Crete & santorini - 9 days, Greece - Sep 2 - Sep 10, 2019
Harris, our specialist through Travel 12, was outstanding and very helpful at every point in planning our trip and answering every tedious question.
We started the trip in Athens at the PiAthens Hotel, which was alright. We knew we weren't getting the best hotel because we had previously asked our representative to book a medium-level hotel to cut costs. The hotel was still decent and clean, and the location was stellar. We were easily able to walk to the Acropolis. We had a "welcome dinner" at Mauro Provato in Athens, which was utterly amazing food.
The next leg on the trip was a ferry ride to Santorini. We stayed at Kasimatis Suites in Imerovigli. The hotel had breathtaking views everywhere you looked, a great breakfast and a jacuzzi. Harris picked a fabulous location because it was within walking distance of Fira (Thira) but didn't have all of the traffic and tourists who come off the cruise ships that dock on the island for a day. There were tons of great restaurants (Vigla, Pearl on the Sea and many more), markets and shops to visit in Imerovigli.
The highlight of Santorini was a catamaran tour through Oia where we saw many sites and got to swim in the hot springs and had a fabulous dinner and unlimited wine and drinks. Despite a mixup during the pickup Santoline Tours made everything work and got us to the boat in time. They were very nice.
We took another ferry to Crete where we stayed at Olive Green Hotel, the best hotel we stayed at. Fabulous, modern facility with a great breakfast and great location. Heraklion has great shopping all around the city square. We had a guide through Let's Crete who took us through the Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum. This is a must.
Our last part of the trip was in Chania, which was absolutely beautiful. The Old Harbour had a million cool shops and great restaurants. We stayed at the Mosaic hotel, which was decent but not the absolute greatest. We rented a very cheap car for a day at Tellus car rental and drove to Elafonissi Beach, which was unforgettable gorgeous if you're brave enough to make the drive.
The last highlight (ALSO A MUST) was a cooking lesson at a home on the White Mountain through GS Tours. I would have done this five more times.