum we discovered Achilles, a guide who took us on a walking tour of the town. He knew the history and culture and, most important, he had the keys to the locked churches we wanted to visit.
Meteora: monasteries in the sky. All I can say is that they're worth the hard work of climbing the hundreds of stairs. See as many of them as you can.
Nafplio: laid back port town - this was a great place for us to kick back for a couple of days at the midpoint of our trip.
Monemvasia: a medieval town built on a large rock in a bay. A map can't do it justice for walking around - you have to be aware of all three dimensions. Climbing to the upper city for sunset was a wonderful experience (the sunset, not the climb.) The town did help me appreciate how tough people had to be in the Middle Ages and why the life expectancy was in the low 30s. But today, the town is full of great places to stay and eat.
Athens: 3000+ years of history and a third of the population of Greece make it a daunting city. For this, our first trip to Greece, we concentrated on the museums: The National Archaeological Museum (where the Antikythera device resides and is being researched), The Acropolis Museum and the Benaki Museum stand out.
All in all, I'm not sure why it took us so many years to get to Greece but I'm glad we did.